Monthly Archives: February 2012

Cross of the leap year

“There might be some loves that seem bigger than others, or more complicated, or harder to let go of, but there’s a reason they’re not meant to be. You cannot choose who you love, but you can choose how you love them. There are some people you can only love by not being with them.”

– Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl

This will be my mantra for the rest of my life. This will serve to always remind me that some things, even though controllable at first, eventually slip out of our control because we just weren’t the ones who were supposed to control them. And this is the cross I will always carry with me, to never let me forget how easily, how weakly, I gave up on love.

After almost four years — and it was four years ago, in a leap year just like this one, that it all started — of thinking, and wondering, and regretting, I know now that it really is time to let go. To let go and focus on everything I have and be grateful for it. It may have been three years in the making, or three years too late, but I cannot lose another three years to this pointless nostalgia.

Not when I know just what you think of me. And especially not when the distinction between what I’ve been feeling and what I should be doing has become clearer than ever.

This is the cross I will always carry with me.

The absurdity of one Farid Ong

Two nights ago, I received this message in my Facebook inbox. It was from a man I didn’t know, and whom, according to Facebook, I only had two ‘friends’ in common with. I stared and stared at the message for a few minutes, at a complete loss as to what I should do with it, then decided that if nothing else, I should take a screenshot of it with my BlackBerry before I was rendered useless by the absurdity of it.

Oddly enough, I find this message incredibly offensive, but I don’t actually know why, aside from the obvious fact that the man doesn’t know me and was therefore seen as trying to pry into my relationship. Maybe it’s the sweeping assumption he holds that because my relationship is an interracial one it would have to be subjected to the stereotype that most interracial relationships are cursed with. Or maybe it’s that he had the gall to ask if I am ‘inclined to the Muslim-Malay culture’ *. Or maybe it’s simply that he couldn’t have asked anyone who is already on his friends list, but chose to ask someone he doesn’t know instead.

After I took this screenshot I went back to gawking at the message and trying to decide what to do with it. On the one hand, I was tempted to give a saucy reply — and it’s a sign of how befuddled I am by this message that nearly 72 hours later, my usually oh-so-quick-to-be-saucy mind has yet to come up with one. On the other hand, I refused to dignify his behavior with a response, regardless of his reasons for asking — and I knew he probably didn’t have a good reason for asking because ‘do-don’t-think’ is not a reason.

So the message still sits in my Facebook inbox. I have no intention of replying, but I am leaving it there for the short term to remind me that no matter how incredulous I am of most of the people I come into contact with, there will always be the few who will break my belief that I’ve seen, or heard, it all.

* For those who must know, I am not ‘inclined’ to any one culture; I simply adapt to whichever culture that is dominant at any point in my life.

Moment of reckoning

This final season of Desperate Housewives — and I still can’t live with the knowledge that this is the absolute final season — has had me grinding my teeth in frustration, or at least something bordering on outrage. It seems like the creators are determined to bring out the best and worst in the characters for the big throw-down. Susan’s usual airheaded, trying-too-hard, hangdog demeanor turned into outright brainlessness; Gabrielle’s lack of moral compass became a full-on refusal to accept responsibility for her actions, and Lynette’s overbearing pushiness still failed to teach her anything at all.

But perhaps the most outrageous shift of all has been Bree’s total meltdown — literally. It’s as though she’s sunk into a vat of boiling Oil of Olay and reemerged as the neighborhood bicycle, falling back into her old alcohol addiction, picking up bizarre men in dive bars and — quel horreur! (only to her neighbors) — giving them fond farewells on her front stoop.

Thank God it’s all come to blows in the latest episode, when Gabrielle, Susan and Lynette are forced to see that their self-absorbed, self-serving ways that had made them throw away a friendship aren’t going to win them back that friendship just because they feel guilty about shutting Bree out.

Gabrielle: How the hell could Renee take her out drinking?
Susan: Doesn’t she know Bree’s an alcoholic?
Lynette: I have known Renee a long time, and she’s not exactly what you’d call a detail person.
Susan: Well, at least this helps explain the way Bree’s been acting lately.
Gabrielle: I don’t know. There’s not enough booze in the world to justify the skeazes coming out of that house!
Lynette: How could we not know this?
Gabrielle: Because we’re not speaking to her. You know, because of what she did.
Lynette: I was so mad, I thought I’d stay mad a long time. But now, knowing that she’s hurting —
Gabrielle: Just seems mean.
Susan: I miss her. I miss us being us. So whatever happened, we need to put it behind us and go help Bree.

And finally, after seven and a half seasons, Bree had her finest hour (or two minutes).

Gabrielle: Wow. Booze, loose morals, and now swearing? Too late, there’s no Bree left.
Bree: Why are you in my house?
Susan: This is an intervention, Bree.
Bree: An intervention? You’ve got to be kidding me!
Lynette: We’re your friends. We want to help.
Gabrielle: Talk to us, sweetie. Why are you behaving like this?
Bree: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Lynette: It’s not like we can’t see what’s going on.
Susan: We know you’re drinking again.
Gabrielle: And what about all those men? We know about that too.
Bree: Wow, can’t hide anything from you girls, huh? Did you also know that I tried to kill myself?
Lynette: What?
Bree: Oh, my God! How did that little nugget of information slip past my nearest and dearest friends?
Susan: If this is a joke, it’s not funny.
Bree: It’s not a joke. I checked into a motel room with nothing but a bottle and a gun. And you’re wrong, Susan: it is funny — funny — that the women standing here before me, professing to be my supportive friends, are one of the reasons I was in that motel room.
Gabrielle: Bree, stop.
Bree: No! Don’t give me this friends nonsense! All I ever was to you was the organizer, the problem-solver, the leader, when you needed one. Which is exactly what I was that horrible night, when we buried your stepfather.
Gabrielle: And I was so grateful for that.
Bree: Liar! All of you — liars! Because as soon as it got rough, as soon as there was any trouble, it all became my fault, and off you went!
Lynette: We had no idea. I wish you had told us.
Bree: Oh, I tried. But even when I came to you to apologize, you slammed your doors in my face.
Gabrielle: OK, fine, you’re right. We did, we screwed up. We let this pull us apart, but that’s not going to happen again.
Susan: Because no matter what you think, we love you, Bree.
Lynette: We’ll do whatever it takes. We just want things to be back the way they were.
Bree: Well, I don’t.

Now I know why I love Bree so much.