Friday, November 30, 2012

The Pleasures of Not Being Single...

It feels long overdue, and it definitely is... but sometimes words can't come out right, or come out at all. And instead of forcing myself to write, I chose to not write at all for a while. Perhaps it's time to come back for a bit.

By this point, I must have said "I love you" to the 21 Year Old about a few hundreds of thousands times. With him being in the navy, it's been hard having a very limited amount of time together each weekend. He only comes out on Saturdays and goes back in again on Sundays. This means we only have about twenty-four hours to spend with each other each week, and most of the times he is too exhausted to do anything active, liking riding bikes, or zip lining, or clubbing.

The thing is.. I am perfectly fine just napping the day away with him, or having a quiet dinner, or just talking. Or not talking at all.

It's the level of comfort that I've become familiar with but that has also calmed me down a bit. Normally, I'd be out and about, wining and dining, gossiping and socializing. And it's all fine and well, but it does burn me out quite a bit.

With him, I find peace, love and happiness. And that's exactly what I've been searching for for so long.

Besides... clubbing is for Friday nights, anyway ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Straying Away

It was an honest mistake and, even though, I did not mean any harm by it, I can't honestly say that there was nothing remotely sinister behind my decision to talk to my friend's handsome Aussie friend that night at a club.

I suppose I was feeling a bit lonely and I was feeling particularly friendly because the Aussie bought us girls a bottle of Belvedere to share. And then there were several rounds of shots that I simply could not refuse.

The Aussie and I talked extensively that night, but I was fluttering around from person to person being overly social and not paying any attention to anyone in particular. But perhaps... No, not perhaps... With all certainty, he felt like there was a bit of a connection. And I guess that can happen...  that fabricated type of a connection that can only happen in a nightclub. After a few rounds of drinks and a few accidental looks at each other, he felt persuaded to ask for my number.

He knew I had a boyfriend from the very moment we met and though I felt compelled to insist that he did not need my number, he somehow obtained it anyway. (To be fair, I was probably the one giving it to him, though I must have been pretty drunk, as I do not recall any such interaction.)

I should not have been surprised when he texted me the next day. What should have surprised me was that I texted him back and we carried on an on-and-off conversation for the next two weeks... Chatting about this and that, and me allowing him to simply say "hey" to me in a seemingly-innocent manner all up until the point when my boyfriend came back from the army and just happened to glance at my phone and see the Aussie's name light up on my iPhone screen.

I knew that the Aussie knew that I had a boyfriend. Yet, somehow, even though I could never admit it to my boyfriend ("We're just friends!" I insisted to him over and over again), I felt that I was enjoying the attention of a guy who was clearly trying to forge a connection with me, regardless of the fact that I was attached.

I refused to understand my boyfriend's concerns. I refused to see why he thought that my daily long-distance conversations with a 2-week friend could be misconstrued as inappropriate. I had to sleep on it and wake up with a clear head the next day in order to understand exactly what was going on.

The truth is... it's hard to let go of old habits. Like a dedicated bachelor, I refused to let go of the right to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I refused to account for someone else's feelings. I refused to be unselfish.

The thing is.... ultimately, it is MY problem that I was enjoying prolonged attention from a clearly-interesed guy. It is MY problem that I still party way harder than my 21-year old boyfriend. It is MY problem that I can't see why he is feeling insecure when I come home at 5am when he is training to serve and protect his country and doesn't even get to get a glimpse at an occasional pretty girl when he wants to.

It is, therefore, my duty to change my ways a bit before it's too late and he loses his trust in me. Perhaps, it is time to grow up a bit and whole-heartedly commit to one man and one man only.

After all, why not make a sacrifice for the guy who I feel I can spend the rest of my life with?

I suppose, at the very least, I should give it a try.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Met the Parents

It's never as bad as you imagine it to be.

Sure, I drank about three glasses of wine prior to the meet-and-greet but, in all fairness, this helped me calm my nerves down and somehow helped me not make a fool out of myself.

After the dinner, we walked back to my house (only a short distance away from the restaurant). His eyes shined with happiness as he held my hand and I didn't have to ask whether or not his parents took a liking to me. I knew that regardless of how they felt about our age difference, I succeeded in impressing them.

I could tell by his face that I'd received a stamp of approval from his mom and his step-father and that's all I needed to know. He stopped me on a crossover bridge on the way to my house, and kissed me just the way I wanted to be kissed. I felt like this was one of those life-imitates-movie kind of moments that would take the onlooking audience's breath away, because they'd know that they were witnessing two people in love.

Only a couple of days later, he had to pack up and leave for the army but, luckily, going to the army here is not like going to the army in many other countries. I will see him again in three short weeks (though right now, it feels like an eternity), and then again, every weekend thereafter.

I can't say whether or not our differences in our backgrounds, age, upbringing will ever tear us apart. And I can't tell how serious it is going to get in the long term, though he tells me he wants this to last forever.

All I know is that I am happy. In this foreign country, thousands of miles away from my parents and my childhood friends, I feel like I found my other home.

Since home is where the heart is.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Meet the Parents

In approximately two hours, I will be dining with a very special company, indeed.

It's my much younger, 21-year old boyfriend's birthday today and I am meeting his parents, and his two sisters for a intimate family dinner at a restaurant that they insisted I pick because, and I will quote his mother on this one, "She seems like a picky eater."

It will be my first time meeting his parents and it's been a while since I'd met anyone's parents. Actually, I believe it's been about 5 years to be exact.

If this occasion doesn't call for three glasses of wine prior to the event, then I don't know what does. A funeral, perhaps.

I am currently on glass of Chardonnay number one and the butterflies are taking over my stomach. I detest formal occasions like this but I also know that it is a necessary and logical step in any normal relationship. A necessary and normal, but still...

"Don't be nervous. They're really chill," the boyfriend says to me.

But "chill" can mean anything in Chinese culture. Besides, parents will always be parents in any culture. They will probe and quiz and question my intentions. Jesus Christ, I am freaking out just writing about this.

If I survive the meet-and-greet and the subsequent 21 questions that surely will follow shortly after, I will be pleasantly surprised. Usually, on occasions like this, I am the opposite of poised and graced woman I've been raised to be. Quite frankly, I am a mumbling mess. I completely fail at impressing parents.

Now. Glass o' vino number two... I am looking at you, kid.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What More

It's a bit hazy and groggy here; the sun is setting past the roof ridges of shop houses and I empty out an ice cold Heineken into a chilled glass. Ah, Thursdays. A necessary prerequisite to Fridays.

I've been living my life on a whim here, telling myself that this is my vacation without it being a vacation. Despite it being exactly one year since I've moved to Singapore, I am still treating it as an exotic, tropical country with beaches and sand and men who make it their business to invade my private beach naps a bit too often for my liking.

Yet, it's been a year and my friends back home are busy getting engaged and getting married and what not. I feel grateful that I am not feeling the pressure to settle down but I am also feeling slightly worried. Like, am I ever going to feel the urge to settle down or am I always going to be one of those people on the move, treating every new country as my personal holiday.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just that, I don't know, maybe I am not getting any younger and maybe I should care about things like getting married?

I am enjoying this all too much though. My job, my life, my weekend subway rides to the beach. It's all so convenient, so resort-y, so detached from the real world. I am living in La-La Land and I'm fucking loving it. Even my boyfriend, for Christ's sake, is just too good to be true.

The question is: can I live like this forever?

Right now, I am not doubtful that I can. But what if one day I wake up and my vacation is over. What then?

Friday, June 22, 2012

The L-Word, Deconstructed

I've always been cautious about saying the three-letter phrase. So many people use it so carelessly and nonchalantly, after all; I wanted to be the one to set an example for all. I only said "I love you" to a total of two men in my life, despite having dated, seriously and casually, a whole lot more than two in my life.

It was just that.... when the 21 Year Old told me he loved me in person, shortly after he texted me all about it... it was as if the flood gates of affection had opened up. The Red Sea had parted, the doves ascended to the sky, and the L-word, that I so much feared to throw around casually, entered my vocabulary like it was my new favourite thing to say.

Yes, I said "I love you back" when he told me he loved me in person. And after that blood-coughing incident a few weeks ago, I felt even more of a need to say it, right then and there. Just in case I didn't have that much time to wait.

And I felt happy, and safe and fantastic when he wrapped his arms around me in gratitude. And since then, I've said "I love you" to the 21 Year Old probably more than I had ever said it to anyone prior to meeting him.

It feels amazing to say it. And liberating. And blissful. And all of those things that I wanted to feel but did not want to give into fully.

"I love you" is my new favourite phrase. With all the abandon that I think I deserve for once, this freedom makes me feel amazing.

Sometimes it's that someone who you would least expect to make you happy, that actually does make you feel like you're on top of the world.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Will You, Tomorrow?

Last night I woke up in a feverish state. The air conditioning was on full blast so it wasn't the hot air of the tropics nor the stuffiness of my room that was making me sweat in my sleep.

I dragged myself to the bathroom, looked in the mirror. I looked like shit and I winced at the sight of my own skin, with the imprints of the folds of my pillow still on my right cheek. Why was I awake anyway at this ungodly hour?

I coughed and spit into the sink, casually, to clear my throat. I washed my mouth with a minty-fresh mouth rinse and looked down to spit the liquid out.

But before I could do that, I stopped. There were blood clots in my sink.

I coughed again to see if the blood was really coming from inside of me, and there it was again at the bottom of my sink. Small little chunks of blood.

Suddenly, I was wide awake. How did this happen? Have I done anything to hurt my stomach lately? I've been on a short self-imposed health kick, so I haven't had a drop of alcohol or soda in just about a week. I've been eating a lot more greens and even forcing myself to chow down a small breakfast every morning, despite my absolute abhorrence of breakfasts.

A quick Google search only heightened my alarmed state. Strangers were suggesting that the blood clots could be anything from an ulcer to cancer. Fucking cancer? No way. Not me.

I dressed in the middle of the night and texted a cab to rush me to the hospital. On my way there, I had to deal with racing thoughts. Have I lived my life to its fullest? Have I loved enough? Do the ones I love know that I love them? Do the ones I care about going to care if I am suddenly gravely ill?

I thought of how much misfortune an unexpected sickness can bring. What if my employer does not value me any more because I will always have to call out sick? What if my dude decides that I am too much of a burden to deal with? What if my parents get grief-stricken and will want me to come home?

I didn't want to find out the answers to these questions just yet. I wasn't prepared to deal with the heavy shit, right then and there, at 4 o'clock on a Saturday morning.

The doctor's observation was vague and not completely reassuring.

"This might be caused by stress... but we will not know for sure now. We can do a conservative treatment, give you some medication and see if your condition improves in a week. Or we can do something more aggressive and do an endoscopy to check for ulcers."

I chose the more conservative option. No need to go batshit crazy with worries just yet. Maybe I shouldn't stress too much (yeah, like that's likely to happen) and see if my condition improves, just like the doctor said. Maybe I don't have cancer after all.

So today, I will rest in my bed, take my medication as prescribed and try to recuperate to the best of my ability. And today, before tomorrow brings whatever it is destined to bring, I will tell at least one person I love them.

It's the least and the most I can do. Today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Who Knew

Mr J never said it, though he sure as hell implied it over those 3+ years of our quasi-relationship. I tried to fish it out of him, tried to see if he felt what I was desperately trying to get out of my system but could not say during all that time.

The Banker never said it. It was sort of clinical, in a way. There was some intense affection on the surface but, beyond it, I saw hardly anything deep and lasting. It became very obvious after a while that I was feeling exactly the same way. I was attracted to him, mentally and sexually. Nevertheless, there was something missing... something important that prevented us from going any further and made him break up with me.

And with the 21 Year Old, it's so simple. Sometimes I think, it's almost TOO simple. Isn't there a catch to all of this? But then again.. shouldn't it ALWAYS be this simple when it's right?

11 weeks in, and he said it.

Via a text message but, you know, I'll take it via any form of communication it might come.

Friday, May 18, 2012

For Good

Last night he called me - the man I, once upon a time, considered to be The One, without even a hint of hesitation in my mind.

He texted me first, and I saw his name light up on my iPhone's screen as I pulled the phone out of my purse in the middle of the dance floor. I saw his name glow in the dark and I glanced at the 21 Year Old cautiously. Did he notice? Does he know that I was once in love with the man on my iPhone screen?

I ignored the text. I did not feel any trepidation that I might be resented or scolded for simply putting my phone back in the bag without replying. Actually... I felt nothing, no remorse, no butterflies, no anxiety.

The feeling was gone.

He tried contacting me again by calling me this afternoon on Skype (1am St. Louis time for him, 2pm for me), I picked up just to say hi. He wanted to "catch up" aka he wanted sex - a once routine transaction between him and me as we tried to keep the sparks of a withering relationship alive despite the distance. I starred at him blankly and firmly said no, and said no, and said no again.

"I like your hair," he said.

So what? You want me to take my bra off now in exchange for the compliment. You don't know me at all, do you?

The feeling was gone.

He always has a funny way of coming back in my life, this Mr J character - the once-upon-a-time love of my life - just as I start moving on with someone new. I never tell him about my new men. I don't owe him anything any more.

But this time I had to say that I wasn't gonna entertain the thought of flirtation. I was done and I had to move on for my own sanity's benefit. He didn't seem to understand, of course, but I didn't care this time.

The feeling was completely gone.

Am I sad that I let this love go by? Yes, a bit. But I had to do what I had to do. I could not stand waiting for him and watch myself age with every passing year, hoping that we would be together and that he would morph into a man I wanted him to be. At some point, frankly, my career became more important than him. That's when I decided to move to Singapore. That's when he still didn't get the point that I was trying my best to move on if he didn't change his ways.

So I moved on for good and, to be honest, this next chapter of my life is looking better than ever. Even without him being one of the main protagonists.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cake, and Eat It Too.

Sometimes people tell me I can't or shouldn't have something, but I just nod my head in agreement, "Yes, I think you are absolutely right, this is a stupid idea...", and then I continue doing it anyway. Because even though I know it's wrong, it, somehow and inexplicably, feels very right.

"No, you're right what am I thinking? I am as surprised with my actions as you are..." I say.

I say it but don't really mean it. The "what am I thinking" part. I know what I am thinking and I don't care if others might disagree. I want to do what makes me happy.

Sometimes I might see, or imagine that I am seeing, judging or confused glances from old Chinese women walking past us down the street. And sometimes, when a random guy attempts to hit on me at a bar and my younger guy comes back from the bathroom and wraps his hands around me with a smile, the random guy looks at me in, perhaps, disbelief and at him with, perhaps what I'd like it to be, envy.

Like, maybe... "How did you land this girl?"

And sometimes, I simply choose to have tunnel vision and shut my side eye to the world and walk down a Singapore street holding hands with the 21 Year Old in a complete state of bliss.

It feels good to let go of inhibitions, or preconceived notions and expectations. Even when it goes against my own expectations. Even when my mother says, "I will completely disapprove if you decide to seriously start dating someone younger", I just choose to ignore, ignore, ignore.

The way he treats me, the way he talks to me, looks at me... outweighs any doubts I might have about the longevity of this relationship. The fact that I am holding off on sex for the time being (trying to take it as slow as possible) and he is still sticking around after 8 weeks of seeing each other without so much as a single complaint is what is making me that much more impressed. Maybe this guy is for real and not just after bumping uglies and bailing.

Or maybe it's this eternal Singaporean summer and beach and sand and water and graceful palm trees that got my head spinning, thinking I am on an ever-ending vacation and can get away with anything, but I couldn't be any happier dating this guy.

I am not looking to meet guys at clubs any more, I've got someone who's offering me more than my previous ex - a 30-year old very established multimillionaire banker ever could.

He's offering me blissful happiness. At least for the moment.

Why, thank you, I'll take it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

An Extended Romance

Surprisingly, the 21-year old and I are still going strong.

Needless to say, though, there are some issues that inevitably came up with the age difference.

1) The job situation: he just graduated from college (shoot me now) and he's got all the time in the world to worry about his career and stuff all the while he has a security blanket of his well-off parents to cover the expected and exuberant expenses that typically arise from a lifestyle of a young twenty-something. You know, booze, cabs, meals, dates (with me, nonetheless).

2) The outside perspective: when I broke my with my college ex ages ago, we managed to remain friends for a year or two afterwards. Consequently, he became comfortable telling me about his dates and his love conquests and there was this one time that he was out at a bar and he was hitting on this crying girl (why?!) and ended up getting her number. I asked about her age and he told me that she was 27. I remember thinking, why the fuck would a 27-year old even be interested in a 21-year old. Why the fuck would a 21-year old be attracted to a 27-year old. I found it a bit unsettling that the girl was so.... well, old.

Am I viewed as such in this guy's eyes or in the eyes of his friends, because, of course, they're not gonna say it to my face, just as my friends are not going to question me as to why I, all of the sudden, got this young dude tagging along with me everywhere I go. But I'm sure they wonder, and I'm sure they talk amongst themselves, and I'm sure they ask. And I have an issue with being labeled. And I feel like I am being labeled.

3) Our choices of places of leisure and entertainment: he teases me because I go places where "older" people go. You know, places with substance, places that serve fancy drinks in glasses made of real glass. I tease him because he chooses venues where all the "kids" go, where the booze is consumed in order to get fucked up (okay, I kind of like that and I kind of partake) and girls and guys are looking to hook up with the first pretty face that pays attention to them.

And I understand, I don't blame him or his friends or all the younger people for that matter; I've been there. But I'm just in a different, what I prefer to call, a more sophisticated place now. I like fancy tapas and vermouth and absinthe drinks that come from exotic regions of the world. I like discussing the architectural integrity of historical buildings of Singapore and the recent tsunami warnings in Indonesia and the stock market. I like making clever 90's pop culture references and I like when people actually get them. I can't ask the same from the 21-year old's friends. Why should I?

Then again, these are the differences that I foresaw before getting into any kind of emotional attachment and these are the differences that, as they arose, I am still willing to work through and tolerate. I'm having fun, what can I say, and no matter what it looks like to the outside world, I am going to continue doing what makes me happy.

It is the long-term possibilities and consequences that I still can't help but be worried about.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nothing But a Number

The revelation I am about to write below might or might not make you respect me a little less (leaving you with, possibly, not much to go off on from now on). At the very least, I bet I can make you raise your eyebrows at the situation. At the very least, I say.

I never subscribed to the philosophy that "age is just a number." Because it's a phrase most often uttered by middle-aged men (or older) in reference to the little bimbos they have acquired with the help of their office-provided Lambos and their brand new Ferragamos. I always resented older men walking down the street with cute little petite girls, holding hands and grinning from ear to ear. What can they possibly have in common, I thought? Why would they possibly want to spend time with one another for reasons other than sex and convenience?

I've always felt it was empowering but eyebrow-raising when older women dated younger men. A double standard, yes, but a double standard that most people adhere to to this day. Take Demi and Ashton. Yes, the bitch is unstable, but it seems almost certain that the playboy has been stepping out on Ms. Moore for quite some time. And even if he wasn't, look at how the whole saga ended.

And now I can't help by raise my own damn eyebrows at my own damn self. Because I am entertaining, nay, full-fledgedly living the "dream" of dating a boy seven years my junior.

Yes, ladies and gents, take a seat if you have been standing. This shit is about to get real.

The dude is barely 21 and I am fully in lust with him.

The night of a big Full Moon party at one of Singapore's premier beaches I was, what they might call it, flagged. Inebriated, wasted, gone. I do, however, distinctly remember seeing a gorgeous new Singaporean guy in the circle of my friends and I remember wondering why I hadn't seen him earlier.

He had wild hair, shorter in the back, with dark bangs with red highlights that swept across his forehead. He was a mix of Chinese and Indian and God knows what, and I was immediately attracted to his deep brown eyes.

If I hadn't been drunk, I would have never talked to him. And when I did start talking to him, and continued talking to him, and talked and talked until I was sober and then talked some more, I did not know his age. He looked in his early twenties but, to be fair, most Asian guys look younger than they are. Mid-twenties I suspected.

"You know, L, He's 21..." one of my guy friends finally cautioned me with a meaningful look at some point of the night. I looked back at him, pale with realization.

"Twenty. One?" I repeated in disbelief.

That did not prevent me, however, from continuing talking to the object of my affection and revealing my age. He was a bit taken aback that he was talking to someone older, nonetheless. I remember him say that it's refreshing to talk to someone older because he mostly talks to younger girls and he does not have much to talk to them about.

Great. So he dates 18 year olds. Don't I feel ancient.

I thought that was that. We parted our ways at the end of the night (well into the early morning) and as much as I wanted to kiss him or for him to kiss me, neither of the things happened. My fantasy dissipated with the rising sun and I was willing and ready to forget all about Mr. 21 as I drifted off to sleep in my bed at 7 in the morning.

But the next day... oh boy, the next day.

I woke up to find out that Mr. 21 sent me a friend request on Facebook, and so it began. From then on, we talked all day on Sunday, all day on Monday, he took me out on Tuesday and Wednesday. And now he's on the way to the States for the first time in his life and I am meeting him there in a week in the City of Brotherly Love to show him around town.

Coincidence or fate that we are going to be in the same American city at the same time?

Probably a coincidence. What am I doing with a 21 year old anyway?

There is something incredibly great about him. None of the baggage of the older guys I've been dating lately. None of the stress. Instant connection despite the age. No rushing into things. No immediate expectations.

Do I see this relationship as being a viable long-term thing? No. Do I see his or my parents approving? No. Do I see my friends not judging? No.

But I am infatuated and I guess my heart can bear getting hurt again. And maybe I need this. I need a sweet, lovely guy with a beautiful smile and even more beautiful eyes to sweep me off my feet and tell me that I am gorgeous, and breathtaking, and that he couldn't believe that I started talking to him in the first place.

Maybe age is just a number... after all.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Of Rich Men and Their Dillusions

I received a text from a gentleman I got the mis-pleasure to briefly get acquainted with at a club last week. I must have mistaken his arrogance for interest, because it is the only excuse as to why I gave him my number in the first place and to a shitshow of a text I received from him, literally, minutes ago.

Let's keep in mind that the "gentleman" is, allegedly, 31 years old, so proper spelling, you would think, should be a must. However....

"I can make you laugh alot. I am not serious and quite talkative. And after few drinks i can talk even more. I am naughty and would love to see you soon.

I have seen that you are taller than me still i wanted to go for you coz i feel like it and i have no objections with that but may be you will feel strange dating a man shorter than you. I love wine and i can take you to wine connection at Robertson quay or else at screening room. You will enjoy with me as i have a taste for white girls from US. Don't ask me why... but i have to be honest here that i don't date locals here so its been a while i have been on a date.

And yeah i am spontaneous and quite open minded. A spend thrift and does not care for money and finances.

Life is small and we must live it to fullest. Do you get drunk often?? I do get drunk if i am with a beautiful girl like you or a like minded company to go out with.

My work place is at Tg Pagar, lets meet one day after i return from shanghai (business trip)"

I, of course, just HAD to response to this exhibit of pure, unadulterated Shakespearean poetry:

"Hi there, with all due respect you seem like an intelligent and very driven individual, but I am getting a feeling from your text that we are not looking for quite the same thing.

I understand that some women are attracted to financial stability and the prospect of "getting stuff for free", but I can very well hold my own. Rather, I am looking for something that is more genuine and it is very hard to find in a city like Singapore. I do, however, know with certainty that I will not find ANYTHING genuine with you. Have a nice day. "

Yeah, yeah... I kept it surprisingly level-headed. I had to. One of us had to be the grown up in the situation and it sure as hell wasn't this cretin of a human being.

Can't help but laugh at shit like this though, right?

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I usually pride myself on being a strong, rational, level-headed individual. But, lately, it has not been so. At all.

Somewhere down the line, I lost myself... Between getting over Mr J, dating The Banker, and making out with the rebound guy, I lost sight of the most important thing. And that thing is caring about MY well-being.

Sure, I work hard and I've got goals and I'm doing everything in my power to reach them. But in my personal life, I have completely neglected the person I've always wanted to become.

Instead, I am shallow, vapid, clingy, neurotic, angry, cynical, moody, and irrational. I look to men to be my distraction, my entertainment. And then I fall for them and I know it's because.... I'm freaking bored and afraid of ending up alone. I am just a mess and I don't know how this happened but, somehow, I arrived at a breaking point.

I can't do this to myself any longer. I can't do this to my heart or what's left of it. The only thing I can remain proud of is that I still have the will power left to not have random one night stands and to make my love interests wait for a long time before there's even a possibility of having sex with me. But still, this doesn't prevent them from playing with my heart like it's some useless toy.

This morning, due to various circumstances, I woke up feeling severely damaged and bruised. I just couldn't get out of bed and go to work, I still can't.

I called in sick and now I am lying here, trying to piece myself together. I think, everything came to a boiling point and now it's becoming painfully obvious that I am my worst enemy. If I self-destruct, I have no one to blame but myself.

So I'm getting a hold of the situation.

I cannot let men hurt me any more. I can't let my vibrant, joyful, terrific self get lost in the vapid faces of people who repeatedly lie and cheat and hurt me. I can't believe I let myself get to this point because I really do feel emotionally spent and disappointed in humanity.

But I have no one to blame but myself.

So I ended it with the rebound guy this morning (he didn't seem too heart broken about it. I bet he is just fine..). I am taking time for myself. I am not going to drink for a while, I am not going to date for a while.

I need to put myself first and be selfish for once. I need to be healthy, need to find my own stability and let genuine, good people into my life. I am tired of being disappointed, of being angry. I want to be surrounded by people who don't have a hidden agenda, or want to use me the first chance they get.

I need to be by myself for a while. For my own sake.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Other Options

The club is loud, crowds are obnoxious, music is crashing over my shoulders with its thunder and beats, my head is hurting from too much (or not enough) alcohol and I am standing with a slightly aloof look on my face, looking for friends amidst the throngs of other club-goers.

My rebound, (is that what I should call him?), was just spinning on the ones and twos, but now he is done with his set for a bit. I see him, out of the corner of my eye, making his way towards me with, I can only assume, his best girl friend that he mentioned to me once or twice before. Oh, here we go with the introductions.

He gives me a brief hug and introduces the girl, " This is A., my best friend I told you about. You ladies should get acquainted." He gives me another friendly squeeze and goes off schmoozing with DJs and promoters. Great, now I'm fucking stuck making small talk with this girl.

"He told me so much about you. He seems to really like you," the girl says with a wink.

"Really? He told you about me?" I am a bit surprised but kind of happy. We've only known each other for three weeks after all. But then again, best friends tell each other everything.

She seems slightly inebriated but still coherent. And considering that it is now well past 2 o'clock in the morning, I feel like I should be just as inebriated as well.

"Shots?" I offer and within minutes we are served two helpings of that beautiful poison some people call Jagermeister.

"So what do you think about him?" the girl continues. I guess she is fishing for something, so I have to be choosing my words carefully. After all, every word I say to her will, for sure, get back to the rebound guy.

"You know... I like him. I just think, and I told him this... I just think that I need to take things slow. I don't like getting hurt, of course, no one does. But I just don't want to be in that position again," I tell her frankly.

"Oh of course, and that's the way to do it with him," she pulls me in closer, as if she is about to tell me a secret, "I have to be honest with you, and I will say this as a girl to a girl, because I am on your side with this..."

I perk up and just nod.

"He talks about you all the time but you must take things slow with him," she repeats herself once again but then goes on, "All I have to say is that he has other options, so you have to be very careful. He likes you but he has other options, ya know..."

I nod some more and take things in. It's three in the morning now and, somehow, I feel a sudden urge to leave.

"I have to find my friends, I will be back," I tell the girl and, basically, sort of just storm out of the club.

The timber decking of the river deck where the club is located sounds especially loud as I stomp down it to the taxi stand with my heels. Several onlookers take notice and look at me in bewilderment. I bypass the guestlist stand, the hosts, the bouncers and take a detour to have a quick smoke by the river, where no one would take notice of my fury.

Other options. Excuse me? What kind of other options does he have?!

"Well, I"ll make his decision a little easier... He can have those other options because he sure as hell can't have me," I mumble under my breath.

The perfectly manicured palm trees around me are still in the quiet solitude of a tropical night. I hear a very faint sound of house music from the club which is now far away behind me in the distance. I take another drag of a cigarette and let the anger and sober realization sink in.

The drunk girl was only trying to help me. She was honest after all and my rebound guy is not in the wrong in any way to keep his options open. After all, it's only been three weeks. Everyone has options. They have to if they are just dating around. Even I have options, I just like to pretend that my objects of interest don't think about anyone but me. Which is, of course, absurd.

But why the hell should I care anyway? For now, he is just a rebound. Rebounds can have as many options as they want. I have my own row of available selections as well...

Okay, maybe I don't.

But if anything, what the girl told me last night will keep me in check so I don't get carried away with my new adventure. I can't do anything about his other options, I just have to make sure I have options to fall back on as well.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I think I've been getting drunk far too often to cope with my feelings, lately. I know, not the best solution to one's problem, but that gin and tonic look awfully appealing when you feel your laughter is about to turn to tears, when you are at a bar you used to go to with your ex, surrounded by things you used to associate with romance and butterflies.

It's that tantalizing first sip, that enticing second gulp that stings your throat with bitterness and promise. It's the way you start to feel after a while, like nothing and no one can hurt you, that liquid badge of courage that numbs your senses and emotions.

I say I don't care and that it doesn't bother me a bit that the break-up occurred but, the truth is, I am just not brave enough to admit to anyone that I am hurting. Maybe not even emotionally, as things were quietly falling apart for some time now, but definitely mentally. How he could just say that it's over and leave without even looking back.

Isn't this the way things always go? One person leaves because they can't wait to move on, while the other pretends to be all right, while they scramble to piece their love life together.

Truth is, I am throwing myself into this rebound stage where I feel like I am about to hurt a really good guy. And another part of me, the cynical one, tells my brain that I should go ahead and do it anyway, because there are no good guys out there.

I don't want to drink to suppress my feelings and I don't want to hurt the rebound guy, but I think I just might end up doing both, anyway.

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's Just Dinner

To get over a guy, I just might need to spend Valentine's Day with someone else.

As I was barely waking up from my funky, post-break-up blues, a new friend of mine offered to take me on a date.

"A date? I can't. I told you The Banker and I JUST broke up," I protested whole-heartedly. There is no way in hell I am ready to jump on that wagon again. It is way too soon to start feeling again. It is way too soon to be agreeing to go on dates. It is way too soon for, well, anything romantic at all.

"Come on. It'll be a casual dinner. You need to be cheered up, right? Let me take you out," he insisted to my utmost surprise.

I looked at him quizzically. He was, kind of cute, after all. Totally not my type, but why the hell not. It's just a casual dinner after all.

He's a new cup of tea to me, this friend of mine. He's Indonesian/Singaporean, by way of Los Angeles. An accomplished DJ and production company owner. Smart as hell and creative. He seems like a nice guy, and even if he's not...

It's a New Year. Maybe it's time to sample something new to get over something old. What's the worst that can happen?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Behave During a Break-Up (A Classy Edition)

Ladies, (and I'm sorry gentlemen if I am leaving you out of this, but I can't really direct this to you personally as the post below will be coming from direct personal experience).... Ladies, you are about to get dumped. You know it, you've been feeling it coming for quite some time and though you did not want to accept it as reality... you did know that this was going to happen sooner rather than later.

A part of you probably wants to scream and shout and say phrases like "Fuck men!" and "I am going to remain single for the rest of my life!" A part of you wants to post vaguely bitchy messages on Facebook and run your mouth to all those that are willing to listen, telling them what an inadequate son of a bitch you ex-boyfriend really was and, probably, still is.

But, here's the deal. You are better than that. You are well educated, accomplished and kind of a big deal. You've got men (granted, not the men that you want...) swooning all over you and you've pretty much got your shit together (minus those random drunken nights that you had one too many... those things you pretty much want to forget). Keep it together. Follow the simple rules below and you're gonna come out as the absolute class act out of this breakup.

1) Wear a killer outfit to the place where you are going to have The Break-Up Talk. A coffee shop? A park? Yes, regardless, try to look flawless and effortless. Tell him that you are coming straight from work but, instead, take your time to put yourself together in a classy sleek, hip-hugging pencil skirt and a cute top. Make yourself look sexy but not slutty. Show him what he is going to be missing out on and do not, for one second, look remorseful about anything.

2) Be kind, flash a restrained smile and make statements like, "Of course, I understand. " Give a supporting reason why you DO understand so that it doesn't seem like you are agreeing just for the sake of agreeing.

3) Look at your watch or your cell phone clock, discretely but noticeably, as he is pouring his soul out to you as to why he cannot take the next step in a relationship. You are polite but you are also a busy woman. You've got places to go and little time to waste on people like your unimportant ex-boyfriend.

4) Do not flirt with the cute waiter that serves you your cappuccino, but look at him just for a second too long. Long enough for your ex to notice that, yes, you will be ready to move on in no time.

5) Do give him a hug goodbye. The kind of hug you would typically give your brother.

6) Do not turn around and look back once you've said the final parting words. Walk away with dignity. You never have to see him again. You will have more than enough opportunities for rebounds and relationships and breakups. He will be a blur in your timeline (thanks, Facebook, for ruining THAT word for me) in no time.

7) Do not cry. Convince yourself that you are all right. You ARE all right. Fake it 'til you make it and keep walking with your head held high.

True Story. Goodbye, Banker (and as much as I think that you're a stellar guy, go fuck yourself, nevertheless).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Small Steps

The couple next to me at our table at Piedra Negra just recently got engaged. I found out about the engagement a couple of days earlier, through a news feed on Facebook but this was the first time I was seeing them in person. They were both good friends of The Banker, but in the last month or so I became more or less acquainted with the girl, so I could not wait to congratulate them when I showed up at the bar.

Her ring sparkled seductively as she shimmied her hand in my face, showing off the rock. I admired the cut, the feminine band that held the stone so gently, yet firmly within its grasp. And then I felt it.

At first I did not know what it was and I was slightly surprised and taken aback by the slight pang and the impact of the unexpected feeling that came over me.

You see, I've never been the one to swoon over engagements or engagement parties or bridal showers. I always vowed to be that girl that got drunk (but not embarrassingly so) at bachelorette parties, and took shots with all the single dudes at the wedding receptions, and danced my ass off in my smoking hot bridesmaid dress on the dance floor, and made out with the best man (but only if he was hot).

But this time it was different. I felt a bit jealous. I felt a bit behind the curve. I felt like... I actually wanted to look forward to an engagement party... of my own.

It was weird and confusing and maybe even conformist to the "societal standards". But, fuck it. Regardless as to whether I am brainwashed or not, I still want a fairly tale ending of my own.

The Banker ordered us another round of margaritas, blissfully unaware of the emotional mini-rollercoaster that was going on in my head. Meanwhile, I chatted away happily, but with various darker thoughts brewing in my mind. Like, why does he always introduce me to his friends simply as "L", not his "girlfriend L". Am I his girlfriend or am I just another piece that he is seeing?

I began feeling slightly tipsy from the alcohol in no time. Maybe it was the lack of sleep due to work-related meetings and meeting preparations the night before but, at some point, I just decided to let my worries go, as they were getting in the way of my fun. There was really no point in ruining my night due to my own emotional turmoil. I was being a freaking girl, after all, and I was not enjoying it one bit.

We were all expecting The Banker's friend Mr Hong Kong to make his triumphant return to Singapore and to the bar we were at. He was, apparently, coming back from months-long travels elsewhere. And as he finally arrived around 11pm, The Banker gestured for him to take an empty seat next to us and to join the conversation.

"Oh, by the way," The Banker said, after his initial greetings with Mr Hong Kong, "This is my girlfriend, L."

My head did a double spin and my heart pounced with excitement. Did I just really hear something that I've been wanting to hear for months now?

"Hello," I said, cool as a cucumber, extending my hand to shake his, "It is very nice to meet you."

"Pleasure to meet you too,"
Mr Hong Kong replied, "The Banker told me so much about you. It's great to finally meet the girl he's been talking about so much."

I know, I know. The whole situation may seem like such a non-event to some. Almost a banal example of a side non-conversation. But to me... well, to me, it was a memorable exchange to say the least.

The first time he publicly introduced me as his girl. A confirmation of our relationship, however nonchalant it was for him, it was a big deal to me, though I will never admit this to anyone in person.

I looked at the newly-engaged couple, happily intertwined in their new togetherness and I did not feel that pang of jealousy any more. Far from the point of getting engaged, nevertheless, I felt just right in my moment right then and there.

I raised my hand and waved down the nearest bartender to come and take my next order.

"A shot of coffee tequila for this guy, please," I requested, as I pointed to The Banker.

It was going to be a long, fun night and in a silent and roundabout way, I just had to thank my dude for making things just a little more official.

Good job, babe.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Love, When Life Happens

Eavesdropping is a no-no in my book, but when it helps to smooth out a situation, I think there can be a grey line that can be negotiated between the right the the wrong.

The other morning I was coming back from the land of the sweet, sweet dreams and opening my heavy eyelids to see the bright rays of a Sunday morning sun for the first time, when I heard The Banker, just in the room next door, talking via Skype to his brother.

Now, The Banker is a miracle of nature. He can drink like no other on a Saturday night (or retain an appearance of drinking heavily while maintaining his utmost composure), but he is up and running at 6am every Sunday morning.

I, on the other hand, like to savor the only God-given day of the week when I can actually sleep in so, whenever I am at his place or otherwise, I like to snooze it UP until at least 10am the next morning, hungover or not.

This particular morning I was stone cold sober and so my interest was instantly peaked when I overheard The Banker's conversation with his brother switch from the brother's girl troubles to the ever-cumbersome topic of The Banker's stay in Singapore.

"You know, I miss the US so much and the trip back home made me even more homesick.." I heard his voice trail off and pause, as it was, presumably, his brother's turn to talk.

"Yeah, to be honest, man, I don't know what I'm gonna do yet, but I plan on sticking around Singapore for a year or two more," he finally finished off his thought after his brother offered some advice (as I can only assume).

A year or two more?

Now that I can certainly take way better than just 5 months. That I can live with and spend the next year or two trying to charm the pants off this guy.

The truth is, when push comes to shove, I am not ready to leave this city. Feeling like a foreigner in a foreign land and being the minority (white woman in an Asian country) for the first time ever has actually not been all that bad and I am starting to truly feel at home here.

I would love to continue my journey with The Banker, but the truth is, no matter how heartbroken I would be if he left right now (and believe me, I would be sort of devastated), I would still pick Singapore for a whole slew of reasons (which I might talk about in more depth later, but these reasons are mostly career-related and mostly kind of super awesome)

Number one, though, being that I think I finally found my home, and I do mean home, here in Asia. At least for a little while.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

St(r)aying Away

Maybe I am just not good at relationships.

No, I'm not the best, but I tried. I definitely tried with this guy, that's for sure.

The impending feeling of doom is settling down upon me and I can see, with a considerable amount of fear, that this relationship might, just might, be winding down and seeing the last of its days.

But how can I full-heartedly invest in a guy who, point blank, says straight to my face that he is feeling so homesick that he is considering moving back to the States in as soon as four months? That he is thinking about continuing his career back home, somewhere in California, eighteen hours away from me.

I want to say, please stay, don't go. I like you so much. We've got such a thing going here.

But instead, I am numb and silent with the realization that he, despite introducing me to his brother and friends, and giving me the code to his apartment, is choosing something else over me.

How can I carry on with him as if nothing is happening when, in my head, there is a silent but deadly countdown of days left to spend with him. How can I not try my damnest to become as detached as he is?

I had this shit happen to me once when I told a guy I was moving away for grad school. I did not expect that he was going to abandon me, as suddenly as he did, then.

This time I can leave elegantly, quietly, and with dignity in tact. This time I can ignore that timid tug of heart that keeps telling me to stay and just see what happens. To text him one more time to see if he wants to go for a mid-afternoon bike ride or if he wants to hang out at his apartment or go to the pool.

This time I can even ask why the hell he is doing this to me... if I muster up enough courage.

This time. Before the four month death sentence rolls around.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm Not Yours

And a thousand of lanterns, their flames slowly glowing against the thin rustling paper, ascended up to the night skies of Patong beach, their peaceful, soft glow interrupted by a chaotic thunder of fireworks all around us. The crowds cheered like crazy, camera phones in their extended hands, trying to capture the last moments of 2011, only to post them later on Facebook or replay them to the friends that were not there.

He was an Australian, staying at our hostel for a couple of nights, traveling from Melbourne, and then to Singapore, Hanoi. Patong beach was his last stop of the holiday vacation. It was the last stop for all of us staying at the hostel. We started off the night as a large, international group but as we took random roads and routes, trying to get through the masses to the beach to welcome 2012, it was just me and the Australian left.

"Tell me the truth, do you like me?" he asked twenty minutes before midnight as he handed me a bouquet of roses that he bought from some random Swedish girl on the street.

I was surprised and flattered by the question. When I first saw him at the hostel bar, the life of the party, I envied his confidence and wondered what it would be like to talk to this guy, to be part of that crowd. And now here I was, with him, unexpectedly, wrapped around my little finger for the night.

"To tell you the truth," I said, "I do but I am dating someone."

We stood in our awkwardness and both felt compelled to say something to each other even though we were surrounded by throngs of screaming, celebrating people and would not hear each other anyway.

"What do you mean by dating?" he finally said. We both knew what I meant.

"You know what I mean..." I looked down at the roses. Their tiny delicate buds looked so fragile that all I wanted to do was to shield them from the people around us. I felt almost out of place standing there, with a simple bouquet of romantic appreciation in my hand, while everyone else around me was holding and imbibing from alcohol containers of various sizes.

"Does he ever give you flowers?" he asked, minutes before midnight.

No, he never gives me flowers. I don't ask him to but I wish he would. Just give me flowers once. No fancy dinners, just flowers. Truth is, I wanted to say, I am starving for affection and don't know how to ask for it. Feel like I have no right to ask for it, somehow. There is nothing like wanting to fall in love and being too afraid to, because of the fear of getting hurt at the end.

"No, he never gives me flowers," I said.

He shook his head. Not accusingly, not indifferently, but mostly just selfishly proud of himself for doing something in the first few hours of meeting me that my dude has not done in the months that I've known him.

"Kiss me," he said.

"You know I can't," I paused, "Not now."

"Then kiss me at midnight. Just one kiss."

There were moments left until the clock struck twelve. I had remnants of silly strings in my hair, my shoes were filled with sand, I clenched the strap of my purse in my hand, paused in some nervous thought. He was some Australian I would never see again, albeit a very handsome Australian, he was just a stranger on a beach somewhere in Thailand.

So I kissed him. Just once, when it struck midnight. And then once again a few minutes later.

A few stolen kisses. Something to escape the real world outside of the beach. Something to stop myself from thinking about The Banker all the goddamn time, while hoping for more, more than I am being offered.

And all around me it was 2012 all of the sudden. I wanted to never leave that place and to leave it immediately, all at the same time.

Happy new year.