On National Day yesterday, I had a chat with a young man I met online through a social media app. It was a pleasant surprise that we managed to hit it off quite comfortably, so much so he proposed meeting for a quick cup of coffee at close to midnight. It did prompt me to think about whether or not people would still bother to make friends and keep them in this day and age when everything is short-lived and fleeting. A part of me did wish that when you meet new friends like that, people would still want to keep them.
Because it was Al’s last week as a bachelorette, we girlfriends decided to (finally) meet up for tea at Arteastiq. There was a strange sense of lingering bittersweetness as we listened to each of us share about our present stage of life. Almost fifteen years ago, we still donned our short haircuts looking like awkward schoolgirls on the edge of puberty, carrying our heavy schoolbags and making our way to school. Now years later, we have experimented with all sorts of hairstyles and lengths, negotiated fashion trends, and exchanged our boxy schoolbags for totes and hobos. Time has been kind to us; we have grown up well.
I listened in to the various conversation threads at our tea table. We recognise that life is not all roses and chocolates and pastel colour shades. There are realities of wedding days that people may gloss over due to the hype and celebrations; there is unflattering truth that I have ballooned twice in size since I graduated from University. There is the private emptiness when a happy marriage has not bred children a few years later. There is that nagging torment that beneath our seemingly successful jobs, we are not all that happy, and looking for the next turn in life is at the corner of our minds. There is also that swell of courage that we need to brace ourselves with, when we get ready to welcome the possibility of change.
I am becoming more excited at the prospect of possible change, and am becoming more convinced that there is no harm in entertaining that possibility. Perhaps when time is ripe, circumstances will allow me to be more forthcoming in sharing.
Lays sour cream and onion chips, Chicken flavoured Twisties, Kangaroo brand peanuts and Mister pringles bbq potato chips sat in a bag on the table while we watched “27 Dresses”.
“I wonder what I should eat. I can’t decide.” I announced.
“You should just eat Lays.” My friends joked coyly. “No question about that .”
“But there are so many other choices. What makes you think Lays is the right one for me?” I countered.
My favourite chips would have been Ruffles but since there wasn’t any, I might need to make do.
“Well I do like sour cream and onion…”
“Whoa then what are you waiting for?” My friends responded in unison.
“Because even if I usually go for that flavour, sometimes change is good. Maybe I like other things too.” I quipped. “Besides, I don’t like the packaging. The bottle makes it very hard to appreciate the snack.”
“Come on, you can get used to it.” They chimed.
“Sure I will.” I mumbled sarcastically. I had somewhat decided on the packet of Lays, but the other choices still enticed me clearly . “What if I want a taste of the rest too? Can we all share them?”
“You’re such a player.” One groaned.
“Oh noo how can we do that? We are not interested in Lays anyway.” The other added.
I sighed incredulous at their persistence.
Eventually, I decided that all things considered, Lays was the better choice, and I should just ignore their good natured jests and enjoy my chips and the movie.
Some friends and I went to Universal Studios Singapore. It was my debut trip there and it as much as I cannot wrap my finger around how people would pay so much, and queue so long for rides that last for less than three minutes, I enjoyed it. It is horrifically commericalised indulgence in excess, but it was a different world and it provided an avenue of thrill and entertainment.
My favourite was the 3D Transformers ride, followed by Battlestar Galactica Human. I could not appreciate being tossed around inside the 360 degree spins and turns like in Cylon, although I liked the exhilarating experience of falling from mid-air in Human.
I would not pay close to a hundred bucks to visit USS again anytime soon (not in a few years I am sure) – but I am thankful for today’s experience. :) At least now I can go back and read all the essays my students are writing about USS and Battlestar Galactica and understand them from the inside out.
The past few posts have been really selfish and possibly even arrogant. Tonight I wanted to try put into words the unspoken care and support God has given me through fabulous people I often take so much for granted.
On Wednesday I had a dinner appointment with some old teacher friends. I was expecting a possibly awkward gathering given that four of them would be bringing their spouses or partners to the dinner. But I was left absolutely speechless when they surprised me instead with a cake, card and birthday earrings from Chomel. I have never felt so shamed and embarrassed at being so selfish before; and at the same time, so moved that Roomie See and those wonderful people were so genuinely caring and supportive.
This evening as I was battling a prolonged bout of flu, I asked my brothers what they would like for dinner. Mum and sis had gone abroad for a month for a summer programme at Regent College (whee!), and I was to help stay above it all and make sure the house doesn’t fall apart. Tonight, they whipped up a meal for me because my birthday is a few days away, and the youngest brother would have to go back into camp tonight. They banned me from entering the kitchen and prepared a generous plate of pasta, cheese sausages and egg – how could they assume I have the same appetite as they?
Despite a few nasty downers, the week has been looking up because there are just so many reasons to smile, and people around you remind you of those reasons. Thank you Lord, for this beautiful world. ;)