Transplanted Life
Sunday, August 08, 2004
"It feels odd to do this while it's still light out."
Doug may or may not have still felt under the weater when I got out of work a bit before seven PM today; it doesn't really much matter. He said he'd try and meet up with Wei, Jim and me at the theater for the 7:30 showing of Shaolin Soccer, but I know that goofy Hong Kong movies aren't really his thing. He certainly looked rather healthier at breakfast this morning, but guys tend to grab onto excuses not to go on dates that they think would bore them to tears. I sure remember doing it - after all, it's not lying to say you're working late on the night your girlfriend has opera tickets if you really do work late, even if it's not strictly necessary and you leave the office about five minutes after curtain. Of course, he knows that I know the tricks - I have a completely unfair advantage in the battle of the sexes which I am not above exploiting.

It made me the third wheel while hanging out with Wei and Jim, but that was okay - until they get used to me being around and being who and what I am, I'm going to be the focal point any time we get together. If Doug were with me, he'd probably feel like the one tagging along even though he was part of a couple.

Wei and Jim are trying, which is cool. I think it's easier for Jim; he'd only been dating Wei for about a month before I started dating Kurt, so he didn't get to know Martin very well. In fact, he said tonight that he'd actually noticed a few similarities a year ago, that in some ways he thought it was funny that after Kurt's best friend moved away, he started dating a hot female version of Martin. Didn't say anything because, well, he was trying to make nice with Wei's friends and suggesting that one of those male friends was dating his current girlfriend because she reminds him of a guy would not make things go smoothly.

Jim called me Michelle a lot, and doesn't even notice he's doing it unless Wei corrects him. Wei herself has fallen into calling me Marti. It comes out kind of funny, mar-TI, because she's trying to differentiate it from "Marty". And I don't make it any easier; I fall into the trap of reminiscing. When we were walking past some of the chess hustlers in Harvard Square, I smiled, and asked if she remembered the time one of our classmates got crushed, ten years ago, by the guy sitting in front of the same Au Bon Pain today. We get into telling this funny story to Jim, and it dawns on us that I, technically, wasn't there.

So I change the subject from the past to the future, asking how the wedding plans are going. They groan, saying that they want something very non-denominational, and they've booked a Unitarian church, but travel plans are crazy - Wei's immediate family is in the northern suburbs, but Jim's is on Long Island, he's got a ton of cousins who have dispersed all over the country, and then there are Wei's grandparents. Grandmother Chang is in Hong Kong, while Grandmother and Grandfather Wu are from Taiwan, and all of them are running up massive phone bills trying to convince her and her parents to do something closer to a traditional Chinese wedding. The only time I remember meeting them was at graduation, but I remember Wei dreading it, because they were always disappointed that she doesn't speak Cantonese like a native and only absorbs the Westernized, pop-culture stuff from China. And, of course, retirees from China don't just come to the US for a weekend... Oh, no, they would all be arriving two full weeks before the wedding and staying a week after.

It was something of a relief when the movie started, since Wei and I had veered into reminiscing again. And it was a good movie, although I'd like to see the whole thing sometime (Miramax cut fifteen minutes out. I don't get why they do that, I really don't). We had a coffee afterward, and I asked if they'd told Kurt I was going to be at the wedding. They said no, but they were working up to it - just last week Wei mentioned she'd run into me at the movies and I wasn't some kind of Frankenstein's monster, and that most of the stuff he'd liked about both Marty and Michelle was still there. He's not up to talking about it. To be expected - if I don't hear back from Jen or Kate, who didn't know Martin and never slept with me, how can I expect Kurt to be cool?

I'd like to find a way, though.


(Oh, and the title refers to going to see a goofy Hong Kong movie in the early evening rather than at a midnight show)
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