Sunday, June 06, 2004

I attended Delia's wedding today.

It was held at a gigantic, soccer stadium-style Chinese restaurant in Queens. Downstairs was a cacophony of noise -- families of at least 12 were seated around large round tables, ill-behaving ABC kids were madly gesturing at dim sum cart waitresses while their mothers were checking out other mothers' freshly-done hair-colorings. (Sometimes the Chinese birth control policy really makes sense to me...) Upstairs were these private banquet rooms that get rented out to knot-tying couples, one of which was the Green Card-struck Delia and her husband.

He was an effusive, hyper-kinetic man, in a rush and seemed in disbelief that he was marrying Delia. I would say he was in his 40s, but he had the air of someone who was forever counting dollars in his head, so he may be younger than that. My parents, consummate intellectuals with their unique brand of snobbery, would discount him in a minute as a "shang ren" (merchant). They liked to say those merchants reeked of the smell of money. Odor or not, this may be his best business deal to date.

The bride and groom had already changed from their black-tie outfits to traditional Chinese costumes, for photo-sessions later at the Queens Botanical Garden.

Delia, who wore almost as much makeup as she did in the wedding photo displayed in front of the banquet room, was outfitted in a slim red silk dress, with a peony corsage pinned on her collar. She sashayed over to my table with a glass of Mao Tai (the most frequently counterfeited hard liquor in China).

"Let me introduce you," The 30-something guy seated next to me turned around slightly to face me. "Mao Mao, this is my good friend."

Good friend? I suppose we never had any conflict of interests.

Mao Mao looked me over, shook my hand slightly, and dismissively turned back to the lobster in front of him. "This is not the way my old chef in China would have prepared it..."

Mao Mao the ex-husband? Whose father is some sort of high-level bureaucrat or other in China, who gifted his son with a pet company, who had the gallery in Manhattan...

It was not easy to get a moment to chat with Delia, but I acquired Mao Mao's business number before her husband squired her away. I would have followed them to their photo-op but I had to get back to Dr. Zhou's this evening to get the disposable acupuncture needles refilled. Her business is doing well. So is Delia, it seems. Her husband was happy just to be able to have her for the two years or so they have to be together for the citizenship proceedings. Who am I to judge?