If I had a choice, I would rather not go back to Hong Kong in July. The summer weather in Hong Kong is horribly unstable, hot and humid, and I’ve also already gone back in early January for a visit before my first ski trip in Japan. Alas, the aunt from Canada just got married earlier, and has decided to bring her daughter and new husband all the way to Hong Kong for a giant reunion, with a professional family photoshoot, a feast and all. This would normally just mean I’m seeing the aunt and cousin from Canada whom I admittedly haven’t seen for many years. This trip, however, is much bigger than a family reunion for me.
This time, unlike all previous trips back home, I’ll be bringing along the boyfriend — the first person I’ve gone serious enough to bring home.
I’ve been stressing about the trip long before it. When the dates were first announced, Richard and I had only been together for about 3 months. At that point, we’d already met each other’s friends but not family. I also hadn’t told my family about him yet, not because I’m ashamed of him, and not because my family would have any issue of him being of a different race; it’s half because I never really had the opportunity, and half for a private reason close friends would know about.
On the actual dates of the trip, we would only have been together for 5 months. 5 months isn’t a short time to meet a partner’s family; but 5 months, dragging someone overseas meeting everyone who speaks a different main language and from a different culture all in one go in a massive family function, might just be too much. The question of “Is this too soon?” kept running over and over in my head, and over and over in conversations with good friends and colleagues (sorry, you unfortunate folks).
There’s also an additional but usual dread. I try to stay positive on this blog, so I wouldn’t think anyone to suspect that I haven’t had the most pleasant childhood in Hong Kong. I shall not go into details here other than the fact that it’s not sexual trauma, but even until now, years into my adulthood and staying so far away from the place, I’m still haunted by regular nightmares that wake me in the middle of the night in sweat and tears. I haven’t disclosed the details to many, but a couple of the few I have, people whom I thought I could trust, have told me to just get over it. That did not and will not ever help.
If I had a choice, I would really not go back to Hong Kong at all.
Shortly after I confirmed the dates with the parents, I told Richard about the trip — my trip. I really wasn’t sure how he would react to it. What if he says nothing to this? Do I then suggest for him to come along? Should I hint? Should I ask? Is this too soon?
I paused. He was quiet for one second, then asked if I would like him to come along.
I think I am ready. I think we are ready. Tomorrow, this is happening.