One of the things about getting older is that you realise how many things you’ve been taking for granted.
When I was younger, I could eat whatever the hell I wanted. I’d have a big plate of nasi lemak for dinner and two hours later would think nothing of scoffing back a bowl of bah kut teh followed by chendol. These days, I just have to look at a picture of a cheesecake and immediately put on a kilo.
Or, I could stay up all night partying, surfing the net, chatting to friends or playing cards, and still be at work the next morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed. The other night, I fell asleep on the couch while reading a book. Saffy says it was 9.30pm.
Another thing you take for granted when you’re young is that you assume life is always going to stay the same. You think you’re always going to have flawless skin, the same super efficient metabolism and that your parents will never grow old. And that you will have all the time in the world to find someone special to fall in love with and get married.
Recently, after years of disastrous dates and broken relationships, Saffy met and fell in love with her company’s accountant Bradley. Well, at least, I think that’s what he is. He might actually be in payroll, but as Saffy says, it’s something to do with numbers and who cares, really, when the guy has six-pack abs and looks like the love child of Brad Pitt and Andy Lau?
We’ve not seen a whole lot of Saffy as a result. She’s either at his place or they’re holed up in her room. Talking, Saffy says.
“He likes to talk. What can I say? All the guys I’ve ever dated have only wanted to grope me, but for the first time, here’s a guy who actually wants to talk occasionally. The rest of the time he gropes me, but that’s ok!” Saffy giggled.
“Talk about what?” Amanda asked.
Saffy blinked. “Oh, you know. Things. Like feelings and the future. Where the relationship is heading. It’s very refreshing. I’ve never met anyone like that!”
“Are you sure he’s straight?” Barney Chen asked.
“Don’t get your hopes up,” Saffy said as she headed for the door on another date with Bradley. “And don’t wait up!”
The other night, Amanda and I found ourselves at home having dinner together while watching ‘American Idol’.
“That Haley really annoys me,” Amanda said through a mouthful of mee goreng. “I hope she gets voted off soon!”
I said they should give Steven Tyler his own show. “The man is one cool dude. No wonder his daughter is so laid-back.”
Amanda sighed. “He’s married, isn’t he? All the good ones are.”
“Not all,” I said, and blushed.
“You know, I always thought I’d be married by the time I was this age,” Amanda went on, absent-mindedly spearing a small cube of tahu goreng. “Or at least, divorced once! With a couple of kids and a horrible mother-in-law whom I would bitch about with my girlfriends. Instead, I have a great career, an amazing wardrobe, a drop dead figure, lots of money, but I’m still single.”
I said some women would kill to have any one of those things.
“I know. I should be grateful, but…but it would be nice to be with someone, you know? I just miss that tingly feeling you get when you’re with someone you really, really like. I mean, where does it say that you can’t have it all? Happens to men all the time!” she sighed and pushed her plate of mee goreng away.
I said I was sure the right guy was just around the corner.
Amanda snorted. “Huh, he’s probably making out with someone else already.”
I kept quiet.
“I guess this whole Bradley business with Saffy is making me realise just how lonely I am, and whether any of that is ever going to happen to me. Strange though, I never felt it before, maybe because I was too busy carving out a career and shopping at Prada. But I’m feeling it now!”
When I reported all this to Saffy, she immediately cancelled her next evening with Bradley, called Sharyn and took Amanda out for a girls night on the town.
“Boyfriends come and go, but best friends are forever!” she declared as they walked out the door. Two seconds later, she popped her head back in and said, “Uhm, let’s keep what I just said between us, OK? There’s no need to repeat that to Bradley. Men can be so sensitive!”
“Shut up, Saf. I’m enjoying my cheesecake!”