I hate Chinese romantic comedy movies. That is because they always portray the love-struck male as a complete blubbering idiot that always makes a fool of himself in front of the object of his affection and………….. unfortunately, it cuts too close to home. Ah, the indiscretions of youth. If you are anything like me, those early forays into romance were damn embarrassing. For that very reason, I tend to keep those memories locked in a trunk in the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind and have burned the map that would lead me back to them.
So imagine my surprise that in the last two weeks, not one but two lost flames reappeared in my small world and in the most unusual way and they were in sequence, my first crush and my first serious girlfriend.
In the first instance, I was at a meeting at work with members of the Board of my organization. This is a quarterly meeting and I have known and met with these people on a regular basis for the last 5 years. This last meeting was different though. At the end of the meeting, one elderly gentleman whom I get on particularly well with, pulled me aside and asked if I had ever lived in a place called Ampang. Well, that was strange. I was almost automatically going to say that I haven’t. Then an old memory re-surfaced. I did indeed stay there for one month but that was when I was about 12 years old (which let us just say was several decades ago). I was puzzled how he might have known this.
He then went on to say that his wife (whom I had only met twice) says she remembers me from then. He then asked if I had attended some art classes there and indeed I had. He said his daughter used to attend those classes too. Suddenly I felt like I was hit with a sledgehammer right between the eyes. I suddenly knew who his daughter was. She had a very unusual family name which the gentleman also had. Strange, I never made the connection before. Now, you might wonder why his wife would remember me after all these years. Let’s just say I did some memorable capers that would have fitted in nicely in a Chinese romantic comedy movie. Well, I found the whole episode a little creepy and a bit embarrassing. No doubt they would all have a laugh on me that night over dinner.
Anyway, it seems No: 1 crush is married with two kids and has kept in touch with my career in the news and from her dad. I’m sure she’s been telling her friends, ‘ I knew this guy once……what a dork!”
Then just over a week later, I found myself as the master of ceremonies at a baptism service. Later, after the service, I was congratulating one of the baptisimal candidates, a young girl, when she turned and introduced me to her aunt. I looked round and came face to face with serious Girlfriend No:1. As appropriate again for a Chinese romantic comedy movie, I said something smooth like, “Ha…ab….a..ba….ba.” The surprise was complete. The conversation was awkward. I’m sure she’s telling her friends, “After so many years, I met him again and……he’s still a dork.”
Take the case of the Lone Grey Squirrel. His confidence and self esteem is taking a beating because he keeps meeting his old girlfriends in that place called ……the Twilight Zone. Creepy.