Monday, March 26, 2012

The Golfers Club Syndrome

I just found that long drives are awesome for couple talk! Provided the monkeys are asleep, I'm not asleep and the traffic is relaxed.

It's hard to have a long hearty chat on normals days. Husband is up to his neck with work, wife has full time job, we come home tired but momentarily uplifted by our adorable children's smiles and laughters, occasionally cranky whines and screaming, we eat dinner together, have a quick and brief update on our day, entertain the kids or let them entertain us while we rot on the couch heehee, get their homework checked, bath them, read to them, chill and put them to bed. That leaves us little time for ourselves, let alone time for each other at the end of the day. So there really isn't time for those long endless deep talk under the moonlight.

But last weekend, we did! We took a short trip up to attend a relative's wedding. We started our journey after dinner, and when the boys fell asleep, we had nothing but an open road in front of us and plenty of time to chat. And it's funny I don't remember how we started and how we somehow came to the topic I've been wanting to share for a long time:

Why are men* ALWAYS at the golf club.
*men referring to his fellow club members, mostly golfers, and business associates

Why. Why. Why. Why. Why.

Is there a secret strip cult we wives are unaware of? Is there an underground bowling alley with gutter-proof lanes? Is there an all-year round Santa Rina in Adidas miniskirt handing out golf ball candies? Is there a shaft-balls-and-hole game you guys secretly play somewhere under the putting green? What? What? Give me something here!

Let me tell you the typical duration a golfer spends at the club. On some weekdays, after he runs his business or whatever, he is able to play the 9th hole at 4 or 5pm, which pretty much ends at 6.30 to 7pm. Then he chills and hang out at the bar with beer and organic macadamia nuts and fruits... No, fuck the organic nuts and fruits. Ok, just beer. And liquor. They chill and chat, maybe for half an hour I don't know, then other members who just finished their course come and join in. At this point, maybe someone was about to go home and have dinner with his loving family who awaits him with a grand feast garnished with spikes and ohsofresh turf on the sides, but then another chap hollers, "WOI! COME DRINK LA, I OPENED ANOTHER BOTTLE, WHY LEAVE SO SOON?!" After another half an hour or so, repeat this. And repeat. Repeat this on weekends too, for some.

I'm not really good at maths, but a snail knows if you add many half and hours, it becomes 3 years, no? And some of the families of these men, have young children at home. And some, don't. Because they are old. These old men don't care if there are young men who wants to go home and have dinner with their loving wives and young children. They just want to hang out and have alcohol parties. Mystery of life, don't men go home to have dinners with their family?

This could happen everyday of the week. But not for me. I made it clear that it is of utmost importance that we all have dinner together, AT the table, at least 365 times a year. Statistically, this is not possible because of the alcoholic golfers from the club.I kid, I kid. Seriously, they HAVE to keep themselves in the circle. I totally get it. Back in school, it was fun to hang out after school hours. We always 'stayed back' to hang out because we just wanted to chill and be in the cool people click and see who could stick around the longest. Is the club syndrome the same?

So this led me to ask the husband, "Am I the most anal wife among your friends' wives?" Anal here refers to the resentment associated with his club syndrome. Not the other kinky kind of anal. I mean, I give him the black face when he comes home late with the stench of liquor. I always wonder if the other wives are as anal as me, or are they Saint Stepford Wife. Do they welcome their drunk husbands home with a herbal tea drink and cookie, take off their stinky socks, give them a foot rub and blow job? Are they always angelic and perfectly okay with the not-coming-home-for-dinner/will-be-home-at-2am habitual announcements? I am baffled. I constantly ask myself, why am I such a bitch.

He said, "No, hunny-bunny. You are the best wife". You know what sweet words do to women right. We stopped the car and had hot high school sex. No, sorry, that didn't happen. He said, "I did get mad at you for giving me black faces when I had to go out"

The keywords here are had to. Have to, has to, had to. Men are biologically wired to go out to network and hunt. Just like cavemen. In the business world, networking is vital to your survival. So it is obligatory that he mingles. Every businessmen attest to this. I totally get it. You gotta sacrifice your liver and your precious family time. No biggie, because that ultimately puts food on the table. And a nice Gucci luggage for annual overseas vacations.

Again, this led me to argue that all these resentments are caused by several factors we didn't realize before.

Childhood Family Lifestyle
My dad ALWAYS came home for dinner. He was and still is a golfer, but he would come home to eat with me, or made sure I ate. He was a very social and outward-bound kinda guy. If he was at home, we'd watch action thriller movies together from his collection of Laser Disks. Remember them?! He'd take me on camping trips with a bunch of friends at Pulau Besar, Sibu and Tioman. He'd take me out on a weekend adventure, to somewhere but home. He'd take me to the club swimming pool. He'd take me to the driving range and teach me how to swing a neat 100m shot. I practically grew up in the club. So naturally, I expected the husband to do the same. The only disadvantage is that I can drive. Fuck independence.

I Have A Job
He has a job. I have a job. Fair. But I have to do most of the childcare, household errands, homey stuff. Imagine we don't have a domestic helper. *die* We both contribute to the household finance, so I'd expect that we share equal responsibility at home, be it time, energy and attention, mostly for the children. Fair? I mean, you think I don't want to go shopping on my own? You think I don't want to just sit peacefully with a good book for hours? Sometimes I do! But we mothers are one of a kind, we are physically and emotionally attached to our children but every now and then, we would like to break off a while and be who we are before we became mothers. The men get to do that almost everyday for hours on the green. They get to be themselves, not a father, not a husband, just themselves, as guys with balls and a stick. UN.FAIR.

I Am A Broken Home Kid
Secret's out. Beneath the perky sunshine Ally you see, I grew up not knowing what a happy family is. The husband hypothesize that I subconsciously want to prevent another broken home. Like I said, a family that eats together, stays together. Hence the insistence on the dinner thingy. Isn't he a genius.

I Don't Have Friends In JB
I think this one hit the jackpot. My friends are in Singapore, KL, Australia, Germany, Canada, U.S. pun ade. I have a few friends in JB I guess, but all are busy moms. Busy working moms, like myself. Hardly ever meet up for hi-tea or mahjong, or shopping. On the other hand, the husband is a social butterfly.

So there. Married couple talk for you. Actually, we have talked about this before, but not to this depth. And it feels so good and relieved! I got his perspective, he got mine. Thank you cousin-in-law for getting married and making us drive all the way to Perak so that we could have this long endless hearty chat under the moonlight :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

To My Dear Boys: About Being In Love

Dear Daniel and Darren,
A lot of times, when I see boy teenagers and young adults, I think of you. I wonder if you will grow up and dress, talk and behave like them. Or will things change, like fashion and trend. I would like to see the both of you when you're that age, but some part of me don't want you to grow up too fast!

But most of all, I wish the both of you love. Yes, the gift of love. You will fall in love one day. And I hope you will share that news with me because this is exactly what I would tell you: (it was a reply written by John Steinbeck when he received a letter from his teenage son who confessed that he fell desperately in love with a girl in school)

First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second -- There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone -- there is no possible harm in saying so -- only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another -- but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I'm glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens -- The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.



Taken from here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Managing Eczema

I have had BAD skin since middle of last year. Allergic dermatitis, eczema, INFECTIVE eczema... yowza!! Not fun I tell you. The itch got worse, especially at night. And I became a cortisone cream junkie. I even apply Dermagenta on mosquito bites! And the scars... ooohhhhh them scars... Do you know how many two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels I've ran in my working life? Hundreds.

Parts of my legs looked like that at one point of time. It was repulsive. And I stopped wearing mini skirts and shorts. AM.SAD. I have these God's gift of long lean sexy legs, but I can't show it off like Gisele Bundchen. OHHH WHHHYYYYY MUST THIS HAPPEN TO ME?!!! *in the meantime, thousands feared dead in apocalyptic flood*

I should describe my rash for informative purpose. They are spots, raised, red, some are clustered, some are islands on their own, some are itchy, some oozes clear liquid, mostly appears at the back of my thighs and buttocks, some around my elbows, and randomly on my legs and arms. NOT NICE. For weeks, I had to bear with itchiness, dryness and weeping rash.

Now, the itch has reduced tremendously. It's not all gone, but it's a lot better. My skin is not as dry (no flakes of dry skin visible). The rashes have settled down. How did I manage it?

1. Diprogenta cream. . Anti- infective cream with corticosteroids. Works wonders. Applied twice a day.

2. Changed my shower soap to Cetaphil and A'Kin. Cetaphil is B.O.R.I.N.G. No foam, no scent, just slippery gel. But it sure is safe for the skin. A'Kin is a newer brand of natural body care product from Australia. I'm now using the Lavender scented body wash. Almost all the ingredients are of a botanical source. And it's SO MUCH FUN than Cetaphil.

2. Moisturize moisturize moisturize. I do this twice a day at least. Once with Physiogel,second with natural camellia oil (recommended and only available from Hong Kong)

3. Diet. I have been eating instant oat with honey and ground flaxseed. Flaxseed is rich in essential fatty acids (omega-3) which is good for maintaining beautiful hair, skin and nails. But I'm not maintaining... I'm repairing! Anyway, I love this breakfast and have been eating it every weekdays for more than a month. And still not sick of it!

I also avoided junk food laden with MSG and colorings. I might react to these, don't know which but I'm planning a big-scale ultra high designed experiments to test what I'm allergic to. Eh, isn't there a skin prick test? Will it include the red coloring from an ang ku kueh? And MSG from Mamee?

Now, the mystery of eczema. I don't know what triggered mine. Some say that skin problems are underlying internal issues, especially the liver. If the liver can't eliminate toxins as usual, the toxins gotta go out somehow, and one way is through the skin. Or it could be an immune system issue. Or stress. Or post-traumatic stress which manifest months after the trauma. I'm wondering if my rash is caused by all these factors. Nevertheless, I am very happy recently that it's gotten better. There's still a long way to go and I will have to be vigilant about my skin now.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Darren Is Two!

Not too long ago...

He can express himself quite a lot. His favorite sentences are "I want!"
"I want to go there!" "I want to go down!" "I want nen-nen... do again!" "I want motorbike!" "I want baby einstein book" "I want go home!" He is as apt to say "I don't want!" And he almost can say 'Excavator'

He can count to ten perfectly, and to twenty with a bit of guidance.

I think he has awesome hearing and speech skills. You say a word for the first time, he says the same word for the first time.

He's so cute when he cries.

He's so cute when he pretends to cry.

He grabs my iPhone, slides to unlock, and view my photo albums. He enjoys watching his own videos. He once sent a gibberish text to my friend.

He loves jumping on the bed. He loves jumping down the stairs. He loves to launch himself onto the sofa. He loves action. Freaks me out.

He loves vehicles . Anything with wheels, that moves.

He is not afraid of anything but the hairdryer.

He is not shy.

He absolutely loves water. Whether it's drinking, the pool, a rain puddle... he's a goner.

He adores his brother, and it's mutual. They do wrestle for toys, TV and attention but at the end of the day, they cuddle up, and this melts my heart.

He is a charm. Everyday.