A little decluttering

I’ve got so many things I want to write about, so many things on my mind that I can’t concentrate when I was praying Subuh (my bad), but I want today to be productive work-wise, personal life-wise instead of blog-wise and wedding-planning-wise. So I’ve given myself 20 minutes (serious, I set my phone timer) to just sort out my thoughts (or rather the stuff I want to write about) and list them down so I won’t forget. Here goes:

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You are conditionally invited…

There’s another post I wanted to finish typing since it’s been sitting as a draft for more than a week now, but this is more urgent.

I need opinions again. This time round, it’s about my guestlist. Or rather, guest numbers. More specifically, who to invite. The caterer I mentioned recently is coming tomorrow tonight (31 March) to speak personally with my parents and face-to-face with me, finally, so I need to settle this dilemma I have about who to invite because that would determine guest numbers, which would affect the price of the catering service.

Now, initially I set the number of guests to invite at 500; 400 would be determined by my parents, and 100 by me.

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Pabila Niat Murni Disalah Erti

Sejak kecil lagi, aku sudah memahami nilai wang. Sejak kecil lagi, aku sudah mengerti bahawa meskipun keluargaku tidak susah, namun kami bukanlah orang berada. Masih kuingat, semasa kami dibawa keluar membeli-belah, barangan yang harganya melampaui dua puluhan dolar dianggap terlalu mahal dan tidak akan mendapat kebenaran pembelian daripada kementerian kewangan (ibukulah itu).

Atas kesedaran itulah, aku bertekad, aku tidak mahu menjadi bebanan dari segi kewangan kepada ibu bapaku. Sudah banyak pengorbanan mereka untukku, lebih-lebih lagi dari segi kewangan kerana kelahiranku sebagai anak kelima melanggar dasar pemerintah waktu itu yang mahu rakyatnya berhenti melahirkan selepas mendapat dua orang anak, lantas orang tuaku dikenakan denda antaranya dalam bentuk saman, cuti bersalin tanpa gaji dan tiada sokongan bagi pendidikan anak yang ‘terlebih’ itu dalam bentuk dana Edusave bagi membiayai program tambahan sekolah.
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A post on posts (and eventually gifts)

There isn’t much to update, except that it’s Friday night YAAAYYYYYY!!! Who doesn’t like Friday night, you tell me? Time to party to kick back and watch TV without worrying about work the next day (although technically I am still heading back to work on an entirely voluntary basis).

I guess I kind of missed this space. There have been ideas for wedding-related posts, such as my ideal wedding songlist (but that would require me to post from my laptop rather than my iPhone which is what I have been doing for the previous few posts, lazy blogger that I am, and ambitious me wants to do Malay-to-English translations for the lyrics because I get a kick out of it, so that would take some time), my opinion on wedding sponsorship inspired by the latest wedding-of-the-year announcement (which would so make me out to be somewhat of a sour grape, if phrased without care, which means that it would also take some time to not make it so), and more 4P (pengantin pelik punya persalinan)-related ideas.

I guess I’ll just update about the latest concrete thing I’ve done for my wedding: I’ve purchased my very first hantaran gift! Make no mistake, it’s my hantaran gift, which means it would be on one of the trays that I would receive from my mister. Yes, I am totally into being practical; I buy what I would use, he buys what he would use, then we’ll just pass the gifts to each other to be decorated. (Although I suspect that I would end up buying his gifts for him too, me being the shopperholic that I am, and if he stays as nonchalant as he has been so far about wedding-related matters.)

If I had my way I would do away with this tradition altogether as not only does it incur extra (unnecessary) cost to the total wedding expenditure, it also strikes me to be more an exercise in materialistic display than anything else. Designer bags, branded skincare, the latest geek gadgets, huge-ass cameras, the more expensive the price and obscure the name, the better as it supposedly shows how far you’ve arrived (or how you’ve scored a great catch of a husband). I would be the first to admit that I have been sucked into subscribing to this mindset before. I remember telling a younger cousin once that when I get married, I would have my groom put a C bag on one of the trays. That was the time before I could afford one; now that I could and have afforded a number of them and others like S and L and J – more because I love their designs and don’t believe in buying counterfeit – I don’t see the point in making my mister buy one more just for the sake of display. Yes, I would probably buy more in the future, or he would gift me, but that would be a personal act by an individual to indulge herself / between two lovers who would like to express their love through the act of gifting. There is no need for anyone else to know (beyond the usual few people you share such incidents of joy with because you know that they’d be sincerely happy for you).

If I had my way, I would do away with this tradition altogether. I am still abiding by it because it is one of those things that my mom says has to be in a Malay wedding. Since I have already ‘wrestled’ the steering of the ship of wedding planning from her through loud hints for at least one year before, I guess it’s only right I keep certain things to make her happy.

Despite the nature of my job and the vital role I play in supposedly preserving culture by transmitting it, I hold on to the principle encapsulated by the saying, ‘hilang adat tegal muafakat’; the customary way of doing things can be changed if there’s consensus. If we the younger generation all agree about the excessive nature that Malay weddings have become, by speaking up about it, we could change things in the next generation. I, for one, would not impose such tradition on my hypotethical son or daughter. Want to get married? Is he earning enough to support you? Are you both earning enough to support yourselves and contribute a portion to starting a family with your equal partner? Do you both see and treat each other as equal partners in the first place? Do you both love God more than each other? Do you both believe in working together to obey God to achieve spiritual highs (and not one of you obeying the other because that’s the easy way to heaven?) (Yes I can’t help but put my feminist take on things.) Those are the questions that I would probably ask before I say “Ok go get married and have your wedding the way you want – or just get the important part done without a wedding if you don’t have the funds. Bonda will just post an announcement on Facebook to tell the whole wide world that you’re married.”

Raya downtime

I am currently typing this while waiting for my turn to see the doctor; current queue number is at 137, mine is 151 so good luck to me! Anyway, what better time to update this blog, right? I do have some errands the family have sent me to run; Mak minta beli daging goreng, Bapak minta beli buah, Kakak minta beli susu soya panas (macam menyesal pula keluar ke klinik), tapi takkanlah sambil menunggu aku nak pergi beli segala macam benda ni lepas tu masuk jumpa doktor bawa daging buah susu soya segala kan? Hahaha salah-salah nanti doktor tanya, kau ni betul sakit ke tidak? Ke jumpa aku supaya dapat MC jadi boleh pergi beli barang dapur pada hari kerja?

I was actually already feeling the post-Raya effect on Tuesday. (The ironic thing is, I only went out once! To one house! But more on that later.) But after dragging myself out of bed I managed to get myself to work, and in a quite delayed WhatsApp message in reply to my morning dilemma (to go or not to go to work?), the mister told me “Don’t take leave! 60% of Malays doing that today, don’t do the Melayu thing.” I got home on Tuesday, tired but ultimately surviving the work day. I did collapse in bed shortly after Isya’, though, then woke up around midnight with a perit throat, and after fussing around the kitchen and living room topping up botol kuih (we have 2 sets of those because there are actually 3 seating areas for guests, our house is a 5E built in the early ’90s) which my mom had asked me to do before she left with my dad to visit a sick relative, I felt a fever coming. So I took a glass of Redoxon and 2 Paracetamol pills, and went back to sleep. I dragged myself again to work the next day, Wednesday, because I knew today there was a training session for an event that basically contributed to yet a few more crazy past few weeks at work; (*Promo Alert! Promo Alert!*) see the event page here. That is also basically why I have not been updating this blog.

Anyway, the actual reason I started writing this post is to say: I hope it’s not too late to wish all of you readers (silent or otherwise), Selamat Menyambut Syawal! Semoga segala amalan kita di bulan Ramadan diterima dan kalau rasanya masih ada kekurangan (termasuk aku lah tu), semoga Allah panjangkan umur kita untuk bertemu Ramadan pada tahun depan, Amin.

Do forgive me if I may have indirectly offended anyone due to my ideas about Malay weddings and related matters; everyone has a right to their own opinions and preferences – if you have the cash to spare on a mega grand event, it’s yours to spend as you see fit. I have the cash right now (I could hold my wedding in a jiffy, seriously, but I also have to wait for my mister to catch up since he has to fork out more) but I am just choosing not to do a mega grand event because post-wedding, once we have a place of our own, I would like to be able to say:

Need renovation?
No problem, here’s 10k.
Need furniture?
No problem, here’s another 10k.

All that, with still extra cash to spare to give to charity and indulge in yearly traveling, etc. (Need I mention contributing to my parents’ monthly allowance as I already am doing now, health / life insurance, going on Haj?) In other words, budget wedding day, but comfortable married days ever after (insyaAllah).

Ok! Queue no. now 150! Woo hoo!