Monday, 9 July 2012

At the age of 22-23 years old: My last courtship

In my last post, I mentioned that I will be sharing about the most important woman in my life (other than my  mother). Her name is Joyce. This blog post is dedicated to her. I want to let her know that my love to her is ever increasing since the day I met her. I must admit the passage "You know the heart of the man when he have everything. You know the heart of the woman when you have nothing" Thank you being with me. I don't know how this relationship is going to end. Bible says that what God put together, let no man split. I am not being mushy here but I will want to die before you so that I can make arrangement for you in heaven when you are called home by the Lord. I want to continue to take care of you and my action will prove it.

In 2000, on the day of my 22nd birthday (18 August), I was alone at home in the wee hours of the night. I just got back from my birthday celebration, drinking with my peers at a local nightclub. I sent the hostess back before heading home. Obviously, it was a fail date and I was bored. After settling down, I decide to try my luck fishing in the Internet. Know what I mean? In that era, the "in" thing was Internet Chat Room (aka IRC).

It was near 4am and I started hunting as a werewolf. Looking out for traces of female chatters online. After trying for a while, I managed to connect with a young girl. We chatted for a while and realized I am heading no where. I asked for her number which she decline to give. I gave her my number instead. Thats all for the night. We logged off.

Life goes on as usual and one week later (26 August 2000), miracle happened. I received a missed call and when I called back, it was SHE. She said she was bored earlier on thats why she called. But then, she need to work and have no time for me. I coaxed her into telling me where she work. Haha. Thats the plan. I am going to pay her a surprise visit. I have no idea how she look like. Since I am free that day, I arranged a meeting with my friend at the restaurant she worked for dinner. It was really exciting for me. I hope I won't be surprised by her instead.

This is the place we first met

7pm. My friend came and we stepped into Pennsylvania house, a restaurant located in Stamford House. There wasn't alot of customers and we were seated. My eyes started rolling and stretching out my neck to see who is the most "possible" one. I was attracted to this particular girl, looking plain and size "s". My guts feeling tells me it must be her. We decided to order some food and signal "her" to take order. Bingo! from her name tag I know she was the one. I order a steak and the drink "moo-moo". Dinner was served and we left after footing the bill. I send my friend off and went back to the restaurant.

I paged her several times and waited patiently for her return call. It finally came and I make known to her that I saw her wish to send her home after work. Her reaction was expected-ly surprise and  she says no wonder I find both of you fishy.... haha. She rejected me but managed to be convinced by me thereafter (I have the quali of a salesman). But she says, you can send me home but cannot have supper with me because she is meeting her friends for supper. I took the opportunity first and locked her in by agreeing.

10pm, she finished work and hop into my car parked at the back alley. We talked along the journey home and I tried my luck for one last time. Can I wait for you to finish dinner with your friends and meet you again? After some pestering, she gave in and confess that meeting her friend was a lied. She just wanted a free journey home. So we end up going to the petrol kiosk, grabbed some mineral waters and headed to Pasir Ris Park for a "talk". At the park, we talked and talked. While I smoked and smoked. It was during the session that she revealed to me that that night it was the third time she logged into IRC because her mum had wanted her to sleep. So indeed it was through fate that I got to know her. Time flies, it was about 3am and I sent her home.

Having fun in Escape theme park
I asked her out for a karaoke session the next day and she agreed. As a frequent nightclub go-er, I think I can sing relatively well. I think (yet to be verified by her), she dwell in my voice that night. After the karaoke session, I asked her to be my girlfriend and she agreed. Woohoo, I am attached again. So after 1 night of courtship, I succeeded. I am her first boyfriend. We went for supper "hand-in-hand", send her home thereafter and parted with a kiss.

We were holidaying in KL. Pretending we are marrying.
A month later was her 18th birthday. The first birthday gift I gave her was actually a mobile phone for easy communication. Thereafter, I pampered her with gifts and we even went for a holiday in KL, Malaysia and Bangkok.

BTW, many of my friends said I was toying with her as she is a "xiao mei mei". She was 17 years old (turning 18) at that time. Even her best friend called me up to "harass" me to let her of. What was that? She is young but not naive right? Surely she can make her own decision.

I love her. I really feel that she was the one for me. I decided to cut away all clubbing and womanizing activities. I made a decision to be a "kuai ghia". I will never go clubbing without her. It has been more than 10 years. I have seldom (if not, never) went clubbing without her (can be verified with my long time friend). We were like super glue, glued together, seeing each other everyday. This caused her disruption in her studies as well. She was studying Diploma in Marketing in Temasek Poly but finally, dropped out due to barred from examination for poor attendance. She has not been attending classes and failed to have her minimal attendance needed to sit for exam.

All the fingers were pointing to me. Saying I was a bad influence so on.... I really feel bad. She did not blamed me but yet I know that she is feeling sad. At the end of the day, she started working as an admin staff.

When I knew her, she doesn't know that I was in debts. I never made know to her of my financial situation. I was very selfish then. The only way for me to cover the secret is to repay as much as possible.

ROM on 08-08-01. Collecting our Certificate
I don't know what got into my friends that year. Many of them are getting married. I wanted to join in the fun by getting married too. I did the most unromantic way of asking her for her hand. I bet she doesn't have a concept of what marriage is all about because she said yes. The only concerned was her father's approval. Boldly, I plucked out all my courage to break the news to her parents. at that time, she was only 18 years old and marriage needs parental consent. It was in May 2001 that I break the "good" news to them. Her father asked, how much money I have and how am I going to provide for her. Remember, I was in debts that I couldn't handle. I told a lie to her father and says I got saving of $20-30k.... But what I says next was the crucial factor. I said. Uncle, this month I earn $5k, next month I get retrenched, shall I head for a divorce the following month. I think this actually works. I got her consent from her father. We decided on 8 August 2001 to ROM. Why this day was not because of suspicious day although it was "coincidental" guanyin dan. The main reason was because, the next day will surely be a holiday (Singapore National Day) and we can have the whole nation celebrating with us.

My parents never objected except my father asked, she pregnant ah? haha.... not true hor.

Our customary wedding in Singapore
The preparation for marriage was indeed challenging. My to do list includes wedding photos and gowns, restaurant, house and other preparation. Anyway, I managed to get all of it settled in a short period of time. We got a flat near my parents and the flat was approved for the four elder. What I love most was the unit number 08-328. That explain why all my business number ends with 8328. The interesting part of the preparation was finding the restaurant at the last minute. Our chinese customary wedding was set on 22 Dec 2001, which was barely 6 months away. It was quite difficult because December was a popular season for D & D and wedding as well. Everyone was fighting for the place. Although I was poor, I am suppose to hold a banquet of 56 tables. Out of which, only 3 tables belongs to me. I have a hard time searching and finally, I managed to secure a reservation at Hotel Grand Central. It was not easy even to convince the manager to confirm my booking. He says as a norm, he will need to have 30% as deposit. It came out to around $15k. Even my wedding photos and gown were paid through installment. When can I find these sum of money? I started negotiating with the manager. I plead and plead and humble myself. I exercised all the "skills" I have to convince him. Guess what, he was moved my by sincerity. He accepted a mere $500 deposit and the rest on that day. I bet none of you will have gotten such a deal.
The Big Day
 To cut the story short. Everything when on smoothly. We got married and the Ang Pow we received is more than enough to cover for the banquet. I am officially a married man.

I am very lucky to have married my wife (i would have still been a bachelor) who is willing to overlook my weakness and accepting me the way I was. It was me who was always inconsiderate and made unnecessary comments on her. I am thankful for the commitment she gave to this family and bearing me 3 beautiful children. Yes, we are still married till now and will be celebrating our eleventh anniversary this year 8/8/12. (all gift welcome).

We met on the Internet, fell in love and commit our life to each other. I will like to thank God  for being in the center of our relationship and in our family.

Who says internet love is a myth? think again (National Geographic Channel)

My reflection: Be truthful, especially to the person you love. Really, above all, love is the greatest. 1 Cor 13:7 love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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