Prosaic soliloquies performed by a quixotic person

Archive for the ‘Oy Vey’ Category

Single and Unmarried—Oh, the Horror!

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Being one of those who still tick the ‘Single’ box instead the ‘Married’ box has its ups and downs, of course. One of the pros: Unattached, ergo free from inevitable relationship-related headaches. One of the cons: Getting pitying looks from the married ones when it’s mentioned that I’m still flying solo, ergo I’m the most pitiful loser in the universe by society’s standards.

Unfortunately, that particular con has now outweighed all the pros combined. It hasn’t been like that before. So, what gives?

Yesterday is what gives.

I was in the kitchen yesterday, happily baking away delightful baked goods when suddenly the older brother strode into the kitchen and showed me an invitation card sent by our neighbour to a modest thanksgiving feast at their home to celebrate their son’s recent nuptials. Instantly, a mental picture popped up: I saw my vulnerable self in the neighbour’s sitting room, being attacked by a horde of older married females, incessantly bombarding me with the ever-dreadful one-million-dollar question: ‘When will you get married?’ I violently shuddered at the image.

You see, I’m an introvert by nature and a wallflower by choice. As such, my room is my selected comfort zone. Being out of comfort zone is not ideal for introverts and wallflowers alike. Gatherings of any sort is way out of our comfort zones, and therefore any social settings are known as ‘danger zones’. The gathering that my family and I are invited to is the worst kind of all, because it’s too far from my comfort zone, yet too near that escaping from it is highly impossible lest I hurt my neighbour’s feelings for not coming and they live across the street from us.

O the hardship one hast to endure!

But I digress.

And the worst part of this whole thanksgiving feast is the scrutinization and interrogations I’ll surely get about my marital status by the married lot, which is never a welcome attention I wish upon myself.

Come to think of it, it’s strange, really. They ask you if you’ve found a prospective husband, and if you negate, they’d either take pity on you and give you half-baked advice about relationship, or they’d get all pseudo-surprised and mutter unintelligibly about hoping you catch a husband soon. On both accounts, the questions would just make you both feel so uncomfortable because they’d probably feel painfully embarrassed for you, and you’d probably struggle to maintain your smile and have to pretend that you’re fine with the personal invasion. Sometimes, it feels as though they socially thrive on masochism- and schadenfreude-based conversations. Strange.

Unoriginal, too, because they do this all the time: When will you find yourself a boyfriend? When will you get hitched? When will you have a baby? How about another one? A few more? When will you have a grandchild?

Very original, indeed.

OK, so maybe the apparent solution to this whole situation is to find a husband and get married stat. Unfortunately, the reality isn’t as simple as Hollywood rom-coms. Do I ever want to settle down, get married and have kids? Yes, I do want to get married, have my own family, and the whole nine yards. But does being in a matrimonial bond figure high on my list of priorities? Yes and no. Yes because I don’t want to get married when I’m so long in the tooth that I’d have my first kid when I hit seventy--I’d probably asphyxiate myself when I do the hee-hee-hoo-hoo breathing during labour at that age. And no because I do enjoy being single and want to savour each moment of singleness before I finally find my soulmate. Finding the right person for you is a long process and is never easy for some, including me.

That’s why, the only relationship I welcome and reckon as easy to have at this point of time is with two amazing men to grace the earth: Ben and Jerry. Alas, they are too expensive in this part of country where I live. RM47 per pint (US$12 or thereabouts). Really? REALLY?

On a serious note though, I don’t get it when some folks are so quick to pass judgement on the unwed folks. I’ve met some married ones who think that ‘single’ and ‘unmarried’ as two dirty words. To be one of either is a disgrace, and to be both is a double whammy. Capital crime at its worst, if you will. But…why? I don’t get it.

Le sigh.

Welp. I’ll see how it goes this afternoon. Maybe I’ll go, maybe I won’t. It’ll depend on how solid an excuse I can come up with later. Alternatively, perhaps I should rack my brain and come up with snappy comebacks for the nosy lot to shut them up and keep them away from me. After all, they like being tortured, don’t they?

Written by SZA

29 August 2015 at 10:13 AM

This and That #1

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  1. So yesterday I read the poetry that I’ve written, and realized that they seem to be full of anguish. Wow, that’s new. I mean, I’m actually fairly normal on the happy scale (except on Mondays). So, to realize that there’s a dark side of me that I didn’t know about seems to be pretty disturbing. Or maybe, my poetic juices flow easily when I’m feeling a little dark blue. I don’t know. Whatever works for my poetic ego, I suppose.
  2. I like things to be perfect, but not so much that I’d consider myself as a perfectionist. When it comes to language though, I’m very anal retentive. Very much so that I scare myself. I ain’t no mere Grammar Nazi, people. I’m the mother of all Grammar Nazis…I am a Grammar Hitler. Every punctuation, letter, word, syntax, diacritic is taken into account when I write a single sentence. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I teach English, I don’t know. But then again, I’m like that with all other languages. It’s really driving me up the wall whenever I second-guess every text I write, and because of that, I can be really hard on myself if I commit a grammatical error, however minute it is. And that’s why there’s a truckload of my blog posts being set to drafts; those drafts are now in a long queue waiting to be edited, checked, scanned, reviewed, approved, and published. Really, I’d make persnickety Niles Crane look like a slob. And that’s an honest truth, folks.
  3. Typically, those who are in the same demographic group of unmarried 25- to 35-year-olds are often bombarded with the dreaded when-will-you-get-married question by the nosey folks. Such not-so-subtle inquiry is most often asked during family gatherings--be it at funerals, weddings, or family luncheons. So of course during this year’s Eid, I was expecting my family and friends (even strangers) to ask me the big Q. But surprisingly, no one asked (well, save from that first cousin once removed whom I only see once every two millennia). Strangely, I was feeling a tad disappointed, you know. I mean, I sort of anticipated the big question but none came forth. Yes, there are times when it can be a mite awkward and uncomfortable when the question’s directed at me,  but I’m one who doesn’t mind when it happens. It’s not a big deal. If folks ask when/if there will be a wedding, just smile and say, ‘God willing.’ A short, simple finish. It ain’t no biggie.
  4. Not so recently, I’ve developed a fascination for everything Korean. Not an obsession, but an interest (a little disclaimer here). I wish I could say the fascination wasn’t stemmed from the whole hallyu-wave thing so it’d make me sound cultured and sophisticated, but alas, it was the pop culture that got me interested. Blame it on the first K-pop song I listened to, Mr. Simple. But now, my fascination for Korea has taken a divergence--it’s not so much for the pop culture now, it’s more for the country as a whole. But I really still don’t get their emphasis on physical appearance. Mono-lidded eyes are pretty! Round, moon face is adorable! Dark skin is beautiful! Having some meat on your bones isn’t a big deal! This whole beauty obsession is one of the few things I don’t get about the country. Otherwise, 한국을 사랑해요.
  5. On a side note, what’s up with the lyrics of Mr. Simple? ‘Because I naughty, naughty’--what does that even mean? The song should be re-titled Mr. Grammatically-Simple-in-the-Head. Seriously. Couldn’t SM afford to hire a good English writer/translator when they had the song written?

Written by SZA

13 August 2013 at 3:00 PM

Quote #2: Procrastination

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You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic.

Bill Watterson

Written by SZA

29 March 2013 at 9:05 AM

Posted in Oy Vey, Quotes

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Oy Vey!

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How does one recover from a relatively-big email faux pas?

Written by SZA

6 November 2012 at 10:40 AM

Posted in Oy Vey, Work

The Book Is Sold Out

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For some time already, I’ve been eyeing one particular book at a local bookshop. And guess what? It’s sold out. Ain’t that just dandy? This always happens to me when I find a good book at a bookshop. There’s always another person that will get hold of the book before I can grab it. Every. Single. Time. No, I’m not hyperboling this time.

Oh, well. There are still millions of books and numerous bookshops in the city that I’ve not checked out yet. Got to stay positive.

It was a really good book, though. Sigh.

In case you’re wondering, no, I wasn’t talking about books.

Written by SZA

24 May 2012 at 12:54 PM

Posted in Oy Vey

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Spilt Half-Full Glass Can Be Refilled

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 Spilt Half-Full Glass

[Photo: Author’s mind-blowing artistic depiction of reality. Cue the standing ovation. Thank you.]

The problem with extreme idealism (to the point of being way too naïve about human beings) is, you’ll get hurt if it ever backfires you. Your half-full glass is spilt, your rose-tinted glasses are broken, and rainbows and sunshine are chased away by stormy clouds. And you’ll never look at anyone the same way again.

However, that’s the thing about optimists, we they’re like a boomerang. They might be thrown to the far end of the universe, only to come back again to forgive, forget and be happy. The glass is refilled, those broken glasses are replaced by a new pair, and the day turns bright and sunny again. Sure, there are always risks of going through the dark times again--betrayal, lies, psychological pain, and what have you. However, for the ever-optimists, it sure beats the alternative: being a jaded soul.

And come to think of it, naïvete is not an absolute stupidity, it’s an absolute sincerity of the soul. And by God, with kind of world we are living in, we certainly need more good faith around us and to persevere in the face of negativity. ʾĀmīn.

Written by SZA

14 March 2012 at 10:10 PM

Posted in My Two Cents, Oy Vey

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Six Words

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Sunday be bringin’ the blue funk. I don’t enjoy Sundays like I used to, anymore. Bah, humbug.

I got a notification via email from Nicholl Fellowships, this morning--the Nicholl competition is now open for 2012 submissions. I’ve been wanting to enter the competition since two years back but, apparently, I still haven’t gotten around to writing a single word.

OK, so I may portray myself as all talk and no trousers, but I’m not guilty as charged, folks. Nuh-uh. Some months back, I did join a one-time session for amateur writers. Well, actually, the session was more of an informal get-together for writer-wannabes who wanted to make big. It was fun, though. Anyways, in the class, the writing coach-cum-organizer gave us some examples of short stories written by famous writers; one of them was by Ernest Hemingway and the story was only six words long. Some claim that this six-word novel is the work Mr. Hemingway was most proud of:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Right after the coach read those six words, we writer-wannabes started weeping uncontrollably and calling our shrinks. It was that deep, y’all. Those six words inspired me and instinctively, I wanted to have a go at it. I wanted to depict an intense emotion, a sense of what I feel about Sunday, and bring that feeling to life--in just six words. I was successful (I think).

Sunday, followed by Monday. Blue funk.

POW, POW, DOOSH! Like triple sucker punches in yo’ gut!


Written by SZA

19 February 2012 at 12:29 PM