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The first birthday.
I still hate the idea of him losing, no matter who he lost to, what tournament he lost in, which round he lost in, and how long he was out of competition for before he lost. I mean, it's understandable that he wasn't completely on his game after being out since the US Open final and playing a grand total of zero seeded players before the final.
BUT STILL. I hate it when he loses.
The bright side is, at least now I don't have to go out of my way to check when SuperSports is replaying the final. Because, obviously, I'm not watching it anymore.
Anyway, Wei Chuen's birthday was quite awesome. The places I wanted to take him (in a couple of hotels near Suntec) were closed on Sundays for who-knows-what reason, so I resorted to my fall-back plan of taking him to Soprano's at Portsdown. It was a fall-back plan because...actually, I don't really know. Because the food is actually not expensive? I'm weird, I know.
Before that, I must relate the tale of how I put together his birthday present in the span of two-and-a-half days. Even before that though, I came up with this idea, pretty much out of nowhere, of doing a cross stitch thingy for him. I ordered some stuff online (thank goodness for that based-in-Singapore site; had no idea where to go to buy such things), and when my stuff came I realised that if I attempted to give him the nicer pattern, he'd never get a present. I opened the packet of materials and had absolutely no clue what the instructions were talking about. Thankfully I ordered a simpler one as I have a tendency to buy more (HAHA BUY MORE - I LOVE CHUCK) instead of buy less, just in case I end up needing something I don't have. But of course, I didn't really know what I was ordering because the pattern of two stick figures in black holding hands with some random heart shapes peppered about the borders was a chart, not a kit - which apparently meant it didn't come with anything but a piece of paper with the chart printed at the back. And I genuinely thought the seller shipped it without the threads and whatever.
After I got the things I needed, I started working on it. It's really just a square with two stick figures and some border - but it took me fucking forever. And it didn't help that I kept making mistakes, and because I'm anal, I can't let those mistakes slide. I can't even begin to describe, or quantify, how many times I found myself undoing the stitches that I'd already done. That in itself was a major pain in the ass, because I'd stitch in between the three strands of thread, so that when I backtracked I couldn't undo the stitch as it was stuck between strands of thread. So I ended up cutting a lot of things away and pissing myself off in the process. Those parts weren't very fun.
On Thursday, it finally dawned on me that his birthday was in a few days and I hadn't done squat; the puny cross stitch thing obviously wasn't going to be the only thing I was giving him, as it would've been kinda pathetic, to say the least. Post-tutorial*, then, I drove to Plaza Singapura where I had a lonely dinner all by my poor lonely self prior to stepping into this store in an attempt to be inspired by the lovely decorative papers on sale and have a clue as to what to make him for a birthday card.
(*An aside: I didn't know Civ Pro tutorial was the last tutorial until Wei Chin went on about it before class started.)
Turned out I was wrong. I stepped into the store and was immediately freaked out. First, it was crowded as hell - and I mean, crowded as hell. It felt like the whole of Singapore's female population was jammed into that puny store - and it was not a pretty sight. The aisle was already narrow to begin with, so having to squeeze past female bodies in a bid to get to where I wanted to go was both scary and traumatising.
Second, I didn't have the slightest idea what I was doing. See, I'm not an artistic person by any stretch of the imagination; I went there without a gameplan; I had no idea what I wanted to do; and most importantly, my boyfriend is exactly as artistic as I'm not. He drew me a birthday card because, hello, he can draw! He can do art! All I can do is sit back on my arse and criticise modern art for being pretentious shit!
All those thoughts were put on repeat in my head as I tiptoed around the store for a good one hour. Fortunately for me, and for Wei Chuen, during the one hour I actually did something. Well, kind of. I picked out some coloured papers at random, then saw a pack of lovey-dovey papers and took that, then took some stickers, and I forgot what else, then proceeded to the fucking long-ass queue that stretched OUTSIDE to queue. And it didn't help that the woman in front of me had a lot of things and took forever.
So that was done. I went to Spotlight next, en route to my car, hoping to find something I could put the pages in, but found nothing. I spotted some Uhu glue tape though that works just like correction tape, except it dispenses glue. I didn't know they made such things. Also bought a tube of paper gum without knowing what it was, which was probably not smart as it turned out not too useful (or maybe I should know what I'm buying before I buy it).
I went home dead tired.
Friday - spent the early afternoon with Wei Chuen, after which I headed down to Orchard to meet Ruishan and shop for his present. I decided to get him a wallet because he doesn't have one despite the fact that the reason he doesn't have a wallet is because he always loses it. Went to Shaw Isetan first and almost bought a Fred Perry wallet I thought was quite nice, until Ruishan waddled over to meet me and told me it looked like shit. Hahaha. We waddled together over to Takashimaya where we went to Ralph Lauren, and I almost bought this light brown wallet which was objectively nice but which I'd never use because the leather left a stench on my fingers, which Ruishan thought was nice too. The only problem with that wallet was that it was four dollars more than half my monthly allowance from The Firm.
After a while that ceased to be a problem because I genuinely don't care about how expensive the gift is as long as I actually have the money to pay for it, and as long as I think it's a good fit. But it seemed hasty to commit to the wallet immediately, so we went to Kino to get a gift box and to get the DVD I wanted to get him (No Man's Land - watched it in secondary school and I still remember the last scene like I watched it yesterday), and to get Ruishan's Sandman comic (uh, graphic novel. Okay). On the way to Kino I decided that I'd decided to buy the wallet. Upon reaching Ralph Lauren again after we bought our stuff at Kino, I decided I wasn't sure again. Ruishan also decided she couldn't see Wei Chuen using the wallet; she held it from a distance and said that the more she looked at it, the more she didn't think it was very him.
True that. The more I looked at it, the more I thought it didn't suit him too. It didn't feel right. It was nice, but it wasn't right. But I didn't know what else to get, so I said to Ruishan, "Okay I'll come back tomorrow and get it." In the meantime I followed her to City Hall as I wanted to go to Funan to buy the DVD (saw it there when I bought my laptop but was too lazy to buy it because I'm weird) and I was hoping I'd find something at Raffles City.
I didn't. I did manage to develop pictures though. I walked around the supermarket with Ruishan who didn't find what she was looking for. By then it was close to 7. I'd been walking since I got out of the cab at Isetan at 4.30. The last time I drank water was at Wei Chuen's house, at 3-something. I was tired, I was thirsty, I was hungry, and my throat felt strange. I oscillated mentally between going back to Orchard to get his present, or going to Chinatown where my mom was so that I could get a ride home.
In the end, after I left Ruishan, I decided I absolutely could not go back to Orchard, and that I absolutely did not want to, even if it meant going back the next day - which was a freaking Saturday - and braving the gross weekend crowd to get his present. After tennis too, no less.
I also decided I wasn't in the mood to change trains at Dhoby Gaut, so I brilliantly decided to walk to Chinatown. From City Hall. From Funan. I think it took about twenty minutes. I went to Chinatown Point to look for the store that Ruishan told me about which sold cool guys' stuff, but it was closed. I wasn't too pleased about that.
Finally met my mom at around 7.45, not before I bought myself watermelon juice (which was godsent at that point). I was hoping we could just go home but she was starving, so we went to the hawker centre at People's Park.
Um, yeah, so I'm never gonna eat at a hawker centre ever again. The food was great, but it wasn't so great when I saw a baby roach crawling around the pole on which the umbrella over our heads perched. Yeah, that wasn't fun. I didn't want to alarm my mom so I just sat there, eating, staring at the cockroach, hoping it wouldn't crawl towards the table...until it did. I had no choice. We had to move.
I have no choice. I can't eat at the hawker centre. It's bloody disgusting, AND it was actually a lot hotter than I realised. When we stepped out into the open air it was so cold that I thought the door to OG was left open or something. It wasn't. It was simply the natural coolness of the night. It felt like air-conditioning. It felt like London in the transition period between spring and summer.
When I got home I was dead tired.
I woke up the next day with a sore throat. I still went to play tennis. Except for the first point, it was disastrous. I really felt kind of bad, such that after a while I couldn't focus on the ball and was even slower than usual (and I'm already very slow because my stamina sucks and I'm too lazy to dash for the ball as it's freaking tiring!). But I must say, though, the first point of the morning was quite magnificent. Everything clicked: Forehand was consistent (three in a row! Omg! Usually I hit one good one followed by a series of shit ones), kept the ball in play, and when NUS Wall Guy changed direction to my backhand, I finished him off with a cross-court winner. It was great!
I still can't keep the ball in when I try to finish the rally with a winner, especially the forehand side. I'd try to hit to the open court on my right, but I'd end up hitting the ball out. At least it's in the right direction? Bleah.
Anyway, I went home, showered, changed, had lunch, then got a lift from my mom to Ann Siang Fred Perry. I saw a nice wallet on the Fred Perry website the night before and called Ion to ask if they had it; the person told me it was available at Ann Siang. So I went all the way to Ann Siang, which is in an ulu-piang corner behind Maxwell Food Centre, totally not within acceptable walking distance to the MRT station, just to find out the fucking thing was fucking sold out. I WAS NOT HAPPY AT ALL. Thankfully the salesman was helpful: I described the wallet to him, he went to the site to confirm that what he had in mind of what I had in mind was actually what I had in mind, and helped me call the Cineleisure store to check if they had it. And they did.
So I cabbed down to Cineleisure. I found the wallet. I looked at the price and got a shock because it was way cheaper than I was expecting. It was so cheap that I didn't feel like buying it anymore, plus the back of the wallet didn't look very nice, though I still liked the overall design. And it didn't help that they didn't have the wallets that Ann Siang had, so I couldn't compare.
Thus, I decided to go Ion to see if they had any alternatives. They didn't really. They had a pure black leather one which wasn't bad, but the inside was brown. And it didn't have a photo holder. The photo holder was crucial as I planned on putting our picture in it so that he wouldn't lose it (as he'd be losing us if he lost it, omg!1!1!1!!!1!one!). And the inside was brown. And it was weird.
So I went to Takashimaya. And bought the wallet I could have bought at Cineleisure. Because I still liked the design. And it had a photo holder.
After that I took a bus to Cathay where I bought him a t-shirt. Then I went to Plaza Singapura, the same store I was at on Thursday, where I bought more fluffy stuff. I went to Times to buy scissors and saw a small stuffed pig which I thought was totally appropriate for him BECAUSE HE'S A PIG and bought that too.
By then it was past six. I was fucking half dead. It didn't help that my throat was uncomfortable, that my head hurt like fuck, and that I was fucking tired from tennis - from SICK tennis. And PS, as usual, was fucking crowded as hell, and THAT annoyed me too.
Ended up MRT-ing to Newton after I printed a wallet-sized picture for his brand-new wallet which he isn't going to lose anymore because the picture is Magik!. Reached Newton and discovered 9 missed calls from Mom who thought I'd been kidnapped as I still wasn't home; she thought I was going straight home after Ann Siang. In the end she picked me up from Newton, which saved me the hassle of taking a cab. And wasting money.
After dinner, I slacked around for a bit, then got started on finishing that damn cross-stitch. 8.45 p.m. I still hadn't started on his card thing. I got tired every 15 minutes, and when he texted at 10-plus that he was going home from his squash thing, I knew that if I wanted to make him a decent mini-scrappy-booky-cardy thing, AND give it to him on his birthday, which was the next day, it was either an all-nighter, or try my best to come up with something decent on Sunday afternoon before we went out for dinner. Why? Because I said I wanted to meet. Why? Because I wanted to be with him at midnight.
Yeah okay stop laughing, thanks.
Anyway, we snuggled in his room and all; I sat my stupid phone clock for "12:00", and when my alarm didn't go off, I thought my phone was spoiled. But no! My alarm was in 24-hour clock format. It should have been "0:00". So for six minutes I laid next to him, not saying a word, waiting for bated breath for the alarm to go off so that I could wish him happy birthday, when all along I set the wrong time format. I'm so utterly brilliant.
I left at 1 a.m. The whole night I was feeling like death, with the throat dying, a cough sneaking up on me. I took my cough medicine from my last visit to the doctor when I reached home, then sat down to finally start on his thing.
It proved more challenging than I'd anticipated, even after taking into account my non-existent art skills. But I wanted to finish the cover before I slept or he wouldn't be getting the most meaningful present I planned for him, as there was no way I could finish the entire thing on Sunday afternoon itself (since I knew there was no way I was waking up early in the morning, though on hindsight I should've). So I stayed up until 4.30 working on the cover. It eventually turned out like this:
So you see the flowers, right? It's a good idea, since flowers are pretty and all?
PASTING THOSE FLOWERS ON REALLY TESTED MY PATIENCE BECAUSE THE DAMN PAPER GUM, WHATEVER PAPER GUM IS, TOOK FOREVER TO STICK. The flowers kept shifting position until I got so fed up I took out the normal glue I had in my drawer and used that. What the freaking fuck is paper gum? Whatever.
When I went to sleep it was only 3/4 done. It didn't have "happy 23", didn't have so many flowers, didn't have the black strips. I pasted "xoxo" 15 minutes before I left the house to meet him. Looking at it now I think it's nightmarish. Too many flowers. What's up with the random blue heart at the corner (stuck it on last-minute too). Freaking glue stains from the cheap glue. Ugh. One bad thing about having me as a girlfriend is that you're on the receiving end of things like...that.
Anyway, woke up Sunday at 1-ish in time for lunch (my mom dapaoed from Go India!!!!!! It was sooooo nice). At 2.30 not only did I not have a mini scrappy booky cardy thingy for him, I also didn't have a dinner place in mind. I told myself not to panic and got down to business. Finished the cover, then worked on the second page (ugly :( though the picture of him is super adorable), then the subsequent pages. In between I surfed HungryGoWhere.com for food places, even called the Pan Pac Italian restaurant three times but no one answered, then found out they close on Sundays. I also had time to get pissed off at my mom.
I was literally doing his thing until the last possible minute, and eventually I was late to pick him up. 15 minutes late. I was quite panicky as I was rushing out of the house, and when I realised I forgot my camera when I was ready to drive off, I almost didn't want to go back to get it as I was already very late (and I hate being late). In the end I went back though because it was imperative that we took pictures.
Also, when we arrived at Portsdown, I realised I called the wrong restaurant. I wanted to take him to Soprano's. I ended up calling the restaurant across the road. I was so frazzled that I didn't notice the mistake when I did the calling, not even when Ruishan texted me the name of the restaurant. Amazing, right? Thankfully Soprano's had seats available, or I would've been damn pissed with myself.
He liked the place. He liked his food. And I was very relieved. He hates the places that I like, especially Dempsey. He has a special hatred for Dempsey, which immediately ruled out Vintage India (I was considering it at first but he was right when he said it wasn't logical to take him to a place he hated on his birthday. BUT THE FOOD IS REALLY GOOD!). It's kinda sad because, although I wouldn't say I love Dempsey, I like the place enough because it's convenient, and because it has FREE PARKING. That's pretty much its biggest draw. And it's not nearly as pretentious and irritating as Rochester, which Wei Chuen oddly doesn't hate. I don't get it, really; Rochester is 10 times more pretentious than Dempsey. At least Dempsey has Dome and other mid-range establishments to balance out the Oosh and Red Dot crap (Red Dot is really crap; went there with SN friends and Yun found a worm in Shuting's food). I absolutely hate Rochester, but I quite like Dempsey. And Portsdown is just another one of these places, but he liked it.
Then again, Soprano's is decently-priced. Pasta Brava is still the best Italian restaurant I've eaten at in Singapore though (didn't want to bring him there because he's been there before and doesn't think it's particularly amazing. But it is!), so the few dollars more is totally worth it.
The other place I considered was Forlino's at One Fullerton for the view, but 1) Mag said the food was average; and 2) Wei Chuen also hates One Fullerton. He said it's a useless place.
He's quite fussy, isn't he? Thinking of where to eat was more stressful than making his card book thing, or shopping for his present. I was more relieved than happy when he said he liked the place AND liked his food.
After dinner, I wanted to go to Klee for drinks (where I'd be having coffee) but I couldn't find it. We walked up towards the army camp and Wei Chuen totally killed the romance by yakking on about how the setting resembled the set of a horror movie. Thanks a lot. That didn't freak me out at all.
Went to Tanglin where everything was closed. He opened his box in the car park when I thought we'd go to Starbucks where he'd open it but um, he apparently couldn't contain his curiosity (he asked me on Saturday night what I was getting him, when I told him he might not get his present on time as I hadn't even started on the book thing). He saw the Fred Perry box and got all excited, and when I told him why he wasn't going to lose his wallet this time, he hugged me. He said, "Are you happy that I'm happy?"
We went to Rail Mall in the end. Ended up at gross Harry's because Blooie's was too noisy and Coffee Bean was closing. He flipped through his card thing and marvelled over the effort put into it. He commented on it somemore when we were downstairs at his place, on a bench; he said he'd never received a card with that much effort before.
Well, to be fair, I'd never done it for anyone. I've done the photo thing for some friends, but not a boyfriend, and the ones for my friends were wayyyyy uglier than his (his is quite ugly already). But I knew he'd like it because he likes things like that - hand-made stuff and all. And I wanted to make him happy, so the whole ordeal - falling sick, rushing, feeling like I was about to die from seeing too much paper in a few hours, wanting to kill self for having no artistic skills - was well worth it.
We ate dim sum at the coffee shop where he proceeded to light up his second fag of the night, which pissed me off. I hate seeing him smoke, I hate smelling smoke on his fingers, I hate tasting the very faint lingering taste of his one or two cigarettes a day, or less, in his mouth, and I hate smelling it on his clothes. I wasn't pleased already when he went off for a smoke break halfway through dinner but let it go because it was his birthday. In the first place when he told me his friends got him a pack of cigarettes for his birthday I had to make myself not say something about it.
But him lighting up at a no-smoking table, next to me? I couldn't take that. In the first place I can't stand people that do that as I think it's mighty inconsiderate and blatant, and it only reinforces the shit impression of smokers I already have. I walked off almost immediately. Went to the car to get tissue. Slowly walked back, hoping he would've been done by the time I was back. Well, almost. Sat in stony silence for a few seconds before I told him I hated it when he smoked. I was quite bitchy, sure. Probably wasn't necessary; but this is something I'm never going to accept. I'm already barely tolerating it. I'm definitely glad he doesn't chain smoke or smokes that much, but I'd be ecstatic if/when he finally stops smoking at all one day.
Sorry, I think smoking is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I'm an extremist when it comes to this because it boggles my mind how one can be so flippant about his own health. But if you wanna kill yourself, fine - no one's stopping you. Where it makes even less sense is knowing that you're harming the people around you, and yet doing it anyway. Once I drove past a car full of kids and the father was puffing away - I swear, if I were ever unfortunate enough to have someone like that as my husband, he'd be divorced so fast he wouldn't even have time to conceive of the idea of quitting. And this social thing? I mean, what? I can't even comprehend it on a rational level. And smoking to deal with stress? I think I'd resort to crying any time of the fucking day.
Cigarette smoke also gives me a headache after prolonged exposure and inhalation, so that is definitely not good as well. The last time I was at a table full of smokers I almost died - the headache I got was absolutely terrible and I felt like I couldn't breathe (well, I couldn't really). I can't even stand a little bit of cigarette smoke. It just ruins everything, at least for me. It ruins my clean air. It ruins my mood. It ruins the fact that I'm not suffering a headache and that I'm happy about it.
As for Wei Chuen, if I'm being honest, I think he's better than his habit. He's way better than his habit. I think he's smarter than that. I think he shouldn't be doing something beneath his level of intelligence. I don't want him to lie to me about it, but I don't want to know either. Namely: Don't tell me unless I ask you. Because hearing the words "I smoked today" is sure to put a dampener on my mood.
I don't know why I hate smoking so much; but I do. I get incredibly irritated when I'm forced to inhale someone's stupid, disgusting second-hand smoke. It's one thing killing yourself; I don't give a shit about that (unless you're someone I love, obviously). But killing others? That's just incredibly thoughtless and inconsiderate. And I'd never understand. Never, ever understand.
Funny, isn't it, that 3 out of 4 of the guys I dated, one of which I am dating, are smokers? At least Wei Chuen doesn't chain smoke - and I'm really glad he doesn't. I don't think I can properly express how glad, especially after my anti-smoking tirade; but I am. Really, REALLY glad. It could be worse. I'd know that.
Okay, anyway. I really just wanted to say that I got mad at him for smoking, but recovered when we went to sit at the back and I leaned into him and felt comfortable and protected. All I can say at this juncture is that I love him.
This is the only page I like from his thing:
Ruined by the two orange strips at the bottom though. Ah well.