Sunday, June 18, 2006

Opposites Detract

Oops! So Sorry for the super late entry on my column but I had some problems with the freaking Net (honestly Trixie and I seem to have some kind of force field that renders the Internet dead as soon as we get near it!). In fact I still can't access it from my home and am now in some freaking Internet cafe. Okay, enough about my Internet woes!

As ya'll who read the article would've noticed(I've pasted it below this entry for those who have not) - I think the phrase opposites attract is overused and offers absolutely no help whatsoever to those who happen to find themselves in a situation that reflects its premise.
I mean whoever dreamt up the phrase is just stating the obvious. Besides 'opposites attract' seems to refer to just the physical aspect of relationship when there are some many other levels.

I mean, after Opposites find themselves attracted to each other, what are they supposed to do? We all know of or may have been part of a couple who have few mutual interests and after a time this can really push the relationship into a very
precarious state. Opposing views/interests lead to less time together and even if they are together Opposites might find themselves constantly arguing about differing viewpoints.

I personally had a tough time dealing with a boyfriend who had totally different ideas about everything and we eventually gave up. Sometimes life is hard enough and all that extra work just to keep a relationship afloat just doesn't seem worth it.

Opposites attract but the attraction always wanes (it has to - otherwise everyone would be perpetually home performing the horizontal tango and nothing would ever get done!)So, when physical attraction is on the decline, all the other areas - the spritual, the emotional and the mental better be there as your safety net! If not, you're going to find yourself in a pretty pickle.

So as far as I'm concerned, opposites may start off attracting but inevitably end up detracting from your life...what do you think?


COLUMN:

OPPOSITES CAN UPSET
BY TRISHA RAJAH

ALL a girl wants...is to track down whoever came up with the saying “opposites attract” and give them a good hiding. I honestly believe that it has led many a hopeful heart down a hapless path.

Opposites certainly attract, of course. This is a statement that holds true in the world of physics and physical attraction.

How often have you found yourself drawn to an outdoorsy type who loves to go camping? Meanwhile, you're someone who would go into cardiac arrest if a cicak so much as glances your way.

What's aggravating is that “opposites attract” states the obvious but does nothing to dispel the confusion that inevitably arises from its truth.
The natural disparity between the male and female species is mind-boggling enough. Add layers of opposing opinions, hobbies or convictions and you're courting trouble!

When opposites attract, the very traits that initially seemed so distinct and unique from your own, often start off as endearing but swiftly end up as annoying.
I believe relationships stand a slim chance of surviving if there is little or no compatibility between the two people involved. The odds improve only if you happen to differ on superficial interests.

For instance, my husband thinks Oprah should be force-fed carbs until she balloons up and floats away, never to be seen or heard from again.
I happen to think Oprah is God's gift to womankind. This sort of conundrum is easily resolved. Either I try to watch Oprah when he's not around or we get a second Astro decoder. Problem solved.

It’s not that simple when deeper, critical issues are at stake. A couple who disagree on closely held beliefs and what constitutes right and wrong will find it a challenge to stay a couple for long.
Issues like belief in God or even political viewpoints that differ too drastically can spell the demise of a relationship. That's why a long-lasting liaison between an oil company magnate and an environmental activist or Dan Brown and anyone from the Vatican City is probably doomed to fail.

But how do Opposites end up in marriages or long-term relationships in the first place?
Once the superficial attraction wears off, shouldn't the relationship fade away with it?

Some Opposites stick around hoping to recapture the initial euphoria they felt when they first met. All I can is say good luck to them – chances are higher that Paris Hilton will wake up tomorrow and dedicate her life to serving the poor.

Some Opposites stay because they believe they can change themselves or their partners. After interminable lectures from Dr Phil and other relationship gurus, I think most people have finally realised that it’s easier to change the world than it is to change the one you love.

Altering yourself might be a better bet except that you're on a slippery slope. How much of yourself are you willing to change in order to maintain the relationship? After all, we spend half our lives trying to find out who we are. It would be a shame to lose ourselves all over again just to make a relationship work. This is a mistake that is especially common among women but that’s a topic for another column.

However, I must admit that it is not impossible for Opposites to stay together. Sure, you'll have to practise Buddha-like tolerance but it might be well worth the effort. A partner who is totally unlike yourself can expand your mind and enrich your life with fresh ideas and experiences.

So to all you Opposites out there – the bookworms and backpackers, rock climbers and wallflowers, activists and meditators who have taken “opposites attract” to heart – here's a secret formula that will help you along the road to Happily-Ever-After.
It consists of just four ingredients – patience and compromise, compromise, compromise! The formula works for all kinds of relationships but Opposites will just have to prepare for a bumpier ride.

As for me, life is difficult enough and the love in your life shouldn't be complicated. So I say opposites may attract but it’s so much simpler when you decide you'd rather flock together with birds of a feather!

Friday, June 16, 2006

London town!

I'm in London!!! (typing away on a fabulously rickety keyboard which doesn't have a proper functioning spacebar, so pardon any typos).

Haven't been back since I left uni three years ago so it's incredible fun to see old friends again, which was really the main reason for coming back here. So you can imagine how irritating it is to go out with said friend to a fabulous bar with splendid lychee martinis and get harrassed all night by drunk ugly men with bad fashion sense.

Which makes me wonder why it is that when you're trying to be desirable and adored and demanding attention, nobody bats an eyelid in your direction. Then when you'd rather everyone bugger off so you can just do the plain old girly-time thing with a friend, they all come round and bother you.

It was also a timely reminder of just how stupid and over-used all those chat-up lines are. One of them kept asking me my name - if you can't remember my name when I just told you it 10 minutes ago then your constant attempts to be charming and endearing fail from the onset.

Another one (with something like a strange French accent) asked me, "Are you Cor-wan?"

"What?!"

"Cor-wan! You are Cor-wan?"

*rolls eyes* I eventually figured out that he was asking if I was Korean. Then he ran through the whole range of races - English? Thai? Japanese? Even Indian because I was wearing a pendant of a Buddhist/Hindu deity (how he could think a Chinese girl was Indian or English, I don't know. Dumb Westerners think we're all the same).

And really, all I wanted was to hang out with Elisa, take lots of stupid photos of ourselves and gossip about ex-boyfriends. Oh well, at least the drinks were good.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Soapin 'n Mopin

Hello All!!!! Okay, obviously I'm not dead nor am I trying to avoid blogging. Despite what Trixie said in the previous post, I'd rather if you guys do not resort to poking my eye as I'm kind of attached to both of them : )

The reason I never really blog about everyday stuff all that much is coz I'm never sure if anyone is really that interested in the everyday goings on in my life.

Today is a good example. The most interesting thing I did today is to clean the bathroom at home.Being the spoilt diva that I am, I can't really remember ever having cleaned a bathroom before in my life except for that one time in Uni when I was feeling particularly domestic.

Anyway, we have a maid who comes in and does it usually but I thought I'd give it a shot. Boy, was I suprised. First of all - its a good workout. All that bending over and lifting of pails filled with water is at least as a good as an hour at the gym.

Next, I believe endevouring to stay upright on the slippery, soapy floor and not break your kneecaps is a skill in itself. Phew! I had a few close calls I tell you!

All in all, I must say that I have a whole new respect for people who clean for a living. Its hard enough when you've got to clean up after yourself but cleaning up after other people must be particularly aggravating!

Will I try the cleaning thing again?! Probably, especially if I'm too lazy to go to the gym!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Going away

Okay folks. I'm going overseas for 2 weeks to work and play and drink vodkatonics.

I'm handing the baton over to Trisha, but she seems to have gone MIA so it may be a little quiet here over the next few weeks. I give you full permission to poke her in the eye just to see if she's still alive.

Be back soon!

T x x x

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The One? Pffft!

Yes see, so many of you agree that, that whole thing about finding “The One” is rubbish. We only set ourselves up for more and more disappointment, and c’mon, if everything was like in those romantic chick-flicks then not only would we have already found our One True Love somewhere like the grocery store, but we would also always have immaculate beautiful hair, no cellulite and a different pair of expensive shoes to wear every day.

Which of course, just isn’t what happens.

A fabulously fun friend Kate, who keeps me well entertained on MSN during difficult, boring, sleepy moments of work, randomly sent me this one day:

Fairy Tale
Once upon a time, a girl asked a guy, "Will you marry me?"

The guy said, "No" and the girl lived happily ever after and went shopping, dancing, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had to cook, stayed skinny and farted whenever she wanted.

Which is exactly how things should be. Pish to The One. I'm going out dancing whenever I want with whoever I want!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

COLUMN: Pure Fantasy

This is a new feature that we're starting on this blog. Whenever our columns are printed in the paper, we shall also post a copy of it here. Easy access, what! If we're in the mood, we may also follow on these "COLUMN" entries with another short commentary or rant. In any case, feel free to leave the proverbial brickbat, rotten digital eggs or flowers in the comment box yah? ;) T x x x

ALL A GIRL WANTS...

. . . IS to destroy that nutty belief in “The One”.
Guess what, there ain’t a Prince Charming out there for the Happily-Ever-After Forever-And-Ever.

I think the idea of “The One” is rubbish and those silly chick-flicks and dorky romanticised novels which make it such a central part of a girl’s life are nothing but a fat fairy-tale lie that sets us up for a big fall.

In my (more realistic) version, Cinderella and The Prince realise that after 20 years of marriage, they have changed, move away and don’t feel the same anymore.

They get a fairy-tale divorce (nice lawyers, no bitter quarrels over children, agreeable alimony settlement) and go their separate ways.

The notion of ‘The One’ is just a fairytale.At a downtown ball a few months later, Cinderella meets a Marquis and they get on fabulously together. Soon they marry and walk into the sunset Happily-Ever-After – again!

See, sometimes things just don’t quite work out in a relationship or marriage. People we think are The One and “everything we dreamed of” actually turn out to be a bit of a nightmare.

People are getting obsessed with the search for The One. Sure, there are plenty of happily-ever-after stories of couples who’ve been married for 50 years – they show us that it is possible to find a partner for life and still be in love after the years have worn you down. But let’s be realistic, this doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to the rest of us. Wishin’ and Hopin’ for it is not a bad thing but believing in that romanticised fantasy of The One can only end in disaster.

For starters, if you never find him (or her), you’re going to be pretty miserable your whole life, which is just not the way to live.

Secondly, let’s face the cold hard truth that sometimes people change, move on and move apart; sometimes the relationship just doesn’t work and it’s nobody’s fault. Someone who was The One for 10 years of your life may not be The One for the next 10.

And yet, that doesn’t change the fact that he was still The (right) One for those 10 years of your life.

Just because a relationship doesn’t work out in the end doesn’t mean it’s of any less value – you learned something, you grew and you did have good times. Doesn’t that count for anything?

As with most disappointments in life, The One is just another example of how Great
Expectations can only lead to Grave Disappointments. The whole fantasy is just that: a fantasy that can never be as perfect as we con ourselves into believing. After all, we all know that no relationship can be perfect nor easy. Even the most perfectly envisaged qualities of The One are bound to fall short somewhere. Nobody’s perfect.

The biggest problem with belief in The One is the idea that we need someone to spend the rest of our lives with, that we can only be “completed” by somebody else.

The idea of “soulmates” has been far too romanticised, leading many a vulnerable girl to believe that the perfect other half has to be someone of the opposite sex; that marriage fixes two half-lives together into a perfect whole.

The thing is, if we’re going to depend on someone – The One – on to make us feel whole and happy, that’s already a plan that’s gone awry.

The old truth that nobody can make you happy but yourself really is true. The expectations you put on The One to make it all perfect are unfair and can only lead to disappointment when you find out that he’s got a whole set of problems himself.

Wishy-washy The One and Soulmate fantasies also discount the great and indisputably strong influence of friends and family. We are quick to forget that very close friends can often bring out the best in us and see us through the toughest times in a way even the most doting husband never can.

(In fact, more often than not, our partners are the ones causing the headaches and planting obstacles to what we really want out of life.)

So I say, raise our glasses to the many multiples of One – the first love, the ex-boyfriend(s), the current one, the future husband, the best friend, the crazy colleague and the sister.

The real Happily-Ever-After is about being happy with all The Ones of your life because after all, it’s the sum of many parts that truly makes up the whole.