Archives for category: Imperfect Wife

Although I don't believe in the pretentiousness of stiff manners like having to sit straight at the table with your elbows off so that people will think you're well brought up, I do believe in fostering good habits, even when I was a kid.

Because both my parents were working, my sis and I rarely got to see them, so things like spending time together at the table for meals was an important ritual for me. I remember being the one who used to wake up early many mornings when I was a teenager, rousing the house while I tried to get breakfast together, or be the one setting the table so that my family members would get the hint and NOT eat at the TV. My father supported the idea too, and always insisted we ate together as a family so that we could talk about our day.

Yesterday, Lokes and I had a disgreement, one of many in our years together, usually about things such as this, which would usually be considered trivial, but when it happens enough, I start to wonder if he respects any of my ideals at all. As unimportant as they may seem, when someone spends the time to clean up the house nicely, cook a nice dinner (his mom, in this case), it's the least one can do, to sit down and enjoy it with the same amount of respect as one has given into making the meal, never mind the bonding part.

It is these times that I feel most alone, knowing that while this is all part and parcel of marriage, the wearing down of one's patience and respect of the little quirks and habits of one's spouse, I also wonder desperately if there is some way to fix it, make it slow down or better still, eliminate it once and for all. Am I asking too much, just to sit down for dinner? If it is so insignificant, why did we clash over it?

And it's not just this either. It's to do with how we agreed to raise our kids sometimes. More than once, he's allowed Rae to have ice cream right before meal time, even when he knows how hard it is to get her to eat. Ice cream was supposed to be the incentive to finish a meal, next to the gold star she gets. He seems to forget ever so often what these 'rules' are for, and how difficult it is for me to 'undo' the damage when his kid starts asking for ice cream at all times of the day, screaming "My daddy lets me have ice cream!".

Respect. It's what we need to afford each other after the fires of passion and the romance of marriage have been reduced to cosy embers so that they can still last a lifetime.

And that's all I need from you.

Do you remember when you were like 21, and you’re sitting on the couch with your girlfriends, or just your boyfriend, and when the topic veered to a distant time in the future when you would want to have kids, and you told your significant other(s) that you would NEVER be a MOM mom, but your kid’s best friend, and be keeping in fashion with the latest styles, stay in shape, play baseball or video games with your son, or go clubbing with your daughter and so on and so forth?

Never happened. Lies. All of it.

Because by the time the baby comes out, and you’re chin-deep in diapers, and you’ve not washed your face or combed your hair in places hair shouldn’t even be growing, the last thing you want to do is to par-tay.

You think you can get out when they’re older? Try 17 years older. And by the time THAT happens, the only clubs you’ll be going to start with a B and end with an O, or in Malaysia, we like swimming clubs, for some reason.

Being hip – and wanting to be hip – when you don’t have the kids, that’s just mass media putting ideas in your head. Wishful, and naive, and a little presumptous. Perhaps when you’re 21 AND already having kids, you can recover by the time you’re 31, and THEN do all the cool things you said you’d do as a hip mom.

But I got pregnant at 28 and now I’m 33 with two under-sixes.

So the hippest thing I can do now, is blog. Parenting in itself, is crazy enough.

And play video games (like 6 o’clock in the morning, I’d be levelling my rogue, just barely into my coffee but wary of the fact that I just need another 5K of XP before the kids wake up and I can’t go for that big instance this weekend if I don’t level – IF they even let me come since I WILL most certainly quit in the middle unless I wake up like 4am instead of the usual 5am).

So that’s what being a Crazy Hip Blog Mama is to me – to fulfill a small bit of that ambition to be a cool mommy!

Hey, isn’t that the name of a cheesy Hong Kong serial? Or was it that Chow Yuen Fatt, Cherie Chung, Leslie Cheung movie?

Anyway, things are much better. Rae is still under the weather thanks to the antibiotics but we took her to the park and I attempted to skate AND push her in her stroller at the same time. Fell down once in front of a couple of strangers but sokay.

There’s always tomorrow.

The second thing that the last week has taught me is that the support of your man is important. Lokes was strong and calm throughout, hugs and kisses, soothing words.

It was nice to know that SOMEone was on my side, even if it seems to be us against our own child. One in unison. That’s how you survive parenthood.

And as a reward, I made egg and bacon swiss roll this morning. Yes, swiss roll! Smells yummy already in the oven.

Have a good week ahead, y’all.

Update

Tada!

eggbaconroll01.jpg

The unrolled product.

eggbaconroll02.jpg

Rolled…

eggbaconroll03.jpg

And ready to eat!

Want the recipe? Here it is:

1 cup of cheddar/cottage cheese, grated
3/4 cup of cream/milk mix (they call it half-and-half here, u can sub with just full cream milk)
1/4 tsp of salt
6oz of bacon, fried and crumbled (churning in blender works well) – substituting with Chinese ‘long yuk’/dried meat may also work!
Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp all purpose flour
9 eggs
Parchment/baking lining paper and baking pan (10-inch by 15-incher)

Method
– Blend half the cheese with milk in blender (leave half of the cheese for later)
– add eggs, salt and flour and process further
– line pan with paper and preheat oven to 375F
– pour mixture in and bake for 30 mins until puffy and golden brown
– once done, take out and immediately spread mustard and lay down the cheese and then lay down bacon on top
– roll up from short end like a swiss roll and wait five minutes before serving

It’s a bit of work but worth it. Yum-my!

Valentine’s Day is coming. Lokes and I, we’re not big on such celebrations. We go out for dinner during our anniversary, and celebrate each other’s birthdays, but we never really celebrated this universal lovers’ day. I think back home, we went out some years with our friends Hazel and Darren for BKT, that’s all.

Not romantic but it was delicious.

This year, we thought since we’re in a new country and all, we’d go ahead and have dinner, maybe even take in a movie. Of course, I had to ask him to take me out. I’m not shy at all. That’s what happens with marriage (or maybe it’s just with mine). Hoping your man will by some miracle remember it’s a commercial ‘special day’ is hoping that he will start cleaning up after himself suddenly, or hoping he suddenly enjoys shopping.

A hint won’t suffice either. You will need plan it, arrange for babysitting and what not, check the listings for a movie or a restaurant. You gotta Make Things Happen.

Thing is, we have a ‘date Friday’. Once a fortnight, we’d go out, spend some quality time alone. Used to be Wednesdays but Friday’s just more fun, I guess.

Plus American Idol is on Wednesday nights, so cannot.

So JUST having dindin and a movie seems so…normal.

What else can a couple do on Valentine’s Day?

Alarmingly, I have no idea.

Share some?

 

UPDATE: I have to help Raeven make 17(!!) Vday cards for school on Friday. Talk about starting them early. Americans sure take this day seriously!

Sound familiar?

Some people have a very odd philosophy. On the strength of a chance, they willingly avoid sharing information with certain parties that they think will get them into trouble.

Of course, when the cat is out of the bag, they will face a redder wrath, than if they’d willingly volunteered the info in the first place.

A friend of mine told me today that she found out her boyfriend had visited a lady friend that she knew to be what one would call A Skanky-Assed Bitch. He had deliberately kept it from her because he thought that she would get all jealous and they’d argue etc, because whatever we say about NOT getting upset, we still will.

Of course, the argument came and went. A lot was said, with far too little actually understood. She asked me if total honesty was too much to expect from one’s partner.

This is a fascinating, albeit slightly dangerous, subject to discuss over high tea and biscotti. I remember once when Lokes received a DKNY tie from a lady colleague for helping her get this really difficult client at work sorted out. Fearing that I would find out, he hid that tie in his notebook bag for a year. One day, while looking for something in his bag, the tie fell out. This lovely orange, checkered, very fashionable DKNY tie which was easily over RM400.

When I asked him about it (since it fell out in front of me), he told me that so and so gave it to him.  

Why? Because he helped her with something.

What? Some clientlah.

But this is a DKNY tie. You don’t even wear ties. How I know? She just left it on my desk one day (getting annoyed).

And you just accept a RM400 gift, like that? Why cannot wor?

When was this? A year ago. Why are you asking so many questions?

Because you’re not giving up the information very freely, that’s why.

The thing is, I have total confidence that my husband isn’t having an affair with this generous colleague of his, not only because I trust him, but because I know he’s just not rich enough for her (even for a fling). Yes, it is slightly disturbing but comforting nonetheless to know that sometimes, how attractive one’s husband is to others is directly related to how much he makes.

So why did he think that telling me about the tie would get him into trouble? And what difference did it make, me discovering it a year later AND showing him the business end of a hissy fit?

“It’s a gamble,” he said. “At least I delayed the inevitable for one year.”

It’s bizarre really, this need to be so secretive about something that should be totally harmless. Okay, maybe an expensive gift from a colleague is iffy but still, the right thing to do would be to at least TELL your other half someone gave you a slightly inappropriate gift simply because it can pay for your month’s groceries bill.

Is not wanting to argue a good reason to suppress info you KNOW you should share, like going to meet a person you KNOW has something for you?

Total honesty is farcical, but I think the deliberate withholding of information (which is just one step away from outright lying, I believe) to avoid an argument is just cowardice. It’s one thing to think something is harmless and therefore not mention it. It’s quite another to work overtime to ensure that your partner does NOT find out about this supposed harmless thing on the basis of wanting to avoid conflict.

It’s too much like being extra nice to your spouse AFTER you’ve cheated on him/her.

 

 

So I haven't really been blogging since David's passing. Didn't feel like it and also, didn't have time, in between full baby, editorial and druidic duties. My posts in The Sun have also been reduced to once a week. I'd like to write more but these days, one just does not seem to have the peace needed to mull on a topic.

But a significant change is on its merry way, my friends. By the end of this year, I shall be calling it quits. Throwing in the towel. Making the choice – not a difficult one, I might add – to be a full-time mother and wife.

A sudden decision? Hardly.

Some of my friends are shocked at the idea, but I have been somewhat halfway there all these years, working from home and all. And it's not so bad, this desperate housewife wannabe thing. I get to live in shorts and come up with home projects. Try all those recipes I've been storing up. Perhaps even learn how to operate that new-fangled washing machine once again.

Why am I doing this? I feel that the next few years of my kids' lives (the first few are just as precious but they tend to bestow more favour upon food and sleep so the job is less enjoyable and gratifying) are crucial. Raeven is three and asking questions about almost everything her toddler mind finds conceivably curious. It is prudent that I should be the one to answer them lest my maid does more than her job – and that is, my job – for me.

The Hubby agrees, and hence, must take up the challenge of bringing home the whole piece of bacon, and not just the fat. And I will, for the first time in 16 years, stop bringing home anything.

Well, maybe I will doodle once in a while for my supper. Perhaps even – gasp – blog more.

Yes, bad habits are hard to break.

Every alternate Wednesday night, my husband and I have a date night, where we abandon our kids at home with their grandparents, and take in dinner or perhaps a movie or just hang out at a local mall.

You know, do all the couple things we used to do before we got married.

This date night ‘regulation’ came after almost three years, two kids and one very big argument. We discovered that no matter how much we loved each other, it was important to reconnect. Because people DO change, and getting to know your partner was an ongoing process. That I did not know all there was to know about this man I’d known for eight years and loved for five.

For example, the fact that he took his job pretty darn seriously, and not because he was the chief breadwinner in the family, but because he wanted people to take him seriously. Not that they don’t already, but it mattered to him that at 35, he was not content to stay where he was. That it mattered that he continued to learn as well as an individual and not just take home a salary at the end of the day.

It was enlightening and unnerving at the same time, to realise that my husband had shed the carefree persona he had when we dated and could very well get a stroke if he was not careful, at the rate he was going.

Last night, we had a nice, romantic dinner at Opus Bistro in Bangsar. We talked and laughed and made a pact to lose weight, where he promptly told me that I was eating more than him (I’m breastfeeding!).

Now Lokes NEVER ever ‘complained’ about my appearance. And he did not view this as a complaint, just one friend telling another that I’d better watch it.

Again, the feeling was ambivalent. As a woman (and a wife!), do I want to hear that my husband may find me unattractive? But that was not it at all. He said it with such concern, it was as though I was an alcoholic. And it was right after we decided to shed some pounds (make that kilos).

Nevertheless, he was honest, and I appreciated that. He was concerned about HIS own weight as well, not being able to find clothes already at his current state.

And so, we reconnected. We found out how each other truly felt about our health, and came away a little reassured, a little insecure and as we walked back to our car, he pulled me to him and gave me a tight hug.

How we must have looked, two rolly-pollies, hugging outside a chic restaurant where beautiful people ate.

If only they knew.

Have you ever ‘bumped’ into someone from your past, recognised him or her instantly in that one flicker of a second when your eyes meet (although both of you have changed considerably in appearance), but instead prefer to pretend you did not at all?

I knew who she was the instant I saw her, and I think she did me as well. We were standing in line to pay for our baby things, mine for my ridiculously expensive pair of Freego shoes and an oversized frayed denim hat for Raeven, she and presumably her hubby with either their own baby’s bed quilt or a gift.

Service was excruciatingly slow, particularly when I had wanted to rush off. For some reason, I did not want to meet her eyes again, give her that second look that would send a telepathic message that said yes, we were acquaintances from a distant past, which would ensue a long conversation about our respective dispositions in the last 13 years, our current occupations (or lack thereof), our brief introductions of our respective spouses, our polite references to our cradled purchases to answer errant questions brought on by mildly annoying nosiness. Plus I just wanted to go home because it was going to be 6pm and there would be a jam.

And so, we stood in the queue of two, she with her mate, me with my baby things that did not really go with my facade so that must mean I’m buying them for a niece or a nephew or a friend’s child when really it’s for my own. The cashier took his time changing the roll of receipt paper on his cash register, his colleague talking to him about something she had for lunch.

And then she spoke.

“Why are they so slow?” she whispered but not too softly so that I could also hear, not caring what my feelings about the issue were.

“Is there a cure for their slowness?” she asked her spouse.

“Yes. It’s called farming,” he answered, without skipping a beat. I trained my eyes on the cashier and his colleague. They did not seem to notice. I could feel her eyes on me, though. The remark escaped her.

“What do you mean?” she asked, after a second.

“Means they should just be farminglor,” he answered patronisingly.

I could not listen anymore, for fear of all hell would break loose if the cashiers DID in fact know a little English. To hasten the process, I kept my credit card and paid with cash, walking away as quickly as I could.

I guess some things just refuse to change.