Saturday, December 13, 2008

Status Quo

"We're going for dinner now," my dad announced to no one in particular. We were seated in a semi-circle around the hospital bed. I, the precious eldest grand-daughter, was sitting on the bed next to my grandma.

She let go of my hand and pushed me off the bed gently. "Go, go. It's late." Grandma was in high spirits today. I think it was because I kept her company for three hours today. Still wide awake, she sat upright in bed and waved us goodbye. As we made for the door, my grandfather, who had always be sullen and impatient with the frequent hospital visits, walked back towards the bed, painfully slow. His tanned, wrinkled hand reached for my grandmother's. "We're leaving now," he said, rather redundantly. Surprised, Grandma, in the usual way old Asian couples speak to one another, raised her voice at him. "I know that. Just go."

It was apparent in everyone's actions. My father and my aunt turned away; my mother stopped in her tracks; a tear rolled uncontrollably down my cheek; Grandma's harsh eyes faltered for a second. Grandpa, oblivious to the gravity of his little gesture, turned and walked to the door.

When we were still kids, my brother, the cheeky arse, often asked Grandma if she loved my Grandpa. "Rubbish!" she would exclaim loudly. "In my time, there was no such thing as love." Of course, as young children, we didn't think she was serious. But as we grow older, we watched their twin beds move further and further apart. There never was any show of affection in my family.

That was why we didn't know what to make of the gentleness of Grandpa's hand on Grandma's. She may or may not recognise what it was, but I did. We all did. If that wasn't a man's love for his old, ailing, lifelong companion, I don't know what is.

smudgi3 @ 10:32:00 pm | | |

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The New New Year

The New Year came early for me.

Starting in November, I’ve made so many changes in my life, big and small, that it’s almost as if I’ve finally grown up. I’ve been at my company for more than year now. I had told myself some months back that I have to keep myself in this company for at least 12 months, to gain experience, to make my resume more credible. Maybe I’ve finally found a job I can settle into. This is quite an achievement for someone who never really knew what she wanted to do. I found myself giving advice to an ex-classmate last week. She was in the top class in my secondary school (and the Principal’s daughter) and went on to the top Junior College during our time. Now she’s finally finishing her PhD and doesn’t know what to do with her life.

I’ve also actually started to save. I started a new savings account that automatically draws a pre-established amount from my current account so that I won’t have to suffer the physical pain of transferring an amount over. I’ve also begun to make calculated payments for my purchases so that I can accumulate $1 gold coins and save them in a tin box I’ve allocated to store them. You won’t understand how proud I am of myself for managing to do this without crumbling.

I have put on quite a bit of weight ever since I started working in this company, which is situated right smack in the middle of an almost food paradise. My parents take turns to remind me of that fact every day and I initially felt resentment at how tactless parents can be when it comes to their children’s body issues. After I quietly took in all the insults and erupted into a vicious hatred for my body, I stopped asking D the “Do you still love me now that I’m fat” question and signed up for a full course of body slimming treatments at FIL.

I’ve also bitten the bullet and got myself a new look. I haven’t changed my hair for the longest time, and after consulting my people in the “industry”, I went and snipped off my fringe. My hairstylist was so happy with my new look he couldn’t stop giving me suggestions on how I could style my hair. The reviews were mixed though. Some loved it; some simply said I looked “Different”. “Different” can mean many things.

I have two more things to do before my year is complete. I intend to give my room a makeover as well, though it’s really dragging because of the endless overtime I have to do at work. I still haven’t gotten myself enrolled in a Japanese language school as well, and this is the one big regret of the year. In the grand scheme of things, I guess some things just have to wait.

I need to go to Japan soon.

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smudgi3 @ 3:24:00 pm | | |