Monthly Archives: November 2009

A Pledge to the Man I Love

My dear,

It never seems to get easier, does it? Just when things seem to be letting up, life throws us another curveball.

Remember what I said (or more accurately, typed) six months ago?

“I am desperately worried. I am frightened. But I am not uncertain… In fact, today I am even more certain of my place and my purpose than ever before.

No, I can’t see beyond this moment. No, I don’t have all the answers.

Yes, I am afraid. Yes, I am scared. But I am not uncertain.

And I am not going anywhere.”

What is my purpose?

To support you, feed you, be there when you cry (hopefully not because of my cooking), make you laugh and tell you honestly when you are too hard on yourself.

And where is my place?

Right beside you.

Who Goes on Dates at Keppel Distripark Anyway?

Who could possibly have dreamed up the unlikely pairing of art and shipping?

Yet it made perfect sense that unused hangars and warehouses could now store art instead of containers, and it also made perfect sense to have a bit of fun with Mr Chong’s trusty digital camera:

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As you can guess by now, Mr Chong and I headed to Keppel Distripark for an exhibition on oceanographic art. The pictures on display were shot by world-renowned photogs who had worked with National Geographic, and they were –a word I rarely use– stunning.

I was particularly taken by Goran Ehlme’s underwater portrait of a leopard seal.

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While my dear noted that the  intimacy of the up-close shot made the seal seem almost human, I felt that it was not the seal’s features that were human-like, but the emotion it was conveying through its eyes- a blend of curiosity and innocence counterpointed by a lingering woeful sadness (or so I thought).

The extreme camera angles and colour saturation were not only technically fascinating but also helped illuminate the subject. My only grievance was that some of the photos had been shot in black and white. I think that B & W is ideal for portraiture as it filters out unnecessary chromatic distraction and draws the eye towards tiny details –the slightest grimace or raised eyebrow– that might otherwise be overlooked in colour photography. However, the use of black and white greatly detracted from the beauty and sheer diversity of the aquatic ecosystem. (Andrew: I just wanted to add here that I actually quite liked the B&W shots because I felt that they actually highlighted and ‘sculpturalised’ the light and the central motifs of each painting. Of course I would have liked to see the coloured prints, but I thought the B&W was used to quite good effect!)

We also dropped by a "New Work, New York" exhibition, though the title was entirely misleading. We had thought that the exhibition would feature the NYC cityscape, but instead, we were treated to a mish-mash of random objects d’art. Paintings of the Grand Canyon superimposed with geometric tassellations, installation art made from chenille wires (when I was in primary school, I distinctly remember buying those fuzzy, furry wires from the school bookshop and making a menagerie of hearts, stars and hybrid animals with them), and an unidentified wooden object whose purpose I am still trying to figure out.

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Is it a multi-dimensional painting? A bench? Or a slide for toddlers?

To put it bluntly, the exhibition was little more than kitsch.

But then again, I am not to be trusted on this point, as I am fairly critical of the mediocre offerings that pass themselves off as contemporary art these days.

The obliqueness of the art pieces reminded me of another solo exhibition that Andrew and I scoped out at Mount Sophia. The artist had squeezed out rolls and rolls of acrylic paint into 15" x 15" frames and left them to dry. Unfortunately, she was no Jackson Pollock. The finished products looked like something I could have done with my toothpaste.

(Andrew’s comments: The artist’s name is Jane Lee, who is apparently quite renown for this series of paintings. You can see some of these works and the supposed meaning of it here. The issue I had with these ‘paintings’, much like what Jasmine mentioned, was the lack of craft in the painting as opposed to ‘construct’. Yes it is obvious the piece was put together with some thought-process, yet the piece of art lacked that touch of artistry, which might have been the purpose of the artist anyway.)

It was only later when we referred to the guidebook that we realised what the "paint"-ings were supposed to be. According to the guidebook, tools and materials essential to the artist’s trade, such as paints and canvas, were foregrounded, their textures and layers compelling one to meditate on the nature of the mediums which are used to create art. (Ok, I think I just lost some readers. Trust me, we were thoroughly lost too.)

Which brings me back to my main beef with contemporary art. It tends to over-explain and take itself too seriously.

With the "New Work, New York" exhibition, I had no clue what was going on. (My only semi-lucid thought was: can I sit on the bench-like thing?)

With the toothpaste art exhibit, its main message seemed to be the celebration of spectacle, rather than a reflection on the nature of art, contrary to what the guidebook claimed. It was too cerebral and not nearly emotive enough. And furthermore, if the reader needs to read a thesis in order to understand a painting, which is more likely: that the reader is stupid or that the painting is ineffective?

If that were the case, perhaps the following could be classified as "contemporary art" too:

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The insertion of self into the enormity of the urbanising landscape, construction versus deconstruction, height, scale, proportion, blah blah..

Perhaps not.

A few of her favourite things…

4 of Andrew’s favourite gifts for Jasmine

4. Junk Food

 One of the things which surprised me the most after we got together was how much Jasmine loved to eat junk food! From our NIE days, I had the impression that she was hardly even an ‘eater’ at all. I can’t recall having seen her eat a significant meal (except that one time when I remarked that she was eating as much as me. Heh). Her ‘meals’ often consisted only of fruit juice.

My dearie really loves to eat junk food and not all kinds, namely 3 kinds: chips, Hello Pandas and Pocky biscuits.

hellopanda 

Technically these are not ‘gifts’ I buy her, but small tokens to pamper her from time to time. Seeing a big bag of chips never fails to bring a smile to my dearie’s face!

 Ruffles

One of Jasmine’s favourite flavour of chips is Sour Cream & Onion. We’ve tried both the Ruffles and the Lay’s one. The verdict is not out yet on which is better – we often go with which one is on offer. One thing which I realised though, is that Marks and Spensers chips are not nice at all. They claim that they are healthy, which no doubt they are, but they taste so flat and don’t have that ‘crunch’ to it.

3. Mohawk

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The MoHawk story is truly a miraculous one, upon which I based a testimony that I shared in cell group too!

I knew that Jasmine wanted a soft toy and that she loved hedgehogs and I had been searching high and low for a hedgehog soft-toy, but it isn’t exactly an animal that everyone loves. Jasmine herself has tried hunting for one too, but to no avail. This hedgehog was in a way a God-send. I was ordering flowers for her online from Far East Flora (she’ll recount the gist of the story below, hence scroll down and read it later) and upon completing my order, there were some ‘recommended gifts’ to go along with it. And to my greatest surprise, they had a hedgehog soft toy as one of the gifts! Who would have thought that a florist would have offered the soft-toy I’d been searching for all along? Needless to say, I ordered it immediately and for a while, it was a frequent companion on our dates until I banished it because it was too attention-seeking. 🙂

2. Marc Jacob’s Daisy

I was first ‘introduced’ to it when we went shopping at Plaza Singapura, following which she gave me a very strong hint that she wanted this for her birthday. I wanted to get the best deal for her, hence I consulted one of my cell group members who is very knowledgeable in such matters and she recommended me to Mustafa. I was warned however, that it will be counterfeit, hence I went with my dad to buy it from Taka.

I initially thought Dearie would like the limited edition one with the green daisy and stickers to paste around it. A pre-birthday celebration conversation, however, revealed that she preferred the original white one. So I went back to change it.

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And now my Dearie uses it almost all the time on our dates.  And I pride myself on the fact that I can now recognise at least one perfume scent. That’s a great step ahead for someone who didn’t even know what perfume brands existed prior to this.

1. Flowers

This is my favourite gift, because it has been the most consistent one from the beginning of our courtship until now. There was a point where her mum was complaining that I gave her too many flowers. Flowers were one of the first surprise gifts I gave to her. I still recall that walk to SGH with her, where I surprised her with a bouquet of gerberas from the florist there. After that, the bouquets varied from ‘season’ to season’. There was the tulip season….

Whitetulipsbouquet

the lilies season…

lilies

(I don’t have a close-up of this one. Do you have any dearie?) 

and gerbera season again….Bouquet1 A big thank you to Charlene for compiling this photo for us

And roses. There were many rose bouquets, but I don’t know if photos were taken of them. There was a period of time where we were so interested in the various messages conveyed by the number of roses, e.g. 11 roses means ‘you are my treasured one’, and 12 means ‘be my steady’.

Flowers will always be one of my favourite gifts, because just like tidbits, they never fail to bring a big smile to my dearie’s face, but unlike tidbits, each bouquet is unique and each has a story to tell.

 

4 of Jasmine’s favourite gifts from Andrew

4. White blouse from GG>5

This was the first gift that he ever bought me, and boy was he sneaky about it…On one of our by-now routine (and routinely enjoyable) shopping trips, I tried on a blouse that I had been admiring for the past few weeks. When I headed back to the changing room, he asked the salesgirl to wrap it up and let him pay for it!

3. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman

I started collecting children’s picturebooks this year, and this one is one of my absolute favourites. Andrew chose this after hunting high and low at Borders, and presented this to me on my birthday. I was so touched by all the effort that he had put in that I cried.

2. Fairytales notebook

I am such a sucker for pretty stationery! Sometimes the best gifts are not the ones that have been laboriously hinted at, but the ones that are total surprises… and total successes. Andrew got his colleague to buy this for me, guessing that I would fall in love with the beautifully illustrated pages of this notebook. He was right- I still can’t bear to write in it.

1. Mohawk

Mohawk and our peach crumble

This wee pet, so named for his funky mane that can be endlessly styled, came coupled with the most gorgeous bouquet of champagne roses ever. Andrew had the bouquet and hedgehog couriered to my house by way of apology for missing Ballet Under the Stars.  Needless to say, he was totally forgiven 😛

A few of his favourite things

4 of Jasmine’s favourite gifts for Andrew

4. Shirts

I’m pretty traditional (read: boring) when it comes to gifts for guys. Usually I just end up buying books. When we first got together, what he wore never bothered me and I never made any effort to change the way he looked. To me, he looked great, and I liked his geeky vibe whenever he wore his “uniform” of polo t-shirt, worn-in jeans and Adidas sneakers.

A month later, Andrew confessed that he’d been hoping that I would make him over and upgrade his style because he wanted to be more stylish for my sake. It was one of the sweetest and most endearing things I had heard him say- a guy who once survived a whole year in Leeds on just one coat  (no gloves, no scarves, or even a hat) was willing to invest in his appearance for me!

Checked shirt from Domanchi

To be honest, Andrew looks handsome in anything that he puts on (yes yes, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the blindfolded), but he looks especially good in collared shirts with the sleeves rolled up. I lucked out when I invested in a dove grey Calvin Klein shirt for his birthday which fit him to a tee, and a checkered shirt from Domanchi (have since discovered that Korean brands have the best fits for menswear!). I refuse to buy Andrew basic corporate blue! Last week, I got him a Pierre Cardin shirt in a sunny shade of lemon yellow.

3. Just Like Heaven by Patrick MacDonnell

This was my graduation gift to Andrew when he was elected as valedictorian for our cohort in NIE. (Frankly, I was planning to do the boring thing and get him a pen, but my friends talked me out of it. “Talked” was a euphemism. When our classmates heard about my unceremonious choice of gift, they warned me in no uncertain terms that I had to step it up… So I ended up buying a book instead. Groundbreaking.)

I had actually compiled a shortlist of children’s picture books (including a Dr Seuss which he later got for me!) but alas, Borders did not stock any of them. In other words, this was an eleventh-hour option, but I found the message very meaningful, especially given the trying transitory period that we were in- it was about a cat who tries to find utopia but ultimately discovers that heaven is right here where his best friend is. 

2. Casio watch

I love old-school gifts, and nothing is more reminiscent of primary school jogs than a retro Casio watch! I bought this for my dear when his previous watch broke and he needed a watch whenever he went jogging or swimming. Andrew, ever the packrat, insisted on keeping his broken watch on the dashboard of his car so that he could read the time. When there was a built-in radio clock right under his rearview mirror.

So, I locked him out of the car until he agreed to throw the watch away. 

And then I bought him this as a replacement.

Mr Chong is now the proud owner of an identical Casio watch- I chose one with copper-coloured bands for him, instead of the blue and silver in the picture, for a sleeker look

1. Soup

My mum used to say, “Aiyah, actually it is very easy to keep your Andrew happy one… Just hold his hand and make him soup.”

I’m not much of a cook (my sis will readily attest to that). The last time I tried to make Andrew breakfast, I went to watch TV and left the eggs to boil… for ninety minutes. I totally forgot about the stove until my sis and I noticed a strange burning smell. Initially I thought there might have been a fire in a neighbour’s home! Even the shells of the eggs were burned into oblivion.

They were eggs once

So cooking is actually no mean feat for me. When Andrew was really tired during the first few weeks of our courtship, I would deliver soup to his place in a thermos flask. Under my mum’s eagle eye, I’ve made herbal chicken soup, clam chowder and mushroom soup.

Mr Chong forgoes the grapefruit juice and takes a long swig of his clam chowder instead

And yes, I’ve stopped burning eggs!

4 of Andrew’s favourite gifts from Jasmine

4. Her intricately designed cards

My dearie really has a knack for art and making cards. Most importantly, the cards she designs are not just beautiful, but they actually take a lot of time and effort. She hardly buys me any cards, but always personally spends time and effort to make her cards individualised and special, just for me.

Whenever we go into any art shop, Jasmine always disses the over-priced items, saying she can make them on her own. And she’s not kidding – she really can! Just look at the careful selection of colour and the attention paid to the layering of the paper-flower she made above, inspired by what she saw during my sister’s scrap-booking sessions.

This was the birthday card that she made for me – the designs on the top were painstakingly cut out by her. I don’t know how long it took, but it definitely took a long time judging by the intricate designs. I’m sure the curves were especially difficult to cut out accurately, but yet she did it so perfectly.

Other great works by her:

  Stereotypical portrait of a teacher. She made this card for me and asked for an image of it
for her Literature lesson on stereotypes. My dearie’s a genius!

3. The shirts she buys for me

I’ve always prided Jasmine for having a great sense of fashion. As much as I complain about her shopping (heh), I do think that she is quite selective in what she buys and always ensures that what she buys is reasonably priced and can be matched in a variety of ways.

I always feel extremely confident and secure when I’m wearing a shirt that’s bought by her or a shirt that I know she loves. Looks like a man really ‘depends’ on his girlfriend for his ego-food. 🙂 I’m so thankful that Jasmine is always on the look out for me, during her own shopping trips, for shirts that will look good on me. The hunt is still on for a good white shirt that is not see-through under direct lighting! We’ve seen many at Far East, but all of them failed the translucency test. She has already put a picture of the Domanchi shirt that has a wonderful slimming effect on me. Here are the other two shirts she has bought for me:


A very well-cut and smart looking shirt from CK. Fabric’s fantastic too.

2. Skin-care products

Yes, those who know me well will be shocked yet again. Technically this isn’t really a gift, because most of the stuff that Jasmine gives me are samples, i.e. free, but nonetheless, as the cliche goes, it’s the thought that counts. In this case, it’s more than just the thought, but that feeling of being pampered and cared for by your girlfriend something that is much more significant than just the price of the gift itself. This is where my Dearie really makes up for my shortcomings, because I paid almost no attention to skin care prior to knowing her, but now I’m starting to understanding and at times even see the value of using such skin care products.

She has gathered so many free samples for me that I might have to get a skin care product box for myself soon. Here’s my current collection:

I have face moisturiser and eye cream from Clarins Men and Biotherm Homme, moisturiser and toner from shu uemura, Clinique Comfort on Call for skin repair and the one I’m most amazed by is She Umera Deepsea Water (in the orange bottle), it’s supposed to refresh me when I’m feeling tired. All I need to do is to spray it on my face. Who knew such things even existed! Missing in the photo above is another bottle of toner, which I’ve left in my car.

In addition to all these skin products, she also gives me face scrubs from time to time and some other ‘cosmetic’ pampering which would be unmanly to confess to, hence it shall not be mentioned! I feel so blessed to have a girlfriend so willing to pamper me.

1. Food!

Yes, as Jasmine mentioned above, all you need to do is to feed me. I love food and especially home-cooked food. As I’ve discovered through increased contact with her family, cooking isn’ exactly one of my Dearie’s favourite activities (and that’s putting it lightly), but I’ve been touched by her willingness to cook and prepare food for me whenever she has the time to do so. Earlier in our dating days, she made me Lotus Root Soup and Ginseng Chicken Soup, coming all the way down to Toa Payoh just to pass it to me and watch me enjoy it.

For my birthday, she cooked up a sumptuous meal, which we enjoyed at Mt. Faber. I know her mum contributed greatly to it too, so thanks Auntie! Here are pictures of the meal:

Starters: Potato balls

Clam chowder soup, and Pizza, along with Guava Spritzer (guava juice + Sprite)

It was truly an unforgettable meal. I ate so much.

There was another time when she came down to my place after I had finished a very long day at school, just to deliver a meal of seafood chowder and lemon-baked chicken drumsticks. It was really good!

Thanks Dearie for all the effort put into all the gifts. Typing this post has really helped me truly appreciate how much you have given to me over the past few months, not just the actual gifts themselves, but the time, effort and love that went into them. I am truly thankful for you in my life.

Best Date Outfits

After reading Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist, I told my dearie that it had completely revolutionised my perspective on fashion. So, the following exchange ensued…

Jasmine: So, what does fashion mean to you?

Me: Ummm… just putting on what fits and what’s cheap.

Jasmine [horrified look]: Honey, that’s not fashion, that’s just clothing. (claps at her brilliance, as always)

So, in honour of her ‘brilliance’ and sartorial flair (Ong, 2009) and as an attempt to impress upon her that I can distinguish ‘clothing’ and ‘fashion’, here are my 5 favourite date outfits:

1. GG5 painterly dress

Striking. Artistic. Abstract.

Delightful blue and orange brush-strokes streak across this cream-coloured outfit, drawing your attention immediately to her. I love the golden zipper behind, which my dearie claims can even be worn on the front. One of her little creative touches to enhance an already very outstanding outfit.

(Jasmine says: The vivid watercolour hues of this dress first caught my eye when I was out shopping with my cousin Steffy. It looked like Monet on acid! I also like putting my own spin on clothing- wearing the zip in front makes the dress seem longer and thus more work-appropriate, and wearing it unzipped is perfect for buffets!) 

2. Topshop Floral Dress.

First worn when we went on one of our earliest dates at Fort Canning for a picnic. Next at my staff dinner where the theme was Ha-Ha-Havaianas.

My dearie gets numerous compliments when she wears that outfit. Marie requested a photo with her when she saw her in that dress on the ITE fieldtrip. My colleague commented that she looked extremely stunning in that dress. I thought so too!

It always brings much joy to me to see her in floral dresses. The dress, coupled with her cheerful demeanour, makes it seem like spring has arrived.

(Jasmine: I had no idea that Andrew would like this dress so much! I just bought it on a whim when hanging out with Pei and Mills because I didn’t have anything like it in my wardrobe, and because it was a combination of all my favourite things- flowers, an oversized bow (see back detail) and the colour pink.)

3. Fringy Black Dress

Bought at a bargain from JB, with our dates in mind. The first DDD (designated date dress) that my dear ever bought. This is a dress with such energy and vibrancy, in spite of its dark hue. Although my watch strap got trapped several times in the ‘fringe’ of the dress, I still enjoyed watching my dearie groove to the music at Timbre in that dress. Yum (I meant the shitake duck pizza at Timbre)

(Jasmine says: Since I began teaching, I have passed on several cute dresses that don’t make the cut (pun intended) because they are too short or too revealing for work. However, my mum and cousin had been nagging me to spend a little more on dresses to wear when out with Andrew, so last week I haggled, bargained and purchased my very first DDD. Mum gave this 1920s-style flapper dress her stamp of approval!)

4. Purple dress

For want of a better term, that shall be what it’s called. Or it could also be nicknamed ‘The Dress I will always remember’.

It was the outfit my dearie wore the first time we went out as a class, beyond the compounds of NIE and not on a school-day. Although it wasn’t elaborately designed like the above-mentioned outfits, the modern simplicity of it left an unforgettable impression on me. The shade of purple was not too striking, nor too boring – just the perfect shade. That’s just like my dearie – always dressing stylishly yet managing to make it look effortless. (Of course, it helped that she praised my outfit that day too. Heh.)

(Jasmine says: At that point, Andrew and I were just friends, though he had asked me to give him a makeover. I still maintain that he looked so smart that evening largely because he had taken my advice! The only thing was that he had tucked his shirttails in! Three days ago we went back to Timbre and he wore the same striped shirt, with the cuffs rolled up just right, and the shirt tucked out this time… He’s come a long way :P)

5.   Her belts

I know this is not an outfit per se (and thank God it isn’t), but I’m so amazed at how a dress can be transformed by just a simple belt and the way it is worn. I was particularly impressed by the thin, leather belt that she wore when she first met my parents. It subtly altered her otherwise very relaxed outfit into something very snug, highlighting her waist.

Other belts I love include one studded with multiple buttons (which she wore with the polka dot dress for my cell group member’s wedding) and a woven vintage rope belt.

(Jasmine says: While there are many nuances and necessities of fashion that men may never get (case in point: “But why do you need so many shoes?”), Andrew has surprised me with how much he’s learning about fashion. When we were ushering at Edwin and Diana’s wedding, I caught him staring thoughtfully at the dress of a wedding guest.

“Would that look good on you, dear?” He asked, then answered his own question, “Nah, I think the draping would overwhelm you.”

My response: “Wow… you sound like me!”)

Half-nniversary Surprise

Our past dates are being reconstructed in an order that follows no logic, but is based simply on our whims and fancies. Since Dearie chose to blog about how we got together, I decided to blog next about how we celebrated our 6 month anniversary (or half-nniversary, as Dearie calls it) just last week – 6 months after I asked her dad if I could be her boyfriend.

During our phone call on the eve of our half-nniversary, I suddenly told Dearie, “I really want to see you. Could we meet up and spend the night of our anniversary together?”

She was more than delighted. I changed up and made my way down to her place. To my greatest surprise, there was actually a really bad jam on the PIE that night, but I still managed to get to her place in half-an-hour. Following which, we made our way to Prive, a delightful and rather sophisticated bar-restaurant on Keppel Bay (all dating couples should at least go there once!).

Due to delays and bad weather (it was raining non-stop that day), we only managed to arrive at Prive at 11.58p.m., and the manager was initially unwilling to give us a seat. However, after we started ordering cakes to take-away and ask for candles, he very graciously relented and set up a table for us to ‘celebrate’:

IMG_6253 Our half-nniversary cake. It was decent enough – not too sweet, good texture and fruits were rather fresh.

 IMG_6255Happy half-nniversary! We were both wearing clothes which the we had bought for each other. The dress’s from GG5, the shirt’s from UniQLO. Dearie really dressed up for this surprise!

My intention was to spend some time walking around, enjoying the night view, but the night was just too cold and too wet, so we simply spent sometime at the second floor, outside TCC by the bay, enjoying this precious moment together.

I passed Dearie her present(s):

  

A book of Scott Schuman’s fashion photography and a set of postcards of bookcovers from Penguin – purchased from Rockstar at Cineleisure by braving the rain earlier that day. She had been pining over these two items ever since she saw them two days earlier, so I decided to get them for her!

Dearie also passed me my present:

6thanniversary

A cook-book with easy to prepare dessert recipes. The joy I derive from cookbooks is purely visual, meaning I enjoy marvelling at the pictures of great desserts and good food, as Dearie learnt earlier this month during our trips to Borders.

What was more meaningful, though, were the words she had written on the first page of the book.

Thank you Dearie for a wonderful 6 months!

How did Andrew and I get together?

That is possibly the question I am most frequently asked. (Also making the top three are the questions, “Do you guys really spend all your free time at museums?” and “So what do you like about him?” Answers: No, and he has too many good points to be summarised in a single sentence! Gosh, I can’t believe I just typed that. Don’t let it go to your head, dear.)

Contrary to public opinion, we do not live at the National Museum

In the inaugural post of this blog, Andrew discussed the origins for the name and theme of our blog. I guess the natural follow-up would be to explain the origins of our relationship.

My mother loves telling us how she just knew that my dad was the man she would marry the moment she set eyes on him, way back when. (My parents just celebrated their 25th anniversary, by the way!) But for Andrew and I, it wasn’t love at first sight. Not even love at first fright.

We were doing a round of introductions in a Lit course in NIE, and I had snuck in through the back, late (again). Perhaps Andrew could share what his first impression of me was – but my first thought was that he was the most handsome guy in the room. He was clean-cut, quietly confident and articulate. And he kept turning in my direction.

I would look up from the notes that I was scribbling, only to see him looking at me before cutting away to focus on the lecturer. This would happen several times in every class that we took together.

From Andrew’s point of view: geeky girl doodling on notepad

As student teachers at NIE, we had collaborated often on “multiple and highly successful” (Chong, 2009) group projects (scoring As, I might add!). While I like to joke that I was the brains and he was the brawn, it was a partnership of equals. (Although, as George Orwell might say, some animals are more equal than others.) We worked well together, brainstorming on msn and proofreading each other’s drafts late into the night.

Hard at work surfing the Net

 

Yet there was a period of over two months when we did not see each other during our teaching practicum. One day, he called out of the blue, and asked me to help him pick out a birthday present for his sister. We spent precisely forty-five minutes shopping at Parkway before parting ways. In fact, the thing I remember most vividly about that day was how I wandered into my all-time favourite boutique, GG>5, hunting for a black dress I had tried on just the evening before, and the salesgirl pulled it off the rack for me before I had even asked for help.

First thought: Now he’ll think I’m a shopaholic! (Update: now he knows I’m a shopaholic.)

Second thought: Can I convince him that the sales assistant is prescient?

Third thought: Sod it. Let’s just get out of here.

Guilty as charged

But the turning point in our friendship was a lunch that Mills, Pei, James, Andrew and I had at Taman Jurong. (Andrew my darling: perhaps you could help fill in what was said here? I’m shy to say…)

The long and short of it was that he called me that night. And as good teaching practice, allow me to summarise our relationship “milestones” for gist:

1. He waited five months before he asked me out on our first date.

2. In response, I scribbled “yes” on his lesson plan after class the next day.

3. The next week, we went out. (We watched the Angels & Demons movie and headed out to the Da Vinci exhibition.) 

4. A fortnight later, he asked me to be his girlfriend. (I made him ask my father for permission first.)

5. I have never been happier.

My favourite valedictorian and his lovely parents

Geeks in love

Both dearie and I are avid readers of a wide-range of blogs, though of a very different nature. Dearie loves her fashion and lifestyle blogs, and her own blog entries are often prefaced or illustrated with pictures from those blogs. I’m a keen explorer of food blogs and socio-political/news blogs. We are both owners of relatively well-maintained blogs too. Dearie’s kept the same blog for the past 5 years, whereas I’ve shifted blog-sites at least 4 times – but I believe I’ve found my home now in wordpress.

Over dinner yesterday at Chomp Chomp, we were discussing what type of blog we could set up that would be of use to others, a blog in nature of ieatishootipost, which has recently been a great resource for the both of us in our hunt for best food places around Singapore.

The choices below were rejected:

  • Food blog (too overdone; there’s a wealth of food blogs out there already and our ‘source’ of exploration would be other food blogs anyway)
  • Fashion Blogs (Dearie shared that she didn’t have that kind of ‘magazine’-writing style flair.)
  • Teaching Blog (Way too geeky)
  • (Were there other choices dearie? I can’t remember.)

As we were discussing, we suddenly realised that while we couldn’t blog originally about food because the places we went to weren’t original, a lot of effort often went into the planning of our dates, such that it consists of a pre, main and post-activity (a teaching joke). Heh.

My dearie and I make great efforts to ensure that our dates are exciting, engaging (mentally, gastronomically and romantically) and mostly cheap – hence we decided to start this blog, a Dating Blog where we will blog about all the dates we’ve been on.

We brainstormed names and some of the rejects include:

  • weeatweshootwepost
  • carpediem (and anything latin – in line with our geek theme)
  • andrewlovesjasmineandjasminelovesandrew
  • geekandchic
  • geeksinlove
  • twogeeksandaporcupine (pic below)

Mohawk, our pet

We finally decided on the name that you see above in this blog – simple, unadorned and makes its point clearly.

So there’s the story of this blog’s origin. I shall let my dearie add in whatever she feels is necessary in this entry. Thank you for reading and joining us on our journey of learning how to love, to care and to cherish each other. We hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoy dating and writing about our dates.