Relationship

97 articles in category Relationship / Subscribe

Your husband wakes up before you do.

This has always been the case, as he goes to work earlier than you—on the days that you have work anyway.

His alarm rings, and you are aware, just vaguely, when he reaches down to turn it off. He goes back to sleep, as he always does, for an extra minute or two, and you’re vaguely aware of this too. You occasionally give him a pat on the shoulder when you feel like he’s been laying down for more than a few minutes. Then he gets off the bed, and heads to the shower. You would then grab the blanket that’s been misplaced somewhere, pull it up until just above your neck, and snooze a second time.

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I was watching TV with Tjok—my husband—when he started to annoy me. He nudged me, made funny faces, and asked me questions on unrelated topics.

“Hun,” I said to him, “Korean moment.”

I was still staring intently at the TV, being in the zone where the super cute, nice Korean guy professed his love to the nice, slightly prideful Korean girl with supet smooth white skin. She previously said she didn’t like him that way, but it’s a K-drama, of course he persevered. Cue in the emotional soundtrack with the word sarang repeated over and over.

Tjok stood up and pretended that he had a violin and started moving his right hand back and forth.

“Hunny,” I gave him a look, “my Korean moment. Why do you annoy me every time I’m having my Korean moment.”

“It’s too over the top,” he said, “too cheesy.”

“You’re the one who introduces me to K-drama,” I said. “Your fault.”

“Yah, it’s good,” he sat on the sofa again. “Just too cheesy sometimes I can’t stand it.”

“Doesn’t mean you need to ruin my Korean moment.”

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It’s quite remarkable how humans adapt to a situation.

Merely eight months ago, the only few times I slept with another human being in my bed were either with my sister or my mother during a trip overseas. And another a few handful times when I went on a trip with friends (which could be counted by one hand). Point is: I love sleeping alone. And I couldn’t possibly imagine how I would get used to a permanent human being sleeping by my side, night in, night out.

(I don’t count the times when my toddler-nephew slept with me, because sleeping with him feels a lot different. For one, you don’t really care of moving around when you’re sleeping because once he falls asleep, he will stay asleep no matter what. Getting him to sleep is the hardest part.)

Sleeping on the same bed, no matter if it’s with your sister, mother, or friend during trips, requires you to exercise control even when you’re asleep. You’re scared of moving too much, because it will disturb their sleep. You feel like tossing and turning, but doing so will wake up the other person.

So you stay still, unable to sleep, unwilling to move, probably for hours, until the oblivion comes.

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When we brought home two medium-sized orchids from the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show last month, our apartment was already full of plants.

In our humble two-bedroom, one-bathroom residence, we have a medium-sized peace lily, two terrariums (one big, one small), a small peperomia, four bonsai plants (all small, thankfully), and two herb pots (basil and chive).

With the exception of the bonsai plants (jade, juniper, buddha belly fig), all the others reside in the living room. So with the arrival of two orchids, we have to make room for them.

“Probably the peace lily should move,” Tjok said. It was situated on the small marble table beside the sofa, and I do agree, it has to move. (I always felt like the peace lily was too big for the table anyway). So we moved it to the floor just beside the door to the bathroom.

Not ideal, but it would do for now.

We placed the bright purple orchid on the marble side table. One down, one more to go.

“What if we put it behind the peperomia?” I asked. The plant was sitting on top the TV cabinet, just next to the window.

“Can’t,” Tjok said. “Too much sunlight.”

He decided that the white orchid would sit in the middle of the coffee table. It would have to share space with the small terrarium.

I was not convinced. But we’ll see whether this arrangement would work.

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Two months into my marriage, I attended a friend’s bridal shower.

We were all strangers to each other, coming together to celebrate our dear friend’s last few days as a single woman. But over the two-hour flower crown making session, we got to know a little bit about each other.

Since it was a bridal shower, talks, naturally, centered around each other’s relationship status. Some were married longer than I have been in a relationship. Others were married with babies and/or toddlers. A few were in a long-term relationship.

I was probably the most recently married at that time—it still felt weird to be wearing a ring on your left index finger all the time. Interestingly, someone asked, “How’s your first year of marriage?”

She was asking another woman, and soon everyone talked about their first-year experience. One said that it was wonderful, another felt that it was okay. Nothing like the bed of roses advertised everywhere. But I never forget one woman who described her first year of marriage with such passion.

“It was horrible,” she said. “We were in long-distance relationship for years before we got married, and adapting to be together under one roof is hard. We have different habits, different ways to do things. I think we quarrelled all the time.”

It turns out she’s quite right. Living under one roof is not easy.

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There are those who consider grocery shopping a chore. There are others who genuinely love to do groceries. I’m part of the latter group.

Even when I was still young(er), Mom would ask me whether I want to accompany her to go to the supermarket. Oftentimes, I would say yes, because I like the experience—browsing aisle upon aisle on things that I don’t need nor want, discovering that people do invent weird stuff.

Since I got married, I’ve made grocery shopping some sort of a project. Since my local supermarket (Woolworths) offers fuel discount (4 cents a litre) when I spend AUD 30 or more, that number has become the weekly benchmark. I try my best in shopping the specials, changing my planned meals for the next week should the beef is cheaper than the pork, and vice versa. And it doesn’t really matter if I don’t need other stuff apart from milk, I’d still walk down most of the aisles anyway.

I’d go to several Asian groceries to find out which one sells the cheapest soya bean. And I’d buy fruits at another store—which are of better quality and cheaper price.

Yeap, I really enjoy grocery shopping. I wonder how many of you feel the same.

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I WASN’T THE TYPE of girl who dreamed of getting married early. I never actually dotted down the ‘perfect age to get married’, but if I did it would probably be somewhere in my late 20s. And honestly, I never thought that I’d be one of first ones among my peers to be a Mrs.

My first sister got married when she was 25, and during one of the family dinners my uncle approached me and said, ‘Remember, don’t get married too early. Enjoy life more.’ My parents were also on the same wagon—they preferred their daughters to only be ‘daughters’ for as long as it was possible.

Obviously the advice didn’t stick, because three months after my sister’s wedding, I got into a relationship.

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By now, you’d have probably heard the news: I am married. Tjokro and I tied the knot in a simple, intimate ceremony in Melbourne last weekend, and the day was just magical. I don’t just say that because I’m biased (wait, maybe I am), but it really was a blessed day.

I am yet to find time to sit down and tell you all the crazy stories about preparing two weddings and a marriage, (believe me, this is going to be my next book), but over the past few weeks I did write a few bits and pieces on my Instagram account.

This post is a compilation of those stories in leading to the wedding. And since I am no longer obligated to keep our prewedding photos a secret (not that I ever did), here they are.

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Planning a wedding is tiring.

Yes, it’s a happy time—I’ve been looking at pretty things with hefty price tags and dreaming about them in an obsessive-compulsive way, albeit never going to have those things at my own wedding. That kind of happiness.

A friend has recently, politely, told me that it’s two months to the big day. It hasn’t really sunk in, actually. Should I panic? Is it actually still a long time away? Or is it such a short time away? Should I start obsessing about every single little thing?

Like, I probably should contact my florist and talk about the details. Yet I’m still indecisive on the exact colours of the bouquet I want for that day. I probably should finalise the transportation for our (my fiancé’s and my) big happy family during their stay in Melbourne. Yet I’m still too lazy to make any decisive plan.

We haven’t decided on the songs. Yes, we’ve decided on our walking-down-the-aisle and first dance song, but I never realise that we actually have to choose a song for signing the register, ceremony recessional, reception processional, and so on.

And that’s just the Melbourne wedding.

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Last weekend, my fiancé and I looked at each other in the eye way much more than in the six years of our relationship combined.

I mean, how often do you actually stare into your significant other’s eyes for more than three seconds? Rarely, I’d presume. Perhaps when you say ‘I love you’, or when you’re extremely annoyed of him being late and thus giving him the look. But still, rarely.

Oh yes, we’ve survived our prewedding photo shoot. Two full days of it.

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