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Thursday, July 15, 2010
If it takes you nine months to make a baby…

… it will take you a year to lose the fats.”

Those were the wise words from Mr. Husband. The problem is, it is now more than a year. Fourteen months, to be precise. It sounds strange calling him my husband, to be honest. “Boyfriend” sounds more attractive for very unknown reasons. At least to me. So does “girlfriend”.

I know many search for relationships and they dream of the day when they will feel complete. Usually it coincides with the day they marry. It is the same day they make a long list of loving commitments to each other. Somehow I have grown apathic and do not possess the butterflies that are tied to feeling of getting married.

Don’t get me wrong. I do get the butterflies in my stomach. I get them when I see him brush his teeth in his underwear. I often wonder why men have such beautiful bums (and beautiful, if not super hairy, legs). I get butterflies when we ride on the jet ski he bought last month. It isn’t motion sickness, I swear. I get them when we sit in the car on our way to dinner on weekends. The wonderful feeling of closeness and warmth of knowing someone deeply is all there. It is just not tied to a wedding or a marriage.

What most people didn’t know was, or rather is, we were not married when I was pregnant. The fact that we were not married made it easier for me to call him my husband. It sounds strange, I know. I am a strange woman. While most girls would prefer some form of ‘solid’ commitment, especially with a bun in the oven, I was actually very happy and relaxed without the need to rush a wedding. I felt secure in our relationship. We spoke about being pregnant for a few months before. Consequently we were ready and delighted when we were. Married or not, it did not add or subtract anything.

And if you are asking me, “how the hell did you register the birth?”, the answer is obvious. Many are led to believe you need a wedding certificate to register a birth. Even at the counter, the lady will ask for a wedding certificate. I don’t know which blue smurf started that rumor but that is definitely untrue. The birth certificate indicates “Father” and “Mother”, which means biological parents of the child. It does not say, “Husband” and “Wife”. (I can imagine a lightbulb moment a few seconds ago when you read the previous sentence.)

So all you need to do is to proof that you are the biological parents. It is easier for the woman to proof that she is the mother. It is a little more challenging to proof the father. Well, we solved that by presenting Mr. Husband, himself, at the birth registration counter during his paternity leave. Yes, he had 2 weeks of paternity leave, which sounds swell except for the bit that he had to travel back to Java once the 14 days was up.

You can imagine me with happy smiling baby at 3 a.m. for a couple of months. Note: Baby smiled, not I.


Now that is all history. It is amazing how something so profound and life changing, can and will, with time, become something of the past. You will forget about the tears, lack of sleep and feeling of terror as night falls. All that is left is a beautiful boy, trying to insert a DVD into the DVD player. That’s his favourite skill today. Yesterday he practiced opening the door. Mind you, he can’t reach for the keys. And the day before, he was pouring body lotion after bath. It’s all pretend play but he seems quite excited about everything.

Mr. Husband and I agreed that a little boy did not belong in the middle of nowhere. So we delegated our duties. Me with baby and work in Malaysia. Mr. Husband with work in Java. It went on for nine months due to the H1N1 flu yadda yadda yadda. But we finally made it here, to Java, two weeks before the Lunar New Year. We are now here for the fourth time this year alone. That is quite a lot of flying for the little boy, who turned one in May.

So where the hell are we? Well the nearest direct flight airport is Solo, which is a 2.5 hour flight from KL. And then it’s another 3 hours of driving to the little town where we are now living. It is by the sea and on most days, it feels like living in Phi Phi island. There is a pretty café bar next to the sea, a Japanese restaurant inland, a proper English pub and a few up and coming eateries and places to hang out.

Don’t be fooled by the description because this is a very strange land. It feels like island paradise as long as you walk within the perimeters of expatriate establishments. Outside those lines lie filth, dust and poverty. Children run without shoes in mud houses. Roof is nearly always leaking, even in the best houses. And the most amazing sight is of a river near Semarang, where the residents bath, wash dishes, throw their bodily waste and even brush their teeth next to each other.


Everything has changed yet everything still felt quite the same. It is an adventure, one that I had not imagined but am excited to embrace. I am like a duck that has never seen water. Now there is a pond in front of me and I will have to learn to wade in it. Hopefully I will be a happy duck. Those around me seem wade around quite easily. What is it with women and marriage anyway? Pfff...!

Like Eve. She has now three children, her third was born at the same week as my first. She is busy zipping around with her life and is now preparing to attend the French Independence party this weekend. She looks exactly the same but an improved version. Body fats do not bother her. (not that she has any) Neither does stretch marks nor dry skin. “Dress to your advantage,” she said the other day when I lifted my shirt to reveal a not so flat tummy. After giving birth, trust me, nothing shames you anymore. “I no longer think of my belly or thigh fats,” she shrugged and tucked merrily into her lunch. “You don’t even have stretch marks,” she blurted after a few seconds of, what I like to presume, thought.

“Madam,” said my domestic wife, “Think of it this way - you had your mojo and now you passed the mojo to your son…” Hmmm, it did not comfort me at all. While it is true that the little boy is a dashing boy (every mother thinks so), I would much prefer to share the mojo than to pass the mojo entirely.

I am happy to announce that there is wisdom in Mr. Husband’s words. The fats melted away as little boy blew one candle. Somehow everything just went ‘POOF!” over night and everything looks smaller in the mirror. Perhaps I have a magic mirror in Java! Even my hair looks lustrous as before. I had to chop off my locks, giving up the thought that it could resuscitate itself after the pregnancy.

“Why don’t you ask me to lose some weight?” I asked Mr. Husband once. A man of few words but he summarized everything succinctly. “Because you will never allow yourself to be fat.” He was still reading Finnish news online when he said that.


“Honey, we need to talk,” I said on one side of the bathroom door.

“Yes?” he asked. He was packing our bags for the first Singapore night race.

“I think I am pregnant,” I said, heart beating ever so fast, looking at the two stripes on the white pregnancy test kit.

“Honey, you can’t say that you are pregnant just because you feel fat….”


Yes, I married that man and this is the story of our lives.



Miss reading your posts :)

12:55 pm  

hmmm... it was only a while ago that you were blogging about love letters from your previous love... the same guy you married eh?

3:48 pm  

Miss exchanging news with you :)

Although a girlfriend of mine once famously said, "All men are the same. They are the same shit in different bodies...", I can confidently say that the men are not the same.

I don't believe in resurrecting old relationships. (No matter how good) they are exes for a reason.

4:25 pm  

Not all men are the same. There are still good ones out there :)
Do continue writing. I love reading all your posts.

5:56 am  

Passing By
I am sure our female readers would be happy to meet some of the good men out there =)

2:22 pm  

Sure is.

5:36 pm  

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