My grandmother’s sudden death two weeks ago (more on that later) seems to have brought the cousins and I closer together, which is the ‘brighter’ side of the whole situation. Although of course, I do wish she’s still around with us.
We went on our first gathering yesterday evening. Honestly a memorable one, and I’m confident there’ll be more to come. These are the people I grew up with. We’ve known each other since we were little runts, subsequently brats, then snotty teenagers and now grown-ups with our own hopes and dreams. On top of that, a shared identity, family history and genes to match.
Laughing at one another’s jokes and ridiculous boo-boos were reminiscent of my last proper interaction with them, sometime 5 years back. (During the 5 years, I withdrew from my extended family a lot – for a variety of personal reasons. Now, I’m kicking myself for having done so because I have lost out on a lot of precious time.) I’m really happy that after all this time, some things don’t change. :’)
We had dinner at Saveur, a lovely place with awesome French food at really decent prices … to the point where we had no qualms about topping up our orders because the food was so good.
In fact, the staff also had this strange tendency to send food which did not belong to us (but meant for the table next to us) our way. And of course, some unsuspecting cousin will scoop a huge mouthful and plop it into his mouth … just before a more observant one goes “waaaait, did we order that?”
The occupants of the next table got so paranoid that they’d never fail to look over each time food gets served on our table. It was quite hilarious to watch.
During dessert. M ordered ‘cookies and milk’ which turned out to be this plateful of … something completely covered with milk froth. It was so intriguing that everyone leaned in for a closer look.
“What’s underneath?” J asked. (Obviously asking about the dessert.)
In response, M lifted the plate and peeked below it.
Facepalms all around.
The above, and a tonne of other laughter-inducing moments. I’m even giggling to myself as I’m writing this, and am suddenly aware of how much I really miss all these.
Good night, folks.
In the midst of my health insurance application right now and I can’t help but feel a little marginalized. And I’m pretty sure anyone out there with any form of medical history would be feeling the same way too.
In fact, some form of marginalization will definitely occur if you’re anywhere less than in perfect health, insurance or otherwise. I still clearly remember my part time waitressing stint at Swensen’s in 2005, when my manager grumbled aloud about how he sent one of my floor-mates back because she was feeling giddy (which was a nice gesture actually) which was then followed by “Can’t stand this kind of sick people. So useless and a waste of time only!”
That was then I promised myself that I’d never fall sick because this kind of managers are pretty much everywhere.
The point that ‘one should not be a sickie’ was further hammered in when I filled in my internship application for a local airline company in 2007, which asked for a medical history so detailed I felt I was applying to be in the police force instead of a lowly IT intern. (Thankfully, my medical history was still close to zero then.)
Then, 2008 happened and I had to adjust to what I coined as my ‘new normal’.
Subsequently, 2010 happened and I had to re-adjust to yet another ‘new normal’.
I was beginning to fear for my future, especially in a productivity-centric society. Surely, every company would only want to hire a healthy employee who can work her days off with as little sick leave as possible.
Thankfully, the only form of marginalization I’m facing so far is insurance. In all other aspects, all I can say is that I must be a really lucky person to be surrounded with the people I’m with now.
I’m really grateful and indebted to the people who gave me a chance to prove myself despite the occasional flare-ups due to my compromised immune system. I believe I brought this up to you guys in person before but I was told ‘not to be silly’. (; Thanks to you, I managed to reach a point where I feel self-actualized in almost every single aspect of my life.
To those out there living with chronic illnesses, keep your chin up and stay awesome.
“I was very grateful to have heard it again. Because I guess we all forget sometimes.
And I think everyone is special in their own way. I really do.”
– Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
In no particular order;
1. A rush of warm water down your throat after a vigorous cough.
2. Taking a really good shit. The type that comes out all at one go. Not the occasionally ‘plunk plunk plunk’s that are ridiculously small with the effort needed to force them out.
3. Speaking of which, also getting a ‘Eureka!’ moment in the midst of (2), which qualifies as a double pleasure.
4. Having dark chocolate slowly melting in your mouth.
5. Taking off on a jet plane.
6. Long bus rides in a public, empty bus (extremely rare in crowded Singapore), with your favourite music plugged into your ears and a good book in your hands.
7. Hopping on a bus and going wherever it takes you.
8. The sense of satisfaction after solving a complex coding problem with less than 20 lines of code. (Only the geeks will get this.)
9. Having Starbuck’s Java Chip frappe during a rainy day.
11. The rush of adrenaline when giving a public talk. (I’m starting to get used to this.)
12. Being surrounded by people you love, every single day – both at home AND at work.