A Prologue to The Relationship

A friend of mine suggested that I should record all the fun and romantic stories that I have with The Girlfriend. The Girlfriend thinks that it’s a fantastic idea too!

There are several good reasons for it: (1) There’s something very different about recording events as they happen. When events are recorded in the present moment, the present thoughts, feelings, concerns, etc., are all captured. When recorded as a historical event, many details are left out as only the details needed to craft the narrative are recorded. You don’t get these things in historical narratives. Worst still, when we wait till much later, many of the memories would have either been altered, and the vivid details lost. What we’re left with, at the end of the day, is a very simplified version of what has happened over time.

(2) It’s something wonderful that will be worth looking back to read many years from now; (3) And if we encounter problems (fights, etc.), reading these entries again can help us remember why we’re together in the first place and the awesome moments that we’ve had.

But perhaps the biggest reason why we’d like to share this online is this: (4) people love happy stories. Our friends have been asking us about how we’ve got together, and the things we’ve done. It’s great to be able to share our happiness with others. These stories have brought much joy to many – and in return, it has brought us joy knowing that others are happy.

There’s not many happy stories going around these days. These days, the stories we tend to hear often are sad, depressing ones. Stories about brokenness, lost, disappointments, failures, etc. Sometimes, one can’t help but feel pessimistic about life. This is where the happy stories come in. These stories give us hope, they give us something to smile about, something to laugh about. These are the stories that will remind us that despite the doom and gloom of life, and the sadness of humanity, there are still gems of hope and happiness around – while life can be depressing, it can still be awesome nonetheless.

One of the biggest life lessons I’ve taken away from reading up about Japanese aesthetics is this: In traditional Japanese aesthetics, imperfections are always present in their artwork. These imperfections serve as a reminder that life is imperfect. But it also serves to compel the viewer to seek the beauty in the imperfections themselves. Beauty and imperfections are not mutually exclusive. And the true lover of beauty sees beauty in all things – but more so in imperfections.

Life is imperfect. I am imperfect. The Girlfriend is imperfect. Our relationship is imperfect. But there is beauty in all these things. And so the point in recording all these imperfect moments when we are together will be for just this purpose – to capture the beauty of the moment, the beauty of the experience, the beauty of our relationship and our time together – no matter how imperfect it is. And when we are able to go beyond the distinctions of perfection and imperfection, we begin to see that beauty is in everything and in everyone – especially in that special one. =)

Well then… Perhaps a good way to begin this story will be to talk about my cat(s).

Why is my cat(s) so significant and precious to me?

Well, there’s actually a larger story behind it. And it has to do with The Girlfriend.

A few months back, I asked her out to watch a movie with me. It was the first time I asked her out because I was seriously interested in her. Before that, we had been going out for ice-cream at various ice-cream places, and enjoying a good laugh that would last for hours – but back then, it was just that – friends having a good time. This time it was different. And it was also the first time that we watched a movie together.

The movie was “Puss in Boots.”

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It was a great movie, and definitely a great evening together. It was lovely how Puss (orange cat on the right) developed a beautiful relationship with Kitty Softpaws (grey cat on the left) in the story.

To my surprise, when I returned home that night, there was an orange cat sitting in front of my door.

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Lo and behold! It was Puss in Boots! It was a bit surreal. I felt as if the cat fairy of love came to pay me a visit.

Interestingly enough, this orange cat has a best friend/lover staying on the same floor as me. In a bizarre sort of coincidence, the orange cat’s best friend/lover is this cat:

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Can you see how much it resembles Kitty Softpaws?

What a bizarre, yet wonderful, coincidence!

Anyway, I’m not saying that the cat is a good luck charm for love.

Rather, my beloved orange cat(s) is a sweet constant reminder of the first time I asked her out on our first movie date.

But wait, there’s more! Weeks later, I invited her over to my house to enjoy some dim sum and to try out different kinds of tea. It would also be an opportunity for her to play with the cat. (To read more about the dim sum and tea, see my earlier post, “Yum Cha Dim Sum (飲茶點心)“)

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What she didn’t know was that that day was the day where I would confess just how much I liked her and would like to take the friendship to the next level. I was quite worried about what to write/say to her. But a very supportive friend gave me this advice: if she likes you, it doesn’t matter what you say as long as you say something.

With that reassurance, I wrote a little love note, and bought a rose.

The original plan was to attach the rose and note onto the cat, and let it deliver the two items when she came to my house. However, the cat went missing the entire day – that was annoying.

Thankfully, in the end, the cat didn’t fail me at all! Just as we were about to leave the house, the cat dropped by meowing loudly to announce its arrival. In the nick of time! We played with the cat for a short while. Later, she had to use washroom. It was the perfect moment. I didn’t have much time to attach everything, so instead, I just attached the love note onto the cat’s collar. It struggled a little, but after a while, it kinda realised it had an important mission to play (I think), so it stayed still and allowed me to clip the note.

When she came out of the washroom, the cat fully co-operated with my plan, walking up to her to deliver the message. She spotted the card, unclipped it from the furry messenger, and read it. As she read the card, I took out the red rose that I had been hiding in a corner.

And that was the start of more awesome things to come!