So Brian and I went to Taiwan together over Christmas to visit my parents and extended family in Taiwan.
My father, who is a high power executive in a large company, also tries to run his family (read: us) similarly. He has deadlines and requirements and schedules set up for us. Obviously, this trip to Taiwan was the same. I already had an itinerary planned the moment my flight hit the ground in Taipei’s International Airport.
According to my father, it is the most important thing to take family portraits every 5 years. This has been happening ever since I was a child.
Now many of you may think that this just means 4-5 photos of the family (mom, dad, my brother and me). But you could not be more wrong. This 5-year photo shoot is literally a PHOTO-SHOOT, encompassing all that you can imagine. We have a studio set up for us, different outfits, we have to go to a fitting for all the clothes 3 days prior to the shoot. The whole process takes at least 8 hours, and my mother and I each have a personal makeup and hair assistant. Sounds like any girl’s dream? No, not really. Not really when it becomes required. I am very grateful that my father puts so much effort in documenting the process of us growing up. But there were definitely arguments/tension about scheduling a full day extravaganza on the day/month that it most absolutely has to be on, especially when my brother and I started growing up, and living in different places in the world.
So… we actually missed out 5-year photo shoot this summer (2010). My father was not pleased. Actually, he was very upset. My brother and I both went to Taiwan to see my parents over summer, but had just missed each other by 3 days. (So he left right before I got there). My father said that we ruined his plans. 😦 So to make up for all this, my brother and I planned to have a full overlapping trip back to Taiwan over Christmas.
Coincidentally, this was also the trip that Brian had decided to join me in order to meet the parents and grandparents.
Now comes the interesting question:
Do we include Brian in the photoshoot? Or leave him out? Make him sit at the studio while waiting 8 hours for us to finish? Or he can wander the streets and shop around, and wait for us to finish? (Brian was in Taiwan to see my family, so he was staying with us, traveling around with us, etc etc.)
But if it’s a family photo shoot, and our family currently is at the number 4. Maybe Brian may become the 5th member… but who knows. Do we assume yes… or no?? Awkward or be polite? So now what?