Here Come Old Flattops
October 26, 2009

You're Beautiful, and We're Late
October 10, 2009

They had an interesting discussion on the radio this morning. The DJ was asking listeners to call in and talk about men.

Men who beautify themselves.

No I don't intend to take a dig at some of you gentlemen out there who prefer to live a fabulous life of threaded eyebrows and shimmery glistening fingernails. I thoroughly respect the choice. If it's the radiant glow of your T-zone after a 3-hour, RM849.37, facial rejuvenation treatment that makes you happy, then I say go for it... girlfriend.

What caught my attention however, was a caller who voiced out her worry about her husband who had suddenly developed a strong concern over his appearance. Which did sound a bit odd at first. For most of the recently married guys I know face the struggle of getting used to grooming appliances e.g. a comb.

Anyway, according to her, they're facing some trouble getting out of the house on time for work. With the husband now taking more time in the bathroom and in front of the mirror, she's forced to wake up much earlier to dress up. In other words, her personal space has been indirectly invaded simply because her husband wants to 'bejewel it like Beckham' in the morning. And I, for one, do feel sorry for her.

You see, guys, the license to spend ages getting dressed is, I believe, every woman's birthright. They're warranted to do so. There's no two ways about it. It's a universally agreed understanding; whether we like it or not. A luxury, we're guilty of robbing from them should we ever question the logic behind say, putting on some makeup before they get out of the car; to pay the toll for example.

Even if you have to wait in the car -- or, worse off, in the living room with her younger siblings who'll just sit there and awkwardly stare at you -- for three hours, you are only to shower her with praises when she's finally (if ever) ready. It doesn't matter if you're already late to that Twilight sequel you both got tickets to. No of course she was the one who chose the movie.

For all that matters is that, she looks as stunning as Scarlett Johansson. Or at the very least, you lead her into believing it. As much as you have the strong urge to do so, pointing out how the three hours made no difference is never, and I mean never never ever, an option.

Legend has it that after growing impatient while waiting for his then girlfriend Pattie Boyd to get ready for a function, Eric Clapton wrote a song. One that would later become one of the most heartfelt love songs ever written. And what did he say to her in it?

"I say yes, you look wonderful tonight."

Goes to saying how long it took her to get ready, though. Long enough for Eric to write a chart-topping hit.

What crisis?
October 01, 2009

I've always been ambitious. Even as a child, I would never settle for anything less than the best. I went to the under-10 tryouts despite being three years younger. I attempted to save up for a Nikko Ferrari Enzo, only the hottest remote control car at the time; costing no less than a kidney. And in my effort to win the heart of the most beautiful girl at our playground, I wrote perhaps one of the most compelling poems in history.

None of the goals ever surprisingly materialized. The handwritten poem was found nicely crumpled in a gutter. Yet, just as well, none of them ever bogged me down either. I've been quite resilient to failures and believe me, there have been one too many. Maybe I'm a firm believer in the 'things that don't kill you making you stronger' philosophy. Or maybe I'm excessively human that I can somehow accept mistakes as a work of nature. More probably though... I just got used to blunders.

Recently, however, a string of thoughts have led to the notion of putting both my ambition and resilience to the test. There seems to be this bombardment of ideas suddenly surging out of my brain. A host of things that I suddenly want to get myself involved in. A strong urge to push myself to the limit. A sudden expansion on the list of things that I plan to do in life; which previously only had '1. Judge Miss Universe' on it.

I wanted to accomplish things by the age of 30: release a record, get a book published, write a screenplay. I wanted to cover South East Asia by the end of 2009 and the Oceania in the coming year. I wanted to run four days a week with a round of football at the end of it. I wanted to surpass the number of dates I was out on in the past year (0.5, she left half-way, a call came in, her cat died, for the second time... nope, same cat).

All of which, were parts of a phase, I initially thought. Until a good friend of mine mentioned the rather dreaded 3-word term, 'quarter-life crisis'.

A possible conclusion that I won't discount. While I could painstakingly describe the term as 'a crisis that you face when you reach quarter-life', -- yes, it exists -- defines it as 'a period of anxiety, uncertainty and inner turmoil that often accompanies the transition to adulthood'; which only makes as much sense as a straight member of the Village People in my book.

Why call it a crisis though? If that is what I'm actually going through. A crisis is a disaster, a catastrophe, an emergency, a calamity, a predicament and everything else that is ever represented by Lady Gaga. Wanting to do a bunch of things all of sudden, unless it involves terrorism, is nowhere near a crisis. It sparks questions, true. But it's not too bad, at all. In fact, I'll go as far as to saying that it is to be embraced.

At 26, and three years into my career as an analyst in the chemical industry (yawn), I believe the phenomenon is largely due to the stagnant state of my life. I drive for an hour to the office in the morning, spend eight hours in my cubicle, spend another hour on the road cursing at other drivers, head on to the treadmill in the evening then maybe work on some music or waste my precious time on the Internet (i.e. sites like this blog) before I hit the sack, five days a week. If it weren't for the weekends, I'll only be as human as Robocop. And nobody can bear doing the same thing for the next 30 years now, would they? Venturing into new domains seems all too fitting then if it keeps you alive.

Considering the majority of the readers on here are my peers, probably some of you out there are going through the same thing. And to you, my friends, in the words of one of the largest sportswear conglomerate in the world to the disgust of hippies everywhere, I say just do it.

In addition, I believe we could all agree as well, that if there's any crisis it out there at all, it's in the form of the oddball that is Lady Gaga.

Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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