Today marks the last time I’ll be spending CNY as a single. The day started out pretty much the same as the past few years – went to my paternal 4th uncle’s house to pay respects at my grandparents’ altar tablet (managed to avoid offering joss sticks this year by telling my dad firmly that I do not want to hold a joss stick but I will bow), followed by a simple lunch with my 4th uncle’s family and my 8th uncle’s family who arrived shortly after us.
More relatives gathered at my 4th uncle’s place and after chatting for 2 hours or so, we moved on to my paternal 3rd aunt’s home. Spent another hour or so there before visiting my mom’s sister and then dinner at my paternal 9th uncle’s house. The night ended with the traditional movie with some cousins I’m closer with. This year, there were 12 of us (inclusive of 1 gf, 1 bf and 2 spouses). This movie thing started with Believer and me. There was this CNY when we had to return to NTU on the 3rd day of CNY. We were very bored so he suggested catching a movie. The following year, we expanded this movie outing to include the other cousins and before we knew it, this movie “tradition” has been done for the past 8-9 years.
2 of my cousins are also getting married this year. As a result, a topic that came up a few times during this CNY was, do we need to give angbaos to unmarried cousins? Given that we’re of the same generation, and some of my unmarried cousins are around 40, isn’t it a little odd to give them angbao? Well, the single cousin that’s turning 40 this year thinks we should give. She said it’s not the money that matters but just for “luck”.
I don’t believe in luck – I believe there are happy coincidences and crappy coincidences but I guess I get what she means. Even if we just give her a small token, say $4-6, it’s just keeping with the custom and traditions of CNY. This conviction that certain “happy customs” should be kept was strengthened when my 9th uncle’s wife decided to only give angbaos to people of my generation who are not working. Gosh. Since when was giving angbaos pursuant to being gainfully employed? 1 of my cousins jokingly said, “I was retrenched leh. How?”. My 9th aunt promptly replied, “Retrenched? Then you should sign up for the WDA retraining course. Don’t bluff me by saying you’ve signed up if you haven’t ah. I’m a WDA trainer. I can check.”
I wanted to roll my eyes in her face. First you make up your own custom and then you boast about being a WDA trainer? I mean, that revelation was totally uncalled for! I question the standard of the WDA retraining programme now… after all, this aunt has been a taitai for the past 2 decades or more. What makes her qualified to “retrain” someone so as to get a new job? All her practical experience is being a taitai! Good grief. Some trainer she is man. Pui!
Anyway, Iceman will be visiting my family and having lunch with us tomorrow, after which I’ll be going to JB to have dinner with his parents. I wonder how we’ll sort out who to visit next year. I guess we’ll definitely have to have the reunion dinner with his grandfather and extended family. I think they have an extended family dinner on the 1st night of CNY too… and a dinner with just his immediate family on the 2nd night. My concern is that I would wish to spend time with my extended family too. The best opportunity to do that is during dinner on the first night of CNY ‘cos my dad’s sisters don’t join us for our reunion dinner (which thankfully is often held on 2 nights before CNY so I should get to see half the family then)… but that clashes with the dinner at Iceman’s grandfather’s place. Sigh. I wouldn’t want us to displease the older folks though I am missing my relatives already. After all, I don’t have any siblings so my cousins are the the closest substitute to a sibling.
Ok.. it’s getting late and I’m getting really sleepy. Goodnight folks. Here’s wishing everyone a bull run this year!