2012 – The End of Daze
January 28, 2012 was a defining day for me. Specifically, it defined the beginning of married life. It was the end of an era, and a beginning of another era. It was the best of times, it was the best of times. It was on this day that I married Rhine and added her to my life. Many of my friends have had long drawn out engagements where they enjoyed the whatevers of fiancehood for months at a stretch before they took the marital plunge. For me, this long drawn out engagement was only a short span of one week. I got engaged on January 21, 2012, and raced to shed my bachelorhood completely within the next week.
Things were, as you may imagine, hectic. Did I mention that I was not even in the right country on January 19th? I reached India on the morning of the 20th, at which point the average guest was more involved with the pending engagement than the groom a-la moi. It was a race against time. Being a management graduate, I was quick to see that the whole exercise needed to be broken down to a Kaizen system of management if we were to get things done on time. Kaizen is a Japanese management philosophy that aims for ‘continuous improvement’. They do this by empowering the entire workforce into acting as one unit, making small, but meaningful improvements on a continuous basis that augments processes at all levels, creating a dynamic and interactive design that enables smooth functioning and efficient workflows. In a wedding scenario, this translates into getting all the involved parties involved in decision making, from the selection of the cake to the venue decorations. So, no. We didn’t bring in Kaizen. We’ll leave that to Japanese wedding planners.
No, we played into an alternate routine of management that, while admittedly not as acclaimed a practice as Kaizen, was infinitely more familiar to my usual way of life. I call it the ‘Do-Whatever-You-Can-Think-Of-And-Pray-You-Haven’t-Forgotten-Any-Of-The-Really-Important-Stuff,-Like-Pants’ style of management. Being a veteran practitioner, I can say with some certainty that the only petty reason why this style is often overlooked by MA textbooks is that it’s difficult to condense the name into a manageable chunk.
On my way to India, I had kept myself busy by creating a mental list of the things I had to do on the day of the engagement. The trouble with creating mental lists was that you tend to rely too much on memory. By the time I reached India, the only part of my list that remained in my head was “Buy new shoes” and “Do not sleep during the ceremony”, both excellent notes for sure, but hardly sufficient for any real world event more complex than snoozing an alarm clock.
In the end, the engagement was an exercise of random scurry from family members. From waking up late to walking down the aisle groggy, everything felt so last-minute and sudden. But at least, it served as a cautionary tale. As a family, we vowed to take all of these events as a learning… to treat it as a training ground so that we do not repeat any of the same errors for the wedding ceremony. It was with a firm resolve that we decided to push ahead and meet the schedule. It was motivating. It was beautiful. We were a determined bunch. We just knew that we would make the wedding a whole lot better.
Of course, in the end, we didn’t really learn anything, and the wedding was just as rushed up and haphazard as the engagement, if not more. But we didn’t know that at the time. Oh, no, at the time, we were absolutely convinced that we would be on top of things for once. With a little bit of determination and commitment, we reasoned, it could be possible. With a little bit of determination and commitment, perhaps, but I guess we’ll never know for sure. We had one week separating the engagement from the wedding. After the engagement, we took around three days recovering from the hectic rush of the engagement. We then took an additional day to lament about how we could have done things differently. We then spent two days shopping for clothes for the wedding, and before we knew it, it was the wedding eve. We were back to square one. I had no choice but to make another mental list of things that I was supposed to do urgently. By morning, the mental list was reduced to “Locate the new shoes” and “Do not sleep during the ceremony”.
From forgetting the cake figurine to wearing some of the clothes inside out for part of the day to arriving late for my own wedding, there were a lot of things that, in retrospect, could have gone smoother. In what appeared like a sharp contrast, my better-half-to-be seemed to have gotten her stuff together better. Her fleet of family and friends seemed to have gotten the basics in order, and seemed to be a far more punctual, organized and methodical in their preparations. Since then, of course, she has earned the title of Mrs. Hamish Joy, instantaneously reducing her personal efficiency by around 50%, and it is expected that by this time next year, she would be just as random and scurried as myself.
But the proof is in the pudding, and from most accounts, the pudding was excellent; the events were beautiful and joyous. Most of the hitches went by unnoticed, the guests seemed to have a gala time, the church service put very few attendees to sleep, the ambiance of the halls was well applauded, the food received rave reviews and the actual pudding also got multiple thumbs up. All things considered, things worked out well. But make no mistake about this. I’m not marrying again.
Thus began my life as a married man. Time to think more responsibly and to behave more maturely. How exactly do I do that? I’m not sure. But I’m going to start by preparing a mental list.
Note to self – Need to update site more frequently
Note to better self – Happy one month anniversary, sweetie. 😉