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Monday, April 10, 2006
Of Blinky Mummy, The Unromantics and The Little Prince

Sex Survey: Have Your Say!
You boys better get going! The girls are beating you to it.
Results will be announced in 15th May, ala Durex Survey.

It started two days ago when I read Her World Singapore (was it Her World or Female or some blah girl magazine) while sat at the mercy of my hairdresser YET AGAIN. It was the second time I saw her this month and we are yet to enter the second half of April! I just do not bloody bother washing my hair!

So sat I, flipping through the pages and stumbled upon the three bloggers mentioned – a very pretty Silly Celly, a really beautiful Blinky Mummy and the girl with the deepest dimples, Sandralicious.

Oh yes, did I mentioned the lady who sat next to me, who went on and on incessantly about everything? No? Well I must... because Aunty Loud Mouth had a mouth that went chugging faster than a train into Hogwarts. “Ohhhhhh I can be funny and silly, but I never talk bad about people, right Miss Hairdresser?” she asked Miss hairdresser, as if awaiting validation and support. Miss Hairdresser was quiet.

“My sister in law talk bad about me but I actually very good wan... Who else would take care of my mother in law? Only me ar!” I pretended hard not to hear her but her voice was greater. Of all the seats in the saloon, why must I have sat myself next to this lady, I thought to myself.

I tried hard to ignore her and so continued to flip the page and read on Blink Mummy. There she was, sat in an off shoulder blouse and leggings. Aunty Loud Mouth who was sat next to me talked about loosing weight and looking good for her age. Miss Hairdresser remained quiet. I tried hard to ignore Aunty Loud Mouth (rather unsuccessful) but soon found peace again within the article about Blink Mummy's story; that her blog started two years ago with a break up with her fiancée and the question of whether a man who loves you would purchase a USD70 ring as a token of love.

Aunty Loud Mouth next door tapped my hand. “Eh, your ring very pretty. Real one ar?” she asked, snooping at the sparkle on my left hand. I merely smiled and nodded. From that moment on, I pretended to read the magazine (did not matter if I had gone over the magazine twice) and ignored Aunty Loud Mouth as she pointed and commented on the various shoes she thought was pretty in another fashion magazine.

I felt like screaming, "Aunty Loud Mouth! I am an Aldo girl, ok? Nothing separates me from my Aldo!".

The Love Equation
Two days on and I am still thinking about Blinky Mummy's question. A question that is two years too late though! Would I accept a USD70 ring as a love token? I would like to think that I am the world’s stupidest girl. One would think a girl like me who has men like Mark chasing after my skirt as often as we have meals, would do more to squeeze the juices out of men. Sad to say, my mother taught me from young to work for my lot. And the more I see men like Mark, the more I hated gifts because they often come with an invisible price tag and complimentary sleazebags. “There is no such thing as a free lunch, babe,” BFG used to say as we sat for our usual teas under a tree.

High school sweetheart gave me a shell necklace laced with his pheromones and a toy caterpillar, which was a character from a Bug’s Life. Alan gave me a mobile (okay, he gave me a credit card which I used only for petrol - I promise!). Swedish Love gave me a bracelet that matched a necklace I wore on the day we met. Alex either did not give me anything (on my birthdays, Valentine’s or Christmas) except a soft toy puppy dog, a pair of earrings and very recently, a really beautiful amulet with super powers that hinder men and lesbians alike.

A Woman's Worth
So you see, if a girl’s worth is measured by the gifts she received, then I failed with flying colours because I consciously avoid and detest men who gave me things. The larger the gift, the bigger the eventual trap would be, I always thought.

However here are some things that smittened me through the years...
  • Alex dedicating a passage from an Ian Banks book, where the writer described how the act of sleeping next to his lover affected him.

    I think that was Alex, subtly telling me something.

  • Lots of photos my Swedish Love took of me while I was sleeping. And the photo of my white socks drying on the towel dryer in our Stockholm apartment.

    And photos of various breakfasts we had in our sunny living room. My eyes sparkled more than diamonds in every single photo.

  • The changes Swedish Love brought into my life by challenging my thoughts and beliefs.

    “Fuck nipple stickers. Nipples are part of a woman’s body. You don’t have to stick nothing on them.”

    So fuck nipple stickers ‘cos I wear my low-cuts and bare backs proud. Actually lots of tongues wagged when I shopped in 60s Biba inspired dresses, fitted tightly at the bust(thus not needing any bra) five years ago but I seriously do not give a flying fuck.

  • ”Four Seasons of Love” an English haiku, with private inscriptions and drawings, a gift from R.

  • The very first portrait R painted of me, now hanging in my bedroom.

  • A medal from a national level chess competition, which high school sweetheart won and gave to me.

  • Cards with drawings and personal comments, especially the one Alan gave me on my graduation.

  • Images of second hand smoke disappearing into the ceiling, secret conversations that never saw the light of day and falling asleep holding AB’s hands.

The Unromantics
Does the price of a gift matter? Here is the story how I bought the ring that would be Alex’s gift to me.

Alex gave me a sum of money and asked me to shop for a ring that I fancied. He could not be bothered to walk through all the stores with me (unless there were many other slim chinky girls for him to ogle) and I could not be bothered to see him suffer. We figured that this would be the deterent to the likes of Mark. So I set out looking for a ring in every single jewellery shop imaginable. I started out wanting to purchase the biggest ring that the money could buy. After all, is that not what every girl dream of every night since they heard of Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel?

Honestly I felt bad. As I have mentioned earlier, I am not accustomed to the idea of receiving gifts from men. What more a big gift (so what if the man happens to be my boyfriend of four years?) Truth was, Alex had worked for a year (and a little more) and instead of buying a car (which he did purchase an Audi A6, which was also for me when I am in the UK since his office is 5 minutes walk away) or a deposit for a house (we are very sensible creatures, Alex and I – deposit for a one bedroom apartment in Kent was approximately £20, 000) he gave me the money to buy myself a decent rock. I felt that money spent on the ring was unnecessary. I rationalized (it is possible for girls to be rational) that it was a waste of money to purchase such an expensive gift.

So I set out with an intention to shop for a cheap ring. A 0.2 carat, G color perhaps for a whooping RM2000 instead, which I saw in De Gems. Or a 0.25 carat, J color for slightly under RM3000?

Girls like me spend our entire childhood fantasizing about the ring. Apparently there was an unwritten rule that men's love were measured in carats and the language of love was called the "Four C-s". That's carat, color, cut and clarity. And when it is time for me to buy a bling ring, I do not want the fancy big ring anymore. Now who would have thought? Of all people, it was you, Miss Otto?

After three months, I found the ring that I liked. I searched high and low for my very special rock and it turned out to be sitting and waiting for me in my local shopping mall. That teaches you one thing, babes and babettes. Many times the things that you dream of are often close to your heart.

I liked the ring so much, I opened my own purse to chip in. How unromantic *haha*

Hello Shallow
Till today, I much prefer to buy my own things and I do not want men to ‘pamper’ me with gifts. What I look for in a man is companionship, honesty and life. A man who makes me laugh the moment I open my eyes in the morning and the very same man I happily purr myself to sleep at night. Who makes me feel alive and good about myself. A man who heals my soul.

I am very please with my ring. So please that I wear it everyday. Men who see it feel intimidated (which is the purpose of the ring, I suppose) and women who see it, ask about it. It might not be the world’s largest stone but it is a huge stone to me. And it was expensive to me. And it means something to Alex (who by the way, has yet to see what he bought me) and I because now I have to say, "Yeah, Alex bought it for me."

But heck, who am I kidding? Society places immense pressure on girls and their rings, both explicitly and subtly. Eyes do see and cheeks do go red with envy, if the rock is right. While I do not think that the ring symbolises how much Alex loves me (because I know he really do), everyone else measures his love for me in carats. Excepting my mother, of course. But yes, everyone else does.

In this very shallow and superficial age, your girlfriends ohhh and ahhh when they see the gifts your boyfriend bought you. Your office bitch launches snide remarks should the love tokens not meet up to her standards. Your relatives ask you to have them valued in respectable jewellers.

I empathise with Blink Mummy’s woes. I am unsure how it all ended for her. Or how it began again. Perhaps this is two years too late but I wish her well.

The Little Prince
I would end this post with a passage from my favourite book, The Little Prince. Ten years ago, a Hungarian friend residing in Toronto sent the Little Prince to me.

I dedicate this passage to all my 200 readers who visit my blog daily. Thank you.

“If I’ve told you these details about Asteroid B-162 and if I’ve given you its number, it is on account of the grown-ups. Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: “What does his voice sound like?” “What games does he like best?” “Does he collect butterflies?” They ask: “How old is he? “How many brothers does he have?” “How much does he weight?” “How much money does his father make?” Only then do they think they know him.

If you tell grown-ups, “I saw a beautiful red brick house, with geraniums at the windows and doves on the roof…,” they won’t be able to imagine such a house. You have to tell them, “I saw a house worth a hundred thousand francs.” Then they exclaim, “What a pretty house!”

~ an excerpt from The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint Exupery.

Small Talk
Coincidentally I was offered a spot in FHM's Cili Padi section by Good Editor. Apparently Good Editor is friends not only with Juice and car magazine, he was also friends with FHM. Good news is, I am not going to appear in FHM. I think their wadrobe assistant will malfunction when he sees me *sneers*

Some last words from Alex. "Good. I am glad you like the ring. It is the last gift I am ever going to buy you."

How romantic.


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"Good. I am glad you like the ring. It is the last gift I am ever going to buy you."

Famous last words. lol. How's that 300 sterling handbag coming along :>

6:08 pm  

That's my domestic life, for ya =)

You know, for a country boasting of the tallest twin towers in the world, we do not even have basic shopping facilities such as a Marc Jacobs boutique! So now tell me, how am I gonna get my bag?!

6:46 pm  

A woman can't live solely on men's passion and diamond ring. A hair line crack on the two can lead to a serious mental breakdown. To avoid that disaster, women should be realistic and look beyond those items.

4:17 am  

Just out of curiosity cos I like a mental image of each of my readers.... what gender are you?

I concur with your comment that women should look beyond those items. We live in a day and age that we do not need men to purchase luxuries for us.

I much prefer a man who is like Alex, sensible and loving. That's something that no amount of money can buy.

5:13 am  

When a man cannot afford much, he tries really hard to compensate his expression of love with romantic gestures, which normally costs lesser than the thought.

But when he manages to find more freedom in his financial abilities, he sometimes gets carried away with compensating the void with material & gifts, lacking in sincerity.

Although it is the thought that counts, yet from another angle, the ratio between the price of the gift and the income the man earns, plots a proportional relation to how much he is willing to sacrifice for you (or your gift, in this case).

It is so tempting to fall into the shallowness of things for both parties to judge each others' sincerity through the materialistic value, but that is how society perceives, unfortunately.

I am talking from the perspectives of men who are financially able but find difficulty to express sincerity through meaningless but still-valuable-enough gifts. They will have to rely on their creativity and wit to come up with something that amplifies the meaning behind the gift to avoid appearing generic and lack of thought.

In these cases, I believe men might sometimes rather themselves having women who can be happy with receiving anything as a gift, which is impossible. It is hard to find humans who can be so easily satisfied in this era of complexity and grandiose-worshipping.

9:55 am  

"The larger the gift, the bigger the eventual trap would be, I always thought."

if only all women thought the way you do.. hahaha.. wait, my gf does too! WOO Hoo!!! anyway, women who demand presents are a definate turn-off... girls who turn down my presents, now that's a turn on!

11:00 am  

thing is, people shouldn't even EXPECT a present!

it'll make it less thoughtful...

2:55 pm  

no romantic gestures could replace a Birkin Bag.

4:39 pm  

i enjoyed reading this entry. to me, romantic gestures mean a whole lot more than what money can buy. *shrugs* too bad society often judges the value of something based on money. too bad indeed...

5:45 pm  

Gifts should never be a measure of love. However I guess gifts make great test as to how much understanding is there flowing between the couple.

There should be an understanding between the two individuals. It is a rather hopeless exercise to demand a present that your partner cannot afford to buy.

Gifts especially the important ones such as wedding or engagement rings require a lot of tact and understanding. Of course you do not want to stretch your finances to keep up with the Joneses. Then again, you do not want to your future wife to be the laughing stock in the neighbourhood. Again, this calls for a balance and wisdom.

However it ends, the issue will be the deciding factor and in a way, regulates the relationship - either extending and cementing it or breaking it up and moving on.

8:46 am  

I think a lot of strong men are turned on by women who are equally strong in character... and it takes a lot of strength to resist a nice present when you see it on your lap =)

Men! Phfff! Treat them mean and keep them keen...

8:48 am  

Kinda hard not to expect something out of your love one, especially on overly commercialised days such as Valentine's, anniversaries, half anniversaries and what-so-not significant days =)

Alex and I have this game. We pretend not to expect it.

Depends on what sort of romance you are seeking, I guess...

Am glad that you liked this post... this expensive gift vs creative gift has been an age old issue, ain't it?

But with the world becoming more hurried and more materialistic, it gets harder and harder to appreciate simple tokens of love... when the next fish buys you a Birkin, like how Sic6sense said it.

8:52 am  

eh!! I WAS at the saloon on Sat.
there was this aunty who went ON and ON an ON loudly on everything from spending 7-8k on slimming sessions to God knows what!! she was 3 chairs away..
hehe....i was thinking to myself wah what a "si lai"

9:23 am  

Then we could have sat next to each other and not know it =) How small can the world be, eh?

9:28 am  

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