Do you ever wonder who googles you? I do. And yes I do google myself every once in a while, just to check that there is no naked photos or obscene videos of me circulating around (not that there is any, you pervert!).
While we’re on the subject, sometimes I also wonder if my many too-public-for-my-own-good hobbies would someday die a natural death just because I am scared, okay “scared” is not the right word but the word “worried” seemed just too frivolous, that it will have an adverse effect on my work. I worry about having this blog. I hate that I even worry about that.
One afternoon about 4 years ago, Ita and I picked up, okay let’s call him Mr Abu (to borrow a pseudonym from Ijam), from KL Sentral after he came back from … can’t remember where but I think it was Korea. I have no idea why we went through all the trouble to pick him up but at that time it made a lot of sense. After we dropped him off at his house in Damansara Heights, he asked us where we were headed next. We told him that we were going to Low Yatt Plaza and then to Berjaya Times Square, which then has just opened, for Buka Puasa. When he jumped up and down to say that he wanted to join us, we decided to cut Mr Abu some slack and took him along.
So here we were la la la la walking around Low Yatt Plaza. As we were walking down the staircase, I asked him if he owns a decent pair of jeans. He said yes. I asked him if the jeans still fit. He said yes. Then I asked why was he wearing this god-awful-fugly pants (okay, they weren’t fugly but they were proper slacks, you know what I mean? And who wear slacks when you were shopping for cheap computer stuff?) and not that pair of decent jeans that still fits? He said, because I can’t be seen walking around wearing jeans at this stage of my career. I laughed and told him if he was worried about how he is being perceived by his peers or staff or (then) employer, being seen checking out pirated CDs at Low Yatt Plaza with two young and obscenely dressed girls who are obviously too old to be his daughters was already enough to ruin his reputation; him wearing jeans would be the last thing that he should be worried about. Mr Abu was 49 and worked as the Director of a large and well-known government-linked (owned?) training cum academic facility.
That incident comes to mind as I am writing this.
So at what point my life ceases to be mine? While I understand, and appreciate, that there are certain, err, scandals that one can never professionally recover from, what does “prohibited from having any businesses outside one’s employment” mean? Scenarios, with the underlying presumption that I do all these in my personal time and dime:
- I join the national badminton team and represent the country in the Olympics; getting allowance and corporate sponsorship at the same time and my ‘live’ match is broadcasted for the entire world to see.
- I join Miss World beauty pageant and represent the country, getting allowance and corporate sponsorship while parading around in a teen, weeny bikini for 25million eyes to see.
- I hold an art installation and exhibition at the Petronas Gallery, KLCC.
- I hold a ‘live’ rock house concert that is broadcasted all over YouTube.
- I eat at LaFite.
- I lick an ice cream cone while sitting at the kerb watching people walk by.
- I write a book.
- I write an erotica book.
- I play the violin and hold a recital at MPO.
- I play the guitar and hold a gig at Rahsia.
I know you can’t really divorce your work from your personal life, and that there is still some semblance of decorum and discretion that you need to exercise (getting drunk and flashing my vajayjay around town? Just say no). But I wonder if I will lose a lot of me, or a whole lot of me, simply because one day I am defined definitively by what I do to put food on the table (or in my case, bags of potato chips under the bed).
15 years from now when I am 49 I still want to sing publicly. I still want to play the guitar. I still want to write, blog, youtube, wikiwiki or whatever it is that people will use then to exercise their rights to 15-minutes of fame. I still want to play videogames, attend cheesy boyband concerts, eat ice creams at kerbs, clap my hands when I hear something really funny, wear clothes that are too tight or too short or both, walk slowly in the rain, skip, poke bibi’s breasts in public, buy pink hairpins for my hair, wink at cute waiters in a completely non-discreet manner (and then ask for their numbers and pester them til they do) and show the peace sign instead of shaking someone’s hand like I sometimes do. I still want to wear frayed boot-cut jeans with slutty 7-inch heels that costs RM2000 and say “F*** you, I bought these myself, thank you very much”. I still want to say F*** you. I still want to do whatever people think is inappropriate for my age or for my perceived station in life because these are the things that I like and these are the things that make me happy.
Is that even possible?
Just to add to Int’s “Rude, Not Cute” post. Here are MY top 5 pet ‘rude’ peeves, in no particular order:
- People who say they will call, or will come, at a specific time or place, and when they can’t doesn’t bother to cancel or give me notice and leave me waiting and waiting and waiting. Promises can be broken, yes, but since it involves my time I’d appreciate a short sms to say that you can’t make it. It takes 5 seconds to type and press the send button. Saying you don’t have time is bullsh*t. You HAVE 5 seconds. This also applies to people who tells me in all seriousness, we have to talk; and then don’t talk at all for 10 years.
- People who doesn’t queue or rushes into the elevator/LRT/bus etc without waiting for others to disembark. Rude. Rude. Rude.
- People who open doors for and/or carry their girlfriends’ shopping bags and handbags but don’t even offer help to the girlfriends’ friends although they all go out together-gether and despite seeing the friends struggling with their purchases. I don’t want you to carry my bags and I guarantee that I will say no thank you. But it would have been polite to ask. Not asking is rude. Find a dictionary and look up the word ‘Chivalry’. It doesn’t apply to girlfriends only, you idiot.
- People getting amorous and kissing on escalators. Oi, you’re not the ONLY one who knows how it feels like to be in love (or horny). PDAs are rude; holding hands are fine, kissing on the mouth in public is never fine. Have some decency and find a dark corner somewhere. In the same dictionary, find the word ‘Toilet’.
- People changing the channel (TV, cable, radio whatever) without asking those who are already watching. Happened all the time when I was in college. Always made me feel like shooting their big heads wide open then nailing their innards to the lamp post as a lesson to others. Rudeness to the max!