some years back, i had a formspring. (remember those? crazy online questionnaires i obligingly replied to?)
this was one of the questions:
what do you & izad mean by ‘soulmates after 7 years apart’? what happened?
my answer then:
we went out once when we were 15, but didn’t like each other enough to go out again. we were 22 when we met again, after he found my (now-defunct) website and started a few email correspondences with quotes from radiohead songs as subject titles (yes, the way to my heart is by quoting lyrics from bands i adore). 7 years apart made us… more compatible? because our interests somehow became aligned over those years of not being in contact. which is freaky, you know. and now we’re married for 7 years! what’s with this number 7 eh? keeps cropping up…
so that must have been in 2010, if my calculations are correct.
and yes, that number 7 does seem to recur significantly with us.
ok, backtrack a little: a week or so ago, nina asked me over lunch: “how did you and abang izad meet?” i told her it’s SUCH a boring story, and managed to avoid telling it altogether. actually, i could’ve sworn i’ve already covered this in our blogs somewhere, but that’ll take a whole lot of virtual digging seeing as our archives go all the way back to 2003. (HEY WHADDAYA KNOW, that’s 10 years since we started blogging together!) so i thought i’d just keep it on record here once and for all.
oh, and also since this is the year of the snake, and we were both born in the year of the snake – in ’77, no less (see? 7s!) – plus, this year marks our 10th wedding anniversary, AND it was valentine’s day yesterday (ok that last one was just random), what better time to reminisce than now.
on one fateful day during the hari raya period, back in 1992 (we were 15, in sec 3 – me from TKG, he from GES), we were travelling on the MRT. he was with his group of school friends, ‘jalan raya’, while i was with my group of school friends, also ‘jalan raya’. i was vaguely aware there was a group of boys in the train with us, seeing their reflection on the MRT window. i really don’t know what happened, but apparently one of the boys knew one of the girls in my group from ML1 class (that’s the elite malay language class held separately from us ML2 kids), and he got my number for izad. (ok, this part he’ll have to clarify with you, because he CLAIMS he was actually asking about another girl but got me instead. LOL. too bad, eh.)
so, after some successful communication (back then NO INTERNET ok, boys have to call up my home phone and get past my very fierce dad), we agreed to meet for a movie and to exchange CDs (back then NO iTUNES ok, we had to buy actual CDs which cost like $25 an album). i couldn’t remember the movie AT ALL (he insists it was Buffy The Vampire Slayer). i think his CD was george michael’s Listen Without Prejudice (which should be about right since it was released around then). we didn’t have much to talk about. i remember awkward silences in the MRT. oh and he had this floppy hairstyle. much later on, he told me that his friend saw us together and asked if i was his sister, which probably made him embarrassed. which was just as well because i thought he was a bore. so, well, we didn’t go out again. NOT FATED YET, you know.
now, let’s take a break here from my storytelling with a song by taylor swift, called 15. oh taylor, where were you when we were 15 and could use with a song like this? (oh… you were 3.)
ok, fast forward.
7 years later, we were 22. i was finishing (finished?) with my uni days, he was finishing his NS days. i had this… website back then, under Pacnet, using a handle i now cringe at: u2girl. man, i wish i had a screenshot of that site, html and all. so i had people emailing me once in a while, usually U2 fans. one of those who emailed me claimed to have gone out with me, and after a few exchanges over a period of time (yes, with cryptic radiohead lyrics in the subject), he asked me out. i, erm, avoided saying yes as long as i could. why? because i remembered our boring date from long ago! though i liked our silly emails.
but eventually, i relented (well, i *was* curious). i was teaching a Mendaki class that saturday, and we met after at bugis. we had lunch at this place called amiran’s grill cafe (now long-defunct and not to be confused with amirah’s grill), which served pretty good western dishes back then. no more floppy hair – it was spiky now. we talked. we walked. we squeezed into a photo booth together and TOOK A NEOPRINT. it was like, hey… this date wasn’t so boring after all. there was something there…
ok, let’s take another break with another taylor swift song, called 22. (she’s keeping track of my life story, i’m sure of it.)
fast forward 7 years later and voila, 29 with one kid – gee, who’d have thought?
(right, no break here, guys – taylor hasn’t come up with a song called 29. give her a few more years.)
and now, cut to the present time: we have reached yet another cycle of 7 years.
10 years married! whuuuut!
needless to say, this story still continues. who knows what other milestones we’ll reach 7 years down the road…
ok not to say that i’m a sop or this has anything to do with the above story, but here’s one last taylor swift song, ONLY because i’m a huge fan of high school romance/dramas and the ending to this video always brings a tear to my eye – it’s just soooo sweet and makes me sigh with a wistful “awww”. (no i am NOT a sop, dammit!).
disclaimer: this is only my side of the story – he may have quite a different one. and i’ll never know for sure what went on in his mind when he started emailing me after all those… 7 years.
for the past few years – the early thirties – I have rejoiced the arrival of my period with a “yes! not pregnant again!”
for the next few years – the mid-to-late thirties – i shall rejoice the arrival of my period with a “yes! not menopause yet!”
at least “thirtysomething” had a slightly hopeful, leaning-towards-twenties sort of feel to it.
but “mid-thirties”, it reeks of snug granny pants, emerging crow’s feet, and expiring ovaries.
thom yorke singing about “a pig in a cage on antibiotics” starts to ring true.
at 35, your fertility is in its decline, according to medical articles.
at 35, you’ve reached the age limit of the ‘youth’ category according to the “working definition” by NYC.
not that i’m bothered by the whole aging thing, really. for now, i view it with more of a… bemused detachment. i do have a bit of fun bemoaning the fact to much younger peers and laugh at the mocking it invites, but the effects of aging haven’t fully sunk in, that i don’t actually feel despondent or rage at the injustice of “youth being wasted on the young”. not yet.
then again, hardly anyone believes me when i tell them I’m turning 35 anyway. as if i’ve performed some miraculous feat against nature.
in any case, my state of mid-thirty-ness makes for a great conversation opener.
“Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries, at ease…”
i don’t know if it’s age-related, but i’ve had these sudden flashes of mortal paranoia lately.
while driving yesterday, morbid thoughts ran through my head: “what if the driver in the next lane has a sudden heart attack and swerves into me? how could we even trust that other drivers out there won’t keel over their steering wheel while operating a moving vehicle? what if *i* got a heart attack while driving? how would I know if it happens??” it took me some soothing bon iver on the ipod to get me back to non-cardiac-arrest-related thoughts.
“A patient, better driver, a safer car, baby smiling in back seat…”
in the middle of last night, i started from my sleep and sniffed the air, convinced that the stove gas was on: “what if the stove had been on all night and the kids became unconscious since their rooms were nearer to the kitchen than mine? what if the house burned down? what if the gas came from a neighbour’s house? how could we even trust that other people in the block won’t leave their stoves on at night and burn down our house as well? do we have insurance??” it took me a while in my half-awake/half-dreaming state for that whole rubbish train of thought to run its course before i finally fell back asleep – not even getting up to check on the stove.
“Sleeping well, no bad dreams, no paranoia…”
and did i tell you i muddle up my words sometimes, especially when giving the kids instruction?
speaking of granny pants, yes, i *do* prefer them these days. albeit, fancier versions.
also, it now takes me more time deliberating over an outfit in the fitting room: “will my bit of tummy stick out in this? can i get away with this on bloated days of the month? why are carbs soooo addictive? should i just live on fish soup and nothing else for the rest of my life? what is life if one does not enjoy what one consumes? do i even need this dress??”
oh, the gamut of existential crises that goes on in a fitting room!
“Regular exercise at the gym, 3 days a week…”
“DAMN YOU angelina and your right leg!”
(because i find myself envying older women, instead of younger ones.)
i still say i’m really liking being in my thirties. i’m not so nostalgic of my twenties, and truthfully, i wouldn’t want do it all over again. body image (this one a lost cause) and slight neuroses aside, i value the knowing and understanding of certain things and perspectives at this point in my life, and being content and somewhat at peace with myself.
“No longer afraid of the dark or mid-day shadows.
Nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate, nothing so childish.
At a better pace, slower and more calculated, no chance of escape.
An empowered and informed member of society, pragmatism not idealism….
Calm, fitter, healthier, and more productive…”
Radiohead will perform five shows only this November: Brisbane at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Friday 9th November, two shows in Sydney at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th November, and two shows in Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th November.
(this’ll make a SUPER DUPER GREAT 1-month advanced birthday gift/dream-come-true for me this year, doncha think…??)
there was a time, almost a decade ago, when i finally decided to meet this guy for lunch on a saturday afternoon, somewhere in bugis.
call it serendipity.
we were actually acquainted some seven years before that, but being the vacuous youths that we were then, well, we never hit it off. only seven years later, when our paths converged again, that we discovered we had, in fact, many things in common, uncannily enough.
among them being, our taste in music. needless to say, idle moments were spent sharing earphones plugged to a discman. (you know, from the dinosaur age before mp3 and ipods.)
he used to burn copies of cds for me, and in return, i made him a compilation for his birthday in 2000. wow, was that eight years ago?? :D
so, what’s on it, then? erm, i’m afraid i can’t exactly explain all my choices here – he’d know the context and meanings best. i think. :p
1. soundtrack 4 2 lovers – mansun
2. ultraviolet (light my way) – U2
3. funny thing – travis
4. morning song – jewel
5. you & me song – the wannadies
6. with or without you (live version) – U2 [like, hello! mega bono fan here, of course. ha ha.]
7. hummer – smashing pumpkins
8. my dark star – suede
9. black star – radiohead
10. i want you – third eye blind
11. ice-cream – sarah mclachlan
12. all i want is you – U2 [we love 'reality bites'. period.]
13. what’s my age again? – blink182 [this was, after all, a 23rd birthday compilation! ;)]
of course, if we were to make a new compilation now, there’d be a whole LOT more songs we’d have to squeeze in. like our wedding song. (don’t laugh – it was a norah jones, lol!) heck, we’d even have to include our kids’ favourite songs as well. (as it is, aniq already has a few hot picks!)
and seeing how izadnhana intend to stick till-death-do-us-part together, you can say, the list would be infinite.
speaking of which, we’re pretty psyched to watch this movie, opening on 11 dec – nick & norah’s infinite playlist. it’s got michael cera, who also starred in juno (he’s grown so much since arrested development), and promises to be the kind of teen romance you wouldn’t find in, say… hmmm, high school musical? lol!
radiohead is coming out with their new album in 10 days time!! this is totally unexpected!
but get this, they are not distributing it by the traditional way, no major labels are involve in the distribution! they are totally cutting off the music label companies and straight to their fans, no EMI, Capitol records in the picture, nada, zilch!
they’re only selling it through their website (at least for now), and for the digital download version, they’re letting listeners pick their own price for the album – it’s literally a donation-based product. so its really up to you to decide!
the recording industry is so screwed! a superband finally got the guts to stop the unrealistic recording industry demands! i guess this could be the new business model for musicians alike. who need the recording campanies when you can DIY it yourself! way to go, radiohead! woo hoo!!
btw, i ordered mine through their website, and they already sent me an email informing me about about my purchase. guess how much i donated, in pounds, ok!
so, other than spending unneccesarily on quirky tees online, she also spends unnecessarily on… other stuff.
very unnecessary. but very cute. and they add to the radiohead and the cure ones that we have already. this is indeed a frightening trend, our adult cd collection slowly being overtaken by kiddy ones. so much so that i immediately went out and got myself the latest tori amos cd to restore the balance in universe… but er, i digress.
i haven’t gotten to the coldplay one, but i think the best of the lot is definitely smashing pumpkins. the instruments they use fit the cover versions so perfectly, you can imagine them being part of the ‘mellon collie and the infinite sadness’ album.
what instruments, prithee? why, the glockenspiel, the vibraphone and the mellotron, of course. how exotic! well actually, some sound like the gamelan. alah, semua adik beradik lah. (incidentally, tori amos also uses the mellotron in her new album! ok, i’m such a cheat, i wiki-ed that.)
another thing i like about this series of cds is the packaging. yes, i’m a sucker for good copywriting. you can sell to me anything short of a ball of twine, just make sure it has good copywriting.
example on the smashing pumpkins rockabye cd:
“Twilight fades and we’re ready for a little cherub rock. Smashing Pumpkins will always be known for shimmering pop and crunchy rock. Their lyrics reflect a mind awash in its own dreams. Tonight, tonight it’s time for a dream, Siamese or otherwise. This album is going to be the soundtrack that lulls your little space boy or girl into the arms of sleep.”
hehe. ok, if you’re not a SP fan, you won’t geddit.
and as much of a follower of all things U2 that i am, the songs here don’t really work with the glockespiel-vibraphone-mellotron combo – some were almost unrecognisable…
i wish this was a, ahem, paid entry, but unfortunately it isn’t. nevertheless, if you, like me, have forsaken the GSS yet wish to spend unnecessarily, you can go to babyrockrecords. there’s nirvana, tool, nine inch nails… and once again, no abba, ok. tsk.
that’s it for a veeerrrryyyyyyyyy slllooooowwww thursday.