Clearly there is no “natural” progression for how two strangers can get together and get married. The old Chinese custom was to shift the decision to the parents. They made the arrangement which they considered the best for their children, which most likely provided a better chance to be successful. Just a better chance, however, not a certainty! Western culture demands that young couples make the marriage decision by themselves. Since they make their own decision, no one seems to care if this tradition is good or bad. They have to celebrate or suffer the results of their own decision. Western culture seems to require that one person ask the other party to marry. Traditionally the male plays this role and he would get very excited when the answer is a yes. The Chinese call this action “begging for marriage” (求婚).Many, many people in my generation were very proud that they were successful, even after they begged several times.
So you may ask what Janice and I did, since we were from different backgrounds. Janice calls the process we went through “a miracle”.Neither one of us asked the other for marriage. Therefore no one had said “yes” to the other. We do not even remember when and who mentioned the word”marriage” first. It was shortly after Janice came back from the Thanksgiving break that we started to talk about our dreams for the future. It seemed that we started to talk about “our” plan instead of “my or your” plan very smoothly and naturally. Very quickly, sometime in December, 1964, we were thinking about where and when our marriage should take place. There were no surprises to either of us. We did not think that we went too fast or were too rushed. We were just so much immersed in each other, that we ignored any other consideration. It was a miracle!