Valentine’s Day is one of the most looked-forward-to days for couples and not so much for single people (like me and a bunch of my other desperate girl friends who are in their late 20’s/early 30’s).
I’ve never had a romantic Valentine’s Day even when I was in a relationship. I mean… my first real boyfriend (now my ex) was trying to make it romantic by inviting me out for a romantic dinner but as being young and inexperienced (ignorant) as we were, we forgot to make a reservation (we didn’t even think we needed to – hahaha). So we ended up spending our first Valentine’s date at… a KFC!! Because it was the only place with empty tables!! And since then, it was kind of like a tradition that we went to KFC on Valentine’s Day. And my other boyfriend (who is also now my ex) doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day and thinks this day is too commercial/mainstream. So I can skip all the details about Valentine’s Day spent when I was in a relationship with him because there is actually no detail. Well actually he did send me some heart emoji and that was about it.
So as far as romance goes, Valentine’s Day for me = KFC + heart emoji.
And I always loved it. I mean who doesn’t like KFC and heart emoji?!
This year though, I had a different kind of Valentine’s Day (Because I’m single, duh?). How did I spend it? With my family. Road trip. Wedding. Yes my cousin is so cheesy he chose to get married on Valentine’s Day! And I rolled eyes when I first heard the news (Because. Really? You are going to be one of those cheesy couples?!) But now I thank him for his well thought idea for the following things that happened this weekend
1. Road trip with the cousins
My 3 year younger sister and I grew up living under the same roof with our other 5 cousins on my mother’s side – 2 boys and 1 girl my age, 1 slightly older girl, and 1 slightly younger girl. Can you imagine how chaotic it was? (No you can’t, unless you are one of the people I’ve mentioned and reading this) Every morning, the race to the bathrooms, the race to the breakfast, the race to good pairs of socks and the list goes on and on. We almost always hated each other if only we didn’t have to copy each other’s homework or borrow each other’s school supply sometimes. But as we grew up and went off to college and started our own life, we rarely see each other and we even feel disconnected at some point. Our other cousin was born and raised in another city but he would visit us during school breaks. Ok, this is a little complicated. I have twin cousins. But their parents were separated. My uncle took care the younger twin and his ex-wife took care of the older twin. The older twin announced he was getting married and so this weekend wedding brought us together (even though some still couldn’t make it, you guys are forgiven, but you guys missed out BIG TIME hahaha) We had to drive about 250 km from my hometown on Saturday and spend a night there as the wedding is on Sunday morning. And through those hours of traveling, we reconnected again – talking about what’s going on in each other’s life, our future plans, our childhood, sharing our favorite snacks, singing in the car, taking selfies etc. It was one of the most fun moments we’ve shared, only behind 1) when we sneaked out to swim in the river by our house and got caught and punished by our grandpa, 2) when we rode our bicycles through neighbors’ fruit orchards and were chased after by their dogs, and 3) when we climbed up trees and spent the whole day there pretending it was our house and were later told that there were so many snakes on those trees.
2. My uncle’s family reunited for my cousin’s wedding
As I have mentioned earlier, he was separated from his ex-wife since the twins were babies. And they each took care of each twin and raise them by their own. Despite having seen each other only during school breaks, my twin cousins have special bonds. But being separated, sometimes they feel the other twin and the other parent didn’t love them. They often get into silly fights regarding this. I grew up with the younger twin and know very well he could be very sensitive about his older twin brother and his mother. And this time, he also sulked that his older twin brother was getting married and only let him know in such short notice. But the older twin has a really good explanation – he only knew about it himself 1 week before he told us. My sister and I sat down and talked to the older twin about how the younger twin was feeling and my sister shared that being a younger sibling, she always feels neglected when I have a boyfriend. Whenever I was in a relationship, she would feel like someone was stealing her bigger sister away and that I didn’t care about her anymore – which is not true at all! The twins then managed to make up and we had a nice pre-wedding dinner by a river together where the twins jokingly fed each other food to show us that they are cool with each other now.
At the wedding, I noticed a moment when the younger twin was adjusting the older twin’s Thai traditional costume and I almost cried as he lovingly looked at his brother and carefully tried to put the costume in place. I was seriously having a hard time trying to hold my tears in (Because, knowing all my cousins, they would definitely tease me about it if they saw me cry)
The groom and the bride had to change from Thai national costumes to regular wedding attire for lunch celebration after the morning ceremony. That was when the whole family gathered at their room and when the twins’ family was reconnected and reunited again after years of drama separation. They were hugging and kissing each other. It was a very brief moment and I captured it and it was so far my most favorite moment of the weekend because… I’ve never seen my twin cousins this happy before. Having known them since we were little, no matter how many toys they have, they wouldn’t seem so happy.(They always had the latest toys!! And I was so jealous of them because my parents wouldn’t get me those. I played with paper dolls -_-) It felt like something was still missing. But that moment when they reunited, their faces said they felt whole. And that was what they have been craving for ever since they could remember. I wish that moment lasted longer (had the groom needed not to go pee and broke the group hug)
3.My contribution to the wedding
Nothing brought me joy more than getting to take part in the event. I helped capturing the moment of my family’s happiness, I took part in the groom parade (In a traditional wedding, the groom’s relatives and friends parade to the bride’s with gifts and sweet), I brought food to the groom and the bride before they fainted because they had been too busy to eat etc. I was basically running around most of the time (Thank god I wasn’t wearing high heels and long gown) And it was exhausted. But it was all paid off, the moment I saw how happy everyone was (Because they had their photos taken beautifully, and I had none *laughing so hard I cry*) And…
4.Seeing my family happy makes me happiest
Of course, there were still chaotic moments when all of us gathered. Everybody wanted to talk but no one wanted to listen. In order to make myself heard, I had to yell. And it gave me headache, like literally. And my throat was sore from yelling. But towards the end of the long exhausted weekend trip, as we were leaving to continue living our own life, I couldn’t feel happier. I could see the happiness in everyone’s eyes, especially my twin cousins, my uncle, and his ex-wife. I looked at my mom and I saw how happy she was that my uncle (her brother) was happy and that makes me feel even happier (because when she is unhappy, she turns into a Hulk and attacks everyone within her sight. Yes my mother is The Queen of all the drama queens. And I may have gotten that from my mama).
As I got back to my apartment, dropped my bag on the floor and threw my exhausted self on my comfy bed, the older twin cousin texted to check if I got home okay. The next morning, he posted the photos (which I had taken for him) on Facebook and thanked everyone for attending the wedding. This past weekend was so much fun and very memorable. And as much I love KFC and heart emoji, this year I really have to give it to family drama, exhausted long road trip, and a cheesy wedding on Valentine’s Day.