I like my legs. I think I have nice legs. That's about the only part of my entire body that I think is attractive. Yesterday I wore a Forever 21 peachy red tube top, the new pair of shorts I bought from Mango, and a pair of rather high light red heels to school because I was going out after Evidence lecture (which ends at 10.45 on Fridays) and I was going to be out the entire day. I had a spat with my mom in the car on the way to school because she had issues with my top which she thought was too revealing. I'd only worn that top once prior to yesterday, and that was post-dinner on my birthday when we went for drinks. I'd thought about wearing it on a few occasions but had always decided against it, primarily because prior to buying that cardigan from Mango I didn't have anything nice-looking to cover myself up with. So I suppose the outfit yesterday was hot and Chloe said it was vaguely model-y (Friday is post-America's Next Top Model and the Thursday night episode was still fresh in our minds) and my mom texted me at 12 saying I looked pretty but why must I expose so much skin? Et cetera. And I suppose it was hot, because I concede that I have nice legs, though I'm not too interested in my shoulders and protruding shoulder blades, but I suppose it was hot.
And yet, I began to feel strange after a while. My mom's comment kept coming back to me. My top kept slipping and I kept having to pull it up. And at some objective level I could see that the outfit was hot, but in all honesty, I don't see myself as a hot girl. I never have, and I think I probably never will. It was just an outfit and I wore it for the heck of it and on a whim without thinking too much about it but I realised that maybe it just wasn't who I am.
Not that I know who I am, but I guess you could vaguely try to guess by the way some things make you feel. If the brain fails, at least the intuition remains. I don't know, you know? Some things really should be simple, like the clothes we wear and the way we choose to present ourselves to the public, but why do we choose something and go on to feel weird about that choice hours later? I was telling Mag that my dad would kill me if I wore a bikini out to swim or to the beach, and that I actually wouldn't ever wear a bikini, not because I have issues with my figure, but because I have issues with the idea of wearing a bikini. It's like parading in public in my underwear, except the underwear is made of latex. And for all my liberalism and Westernised and post-modernism ideas about sex and relationships and one night stands, at some level I'm still very much conservative about how much skin I choose to show. And this doesn't come from school, from the social circles I mix with, from the institutions and schools of thought that influence me; this is fundamentally family. Before we left the house my mom said, "Why do you show so much skin? I don't know how I've taught you to dress like this." And the truth is, it is precisely because of the way my parents have brought me up that I felt weird in that top, that I couldn't go to the beach in a bikini and feel totally at ease.
At the end of everything, when you strip away all our successes and careers and independence and life outside of our homes, we're still our parents' children. I may not agree with everything that they tell me or attempt to impart to me, I may have my own ideas about things, but a fundamental part of who I am today and what I am is entirely due to them. It was just an outfit and I put it on without thinking much about it but it made me realise this important truth, something that I would never have thought about, and if I had thought about it, something that I would vehemently reject. I spent most of my teenage years attempting to break away from my parents' ideological and cultural influence, I thought my values had nothing in common with theirs, but that outfit made me realise I was wrong.
And with this realisation comes a few rather disturbing thoughts, like am I going to marry a short guy like my mom? Am I going to find out at the end of the road that they've been right about everything in my life? Because up to this point they have told me certain things about certain people and choices in my life, things that I found utterly wrong at the point of them telling me, but time and history have proven them right. They told me that Clarence was wrong, that the ex-boyfriend was wrong, my dad told me that law school was right and that I would grow to, at the very least, be interested in it. Does this mean that I'm going to end up like my dad, his youthful idealism shattered by age and resigned to his cynical belief, moulded by his adult experience, that money is the solution to all our problems and the first step to all our happiness? Am I going to subscribe to his practicality, one that I vehemently disagreed with two years ago but only kind of disagree with now?
If I had a child, do I want that kid to turn out like me? Does my parents want me to turn out like them? Do I want to turn out like them?
It always comes back to the East/West divide. It isn't a daily thing, but for years now I've felt the tug from two directions, and for years now I've tried to find a comfortable middle ground on which to tread; and it's at times like these, spurred by a simple, no-brainer outfit, that I realise that there is no middle ground. Not yet, maybe? I don't know. But there is no middle ground. And that's the only thing that I'm sure of at this juncture.
On a lighter note, yesterday was a good end to the week. Mag and I headed to town after her care group meeting where we had lunch at Food Republic and another coffee talk session at Starbucks. Mag is truly one of my best friends ever; her ability to listen and not judge is exactly what I need, and I can only hope that I can do the same for her. My ability to give good advice is rather shot down at the moment because I do not have the propensity to lie to my friends, and neither am I capable of saying things that I don't believe in, and right now I am plagued indefatigably by a brand of cynicism so acidic and bitter that it clouds my objective judgment (I have honestly stopped spelling this word the non-law, British way) on topics that I should be objective about. But I am rather fatalistic right now and I spurn a lot of things that I believed in previously and maybe I still believe in them at some fundamental level but...I don't know. I hope I can help, but I know I'm not much help.
I love Mag muchly and I always will.
Kenneth was supposed to come to Starbucks to find me after his Company lecture and after he was done doing his stuff in the library. I estimated his time of arrival to be somewhere between 6 to 6.30. So at 6.45 when he was still nowhere to be found, Mag suggested that I called him, but my phone was nearly dead so I texted him. And it turned out he was stuck in a traffic jam en route to Orchard. In the end he arrived at 7.35. Which was utterly amazing considering the original plan was to have dinner before watching Death at a Funeral at 9.35.
But it was good, too, because he and Mag got to talk which was highly amusing. It's always good when your friends become friends with each other, don't you think? I think it is.
The movie was okay: Boring at parts, hilarious at parts. Halfway through I badly needed to pee 'cause I had a watermelon juice before but I have this policy of not leaving a movie before it ends, not even for severely-needed toilet breaks, so towards the end I was mentally hurrying the movie along and wanting it to END so that I could PEE. And when it ended I turned to Kenneth and said, "I need to pee." And we got up and headed towards the entrance, but the woman guarding it said in Chinese, "The exit is further down."
I told her in Chinese, "I really need the toilet." And so we got out from the entrance! Bwahaha. I rule the world.
Because Kenneth was late, we didn't have dinner and he wanted to make it up by buying me supper. So we took a bus down to Orchard where we went to Goodwood Park which, the last he checked, served porridge at midnight.
Turned out that the last he checked was a damn long time ago because the Taiwanese porridge thing stopped being served at 11 p.m. When we got there it was 11.30. So in the end we went home dinner-less and supper-less. Wonderful, isn't it? I think it is. I hope he didn't go to bed hungry though, because I'm not a supper person and I stop feeling hungry after a certain time and 11.30 p.m. was WAY after that certain time. He felt bad that I didn't have anything to eat besides popcorn (OMG, so long since I last had popcorn with a movie) and that watermelon juice after my second lunch at Food Republic, which was at 4, but I really wasn't hungry when I should have been hungry and I wouldn't have eaten anything anyway if he hadn't insisted on buying me supper, so he had nothing to feel bad about. It's never pleasant having gastric juices for dinner but there was no causation on his part so there you go.
Mag asked me what Kenneth and I talk about and I told her, "He talks rubbish to me and I just laugh." And that, to me, sums up our friendship perfectly.
Have to go off for family dinner. I would say 'sigh' but that's not very nice, so...no sigh. Totally awesome. Hooray.