Random Rarebits 2

Monday, May 29, 2006

To understand a mom's love

Sit back and think. When was the last time you took your mom out on a date and spent a whole day with her?

Youth fades, love droops,
the leaves of friendship fall
but a mother's secret hope
outlives them all.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

I thought spending some quality time with Emak would be the least I could do for a very belated mother's day treat. I did that yesterday and dedicated a whole day for Emak - beginning from breakfast. Not Breakfast at Tiffany's but Brady Brunch instead.

I let Emak choose wherever she wants to go because it was her day. My time was hers.

Emak chose Dim Sum and Durian Mousse Pancake at her favorite chinese retaurant, Lai Po Heen located at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

Good choice, that Durian Mousse Pancake was par excellent!

The more I talk with my mom, the more I discovered about her - many leaves unfolded. My mom was the first Malay girl in the entire district of Kuang, Selangor to go to an English missionary secondary school on scholarship during her time - that was in the 50's when only a fraction of Malay girls actually went to secondary school. Convent Bukit Nanas was in Kuala Lumpur, still is. So Emak stayed with my great granma's friend, who happened to be my dad's father, and my grandfather too. That's how my parents met - they were childhood sweethearts.

I guess moving in with Emak would be a journey of self discovery for me afterall. She can't be any more happier that I have decided to move in with her.

Over lunch I gave her a lil present - a pink velvet heart-shaped pillow which says "World's Greatest Mom" in purple. Then I told her to explore inside the paper bag for another gift - a white and gold money envelope with a thousand bucks in it. Her shopping money, I said. A thousand bucks is not much for all that my mom is worth - considering she's running her own business and not financially dependent on her children - but right now it's what I can afford to give her without feeling the pinch. I have mortgage, car financing and bills to think about before I slurge on things, you know.

Whatever it it, it's the thought that counts most. Emak was so surprised and deliriously happy like a child getting a candy. She didn't expect it.

Oooohh....the look on her face, let me put it this way...

Dim Sum Brunch for two..............RM120
"World's Greatest Mom" pillow.....RM30
Shopping money for mom............RM1,000
The look on Emak's face...........Priceless

Emak said, "You know I've always prayed that you will be very successful and very happy in your life. You always make me feel proud."

A mother's prayer and blessing is important to me. I remember all my mother's prayers and they have always followed me wherever I go - they clung to me all my life. Everytime I achieved something or escaped a misfortune, I think it's Emak's prayers that was sent to God to help me succeed or overcome.

She was in tears and said to me, "I love you, you're my favorite daughter!"

To which I said, "I love you too, Emak. Tapi kan Emak, how can I be your favorite daughter. I'm your only daughter!"

Her only daughter who is alive, that is. I have two younger brothers. Sometimes I forgot that I do have an eldest sister and youngest sister both of whom died of premature births. I was born ten days late - and after 18 hours of excruciating labor, to which my mom reminded me of every now and then.

Emak always said to me, to understand a mother's love, bear your own children.

I don't really like very mellow and sentimental moments such as this because it makes me feel terribly vulnerable inside, so I took my mom to Suria KLCC for some shoe and handbag shopping. We had Thai Crunch Salad and BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen at the shopping mall.

Finishing touch - as we drove home I turned on my CD player and dedicated to her a song by Josh Groban, "You Raised Me Up".

I stole a quick glance at her as I drove and I saw tears welling up in her eyes over a contented smile on her face, as she listened attentively to the song's lyrics...

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

I think I had made her day. It was a fruitful day for both of us.

I think now that I'm older, getting along with Emak is a lot easier compared to my younger days.

Hmmm I wonder why I couldn't get along with Emak when I was much younger?

So it is true then when they say, everything has its own time and place.

Tell me what you think...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

In good times, in bed times?

If you're a single or divorced woman who has a successful career or business and is financially independent or even rich, and do not need a man to support you, would you consider getting yourself into nikah misyar with a man who can't afford to support you financially?

Well, if you have been reading the local papers lately you'd know what it means. But if you haven't, let me enlighten you a lil bit on the subject matter.

Nikah Misyar is marriage concept where a man, usually with much lesser financial means or a lower social status, enters into the marriage with a woman who is financially better off or of a higher social status. There are no financial commitments just nocturnal obligations.

Unlike a normal marriage, there would be no pre-nuptial contract that demands the man to provide financial support for the woman, but he has to provide for the woman's physical and emotional needs, as well as be the father to her children and protect her and the family.

Nikah Misyar, however, doesn't have a contractual time frame like Nikah Mutaah. So it's like a normal marriage - till death do us part - with sex and all but minus financial responsibility for the husband.

The concept was proposed in view of the many unmarried who are financially well off, and many unmarried men who are too broke to afford a wife.

I don't know why there's so much debate going on over the possibility of making it an acceptable practice here in Malaysia, because I think whether we realise it or not, in more than half of marriages here are now already practicing such a concept. Perhaps, with the exception that it is not agreed upon before the marriage vow was taken. The fact is, a lot of wives, wealthy or not, are currently supporting their husbands and children. I say this I've talked to many of them - too many in fact.

Hmmm we are making it too easy for men here, aren't we?

I think, while the concept is unfair to women, it is fine under some circumstances. However, spelling out the part about financial non-commitment sounds like we are supressing our women's rights in some ways.

Do we have to spell it out on paper? Isn't marriage a life partnership where we share - not just a give and take where one party is always giving and the other always taking.

Consider this, what happens after they get married and the man's rezeki increased tremendously and he becomes wealthy? The woman would be on the losing end because he is not obligated to provide for her nafkah or livelihood. If he leaves her for another woman, she loses all her rights as a wife.

I think it is alright if the wife agrees that the husband doesn't have to contribute financially if he really can't afford it and the wife is really well off and able to support the family. But the husband has to be financially able to at least support himself and also contribute in other ways and share non-financial repsonsibilities with his wife - like taking care of children, sharing household chores for example.

When the husband finally has the financial means to support his wife and family, then he should start doing that and not let the wife continue to support him and the family. That would be taking advantage. I may be old fashioned, but a man has to be financially independent in order for me to respect him. A man cannot be riding on his partner financially.

But all that aside, why in the first place we have to spell it out that the man will not provide financial support - it makes a marriage lose its romance and novelty. When you marry someone, you should be willing to go through good times and bad times together - not just BED time. For better or for worse husbands and wives should stick together. That's what I think...

Tell me, what is your take on Nikah Misyar?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Return to the nest?

I freaked out last night when a giant beetle ambushed me like a kamikaze fighter. I had to duck on the floor for cover and then sprinted to my bedroom and waited anxiously for the bug to go away. That bug had to be male on heat. Hehehe. This is one of the downsides of living alone - apart form being lonely and scared sometimes.

I had been thinking about returning to the nest - moving back to my mom's place - for quite some time. I think it would help my mom let go of some of her worries too. Worry is a misuse of the imagination, and my mom does have very strong imagination!

It was a sheer coincidence when a close friend who's looking for a place recently proposed to rent my apartment for about six months while he is looking for a permanent place of his own. Not only that, he offered to pay more than the market rental as he wants the apartment to be furnished. Means I don't have to move my furniture and worry where to store them while my apartment is being rented out.

I am tempted...moving back to my mom's place is not such a bad idea. Afterall, it's only for six months. I can move back later if living with my mom doesn't quite work out, in view of both of us being strong characters.

I think in view of recent robbery at my mom's place and the fact that there's only my mom, my brother and our maid living at the huge six bedroom house, it would be good for me to return to the nest. Because my brother is always traveling overseas (sometimes he went missing in action for a week or two - and then we received a postcard from some country from him) or out with his new girlfriend, my mom would be alone with our maid.

Having me stay at my mom's place would increase the total household count and therefore, theoretically, increases a perceived degree of safety in numbers. Am I making sense here?

I'm seriously contemplating this move....

Emotional benefits

...My mom would have peace of mind
...I won't come home to an empty house
...I could spend more time with my mom - female bonding hahaha!
...I could get to know my mom better
...Everytime I spent time talking to my mom I discover new things
...I don't have to deal with terrifying bugs alone
...I have two cats to play with

Financial benefits

...The rent would pay for my housing loan, that's a huge savings
...I could save more money for my future travels
...I could invest the savings for rainy days
...I could use the savings to reduce my credit card debts
...I save fuel because my mom's place is closer to my office

Fringe benefits

...I get homecooked meals everyday
...I can do experimental cook and have a ready audience (hehehe)
...I get air-conditioned bedroom, and get back my old room
...I don't have to clean my bathroom (no more allergies to detergent)
...I don't have to make my bed if I wdon't want to
...I don't have to do laundry and ironing
...I get internet access 24 hours a day

I thought I would be losing my privacy when I move back to my mom's place, but when I think about it, what privacy do I have now? My mom comes over to my place like everyday - what's the difference anyways, I'm not enjoying any privacy right now anyways. BTW my mom is managing the convenience store business at my condo building, so she comes up to my apartment to rest and pray. Thank God, my mom doesn't mind my friends lepak at the house or even stay over, as long as they respect her and no hanky panky, of course.

So, what I would be really giving up are...

...Beer, sex and drugs! (Not into those!)
...Wild parties (I quit partying...)
...Having orgies (hahaha I wish!)
...Cuddling and snuggling
...My solitude (whenever I need it)
...Clubbing (hmmm not that I missed it)
...Greenery as I drive into Bukit Indah
...Crispy breeze from the hilly forest
...Great view of the city skyline from my balcony
...Walking around buck naked in my apartment
...Sleeping in whole day (sometimes)
...Staying out late at night

What I can make peace with...
...I would remain celibate... (not having sex anyways)
...I may disagree with my mom but...
...I have only one mom - she's irreplaceable

So help me here. What do you think? Tell me...

Move back to my mom's place? Or stay put at my apartment?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Part of the statistics

Robbery, burglary, theft and rape.

We read about it in the newspapers, watched it on TV and heard about on radio almost everyday. We sympathised for a while and then we will forget about it and went about our business without giving it another thought. Once in while a case gets a lot of media publicity and gets our attention longer. When the steam cools off, we will then forget about it and went about our business without giving it another thought.

What we read, watch and hear would be part of the statistics and we remained very much unaffected by it. Not until it happened to us or people we love or care about.

It happened to me and my family yesterday.

My mom's house was robbed and our maid was tied up and her life hung at the edge of a robber's knife while his two accomplices ransacked the entire house for valuables. Finding nothing (thank God we don't keep the expensive jewelry at home) they took our maid's money and jewelry, and threatened to rape her. Thank God the neighbor's maid came knocking at the door at the right time and the robbers fled.

I can imagine our maid's terrifying ordeal after we found her with her limbs all tied up with electrical cords. She was scared shit. It could have been my mom, or me in her place.

I guess we are now part of the statistics....

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The risk it took to blossom

As French author Anais Nin known for her erotic writings, wrote in The Diary of Anais Nin, there came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

If my blog were a rose, Random Rarebits must be a bud, whilst Random Rarebits 2 is a blossom :)

My blog migration symbolises the passing of a new phase in my life - a more mature and wiser person, I hope! So farewell to Random Rarebits and welcome to Random Rarebits 2!


If you would like to to read my earlier postings, please to go to my original blog site Random Rarebits.

My latest posting in Random Rarebits was "I'm migrating!!!".

My earliest posting in Random Rarebits was "The Invisible Wife".