And so, yet another good friend of mine is now married.

On Dec 18, 2006, Mark Wong married his girlfriend of ten years, Audrey Tan, in a beautiful wedding Mass celebrated by Father Adrian Yeo at their parish of the Risen Christ. The newly wed Mr and Mrs Mark Wong met in the late 1980s in the Christus Laudatur Voce Choir which they have been members of since they were in primary school.

I use their real names in this post because Mark’s blog “Mark Wong’s tragic ramblings” has mysteriously appeared in my blog’s search engine terms a number of times in the past.

I first met Mark during my first year in university. To date I can say that he is one of the two people in the world that I personally know and greatly admire. I remember most fondly every week during the second semester of my first year (his third year), we would take the bus service number 151 from NUS all the way to Hougang South bus terminal (what is now better known as Kovan). We would go there to bowl every week because even though the lanes and house balls were quite lousy condition, it was cheap ($1.50 a game for students at that time). That was where I also scored my highest ever - 234, with a six-pack (six consecutive strikes) - and it was witnessed by Mark. :)

I very much enjoyed those long bus rides where we had nice long chats. He would share his insights with me, and I really liked his nonchalant attitude towards all sorts of things. I enjoyed being in the company of his carefree nature. I marvelled at his wisdom and wit, and I always hoped to one day become like him.

Even more so, when I got to know Audrey and whenever I observed the two of them together, I wanted even more to be like Mark. The two of them are truly the sweetest couple I’ve ever known. To me, there were a model couple. Not that they never had any problems in their relationships, for they sure had their fair share of problems. They were a model couple for me because I wanted to be the kind of boyfriend that Mark was to Audrey.

Watching them together so many times left a deep imprint on me. Seeing Mark’s sacrificial love for Audrey taught me what it means to love another person in a truly special way. It has paved the way for me to be what I am to Nutella today, and my many fond memories of their courtship period will continue to be something I can model my own relationship after, plagiarizer of ideas that I am… :P

But now that they are married, I no longer have someone to look up to as a model boyfriend. I don’t suppose I need it any more, since the lessons that I’ve learnt from Mark has helped me to become who I am today, and where I go from here will come from me, the me which has been formed by my friendships and life experiences.

So I ask Mark again to please become a model husband and later a model father, so that when I become a husband and father, I will once again have someone to emulate, someone to admire and respect, someone to learn from.

Thank you again, Mark, for your friendship and guidance.

- Photo from: www.audreyandmark.us

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