Yesterday, early in the morning, my husband wished me Happy Valentine’s Day. He asked me, “Do you want me to buy rose for you?”. I replied, “No need, the money you spent on buying the flower is as if I am buying flower for myself. What is yours is also mine. Flowers wither in 3 days.”. It’s an irritatingly pragmatic answer.
My Valentine’s Day has no rose, no gift, no candle-light dinner. To me, Valentine’s Day is that dating boys and girls are in the happiest mood to let merchants rip them off.
Back home, at dinner, 2 big boys, Robin and Dominique asked how I met their papa. Here’s our love story.
In July 1988, my husband and I knew each other as pen-pal. I was a student, he was in army (National Service). I saw his name was in pen-pal column of an old magazine. The magazine was 3 months old borrowed from my best friend Hwee Ee.
What attracted me? His name: Benedict (not so common in those days). His home address 45 Jalan Perahu looked like landed property (I came from a poor family and hopeful for better life). He was 18 years old, his hobby was volleyball, picnic, listen to music (sporty and extrovert like me). Later, I found out that he was indeed lived in landed property, not a bungalow or anything closer but a village house with a big fish pond in front of his house in Lim Chu Kang. He’s no rich man’s son.
One letter to him with a self-introduction of myself, and one letter of his reply with his photo. He asked for my photo and phone number, we started dating.
Those were the days when there was no internet, mobile phones were non-existent. The way we know each other, until now, I think it was very simple, very romantic, very sweet. What other methods to know strangers? Now, there are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, chat lines, what apps….they weren’t exist in 1980s.
One letter to him with a template self-introduction of myself, and one letter of his reply with his photo. He asked for my photo and phone number. Second time we were out for a movie, he asked whether I was willing to become his girlfriend.
People at those days were simple. Everything was slow and steady. But ours a bit fast and furious. We waste no time. I am brought up in a conservative family. Mum told me girls should play hard to get. But I thought if you like that boy and that boy likes you, why play game? I am glad that I have good judgement of people. This boy who was a penny stock, now has become a blue chip.
I had many male friends, pen-pals or friends of friends. Their photos were filled in 2 books of 36-pages album, I thew it away after I decided who’s the man I could spend my life with.
If I don’t know my husband and my husband doesn’t know me, we won’t be what we are now. My 3 sons will be born in somewhere else in the world as other people’s children. Dominique said he’s probably in some African country carrying buckets of water. When I’m feeling down at work, i will look at the photos, the boys in my life.