Memory.. Little threads that hold life's patches of meaning together. ~ Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Do/Will You Wear Your Wedding Ring?

Last weekend, Inspector and I walked into a jewellery store to look for a birthday present for Xiao Ping. At the same time, we browsed through their weddings and couple rings collection.. We did discuss before about tying the knot and he wants it to be early next year.

There were so many to look at, so I just briskly asked him, "Are you gonna wear it after we're married?" He instantly replied, "OF COURSE NOT!" which really hurt me, in which I said, "If like that, might as well get a really, really cheap one".

I don't know if I was being really sensitive about it. But to me, a wedding ring should be worn throughout your life from the day you are officially proclaimed a married person. Ok, not the whole 24/7, but at least most of the times. A wedding ring is supposed to be a symbol of your love, or your eternal bond towards each other, or shouldn't it be, or that it's just another accessory?

I'm not talking about how much should a ring cost. I don't care about that, you know. I don't care if the ring is worth 5 digits or so, with big, sparkling diamond on it, or a simple and patternless ring worth 10 bux from the pasar malam. But the fact is that, if you don't wear your ring, what's the point of getting one and then keep it in the drawer? I'm not asking too much until that you have to wear it to sleep, to shower, to games and all, but the rest of the times, what is wrong with that? Or is "I'm afraid I might bend/lose it" a valid excuse? Or like what Virgin Boy said, "unless his job is to dig shit from sewerage la.. But then again, even plumbers wear them.. But perhaps a mechanic doesn't.. Coz his hands are constantly in grease.."

Honestly, am I being really sensitive about this? I see my heng tai, Chino with his wife for nearly 9 years before they got married early this year, he happily wears his ring. I see my other colleagues, no matter how macho they make themselves sound, they still happily wear their rings. If guys expect their wives to wear their rings, why don't guyz themselves wear them too? I really, really don't get this..

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Moving On From A Friendship

As I was reading back the previous entry, I realized that I was very bitter towards the end of it. It's not that I don't care if I've lost my best friend. As much as I tell everyone that I'm not bothered anymore, or I tell myself "so what?", it's really not that easy to move on. Even when I kept telling everyone that I would not wish her on her birthday, I eventually did..

Yeah, I can always look for another best friend, but will I actually want to put in my outmost effort and sweat into the next friendship? Or rather, am I actually willing to put all my trust towards another friend? Throughout the years, I've tried to be as much of a good friend as I could be for everyone. When I was about to think that, "hey, she's a true friend", then it happens. Taking me for granted, backstabbing me, and this, money issue.

I'm pretty much tired of all these, you know. I really thought my friendship with Cleopatra could really pull through. Sad to say, that didn't work. Although we're now down to Hi Bye basis only, I still can't help but to hope that we can renew our friendship, that we can be the same way we were 3-5 years ago. That we can still confide in each other. That we can just talk about anything under the sun. That we can ignore our personality differences..

thefirstChristmas' post about leaving the best friend behind also prompted me to write this entry. All I can say is that, it's not easy to up and forget about the friendship, about everything that has happened. True, it's sad that the friendship has ended. We try our best to keep the friendship, but if our best friends don't appreciate our efforts, there's nothing much we can do anymore. Even until now, I've said a couple of "sorrys" to Cleopatra, regardless of who was right and who was wrong back then. If she didn't see the sincerity in me, then I have to accept it.

What we can do is to feel truly blessed that we've had shared a truly memorable friendship with them, wishing them that they are happy wherever they are in whatever they are doing and try to move on. It's not easy, but that's what we should do.. And I'm still trying.. Who knows, I might actually have found my true friends in the 5 guyz who had been standing in front of me all along.. My "heng tais".. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Lending Money

"Eh, can borrow me xxx bux ar?"

Probably once in your lifetime, there's someone, be it your family members or friends would ask you that question. What will you do? I'm not talking about lending 10 or 20 bux. I'm talking about a couple of hundreds or thousands. Will you fish it out from your wallet, or will you say No? Money issues can make or break relationships, no matter how closely bonded they are. How matter how good the intentions are, it somehow ends in a sour note... Like it was in my case...

I met her in college 8 years ago. We became the best of friends. Like any other friendships, we had our ups and downs. It didn't matter how totally different we were from each other. It didn't matter how many continents away we were from each other for nearly 3 years (I was in Sheffield, she in Melbourne) . It didn't how much Inspector and other friends despised her and our friendship. We stood strong for each other, and helped each other out. We were together through the good and bad times, mentally and emotionally...

Until the money issue hit us.. Real hard.. I was in my final year at that time. Somewhere in October 1999, she e-mailed me. She gambled her money and she needed to borrow AUS$450 (that's almost RM 1k here) from me to pay her month's rent. I was disappointed. I knew that all along while she & the bf were in Melb, they popped E, they smoked weed and they gambled. But I never thought she would go to the extent of needing to borrow from others. Bear in mind, she comes from a super rich family. 3-4 storeys bungalow house with a huge swimming pool. Her bf''s family is just as rich as hers. I was really skeptical. If I don't borrow her the money, does that mean I'm not loyal to the friendship? If I do, would she repent? Do I trust her enough?

After my classes, I walked to the nearest HSBC. I still had slightly enough to hold my own. But it wasn't my money. Should I tell my parents? I made a long distance call to Melb and spoke to her. She just needed the money to be put into her bank account to show her mum that she had enough to pay for the rent. She would return it to me by December. Finally I agreed. I made a TT for 165 pounds (15 pounds for service charge) to her bank account. She thanked me zillion times. I was glad to help her. Came December, she didn't mention anything about the money. And I left it that way. I didn't want to ruin the friendship by bugging her about the money. I considered that as bad debt. I came back to Malaysia for good, she came back for summer break. We had a blast celebrating my 21st birthday.

Then the next year, 2001, she asked me to lend her $ again. Her bf lost in gambling and needed the $ to pay his rent. Whether the reason was valid, I put my feet down on that. She didn't return the $ the previous time. Why couldn't they ask from their filthy rich families. Why didn't they learn their lesson from the previous time. I told her I barely had enough for myself. She said she would borrow from her old friends from secondary school.

Months later, she e-mailed and asked me for $ again. I can't remember what reason she gave me. To be honest, I didn't care anymore. I found out from Wan Nei that she lent her nearly RM 1.5k and a few other friends chipped in as well. I think that was enough to tell me that she didn't quit gambling and she didn't appreciate my concern towards her well being. Adding to that, she b*tched about me to Wan Nei. That I was not "best friend" enough to help her, to lend her the $. That I need a f*cking life (coz I don't go clubbing/pop E/smoke substances/gamble like her). That I nagged at her. So much for being a very concerned friend! I confronted her and she admitted saying all that. In the end, she said, "I don't think we are best friends anymore" or something like that. As childish as it sounded, it hurt a lot. For me to have given everything towards the friendship, this is what I get. For not borrowing her the $$ the second and third times she asked me. The year 2001 was when my friendship with Cleopatra ended.

1-2 years later, I found out that she had not returned Wan Nei & Shaggy's money. Apparently she woke Shaggy in the wee morning once, asked him to go to the nearest bank to take out $ and lend it to her. She borrowed a huge amount from many people. And her best friends were now her secondary school friends who lent her $ various times. Wan Nei convinced me to get back the $. So I called her. She did not remember borrowing any $ from me. All she remembered was that she asked me for $, and I did not borrow any to her. What a joke. To think that she would ever thought I'd lie to her. To me, it wasn't about the $ but the fact that she took me for granted. She wanted proof. For the next 1 month, I scurried through my e-mail archives, letters and documents. I had deleted all the e-mails relating to her and also threw away all my HSBC statements. I never thought I would need them in the future. I made various long distance calls to the Sheffield branch. Thankfully, they still kept a record of the TT service I made to Melbourne. I waited for the photocopy documents by post and then showed it to her. She was finally convinced and she returned me the $ the next few months. She still owes me RM 40, but I don't want to bother about it anymore now.

Until now, I do wonder if the friendship was worth losing due to money. Was I not doing enough to save the friendship? I do not know anymore. And I lost the belief in "best friends". I thought after all these years, I had found a best friend.. I guess not.. I'm not bothered about her having her own best friends. If best friends are based on money, so be it for her. I don't care anymore..

Note: Articles to guide you if you are to lend $ to anyone.. Should You Lend Money To Friends? and Advice For Lending Money To Friends Or Family .

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Ex-Best Friend

Cleopatra turns 26 today. It felt like yesterday when we celebrated her 18th birthday. It was the year we met, when we were in college. We met through Wan Nei on the first day of college. They were schoolmates, whereas Wan Nei and I were classmates then.

Wan Nei and I had similar personalities, while Cleopatra was totally, totally opposite from us. Despite that, we became very fast best friends, we balanced each other out. I still remember 8 years ago today, we celebrated Cleopatra's birthday at American Chilli's, BSC. We called a couple of friends along, one of them were Shaggy, whom eventually got steady with Wan Nei until this very day. We had a blast. It was indeed a memorable occasion. Little did we know it was the first and final birthday celebration we had for Cleopatra.

The next year, Cleopatra left for Melbourne. I stayed back for a couple of months before I left for Sheffield. For the next 2 years or so, we only met each other when we came back to Malaysia for our study breaks. We never got to celebrate her birthdays. Despite being continents away from each other, we were still very close. We wrote e-mails and snail mails furiously, we chatted online almost everyday. We stood by each other at all times. I guess you can say that distance made the friendship stronger.

Somehow our 3+ years of friendship eventually ended. A test was thrown and we failed. We were no longer best friends. The reason? I'll write about it on my next post. Since then, we barely kept in contact with each other. I'd still try to call or email her on her birthday each year. I'd call her to meet up with Wan Nei and a few other friends, she never turned up.

Today's her birthday. I called her in the afternoon, we talked for a while. "Call me whenever for yum char or something yeah." "Yup, will do. Happy Birthday". We hung up. That was it.

While I am flipping through the photo album taken on Cleopatra's birthday 8 years ago, Wan Nei and Shaggy are at the very same Chilli's celebrating their 8th year anniversary of meeting each other the first time on that fateful night. They even planned to wear exactly the same attire they wore that night. Cleopatra? I guess she's probably having a blast with her friends.

Funny how things turned out to be..

Friday, May 13, 2005

Trouble Accepting Compliments

I have a hard time accepting compliments. I have this habit of assuming that every compliment is insincere. I understand what is sarcasm and on how it works. Oh, and did I mention that I'm quite good at being sarcastic myself? When people compliment me, immediately I will see it as a sarcastic remark. Especially if I know how does that particular person throws his/her sarcasm around. I know it's a very, very, very bad habit. I don't know... Somehow I guess all these while, I'm just not confident of myself and being sarcastic is the best disguise.

Like during the last weekend, I had my hair cut. A drastic one. From very long locks (that goes past the bra line) to slightly touching the shoulder line and very layered all the way from the top of my head. I don't know how to describe it... To the point I can't tie my hair already lar now. The wasterpaperbasket was filled with my hair.. Should have gone to sell them lar. It was supposed to be longer... BUT.. The length got shorter and shorter and shorter..

Anyway, everyone said that I looked nice/different/better with that hairstyle. But I know how Inspector likes me with long hair. He'd seen me in really short hair ages ago and he really didn't like it, hence telling me not to cut it short again. And when he said "Wah.. Leng lui..", did he really mean it or was he just being nice? Were the rest being honest as well? And I would go, "sure or not??" Or whenever I needed to dress up for something, I'd go to Mum and Sis for opinions. It's a bit embarassing to say that Sis has much better fashion taste than me, and she's the younger one. Mum's bluntly honestly, if it's ugly, she'll tell me directly, "Aiyoo.. Mmm chan larr, hou sam paaa laaarr".

I'm the kind of person who believes that honesty is the best policy. If I'm ugly, or rude or anything, please tell me straight to my face. Besides I know I don't have a supermodel figure nor a very pretty face. I look more like Tweety - big head with super small, stick thin body. But of course, if you're complimenting me honestly, I sure accept lar. :)

*Sighz* How should I overcome this? Hammie asked me this morning, "Why you look like you never comb your hair wan?" Totally direct. Couldn't help it, my hair curls when it's short. A bit 'malu' but I like that comment! Hehe..

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On Short Notice Weddings

Last night, Inspector mentioned that we are to attend a girl friend's wedding dinner this Friday. When it's a sudden invitation especially it's 3 days away, it's either an "oops" case, or someone in the family is in the verge of dying and wants to see the couple get married before they "go". When people receives sudden wedding invitations, immediately they'll think it's "accident" and during the wedding ceremony, they'll keep looking at the bride's tummy to see if there's an obvious bulge or not.

Talking about "oops" cases, It's kind of sad they are becoming a norm nowadays. There's practically at least one wedding that I attended each year was because of that. The youngest bride was barely 20, some time after we left college. Her son should be around 5 years old by now.

I'm not gonna launch into attacks on religious views or morality values. I accept that this is how the world is slowly turning to. The thing that I'm sad about is, are these couples really prepared for marriage? Are they getting married because :

A. they really love each other
B. they feel very guilty, hence an obligation to be responsible

If it's the former, then I'd say I'm awfully happy for them. I'd take it as a sign for them that they're meant to be together and the "accident" proves to strengthen their love for each other even more. But what if it's an obligation? Will the couple be able to accept the fact that they're a married couple and that a baby's on the way? Are they financially stable to raise a child? Or will they live to regret having done the deed, and eventually become a divorce statistic? You know, the one with the 5 year old that I was talking about earlier on, last I heard she's heading for a divorce.. Those who had to quit college, will they be happy?

I remember last December, Inspector's parents were pressuring us to get married before the "Year of the Rooster" approaches (bad luck, apparently). We both set up a dinner date with my parents. When Inspector popped up the question to them, Mum's eyes really "terbeliak". I'm very sure she thought something happened!! Her eyes got back to normal when I added that "maybe we register in January or we wait until the next year, coz bad luck woh if we get married in between". In the end, after a long discussion, bad luck or not, we decided to wait till next year. No money lar!

Anyway, back to the girl friend, regardless of whatever the reason for the very short notice wedding invitation is, it really doesn't matter to me. All that I will wish for them is an everlasting and happy marriage. Congratulations to the couple!!

Friday, May 06, 2005

PC Bottles - The Growing Trend

Hmm.. There's a growing trend nowadays, of using Felton water tumblers.. You know, those colourful, transparent, plastic water tumblers.. It just seems like everyone, well almost everyone, are using them. And they're all from the same manufacturer - Felton.

Let's see.. 75% of my colleagues in my department are using them. And I just found out last night that Mum bought 3 bottles too. They come in different sizes, these PC bottles - small, big, long, short and many kinds of colours. Heck, Sek Long beats the rest with his gigantic 2 litre tumbler. You can get them anywhere - supermarkets, pasar malams.. They even come as free gifts when you purchase printers or stuffs like that.

I just Googled them.. See how kiasu can I get? Check them out.. Aiyah, I'm not trying to promote them.. I just can't help but to wonder what's the hype all about, you know. I mean, they're still plastic right? They're the same as those mineral water bottles, right? They can't store hot water too.. Hhm... Maybe it's the design?

Maaaaaaaaaybe....... I shall join in the fun and take one bottle from Mum. What do you think? Hehe.. Do you have a Felton bottle too?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Expectant 'Sunflower' Fathers

*Groan* I needed sugar to keep myself awake in the morning.. Being the smarty pants, I had a cup of Milo+Nestum (Quite nice, you know) for breakfast. I finished a roll of Mentos Grape in less than half an hour. The whole roll! Sheeeeezzz... Now my tummy's aching like nobody's business... Soooooooo clever of me...

Oh well.. On to the brighter side, I received 2 good news regarding my 'heng tai's last night. By the way, 'Sunflower House' is the name of my group. We were all classmates since college, we went abroad for studies together and lived together for almost 2 years (And we had a sunflower poster as the house's landmark, hence the name 'Sunflower House'). There are 6 of us - 5 guyz and 1 girl. Yup, you read that right. And I seriously don't find anything wrong with that. Anyway, back to the topic, Chino, who got married in January is expecting a baby sometime this December. Whopppeeee!!! He's like a father to us, he took real good care of us back then, and now he's finally gonna be a real father!! Just hope that the baby will not turn out to be a 'monkey' like any of us! Tai Lou will also be expecting his 2nd one in December as well. His elder son is already nearly 2 years old lor..

Imagine, one is gonna be a father, the other one is gonna have his 2nd one. What the heck are the remaining 4 of us doing?? At least I heard that FRG has a special girl in mind, which he's being quite secretive about it. No worries, I shall dig it out from him the next time I see him. I'm quite good at that. *nyek nyek nyek*. Aneh is still looking around for a pretty and intelligent Indian girlfriend, where as Nutty is quite content with his life at the moment. As for me, well.. Wait 10 years time lar.. *lol*.

I can't wait for December already.. Oh my goodness.. Chino's gonna be a father.. Tai Lou's gonna have another baby.. We'll have 3 'Sunflower' kids in the family!! *jumping around in joy* Gotta go.. Would love to talk about my 'heng tai's.. Later lar.. Stomach pain lar..