(among all) The Pope, Weirdos, Nosebleed and Getting Married

I haven’t blogged for quite some time. Usually it takes a mind-boggling event to inspire me to write. But sometimes the event or cause gets too mind-boggling that I choose not to write about it. Instead, I sleep it off, like a sloth. See, you should be careful of what you write about. You may turn to be just that! Like when I was in my early and mid twenties, I wrote about uncertainties in life and being single. Now I’m starting my 30s and still struggling with life’s uncertainties and being single. Hello irony! Well, I thought this topic gets old pretty quickly but thank God, I develop a brazenly good sense of humour to laugh at my situation (of yet to find a life partner). But in my defense, scientists still cannot cure influenza, an illness as old as time. So, if scientists are yet to find the cure even though millions of dollars and thousands of hours have been put to it, it should be understood that for this simpleton with limited resources and life ethics of a sloth, finding true love is a daunting challenge. Ok, before I offend scientists further, I’ll move on to interesting events that might have been the topics of my blog posts some time back:

  • The Pope and the Weirdos

I developed a crush (yes, like a pimply teenager *le sigh*) on a guy – let’s call him The Pope from hereon – ever since I saw him on a Skype call last year. Yes, again, like a teenager. He has the exterior of a cute, nice guy who reminds me of another guy I had a crush on years back – who was not into me (ouch). So I met him in person for the first time few months back. He turned out to be one of the nicest guy I know. But as we know, thus far, I have no luck with nice guys. This one is getting married in November. This piece of information I got from one of his colleague, after a not-so-smooth interrogation technique was applied to (another classically stupid Fen). I met him again recently and was lucky to have more chances to talk with him, mostly about work (blah!). I found out that he’s left-handed (oh, so my type! :p), can carry mature conversation, a very good listener (although actually I held him hostage  by talking non-stop while he’s driving. He got lost several times and had to check his GPS. Oooops). I told him things I only tell my best friends. And we did things I seldom do with a guy, since as you know, I’ve never been in a relationship long enough to actually do things couples normally do. He was with me when I bought my first digital camera (I know, where have I been? *another classically stupid Fen*), he bought me coffee when I was sleepy, he was there when I felt like the world was being a total jerk to me, he accompanied me shopping for shoes and bags and wallets (and he kept his mouth shut, I appreciate it him for that hahaha). With him everything was effortless. He said he thought I was passionate about my work because he saw I was in complete ease and a cheerful mood. I just smiled and unable to utter my true response “Oh you fool, I am happy because of you!”

So yes, he’s one of the best guys I have ever met. Benevolent, nice and kind, like The Pope. And unattainable, just like The Pope.

The weirdos, where do I start. There was a married guy who whispered to me his room number when we were in a lift and asked me to remember it. The same guy asked me if I would go swimming that evening. He would go to the gym to see me swimming. That, in his words, not mine. The same guy spread rumour about me in a conspiracy with weirdo #3 (I’ll get to that later on). There was another weirdo (weirdo #2) who is an all-around great guy except being  married and despicable in his pursuit of me, who admitted that what he was doing was wrong but still did it anyway. There was weirdo #3 who both The Pope and I suspect to like weirdo #2, loves to be the centre of attention and I don’t know for what reasons conspired with weirdo #1 to spread lies about me. Weirdo #4 is a married man who asked for my number, asked me out for dinner and tried to call me in the middle of the night. Weirdo #5 is another married man who helped me carry my shopping bags and then forced his way to hug me. The next day, he helped me put my luggage into the trunk of a taxi which will take me to the airport (I did not ask him to do that), then again forced his way to hug me and kiss my cheek in a way that left me feel violated. That moment, I remembered The Pope. He picked me up at the airport, carried my luggages to my room and politely said he was going to wait for me at the lobby to give me time to freshen up. He didn’t force to hug or kiss me although all he had to do was ask. #pletakkkkk :p Weirdo #6 works in a bank, went out with me twice. I didn’t feel we had a connection, conversation was hard to hold, I was in a bad mood. This weirdo is supposedly in search of a future wife and on our first meeting had asked me where I come from, my parents, what my father does for a living, bla bla bla. Yesterday, he asked me out again then asked me questions about my hometown and family that he had asked of and I had answered to two months ago. Needless to say, I am not interested in seeing him again.

  • Thrill vs Relaxation

I found out that my body has a bad way to react to stress and pressure. I am not cool, calm and confident. I am the opposite of all that. But in the mayhem of emotions, I also felt so empty inside. Like nothing solicited a positive response. Like bored, bored, bored…. So in two weeks, I went to the Universal Studios Singapore twice. To feel the excitement, to be frightened, to be shaken to wake up, to feel something. Well, I am not saying it didn’t work. I screamed like a nut job non-stop for the whole ride. That helped. Since I cannot yell at the weirdos!

But I also needed relaxation so badly. So I went to get a massage three times that week. Twice at a spa. I am not saying it didn’t work. It gave me some sense of relaxation before soon getting depressed again!

One thing finally gave me a relief. Normalcy. I was born in the year of Dog. I am a creature of habit. Deprived of normalcy (home, friends, me-time for tv series, doing nothing on the weekends) and I was almost insane!!

  • Nosebleed

With depression and exhaustion, came nosebleed. I have been having this issue since childhood. My father said I inherited it from him. He had nosebleed from time to time since he was a child himself until he was in his twenties when he got married. I remember jokingly said to him that I need to get married then. Because of growing concern (recently I had nosebleed weekly), I went to a hospital. The doctor explained to me that usually women with this problem have the nosebleed when they are about to have their periods. So it is a hormonal imbalance. He glanced at my data and he said it would be good if I get married. I was laughing hysterically, seriously thinking he was joking. He was not. According to the doctor, women with symptoms related to hormonal imbalance such as nosebleed or dismenore (painful menstruation), endometriosis can see their symptoms disappear once they get married because their hormonal needs are met. My jaws dropped. So this may be right after all. That’s why my father stopped having nosebleed in his 20s and I am 30 and still having it.

You are of course aware that getting married here refers to getting laid, right? It is not about marriage being a spiritual bond that gives a soul-fulfilling and health-inducing effects. Nope, it’s just about getting your carnal needs fulfilled.

Needless to say, I was sent home from the hospital being more depressed. Hence this blog post!!!

I DON'T look like this when having nosebleed..!

I DON’T look like this when having nosebleed..!

If you don’t have what/whom you love, love what/whom you have

Is it settling? I certainly don’t mean that in a negative way, as people get weary with the term settling, as if it’s the poignant way to say ‘accepting that we’re a loser and must contend with a life that, well, sucks’.

There’s a reason why they call it comfort zone. Because it brings you comfort as you are in your element. Is it such a bad thing to stay in it? Change is inevitable and I believe we are equipped to deal with changes and adapt. When everything changes, it is a good thing to maintain your balance. Do what’s right to feel comfortable and try to be happy.

Since my last post, there have been some changes in my life. I may have lost or alienated once a bestfriend of mine. Whilst I won’t dissect the details (please! I have class :p), let’s just say it is for my best interest that I put the distance between us. This person had been a part of my life for a little longer than my other best friends from different phases of my life. Maybe that’s why I forgot that sooner or later this friendship would take another form. Life (or death) always gets in the way. As I’m silently saying goodbye to what had been a good time of my life, I’m actually pretty fine and I find comfort in my new friends. Sure, one day I may be irrelevant to them (and vice versa), but until that day comes, I will cherish them and enjoy their company.

I also enjoy my company more, as I grow accustomed to finding myself alone. And I learn to love myself with all my flaws and quirks. That’s very important. As people come and go, you could not afford to hate the one person left: yourself.

In That Mood

It’s Saturday. I woke up late to a call on my mobile (which I didn’t take). After texting the caller with some white lie to cover up the fact that I don’t feel like going out today, I sat in front of my computer. I played some music, the likes of Christina Perri, Matthew Perryman Jones, Katie Herzig, Ross Copperman, Ed Sheeran (yeah, nothing loud), made myself some jasmine tea with sugar ( 😀 ), eating peanuts I forgot I have, and started writing this post.

My room is one big mess, with hairs everywhere on the floor. No, I am not having a shedding dog. It is just me who’s always been having hair fall issue since I don’t remember when. Miracles do exist. I am not bald already!

And I feel okay, a little elated even. Although you can argue that me writing this blog represents my need to connect to the world. The fact is I need to be in the company of others as much as I need solitude. I can call both weekends where I go to the beach with friends and where I hide myself in my room for two days straight, a delight. What does it make me? Egotistical? Anti-commitment? I-need-my-own-space-type of person? Disengaged?

Humans are complex. I know I am. And if I am humbled by my own contradiction, who am I to expect a ‘perfect’ man who suits me in all my moods (and is not turned off with all the hairs around the house)? And I should be the one unsurprised by my singledom, not distracted from the questions and comments from others, range from thoughtful (‘but you’re a catch!’) to tasteless (‘don’t be too picky and materialistic’).

I believe two wholes make a whole. Or like Wang Leehom said in his song: (being) two people doesn’t mean ‘us’.

Independent, unmarried women: liberation or desperation?

It’s an inevitable social phenomenon you find everywhere, especially in big cities. Of course there are lots of them in small towns as well, with lesser emphasis on ‘independent’. You must have heard about an unmarried aunt that lives with her mother or siblings. Maybe you have one or two in your family or relatives. In some way, I think their life is unbearable. Facing the social stigma is one thing. But being in that ‘prime’ age with no financial security is another, even bigger, issue. Just talking about this makes me depressed. That’s why I will skip this group and move on to their counterparts in big cities with big jobs. It’s a greener pasteur there, or so I thought 😀

We should first address the age criteria. I’d say above 30. Others may disapprove but I bet not any single soul would say above 26, right? Because, I’d have to kill you first before I finish this post. And then I might kill myself. No lah, of course I’m joking 😀 I will only strangle you until your face turns blue and then choke you with some popsicles. And I will NOT be suicidal after that. I mean, come on…look at you with that popsicle! It will definitely cheer me up a little bit 😉

Presumably someone has a university degree and starts her professional career at the age of 22, by the time she reaches 30 she will have already worked for 8 years. Chance is, she is now relatively successful (career-wise). She may afford a small apartment or a house. She may ride a comfy Honda Jazz. In short, she has everything a young girl longs for. And isn’t it what emancipation and women liberation movement strove for decades ago? The equal economy rights, the same access to secure jobs as men. Yes, it is. Then what’s the problem? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s true that society now accepts a woman’s success better than it used to.1 Yet, it still looks at her with suspecting eyes, and sometimes, pity. For example, if she wants to buy a house. The realtor will ask how many people will live in the house, how she plans to have her children’s bedroom. Then when the deal is made, the realtor would ask “Who will sign these papers?” That’s just unbelievable. She has the money but they still need more proof that she has financial back-up. It’s different with a thirty-something bachelor who decides to buy his own apartment. They don’t badger him with such questions.

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And now, the pity part. Why does everyone say a woman’s destiny is to get married, consumated, impregnated, deliver a child, and raise him/her all the best she could? Then if one cycle is not complete, they would say she’s a failure. On the contrary, nobody would call a single, successful man in his 40s a failure. They call him ‘eligible bachelor’. Honestly, the pitying look (along with sympathetic gesture) is the worst form of mockery. Regardless she’s single by choice or condition, she will have to go through the same painful process. Any social occasion can turn into landmines full of judgmental question and cruel jokes. If she has a strong circle of close friends (preferably single 😛 ) that will help big time. If she doesn’t, well… good luck attending next social gathering!

Of course the picture is not, by all means, grim. Accomplishment always feels good. Bright career comes with satisfactory paychecks. Having no children to think of, she can really enjoy life for herself. Come on, think about it. Children-related expenses are taking up a huge portion of a couple’s budget. There is a good reason behind the prevalence of working mums, right? They can’t rely solely on daddy’s paycheck. Lil’ Janey wants to take a ballet class. Her brother Tom nags for a new PSP. How often does a working mum pamper herself in some spa facility? Once a year, perhaps? Does she have time (and budget) to go on a luxury vacation? How many of them pursue their interest, such as taking a classical guitar class, try scuba-diving, or kayaking? It’s not my intention to overmagnify these small treats, as compared to the bliss of motherhood. But I believe that every situation brings its own colors. As a single woman, you won’t have the the colorful pictures hand-painted by your toddler or the warmth of a husband’s hug after a long tiring workday. You will instead, go home to a nice, orderly house/apartment where everything in it works on your interest. No dirty socks, no ugly couch your husband picked, no stern ebony cupboard from mother-in-law. Every single thing in your house is your favorite, and you can change anything anytime you like. And if you still have leisure time after work, you can hang out with your friends at a cozy cafe or dine in a new restaurant. You have choices, that’s the whole point.

I once heard a single friend of mine saying “I’m alone but not lonely.” Another said “I’m single but not available.” I believe that at the time they said it, they felt that way. Strong, invincible, undaunted, so sure about herself. But (why is there always a but? 😛 ) of course there is no single human who feels constantly happy and content. It is normal to feel down sometimes. Or even lonely. Cry if you have to but don’t wallow in self-pity. Count your blessings 🙂

Another happy single woman I met is the one with her famous quote “Don’t marry, be happy” 😀 I don’t know her well enough but she seems comfortable with her life. She has a great job, travels a lot, meets wonderful people. On top of all, she enjoys what she does for a living. She works for a cause and that’s such a reward beyond measure.

I am not going to conclude which group is happier than the other. Afterall, happiness lies in your hand. Only you can make your life complete. You cannot expect the right man to come and change your life. I know it is lucrative to yearn for a happy ending. Blame the fairy tales and sanitized Disney movies for this!2 I still do that, as a matter of fact. No matter how many failed relationships or romantic attempts I have been, I am still as hopeful as I used to be. I don’t know if someday all my faith will wash out. One day I may wake up and give up on the idea of a a companion. I just hope when that day comes, I remember to count my blessings and smile from ear to ear 🙂 And by the way, I may as well take courses to be a certified diver 😉

1 Apparently not all societies. Japan, a mile-high economy success in the world uses the term ‘make inu’ (loser dogs) to insult any woman over 30 who is single and childless. Full story, read here.

2 We have been brainwashed since we are very little. Why isn’t there any beautiful Disney princess living happily ever after without her prince? That’s why I instantly fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s adult fairy tales. In Stardust, for example, Yvaine (a fallen star who can’t age) lost Tristran to old age. In the end, she reigns the kingdom alone. And she pulls it off.