The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female company worker in my 20s, and I asked a friend to play music with me at my wedding reception. I’m really worried because this friend has yet to practice to prepare for it.
I’m having the wedding this autumn. I’ve already reserved a hall for the ceremony and made the invitation list around the end of last year.
I also asked this friend a while ago to do this joint performance.
I used to take shamisen lessons and planned on playing the three-stringed instrument at my wedding reception with this friend, who used to practice with me, to entertain the guests. When I asked my friend to play with me, my friend quickly agreed.
However, when I recently asked to practice together, my friend said: “I’m so busy now I have no time to practice. I can do it right before your wedding.”
My friend seems to have done almost no practice up until today, which makes me really worried my friend’s plan on almost winging it may ruin our performance at the reception.
I’d totally believed this friend, who had said, “I want to play with you” at the reception. I’ve been so disappointed now. I seriously feel like criticizing my friend for being so irresponsible.
Should I tell my friend I want to cancel doing it?
F, Osaka Prefecture
Dear Ms. F:
What would you tell your friend about why you want to cancel your joint session?
This person is your friend, and also one of your invited guests to attend your wedding reception. You should be thankful and receive this guest with hospitality as the host.
After you get married, you will undoubtedly have various occasions to ask people to help you and your family. You should do this while considering what’s going on in their lives. You will sometimes have to flatter them or tell white lies, all while smiling.
You need to do this to maintain smooth relationships, even when you don’t want to. It’s essential practice to enable all of us to live in this world.
Needless to say, this arrangement with your friend is not a recital for your culture lessons. If your performance is imperfect, it’s probably even more entertaining for the guests.
Entertainment at wedding receptions are usually done by guests to express congratulations, not by the brides themselves. If you want to show how well you can play the shamisen, you should do it just for your husband — not at your wedding.
Tatsuro Dekune, writer