Monthly Archives: June 2015

Impressed by Impressed

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A couple of weeks ago I attended the official launch of Impressed, Zaida’s new business venture that capitalizes on the current craze going around: cold-pressed juices. Admittedly, it is a craze I subscribe to, mainly because I learned when I interviewed Zaida and her partner Amy for my column in The Star newspaper that a 350ml bottle of cold-pressed juice is the equivalent of 2kg of vegetables, so I figured that’s how I will justify my occasional fast food cravings.

With Malisa at Impressed's first day of business

With Malisa at Impressed’s first day of business

Impressed opened at the NU Sentral mall a month ago, and considering how new it is, it appears to be doing very well already. So it wasn’t entirely a shot-in-the-dark kind of event where nobody knew about the brand or what the product was.

One of the effects of being pathologically punctual is that you will at some point in your life be recruited by your friends to help out with their time-sensitive endeavors. Fortunately, the equally pathological Malisa was also recruited to help with the event setup, so we both got ourselves over to the mall at 9AM, which in hindsight probably worked better for me because I detest parking in malls at regular hours.

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Zaida and Amy

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I will not go into detail the process of setting up for the event or how the event itself went, but it’s safe to say that my years of working in the media and public relations fields have stood me in better stead for event planning than I thought. Either that, or my outfit for the day had me in sudden Stepford wife mode.

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With Malisa, Kaiyisah, Zaida, Kerina and Tasha

Damn the grapevine

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One day, years ago when I was in high school, a classmate pulled me aside during a mid-morning recess and asked me point-blank if I stuffed my bra. I suppose my shock at the question didn’t really help me answer it, because even though I gave a heated “No!”, the rumor soon spread throughout the painfully small school population that I did, in fact, give myself a little help in the décolletage department. People started calling me ‘Tissue Girl’ — even the younger kids — and it was a name that followed me until I graduated from high school.

The following years in college were not as vicious, but I never forgot the lesson I learned in high school: gossip knows no age, no race, no gender, and certainly no bounds. So I resolved to block out all the gossip that I knew people were saying about me, because I figured that it didn’t matter what they said if they didn’t even really know me.

So when a friend told me a couple of weeks ago that people had been asking her about me because they had heard through the grapevine about my current relationship purgatory, my impulse was to wave it off: “Who cares what people say?” It was only when I realized that these ‘people’ included those who were supposed to have been close to me, the only ones who would have been in a position to ask me directly about said purgatory, that my resolve wavered. I realized that my stance would now have to be: “Who cares what people say — unless they’re the people closest to you?”

For half my life, I’ve lived by the creed that nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors, and the people standing outside those doors can either keep standing there until they are allowed in, or just walk away. I suppose it was naïve of me to think that with age comes the wisdom of knowing that if it were any of their business, they would never have had to speculate or probe.

That said, in a situation like mine, even the ones allowed through those doors will never be able to fully grasp what’s behind them. And although I have a fairly good idea of who has been talking about me, I also know that there is no need, and no point, in explaining anything to them, because mine is a situation that nobody except us can ever understand.

A new perspective

What's shakin' Kelate?

What’s shakin’ Kelate?

I spent the first weekend of June in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Yes’m, I did. It was not how I would have wanted to spend my weekend, but a friend was getting married, and I had friends who were going, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to go. That said, the original plan was to not go alone, but circumstances have made it so that I ended up having to go alone anyway. It wasn’t a complete waste of time, even if I did spend most of the weekend holed up in my room getting some work done, and it was a short reprieve from the ridiculous drama that has been my life for the past month and a half.

The weird thing about me is that nothing gives me perspective more effectively than some time away and a change of scenery — even if the scenery is not much more than four walls, but they are four walls that are very different from what I see on a daily basis. I may have only been an hour’s plane ride away, but for three days, I felt as far away from the current circumstances of my life as I could possibly be. And with that distance came the perspective.

For the past eight weeks, my relationship — and consequently my life — has been one giant question mark, made up of many many questions that I can never seem to get satisfactory answers to. “What happens now?” “What do we do?” “How are you going to fix this?” “What will happen to us if it works?” “What will happen to us if it ends?” “What do you want?” “What do I want?”

While it has been clear to me all along that what we both wanted was exactly the same thing, I realize that my idea of how to get it was just exactly that: my idea. I had fixated for so long on what I thought was the best way to deal with this situation that it was difficult for me to see it from a different point of view. A different perspective. Whether it really was the time away and the proverbial distance from the problems at hand, or just the fact that every time one of us is away it feels as though a part of us is missing, I came back from Kelantan with a clearer view than ever of what I want: the light in my life that has lit up dark spaces I never even knew were there.

Just us two

Just us two

But just for good measure, here’s what I really went to Kelantan for: