Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Updates

So hubby finally got the job offer we've been waiting for since September! He has turned in his resignation at his current company and should be starting at the new firm in June. After all the prayers and antacids I'm so glad the loooong wait is over.

There were so many nights hubby would be sitting in front of the computer, refreshing his inbox in hopes that tonight is the night. Other nights we would be laying in bed, waiting for the red light to flash on his Blackberry. It was like playing a slot machine. Everytime you pull the lever, you hope you'll get the jackpot but deep down inside you know you won't. That was exactly how I felt each time the red light lit up. Good thing hubby was the optimist and of course like he always says, he was right.

Another joyous event is that we've officially hired a part-timer to come in 3 times a week to cook and clean. I think I'm in love! I feel all warm and funny inside 3 times a week when I see my kitchen neat and shiney without me having to lift a finger. And then I see a nice hot meal waiting for me in that nice clean kitchen. Now we just need to graduate to when we can get someone fulltime so Boy Wonder won't be so attached to me anymore.

I also went out and spent big money last week and got my hair permed. I've always wanted wavy, not too curly hair like Meg Ryan, so last Saturday hubby watched Boy Wonder while I ventured off to get waves. Good thing the salon was having a special for a cut, perm and treatment. They even had a picture of Meg Ryan! So I happily pointed to her head and said do your thing. A few hours later, I was close to tears because it didn't come out the way I thought it would. But hubby said it looks good and the ladies during Luis' bday party yesterday all said it looks good, so I'll have to take their word for it. I'm just thinking this could be the last time I EVER think about perming my hair again. Ever.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Soul Food

I was going to continue working on a post tonight which was pretty much more of my moans and groans about seeing my "friend" over the weekend. But as the ladies were leaving after having lunch at my place today, I thanked them for what seemed like a therapy session they provided me by listening to my continued woes. As I waved bye to them I realized how thankful I was that there are these ladies that were willing to listen to me whine over and over again about the same thing for what seemed like forever! And then it hit me again, I may have lost a very dear friend. But in exchange I have gained a wonderful, endearing, accepting, open-minded, wise and colorful group of friends. You loose one, you gain a gaggle. What more can a gal ask for.

I arrived in HK a few years ago having just lost my closest friend. Although I was still caught up in the excitement of marrying the man of my dreams and starting a new life. It was also ironic that I ended up in the same city as her. I wondered how was I suppose to go through the whole friendship making process again after such a great loss. And I was still wondering up until this afternoon. What was I so worried about? I had already forged a great friendship with my Thursday group.

Who else would be patient enough to listen through all my friendship dramas over and over again? Who else would be willing to adopt Boy Wonder and I when there is no electricity in our apartment for the day? Who else would give the ongoing offer of their babysitting services if I ever need a break from Boy Wonder? Who else would whole heartedly invite me over anytime they are home and free? I am trully blessed to have found a group of women who have an unending supply of kwento, food, support and love.

So yes, I have lost quite a few friends through the years. But I think I've hit the jackpot moving to HK. As I count the number of ladies in my lunch group, I realize I have gained infinitely more with each of their unique personalities. Everything I miss and yearned from each of the friends I have lost, I have now found in at least one of these ladies. And as I get to know them more each week we meet, I am amazed at what I have learned about them and myself.

I mentioned how it's been so difficult for me to move on, but today I can say I've definitely taken a good solid step towards acceptance. Thanks for always keeping a day in the week free for our therapy sessions ladies. It's been therapy for my soul too.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I Surrender

It was the second time I watched Sense and Sensibility and this time I cried when Mr. Farres finally proposed his love to Eleanor. When I watched it the first time, I was no where as emotional as I was tonight. Come to think of it, I NEVER cried at any movie or tv show before I had Boy Wonder. It's strange how I've become such an emotional wreck since the little man was born. I now cry at almost anything, even commercials.

For as long as I could remember, I've always done my best to hide my emotions. When something sad was on TV, I'd fight so hard not to shed tears. When I met someone difficult, I did my best to swallow my anger and find ways to appease them. When I hurt myself as a little kid, hiding the pain and blood was more important than letting my mom soothe it. I don't know if it was because of pride or just plain stubburness, but I've shed all that now.

I think it's because in exchange for the abandon of showing my emotions, I've gained the strength to show all that's opposite to the weaknesses my emotions stand for. For when I was hiding my pain, it was because I had no resiliance to bare it. For when I was hiding my tears, it was because I had no pride to fight it. And when I did all to simply appease, it was because I had no confidence to get angry. Its strange how it took me this long to realise I simply hid because I didn't have the strength and self-condifence to be me. To not be ashamed of how I feel and not care what others would think about the who, why and when's of where my emotions stem from.

And one huge thing I realize changed me, was perfectly described by Quinn Cummings in her blog. She wrote: "As I stared down at this little sleeping person, I felt every defense I had ever constructed around myself crack and fall away like so much lobster shell." That's the way I feel. All the defenses I had put up through the years, all came tumbling down the day I realized the wonders of Boy Wonder. I finally learned to cry because I lost my best friend, I cried because my grandmother would not see her great grandson, I cried because all my pants no longer fit and then I cried some more because someone ate my M&M's.

But then I also learned to put my foot down because someone hurt my feelings. I learned to put my hand up when someone gave me too much bull. I learned to unfluff the fluff when too much was headed my way. And I learned NOT to do things because I had to, and only when I WANT to.

It's amazing how much strength and courage is needed to surrender. To be trully able to express such vulnerability, you've got to have the strength and balls in other areas first. No wonder alot of men can't cry. Haha!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What's In A Name

Hubby and I have heard of alot of "unique" names and thought we'd start an ongoing list. Hubby has actually met most of them and even have their business cards.

Galaxy Chan
Mega Sin
Money Chow
David Dollar
Psyche Tai
Bacon Yuen
Uncle Li
Often Chang
But Fuk Keung
Thor Lo
Purina
Lucifer

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Make Money Or Babies?

During our weekly lunch last week, we started talking about our careers, our college degrees and what we have ended up doing. One of the ladies in our lunch group said she wished someone would have also adviced her on what preparations to take IF she simply gets married straight out of college and not persue a career. We all looked at each other and thought crap, what do we do now with our degrees?

Before I get further into this discussion, I need to reiterate the fact that my lunch group and I are all in a unique situation. We all moved to HK because our hubbies found jobs here. Due to their better earning power then us, we had to give up our jobs. After moving here, a few of us discovered we missed the cut off date which would have allowed us to get a job without a work permit. And to add on the pain, unless you find a job in the end as an English teacher, you need to speak Cantonese to land any other job.

So there we were that afternoon, saying how our degrees made us over qualified in getting part-time jobs. Had we known we wouldn't be using our degrees anyways, most of us would have chosen a different degree like art. We grew up with the whole women empowerment thing. We were told in this day and age, there is nothing a man can do that us women can't. So off we went to college, then to graduate school. Or off we went to get a fulltime job in hopes of climbing that corporate ladder and someday become one of those lady CEO's.

But here's what I'm also thinking. When we were pushed to embrace the corporate world, to discover our "full" potential and to think like a man, were the men introduced into the womans' world as well? If there is nothing a man can do that a woman can't, how about is there anything a woman can do that a man can't?

The easy answer would be childbirth of course, but I want to be realistic. Childbirth aside, what is so degrading about being a fulltime mom or housewife that men are never encouraged to persue? If a husband has to accept the fact that his wife would like to work and not have to watch the kids fulltime or even have kids, should the wife also be able to accept the fact that her husband may not want to work fulltime and watch the kids instead?

And so as I complicate this issue all the more, I want to know what is being done to guide tomorrow's young ladies as they start picking colleges and think of what they want to do now that they're growing up? We've got the career counselors, the job fairs, the women's lib, etc. So how about those that might end up like us?

I actually know some friends of mine look down upon me because I'm a mere housewife and mom. A working mom actually told me she couldn't see herself doing such a low IQ job fulltime. We've been so brainwashed today that its deeply embedded in our mindset that success means a career. Being a fulltime housewife/mom does not count. Ok, I know I'm going to sound like such a hypocrite, but sometimes I do feel moms in Manila should go out and do something. They have the maids, drivers, assistants, family members in close proximity, etc. to totally justify getting off their ass and get a job or start a business.

So for those who will be living in a world similar to mine, it would be nice if they will be given some sort of "warning" in which to prepare for. It would be great if in addition to all those career oriented talks, someone would also give one to say it does not mean you're a failure if you choose to get married, have kids and be a fulltime homemaker. (ever watched Mona Lisa Smile?) And instead of holding sewing or cooking classes, how about seminars that guide you to make the most out of your time at home? What course in college would come in handy if you wanted to start a home business while watching the kids? What personality enhancements would you need the day you meet Super Business woman who thinks you're a looser? What course would you like to take knowing you might simply work part-time after getting married? Aren't all these legitamate issues?

So anyways, I think there are alot of questions here that need answering or debating on. At this moment I'm just glad I have the choice on whether I would like to work or stay home. If you had asked me this question a few years ago, it would have been a resounding "I want to work of course". But as I've grown up even more these past few years, I'm happy with the choices I've made and am proud to be a Super Mom instead.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Pare, I've Got Your Back

I'm sure you're all familiar with the often used comedic scenario where someone is chosen to confront a monster or poke a bee hive or stand up to the evil boss with the rest of the group crouching behind as they walk up to their nemesis. But as they get a bit too close or the moment sudden movement is detected, everyone runs away leaving the chosen person alone to face their doom. Funny enough, I've found myself in situations like that a few times.

I was reminded of this when hubby went out to celebrate with his collegues last night due to a work related matter. Although I wasn't the one out celebrating, it made me think... what if one day hubby has abit too much to drink and will obviously have a hard time getting home, will any of his more sober collegues or friends stand up to the plate and make sure he gets home alright?

When I was working in the US, I vacationed in Manila during one Christmas and New Years holiday, leaving my then boyfriend behind. When I got back, I found out he had cheated on me one night after going out with a group of friends I introduced him to. I later found out a guy friend of mine whom I thought I could depend on, watched my ex leave the bar with another girl from the group knowing full well what they were up to. He told me after everything had happened that it wasn't his business. Ouch.

A few years later, I was in another sticky situation with my barkada. Due to lack of pertinent information on my part, something happened which caused me to get into a serious argument with a close friend of mine. After I had left the party, my closest friend who knew full well I had no fault in the matter said nothing as this close friend of mine preached to the whole party that I was at fault and did so with full intention. My heart broke when I heard I was not defended.

And yet later during 2 of my jobs in Manila, my collegues jumped ship on me. One was when a dispute occured with management. I was asked to voice our dissappointment, but when management came downstairs to talk about it, they all denied any involvement. The other was when 15 of my collegues said they would attend my wedding and only 3 showed up. Or maybe that is just the standard in Manila. Either ways, I was heartbroken because time and time again I realized I really couldn't count on anyone.

A few years later hubby asked me during our "courtship" stage who was the one person I know I could depend on no matter what. Without hessitation I told him "she" was the one. To this day my heart still breaks everytime I think about how wrong I was.

Growing up in Manila, I often heard the guys say "Pare, I got your back." Foolishly I thought it works for us ladies too. I know there are tons of people out there who aren't as unlucky as I have been when it comes to friendships and relationships. But sheesh, it just sucks that it keeps happening to me. But don't worry, I'm still going to try and forge friendships wherever I go. I'm a sucker for friends. And hey, I've got tons of experience now in case another sob story of mine repeats itself.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Blah

The past week or so has just been blah. The only excitement was having a guest stay with us for a few days on his way back to Beijing. He was great with Boy Wonder and I loved having those free minutes in the day while they played together. I'm just glad Boy Wonder warmed up to him quickly and had a blast. They got along so well together that our guest said meeting Boy Wonder again has made him realize he really wants to have kids after their April wedding.

I'm also in the process of hiring a part-time helper. I've reached a point in my kitchen career that I am so sick of cooking and doing the dishes. I let the neverending pile stock up and yet I hate seeing dirty dishes in the sink. I've also started cooking ALOT of dishes in our pathetic little oven because I'm too lazy to prepare something and cook them on the stove. I'm already abit dissappointed in myself because I think I have fed Boy Wonder 2 McDonald's meals in the span of a month so far. Anything more than that I consider myself to be a failure as Super Mom.

So anyways, the hiring process has been slow. So far the one and only helper I've tried out that can cook made her dish too spicey when I specifically told her not to because Boy Wonder would be eating it as well. She also left our dinky little dinning table a mess with her half-hearted wipe. I have a new lead today though after asking some of the helpers at the playground. I got to see my potential future helper stick her head out of the bathroom window on the seventh floor since she couldn't come out and play at that moment. She'll give me a call soon so we can arrange a trial run. I really hope things work out. I've also posted an ad at our ParknShop but I guess there must be a backup of ads since mine hasn't been posted yet.

I've also been researching on graphic design companies to redesign my TLY Designs logo. I just feel that my cartoon logo doesn't look professional enough anymore. So far the best deal I've seen was from an ad in the Dollarsaver for Oliver's Webdesign Ltd. They charge HK$350 for their logo design. So I thought it might be even cheaper if I checked out a few Philippine based companies and to my shock most of them charge at least double and one even quoted me 100 times more than Olivers! And one guy I found which was the best deal only charges US$40, but he has a large project at the moment and won't be available until July. Darn! So at the moment I might go with Oliver's.

I'm also hopefully going to attend the Jewellery Fair this week. Hubby said he will do his best to get an afternoon off, probably Thursday so he can watch Boy Wonder while I go to the fair and see what I can get my hands on. I basically need to buy some tools to start teaching a few students. Exciting!

Hmmm... I guess there are quite a few things going on at the moment. It just didn't seem like anything but after writing it down, it sure seems like alot!