Wednesday, November 19, 2003

About babies and pretty boys

A baby is cute. A pretty boy is, well, pretty. Maybe I should say pretty boys are cute too. But not like baby's cute. Grown-up cute. Baby-face grown-up cute. Aiyo, I don't even know where this entry is heading. All I know that recently a few happenings got me thinking a little weirdly.

Our friend Farah gave birth to a baby boy a couple of days ago. Right before Sue called me up to ask if I wanna join her and Tini go see Farah after work, an SMS came from an old school friend of mine, Ely, saying that a friend of ours, Emylia had given birth at 7.50AM that morning.

Wow, two birth news in one day! Two 25-year olds became mom on that one day! I was happy for them. I'd love to go visit them, but schedule and location did not permit. And anyway, I think I'd be too scared to hold a baby - even with my own nephews I was awkward.

But the news itself was even scarier. It sort of feels as if I'm waayyy behind these people.

When your friends have a boyfriend each (one-to-one) and you don't, you're sort of one step behind.
When your friends have several boyfriends each (one-to-many) and you don't even have one, you're sort of two steps behind.
When your friends are engaged (ideally to one man at a time) and you aren't, you're sort of three steps behind.
When they get married.... you're four steps behind..
When they give birth.... you're five steps behind...

You dig what I'm getting at? Sound silly kan, but I guess even I - a person I consider quite modern girl with a few stripes of conventionality - succumbed to such shallow, kiasu, demotivating thoughts. And I thought the pressure of getting an MA cause the rest of your batch are at it was bad enough.

The pressure of being single gets heavier with age. Being 25 and single ain't so bad and neither does 26, 27 or 28. At 29 and 30 I supposed there'd be more to fend off then - but I'm not there yet so I don't know for sure.

Solution: get yourself hooked and be done with it. Yeah, sure, as if it's that simple. Surprisingly, to some people it is that simple. That's why there are matchmakers among us - most of them do think it is that simple.

Know what happened last Saturday? I went to join some MCCians for buka puasa at Natrabu, KL Sentral. The crowd mainly consisted of Fall 95 girls, specifically the ones who dwelled in Block F during their stay in Kuantan.

(At first I didn't want to go cause I don't want to risk running into the anal ladies - shortie and skinny. But Zura told me the two of them weren't part of the in-crowd so I, termakan pujuk dengan all the emails and SMSes Zura sent, went with Az.)

When Az and I arrived it was quite early - it took only 15 minutes to get to Sentral from my house. We took the seats next to Masri, Zura's BF, and right opposite us was Kak Cher and Kak Idora. While the nasyid band Hijjaz and their fans had their suai-kenal session under the canopy next to ours, we chatted as we wait for the rest of the gang to arrive.

It was nearing break fast time when we all decided to become scavengers. Natrabu's main offering was a mouth-watering combo of mainly hot dishes of chicken, red meat, fish and seafood. Veggies are aplenty too, and there were several assortments of kerabu.

I came back with my plate filled, only to have Zura and the girls pleading for me and Az to move a seat away from Masri. Not cause Zura's getting jealous -their friend - not an MCCian - is coming and he asked for a sit next to Masri. The other guys who weren't MCCian didn't have such coy requests.

I was thinking lain kali, Pak Haji kena datang awal... Remember the government ad about paying your taxes early?

Az and I grudgingly moved a seat away. I threatened them saying he'd better be damn cute or I'm taking my seat back.

Later Kak Cher came back with too many kuehs on her plate so I asked her why take so many? She said it's for my future boyfriend as well, and set the plate in the middle. Please. Az said she thinks the gang is trying to matchmake me with him. Please again.

Come on, right, even if I fell in love with the guy at first sight, what's the probability that there'd be a congruent effect on his side? Slim chances, right? After all there were so many cute ladies there.

Then the person came. Putih melepak, specky, hair short on the nerdy side but overall not too bad looking. And his name happens to be a favourite name of mine - let it be "M" for this blog. I found out more about him based on the attendence sheet Zura was distributing, rather than through the conversations I had with him.

(Yes, Zura passed an attendence sheet to collect our name, email, address and phone number under the pretext that the details are needed cause she and Masri are getting married in December, but they have not decided on the year yet. FYI Zura later emailed the copy of the attendence sheet to all of us who came. Talk about new-age match-maker.)

Like I said, we got talking a bit but he didn't show much personality - you know, that one question - one answer deal. Later Az told me she thought she saw Kak Ila (who earlier said that her BF is in Australia) and the putih melepak guy talking and Kak Ila has her hands all over his knees. I thought so the guy must appear to be quite attractive after all cause a cute thing like Kak Ila showed interest.

On top of that, after a few more of one Q one A between me and him, I found out that he's an engineer working at Petronas. And from Zura I learnt that he drives a smick Peugeot. Altogether, he's a package any Mak Datin would've want for her daughter.

Something must be wrong with me cause all I see is a clean cut asrama boy who used to attend some elite school somewhere who then went to the UK or the States then came back to get on the typical climbing my way up the corporate ladder routine, just like the rest of his school chums.

Isn't it totally dispeakable of me to have him all figured out like that when I don't really know the guy? Well, that's what people call judgement and first impression. And yeah, I am that bad...

Later when break fast was done and Hijjaz had started singing, Az and I decided to meet a friend at the place where my sis's band was playing - at a club. So when Zura asked where I'm going next, I told her I'm going to watch a live band play and being Malay I asked her and Masri to join me (though it feels quite awkward asking nice gals like Zura go clubbing during Ramadhan - tak kena tema gitu).

Zura said she's interested and insisted that I ask that putih melepak guy to come along. I didn't really want to, but before I can think of a suitable escape Zura had already shoved me towards his direction.

I quickly asked him and didn't even bother to wait for an answer. I was too embarassed for having to be shoved by Zura - it feels like a kid who did not want to salam the makcik then forced to do it!

We split - me and Az to Az's car, Masri, Zura and Kak Mazni to Zura's car and the putih melepak guyto his Peugeot. Az said how come I didn't properly asked the guy to join us at Juanita? Aha, the matchmaker's accomplice. I told Az I didn't wanna sound desperate! Duh!

Why do these people think things like this are that simple? As in STEP (1) boy meets girl, STEP (2) boy and girl fall in love. There's a lot going on between STEP (1) and Step (2) you know. My judgmental approach itself is already a big problem.

Later over conversations with Zura on email I found out that the guy and Kak Ila used to be quite close, but the guy rejected Kak Ila three times for a more serious relationship. Smart Kak Ila moved on and got herself a new boyfriend (good for her!) and by that time the guy finally realized he does like Kak Ila a lot more than he thought. So melepaslah!.

It didn't make much sense to me - what made him rejected her in the first place? The no-chemistry, not-on-the-same-wavelength thing? My sneaky mind can't help but suspect that the guy may thought he's too cute for her, maybe he thought a guy as good-looking as him can get someone cuter.

Gosh, I'm being bad again. But it's only cause I know another pretty boy who does think that way, that's why I suspected so.

All in all, I rather face a cute baby than be shoved towards a pretty boy. True, both of them make me feel awkward, but least babies does not make me judgmental. Am I blaming them pretty boys? Uh, ah, well, yeah! Hahahaha..!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Jenny B left in a hurry

Last night the bird (a street dove who had came to crash at our window sill since the late afternoon due to the heavy rain), my housemate Lela and I was watching GTO (again) when Jennifer (Jenny B) stormed back into the house. Right behind her was her two sisters - they just arrived from KK. It was the night they head for UK.

The smell of durian immediately followed. Apparently the visiting sisters saw the stall which sold durian near our place and had given Jenny B some reminders on how expensive the fruit is back home (KK). Jenny B took the hint and bought them some at a very cheap price.

While the sisters and the rest of the house ate, Jenny B struggled to get ready in her room. They had arranged for a cab to come at midnight so that they can take their time at KLIA, book for window seats and do a little last minute shopping.

Jenny B is not the type that packs ahead. So she must have slimmed down a couple of kgs just running around the house, picking up clothes and what nots and shoving them into her RM200 bagpack.

"OK dah siap!" she announced proudly just as the clock reached 12AM. Her sisters washed up even though there were still a couple of unbroken durians tergolek-golek on the living room carpet.

Then the call came. It was the taxi company letting them know that there's one waiting for them downstairs. Three sisters hurriedly slug the backpacks and asked whether the force of durian is strongly with them, to which my accomodating housemate and I replied "Not really bah."

And they scrammed to the door. I told Jenny B to say hi and Selamat Hari Raya to Faizal, Grik and Liza, then told her to just go and don't worry about locking the door. She said she will and off she went.

You guys know that there's a long corridor that we have to walk through to get to the elevator from the house right. Now imagine Jenny B - a heavy bagpack on her shoulder and another slimpack across her neck, hair still damp and unruly from the shower and shoes that could have covered her feet if only she tried - running across the corridor as fast as she can to catch up with her sisters who had gone past the door to the lift. Quite a comical sight, actually.

And I was enjoying this view till I started to lock the door and turned back towards the living room. The next view my short-sighted eyes caught was a horrific one: the paperbag that contained Liza's kueh raya is still standing in attention right between the Korg and the Stradivarius (copy). Jenny B had forgotten to take the parcel!

The next few seconds happened in a blur. I remembered asking Lela to quickly pass me the bag and me calling Jenny B's name and putting on someone's pink flowery slippers; and somehow Jenny B heard me and returned to the corridor. Then, ala Hindi film cross with Matrix: Revolution, we both ran to meet in the middle of the corridor and the bag exchanged hands.

And then she was gone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Here we go again!

My ears were plugged to Tere's "Awal Yang Indah" - trying to drown the loud conversation between an a*****e colleague of mine with his wife on the phone as if the whole office needs to know that he will not be joining his wife for buka puasa as he's got an assignment and a break fast event sponsored by Bo PR this eve - when another colleague of mine suddenly showed up next to me with a card in his hand.

His name is Kumar, and all these while I thought he's married as I never saw him trying to mengorat the many single Indian ladies in my office (there's three, including the two I blogged about earlier, and no I didn't attend the matchmaking BBQ they held recently). Basically he's a nice guy, polite and hardworking. He and a few other colleagues took me out to lunch on my first working day in this company.

And the card. I thought it was a Selamat Hari Raya card. After all, I am already depressed for there's no Raya ads yet on TV, so when I saw the white envelope it naturally made me hope for a hardcopy Raya card.

But it wasn't a Raya card. By now you might have guessed already - yup, it's a wedding invitation.

On the envelope it says "[insert Tamil characters equivalent here]Wedding Invitation Sunday 14th December 2003", and on the next line my colleague's name was in nice prints, next to his beloved wife-to-be's.

Then there's a "To:" line next, and my name was there, scribbled not so neatly but with feeling of gladness (or it could be just my imagination), plus a "Ms" title to accompany. (Reminded me of my lousy "Miss" joke this one does.)

I congratulated Kumar and he made sure I know where Bangsar Sports Complex is cause that's where it is going to be held. I told him I will look forward to attending his wedding, as I have not had the opportunity to witness an Indian wedding for a long time.

I opened his card, and within it I found a leaflet inside filled with Tamil writings. Near panic, I flip the leaflet down, and finally found some characters I recognised.

On one page it says:

Saptapadi (The Seven Steps)

Saptapadi is the most important ritual of the wedding ceremony. The bride and the groom take seven steps around the sacred fire to start their new life together. They make the following seven promises to each other:

"With God as our guide, let us take
The first step to nourish each other
The second step to grow together in strength
The third step to preserve our wealth
The fourth step to share our joys and sorrows
The fifth step to care for our children
The sixth step to be together forever
The seventh step to remain lifelong friends."

The two souls are now united, and the bride and groom vow to start their life together as husband and wife. The groom places silver rings on the bride's toes, signifying she is now married.

Ain't that sweet. I think the seventh step is especially thoughtful.

And with this invitation, I'm looking forward to getting a few more of such cards. In fact a few days ago a college/U-mate had already posted his wedding invitation on the coursemates e-group. Aptly titled too (Pelamin anganku menjadi, how original).

And a couple of my girl friends are getting married as well. And that Kamal, cousin of mine whom I blogged about earlier too.

Everyone seems to think that 25 is a good age to get married, is it? And why must the bulk of them choose to do it during the school holidays? Perhaps so that they'll get their cousins and nephews and nieces to help with cleaning the house, replenishing food for the guests and passing the bunga telur and washing the high heap of dishes at the back of the house at the end of the day?

Whatever the reason might be, looks like I will have a revisit of that headache over what gift is a good gift for the bride and groom. Perhaps I can get several units of the same item and get a discount for making it a bulk purchase...

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Miss Missed-The-Boat

Ever wonder why a lady who is not married is called a "Miss"?
That's because she "missed the boat"!

p/s: Ugh, what a stupid joke, but I pieced this one together after listening to yet another talk about how I must get myself a boyfriend before I end up a spinster, hence "missing the boat"... Anyway I'm not sure what to do with this joke, cause I find it quite offending myself, considering that I am single and all this while thought it's cool to be a "Miss". Well, I do mean "Miss" rather than "Missed", you know, so by right it should not be offending. I don't know... Anyway anyway, it is not often I get to think of a joke all by myself, so this is an auspicious occasion, thought I should document it here. So.