Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello 2010 you sure took your time getting here but you're here at last

One of the privileges of being a parent of 2 young children is that you have a great excuse to be sitting at home and at the computer on New Year's Eve. In fact, it is in itself a privilege to be sitting quietly at the computer on New Year's Eve, and not passed out in bed asleep by 10pm like I was last year at this time. Or, as The Husband reminds me, as we have been every year that we have been married. Fast asleep snoring in bed whilst all around us people are demonstrating their ability to count backwards from 10. Actually, last year I recall waking up cursing and swearing because of all the screaming from the people on the beach at midnight and the ships setting off their flares in joyous celebration. Then I went back to sleep.

But this year is different. This year I am not pregnant-in-my-first-trimester flat-out exhausted and crawling into bed every chance I get. This year I am awake, everyone else is fast asleep and snoring and I am drinking a little shot of Yomeishu in private celebration while I type out some random stuff for the Internet. Yomeishu? Who drinks Yomeishu? People who don't have any other alcoholic substance in the house that's not turned to vinegar, that's who.

I actually planned something much more cosy and interesting to do with The Husband on New Year's Eve after the kids went to sleep, but unfortunately he fell asleep so I'll have to save the Scrabble game for tomorrow. Rematch!

A girlfriend of mine just asked me yesterday to speak at her wedding in April 2010. Me! I've never spoken at anyone's wedding before, not even my own! I was absurdly touched at the request, and then terrified. It will be a big wedding. There will be many, many eyes all looking up at me while I fumble around on the podium and twist the mikestand downwards. With any luck at all, I will get to the end of my prepared speech, that's the best I can promise her at this point. I can't promise her there won't be a puddle of pee waiting for the next person at the podium when I'm done, or that the speech won't come to a sudden, abrupt conclusion with the bride running up on stage screaming SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Last of all, I can't promise her that anyone else in the audience, other than myself, will laugh at the prepared and carefully handwritten jokes. Maybe we should just bulletproof the whole thing and get the DJ to play a laugh-track.

Who is the person who gives speeches at a wedding? Is it the one who's known the bride the longest? Known her the best? Been a best friend? Where are all the calm, confident best friends with their insouciant smiles and their witty throw-away lines when we need them? I wonder about that now (and the happy couple will wonder about that when I'm speaking). Why does she pick someone who, by their own written admission, is terrified - still terrified - of public speaking? While I don't doubt the bride's ability and willingness to embarrass me publicly, it seems pretty unusual that she might want to do this at her own wedding.

But you're funny! she says. Well. We'll see about that. And we'll have the video to prove it!


It would seem appropriate at this point to round off the New Year with some wise words but I'm out of stock. This month has been the most insane month ever, in the last 5 years of my life, and that's saying a lot, since I managed to deliver 2 children in the last 5 years. I can't provide any factual information, but suffice to say I've moved office not once, but twice, in the last 3 weeks and it is only through my extreme slowness in unpacking boxes that the 2nd move of this month went relatively smoothly since the movers just needed to close up the boxes again before carting them away. So I can safely say that my personal effects have hardly been stressed out by the moves at all, quite unlike myself. I feel like roadkill at the moment (another Yomeishu!) and it is literally and solely through the grace of God that I have come out amazingly well despite the events of the last 3 weeks. I have not just survived, but it looks as though I will actually be okay. And my faith in God has been very much restored over the past 2 years.

I am not a religious person. 10 years in a Catholic girls' school only managed to partially undo whatever harm my atheist parents caused in failing to provide me with any kind of religious foundation at all, in that I do believe there is a God and his name is not Bhudda, Mohammed, or any other name. Actually maybe his name is Jesus (I said "partially undo"). Anyway. I believed fervently in the existence of a higher being who was kind and interested in my personal affairs and development right up to the age of 14 when Something Happened which caused such a major sea change in my views of God that we lost touch thereafter. Most people would assume that such a Something would involve a death in the family, or a death at least, but it didn't. I had a big, huge, massive, enormous, huge crush (oh, it was a big crush) on a 15 year old ACS boy named Christopher Lo. We met through extra-curricular activities organised by uniformed groups in our respective schools. He was hot. Hot hot hot. For a month, I pretty much staked him out the way a 14-year old girl with limited resources, no Internet access, a curfew and a home telephone under 24-hour armed mommy-guard would stake out a 15-year old boy who didn't really remember exactly who she was. That is to say, I sneaked off to a public phone a bunch of times and called him up to "just chat". Then someone who knew someone organised a really awesome canoeing and beach picnic event in Sentosa for a bunch of people, him and me included, and I knew this was my chance to really make an impression.

Something like 7 wardrobe selections and 100 or so hours spent planning and discussing The Event with my girlfriends later, I was well and truly ready. Locked and loaded. I think I was even almost completely pimple-free at that point. The night before The Event, I almost couldn't sleep. I wrote incessantly in my diary. I think his name appeared so often that a casual reader might think it was his diary. I prayed. I wrote out a bullet point list of topics that I could talk about with him. I even practised smiling in the mirror so my braces wouldn't show so much.

It rained that day. In fact, it didn't just rain, it bloody poured. I woke up in the morning and thought it was almost evening time, it was so dark outside. According to the news, there was more rain that day than any other day in the last 10 years. The. Last. Ten. Years. Canoeing and beach picnic indeed. I went anyway. He didn't show up.

I guess I must have had a pretty flimsy belief system back then for it to fall apart over something so small, but anyway, all fences have been mended now and save for the fact that I still can't bring myself to go to church, my faith in a higher power is fully restored. I will however never be one of those people who mention Him all the time or get into a long head of steam over "God's Love". I've asked him for help quite a few times over the past 2 years, and the response has been so immediate and so definitive that it is impossible not to believe there is a higher power. Plus, if you need concrete evidence that God exists, just try this man's Tagliatelle Ragu.


At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Qing said...


At 9:36 AM, Blogger earthtone said...

Happy New Year, Smoot! You're in your element today. I laughed out loud at "demonstrating their ability to countdown backwards". If you hadn't mentioned, I'd forgotten to feel proud.

I fell out with God for the same reason. At 17.

Good luck b/w you and Him.

At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Jane Pang said...

i love reading your blog! :) unlike other blogs that need photoshopped pictures, yours really entertains with words(peppered with wit).

Happy New Year!

From a blog reader that's been reading for like what, 1 year now? ;)

At 2:08 PM, Blogger tazie said...

I really enjoyed this entry :) just the way to end off 2009... thank you for sharing. You are funny without being OTT. You are a really good writer :)
happy new year to you and your family!

At 2:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy new year! You are the funniest blogger that I have came across. Like your other fans, if you published a book, I will grab it! Keep writing in 2010!

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy new year :)

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you think credit crunch affected porn?

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Raymond said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Raymond said...

Whatever you might have felt for your monumental teenage crush, perhaps he might not have been the right one for you. Perhaps it rained that day so that you were shielded from the disappointment of reality and he remains a shining, unsullied memory. Maybe God was with you then even as He is with you now, although we might sometimes like to think otherwise, especially during inclement weather. However, this is all conjecture on my part. Nevertheless, happy 2010! (and I will try the tagliatelle ragu!)

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At 12:05 AM, Blogger swallowyen said...

Long time I din visit your blog. After reformatted my laptop, I lost my favourite list including your blog. Luckily I remember your quote and found your blog web at last! Happy New Year to you!

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you think credit crunch affected porn?

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

At 7:47 AM, Blogger mariposa said...

Hey, I'm right now reading the bestseller 'eat, pray, love' and it sure reminds me of this post of yours about 'God'.


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