“Oh, America!”

Good Man could not figure out why I was freaking out about planning a wedding.

So I dragged the Good Man to a library. We got books. I dragged him onto the internet. We looked at “typical” American weddings. I dragged him onto the couch with a list of “things to do before the wedding.”

“OK, let’s go through this.”

“OK,” he nodded.

We went through the list. Stopping.

“What’s a best man?”

“The groom’s best friend who does stuff for him. He stands in a suit,” I answered.

“So, you want Mark right? I don’t need anyone. OK, that’s easy,” Good Man said.

Later, “What’s a bridesmaid?”

“A chick who helps the bride, goes dress and shoe shopping and throws the bride parties where you wear toilet paper dresses,” I answered. Good Man stared at me. I could read his mind, “Yeah, it’s Mark,” I said.

Later, “What’s a ring bear—? What’s that? And a flower girl?”

I smiled, “A flower girl drops flower petals on the ground and a ring bearer carries fake rings tied to a pillow down the aisle.”

“Fake rings?”

I nodded.

I wish I had a photo of Good Man’s face then. I could tell he was thinking, And you think Koreans can be odd…

Later, “What’s a rehearsal dinner?”

“You usually rehearse the night before the wedding, and there’s a dinner for the wedding party and out-of-town guests.”

Good Man took my pen and crossed it off the list, “Everyone is from out of town! That’s the wedding!”

And then, “Buy gifts for each other? For who?” Good Man shrugged.

“We buy gifts for each other,” I said, “Hey, aren’t our families supposed to buy each other really expensive gifts for a Korean wedding?”

Good Man shook his head, “We are not doing that and my mom knows. No! I hate that!”

“Good,” I answered.

After we went through four pages of this, crossing out at least half of what the Wedding Industrial Complex deems as “necessary,” I said, “OK! Four pages down. Now we’re on the day-of checklist!”

Good Man shook his head, “Oh, America! Oh, America!” I laughed and he said, “No! We are not doing all of this! This is so American! Make junk, sell junk!” He wailed, “No! This is not what we want!”

I touched his hand. “I know, I know. But when I freak out and ask you a dozen times if it’s OK that we’re skipping some ‘important part’ of the wedding, I just want you to understand where I’m coming from. I want a small, non-traditional wedding, but for 28 years, this is how I’ve been trained to think a wedding should be.”

Good Man nodded, “OK. But we are not typical.”