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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Do best friends still write letters now?Not even lovers do.

Secondary school was where some of my best days of life happened. My best girlfriend and i wrote cards, letters and all sorts to each other almost daily.

I've held on to all my snail mail for almost 11 years now. Its time to throw them away to make space for more clothes (yikes!). But before i do, i read through them all, one by one. Over and over again. Here's what i learnt from reading those letters 11 years back:

When i was 13: Dewi and i loved Plaza Singapura. For the fact that our favourite shop was there. We both loved Winnie the Pooh, and we constantly bought Winnie the Pooh stationery to write to each other. Our letters pretty much contained stuff like 'problems' (Boy-girl-relationship sort), teachers (cannot stand Mrs Chia!) and 'oh shit, D&T project is due!'.
Dewi was the belle of the school then. Never ending of suitors. So of course, she had 'many boyfriends'. And i remember each and everyone of them. As she shares with me her 'problems' in her letters. With each new boy she has a crush on, she starts her letter with "I wanna marry him!!!" I smile now, because that's how innocent relationships were then.
Dewi was the best friend who introduced me shaving, makeup and a whole new wardrobe. She was the 'hip' one. I was the mountain tortoise.

Then came Sufen and Meowying whom i became good friends with too. And i read a letter from Dewi telling me she CAN be friends with them too and we all can hang out. I don't have to spilt. But guess that didn't happen and so we drifted, Dewi started hanging out with boys only. It was a different mix. Dewi thought she could blend in. But interests, characters, topics were just different. Dewi was just more 'ang-moh' while the other group were just 'chi-na'.
And there're some boy names mentioned in the letters that i simply can't recall. Did i go out with a certain Joel? I can't remember. I barely liked any boys at 13, much less go out on dates.

I only had 2 major crushes through the ages of 13-16. Ok, plus 2 more minor crushes. I remember how my heart ached when they never liked me back. But i never cried. Because my heart was never broken. 17-19, there was no one. Then at 19, i met my first boyfriend.

Who says boys don't write? These were all from boys. Norman wrote me a lot back then. The funniest and sweetest stuff, sometimes. Things like “ why you always say Louis Khoo and Takeshi Sorimachi is very handsome, but you never say I’m handsome?”
XB whom I met from a Judo trip to Changmai. I remember representing Singapore, lasted 30 seconds on the dojo. Remembered wearing long sleeved shirts everywhere because I was afraid of being jabbed by the aids needle on the busy streets. Remembered we had a lot of “talk”, because he was from another school, a lot more senior and was in top form in that sport. Jealousy from his female school mates, I reckon. Women are always jealous, no matter what. And we started writing to each other after the trip but it eventually died off.
And JK, whom I also met from that same trip. He too, started writing to me after the trip. He was a VERY emotional guy which seriously got on my nerves many times. Eventually, he got the hint and laid off but over the years, I found that though he might be emotional and irritating, he is a friend you can count on. Coming to an exhibition where I worked, sitting there just to chat with me to spend my time away. I think when he did that, he was no longer having feelings for me (I think). So I guess its not true that men always have a motive when they’re nice to the opposite sex.

All camps were never missing scraps of paper. I even wrote on toilet paper when the scraps ran out. Anything to get my note across :P
I miss camps. But I don’t quite like camps nowadays anymore. Chalets too. Maybe because I’m older. I prefer to sleep at 11pm, I prefer to bathe in my comfortable toilet than a dirty public, shower-can’t-be-taken-down, nowhere-to-put-toiletries place. But school and church camps were the most fun days. A lot happened with many daily interactions with the opposite sex! Haha.


A wrote daily to me. So on a Monday, I will get 2 (Sat and Sun) because there is no school on weekends. We continued the penmanship for awhile until things turned sour when I thought I like his best friend better. Frankly, A was a very romantic and generous guy and I think his partner will be very fortunate. Just too bad I have no feelings. Around me, there’re many good men around. But when you’ve no feelings, you just have no feelings. I cannot be with someone JUST BECAUSE I need someone. Or be with someone just because he can make me a very happy rich princess. Most of the times, I think I am poorer because of a relationship because I’m more of a giver than a taker. And most of the times (no, make that ALL the time), I get whatever I want on my own capability so I do not need to rely on a man.

S was also a writer and romancer. He makes the most beautiful cards for me and did all my art homework. We had a lot of “talk” then because I just entered Secondary School and he was a senior, well reputation and with a fan club. I am a not-bad mountain tortoise. He was my very first crush that I think I stay fond of for many many years even after many other crushes, schools and eventually relationships. Not that there’s anything to feel threatened about. It’s just platonic fondness after Secondary School.
When I was 15: My heart skipped a beat when this crush wrote me one Valentine’s Day. You can imagine how elated I was because I’ve always liked him but he always ended up being with someone around me, but just not me. Not that I really wanted a relationship then anyway. I do not know what is a relationship. Too innocent already. Haha..

I had a lot of pen pals too! Jobina..whom I’ve NEVER ever met. I think she was my elder brother’s MRIC friend. Haha, I can’t remember how we even started. But I think my brother told me she wasn’t quite a looker.

Then pen pals from overseas. These cards were from cute little boys that I met on my family holiday in New Zealand. And Isa, a pen pal from Holland whom I met on another family holiday in Sarawak. I saved her from falling into a river. Since then, she’s sent me countless parcels and written me many letters. She was probably close to 70 when I saved her. This is morbid and probably abit greedy, but I knew she was childless and kinless. So I was wondering if she would leave me her Holland fortune when she leaves..Muahahaha! Me being her saviour. Haha!

My friends probably think i wanna c a naked man very much. Received 2 similar cards on my birthday! One was from the USA though. Hallmark is international.
So why did snail writing stop? Why did it die off with me and my pen pals? Definitely it wasn’t me who stopped. I love sending and receiving snail mail. It could be time, it could be life changes. With emails, sms, Facebook,no one bothers with snail mail anymore. How many Christmas cards do you receive now? The saddest thing I’ve learnt was my ex boyfriend never read any of my cards/ letters to him. And if he had never bothered to read what his lover wrote, how much of a lover was he?

He did finally read. But it was all too late.

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