…(continued from previous post)…
At that December 23, 1992 dinner, my sister, Jennifer, suggested, “Why don’t Moon and you just go ahead and get married? And by the way…”
I thought to myself, “…By the way. what??”
n Jennifer went on, “In case you get a divorce, no matter where you are, most likely half of your net worth will belong to your wife anyway!” That was an encouragement from a seasoned banker!
At that point of time, I only had one meaningful personal possession – my old red Volkswagen. Then in my head, I had a vision. I was sitting in the driver’s seat, and the car was nicely cut right in the middle, leaving me sitting there half naked to face the elements. I thought to myself, “Can I take this risk? Yes, I would love to take this risk!!” (then I stopped washing my car… and started having join accounts with Moon, Amen!)
I was crazily in love with Moon anyway and there was absofreakinglutely no doubt whatsoever! Let me reassure you, it was not HORMONES, it was from the rational me talking then.
The next steps were straightforward:
- Call our folks at home and ask for their OK,
- Get a marriage certificate (which was a prerequisite to get married in Toronto in 1992),
- Book a chapel, and
- Find a pastor or Justice of the Peace to marry us
Getting the OKs from our folks back in HK and Malaysia was easy enough even though I guessed a few of them were on the verge of a heart attack. In the initial few months after our marriage, a few friends and family members were wondering when the baby would be born from our shotgun marriage. (It was NOT!!! We had our first child over 10 years later!)
Getting the marriage certificate was easy as we dashed off to the relevant office in downtown Toronto on December 24 and made it right before they closed for half day on Christmas Eve. We even managed to get a room booking at the North York Civic Center (formerly the North York City Hall) and a Pastor to help us on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1992!! (Little did we know that we would eventually move to live in a high-rise condo across the road from the North York Civic Center from 2001 until we left Toronto in 2004.)
It was funny that when the Pastor asked for our wedding rings, we had nothing to produce and so made do with our engagement rings. What were we thinking (or not thinking) of, to forget the wedding rings?!! As usual, I had minimum cash on me. Even nowadays I have to ‘beg’ cash from my boss, Moon, all the time.
The wedding ‘banquet’ we had was at a small cafe near the intersection of Warden and Steeles in Scarborough, at the north of Toronto. Over that quick lunch, we had a total of 8 people in that cafe including the cashier, whom I had no budget to invite. I think Jennifer paid for lunch. As a banker, if I owed her money, it is likely that interest would be charged and the compound interest for 22 years would be catastrophic …As life led us, Moon and I lived in a house about 2 minutes walk from our ‘banquet hall’ for many years!
Moon has been wearing that wedding/engagement ring since 1992 and on a few occasions, she ‘gently’ mentioned that she was one of the few women whose husband (me) did not get her a ring with a stone for her wedding. Now Moon was NOT a materialistic gal – I guess it was just some ‘peer-pressure’ or ‘peer-observations’ from time to time. To be fair, her friends are 99.999999% first class people. For goodness sake, please don’t try to figure out who belongs to that fraction of 1%. The odd is that you do not belong to that group as you are reading this blog post.
The problems were:
- rings are a relatively elective expense,
- I had no idea how to tell the difference between Coca-cola and soy-sauce anyways, so how could I tell a diamond from a piece of glass?
It was about the year 2008 that we went to a jeweler in the USA while attending a conference/meeting. As the saying goes, “If you don’t know jewelry, know the jeweler.”
At Borsheims, I knew we had a trusted jeweler so I suggested to Moon that this was the place for her to get her little stone. However, it took Moon a full two years to come up with the stomach to get it. That says a lot about her character (& nothing about my financial skill). Throughout the years, we made a few friends in this city and we are happy to visit my goddaughter and her lovely family there. We always look forward to seeing them.
We have now been in Singapore since 2004 but we have yet to own a car. I have found no practical application and can’t bear the thought of the high cost involved in buying a car in Singapore. On top of that, the transportation system in Singapore is very efficient and my work is rather stationary. This makes owning a car less of a need in my family’s case. So the ‘vision’ of having myself in the drivers’ seat, and seeing the car half cut off and me facing the elements is no longer an issue. The good news is, in contrary, I have a fair share of half of Moon’s stone. Isn’t this a great outcome?
A proof that patience pays off