An Ordinary Life

What I do, what I think

Untitled July 22, 2007

Filed under: Ex-boyfriend — reneewong @ 7:41 am

The ex has put up pictures of his nubile 17-year-old girlfriend on Facebook. Current boyfriend could only go, “She looks so young!” over and over again. My first reaction was “My ex-boyfriend is a paedophile!” and I wanted to write just that on his Wall, but decided against it almost immediately, because like what current boyfriend says, “That’ll just make you seem like a jealous ex.” So I decided to blog about it instead. Ahh… modern technology… my cheap alternative to psychiatric help.
The warning signs were there since our first date when we were both 19 and he confessed and swore me to secrecy (harhar!) that he had had the hugest crush on then-9-year-old Anna Paquin in The Piano. When we were 21, he felt that he was destined to be with a particular 16-year-old violinist. Just last year, when we were 29, he was gushing over a 12-year-old violinist. So, all things considered, 17 isn’t so bad.
I can understand the attraction to youth. Of course. It would be a lie to say that it is completely inconceivable or unthinkable that a 30-year-old man would want to be with a 17-year-old girl. In many cultures, that’s completely normal. History tells us that it’s completely normal. But then again, to go with History, we can also look to the Romans and say that it’s normal to have sex with a horse.
Women have always known and felt, perhaps even more than men, the attraction of youth. We understand it more because we have suffered for it and from it. We have accepted it with a kind of resignation. We do not fight against it because in truth, we want it – the elixir of youth, to stay supple, nubile, and firm. I can’t say how much of it is due to popular culture celebrating youth and condemning wrinkles and sagging breasts. I also can’t say that we should blame the men.
Fact is, aging is inevitable but hard to accept. For me. Personally. Even if there were no men on this planet, I would still be upset if I were to one day poke my cheeks and find that the dent remains there, just like on a fish that’s not so fresh anymore.
But, I digress.
In a relationship where there is an age gap of 13 years between the man and the woman, people, like myself, are bound to have lots to say about it. They look at the man, and either go: “Way to go!” Or “Erm…” But what do they think when they look at the woman? That changes
as she goes from 17 to 27 to 37, etc. I look at the picture of the 17-year-old girlfriend of my ex and I think, “Poor girl.” At the age of 27, one would think, “She’s in it for the money.” This of course depends on the man in question. At the age of 37, one would think, “She’s desperate.” These are all just sweeping statements which would not stand in many cases but still, where would we be without sweeping statements?
If the situation is reversed and the woman is the older party… oh my. That’s when the claws are really unsheathed. By both sexes. Consider that.


Of colleagues

Filed under: work — reneewong @ 2:59 am

In my opinion, relationships with co-workers are the most frustrating. Colleagues are like family – you can’t choose them. Unfortunately, unlike family, you cannot avoid them and you cannot be frank and forthright with them either. You can’t say to them, ‘I think you’re just a whining little brat’ or ‘ Why don’t you get off your ass and do something’ or, to get right down to it: ‘You suck!’
So, instead of this healthy and cathartic dose of honesty, you find yourself straddling the fine line between professionalism and hypocrisy. Everyday you’re just seething under the veneer of civility.
There are two types of people you can find yourself working with: those whom you would never acknowledge in your private life, where you actually have a choice; and those whom you would hang out with outside of work. If only you didn’t actually have to work with them.
Ok, despite all this cynicism, I must admit that there is that tiny handful of people whom I just love as both colleagues and friends. These are the ones that I actually like as people, as fellow human beings and not just living, breathing creatures out to compete with me for oxygen.


Seeing Ian McKellen as King Lear July 21, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — reneewong @ 6:30 pm

It was great. What can I say? Three and a half hours including a 20-minute interval and if not for the fact that I was sitting in the first row of Circle 2, it would have been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As it is, I now have an aching neck despite having gone for a half-hour shoulder massage this afternoon.
What bothered me, though, were the people who suddenly developed itching throats during the second half of the play. It’s like, after the interval, people started taking turns clearing their throats. And then, there was that phone that actually went off! Appalling.
The play itself was enjoyable even though I didn’t understand half of what the actors were saying given that I’ve never read King Lear and the language was archaic, to say the least.
Ian McKellen was excellent, as was the rest of the cast, though there were one or two minor slips.
After the play, we went to Gluttons’ Bay where I had my first char kway teow in a long time, together with oyster omelette, fish ball soup and topped off with a teh-c peng. It’s one hour of cardio in 8 hours’ time.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that after that, we went to Harry’s at the Esplanade to listen to Paul Ponnudorai. The guy is a true virtuoso. The way his fingers move on the guitar and the sounds he creates – flawless. The only problem was that the speakers were way too loud. So, to be able get up close and personal with the guy to witness the miracle that are his digits moving over the strings of his instrument, you have to risk losing the sound quality. So we sat, admiring him from a distance.


Alpha July 16, 2007

Filed under: Ex-boyfriend — reneewong @ 3:29 am

I have a spot somewhere in my abdomen that can only be activated by ex-boyfriend number 1. When this spot receives a stimulus from the ex, I feel kind of ill. I get nightmares. I lose my appetite. I feel nauseous. In the past, it would also make me obsessive and I would break out in cold sweat and I realise now that it was cold fear which I felt. The fear of losing him.
All these emotions washed over me again last night, all except for the fear and obsession. These were replaced by disgust.
And gave me enough motivation to finally start a blog.
So I met the ex last night. He is back in town. I had not seen him for a few months prior to that. He looked the same – not as young as he would like others to believe, a little tired, his eyes still bright, moving slowly as if contemplating his surroundings.
“I like your bob hairstyle” was the first thing he said. He also liked my Kenzo dress.
We sat on the very nice sofa and armchair at The very nice Bar at The Regent. We made small talk, caught up with each other and all seemed normal, until he said, “I’m very proud of myself. I’m sure you’ll be proud of me too.”
And I said, “Well, that would be the first time in a long time.”
We were interrupted by an sms and he took his time responding to it while I sat there – but that’s very normal behaviour for him too.
Then he said, “I got together with a Latvian girl.”
And I said, “A lesbian girl?”
“No, a Latvian girl.”
Now, why that would make me proud of him I do not know. Perhaps it was his subsequent revelation which he thought would make me proud: she’s 17. “Without any baggage. She has never kissed another man before me.”
Forgive me for being slightly disturbed to hear this from my 29-going-on-to-30-year-old ex-boyfriend.
He was very pleased to be dating someone young as he “will not need to have any talk about marriage or children for a very long time.” Ouch.
We had a slight argument in the cab on the way to my place. I told him that I would probably never see him again. I think he thought it was a joke again because admittedly, I have said this many times before.
This time, I repeated myself, and he said, “No!” in a manner that conveyed a rejection of rejection. And I said, “You are dating someone my sister’s age. You are dating someone 1 year older than some of the kids that I teach. I find that disturbing.”
He responded by saying that I cannot have as my reference point local 17-year-olds as European teenagers are “very different”. I told him to consider what he sees in her in the first place.
No baggage. That’s what he’s always been seeking.
From me, the first girlfriend, to where he is today.
Later, when talking to my present boyfriend, I felt a certain responsibility for what has happened to the ex. I know he’s seeking what he didn’t have with me – a relationship with someone who comes with no baggage. The ex admitted that my baggage was my family, not any other man. But that was a motherfucking load of a baggage.
Hayao Miyazaki. That’s a clue. A couple of years ago, the ex asked if I had watched “Sound of the Ocean” by Hayao Miyazaki. It was a story of Japanese junior high school students and puppy love. The ex was wistful as he spoke about it and revealed that he regretted never having had the chance to experience such puppy love as he was in an all-boys school.
Present boyfriend says that he likes me more now that the scales have fallen from my eyes and I can see ex-boyfriend for the dysfunctional creature that he is. Apparently my blindness to this dysfunction was my only fault in present boyfriend’s eyes.
I can’t judge because I can understand the ex’s attraction to a 17-year-old. But I remember when I was 17 years old and I am glad that I wasn’t in a relationship with a 30-year-old because where, then, would have been my puppy love?