Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen Vol. 7

Hi all!

Hope u are all kept up to date with the on-going series, if not, please read the entries below starting from the 1st vol. Oh yes, I admit I now very lazy, because I just cleaned up the whole house by myself, a rare occurrence, thankfully, so I beseech you to scroll to the previous entry to get all the links to the other volumes…hehehehe.

In any case, here’s the latest installation, which I’m happy to say, did not decrease in its excitement and drama. In fact I would go to say this is even more soap than opera. Here’s why:

The current situation is that I invited my colleagues over to my place for a poker session yesterday. Here’s something about the bunch that you should know. These are really really nice and young and fun people, even the older ones. Maybe because of the ulu location of our department, we needed to be more rowdy and raucous to balance our sanity and the ying-yang of the place. Perhaps next time, I shall blog about the ghostly occurrences in the department, so you can see why we needed to make some noise all the time and remain happy.

And nothing can make us happier than to have lunch together over an intense round of ban-luck or 21. The bids are in 10 cents only, but the point is not the winning, the point is the playing…..and of cos the excitement of the possibility of getting caught playing cards in the office.

So… back to the story, the whole office came over to my place for food and fun, PPQ included. We all noticed she was exceptionally happy, but as a group, we tend not to ask too personal questions all around. And frankly, I wasn’t that interested, even for the PPQ series. In a certain way, I’m sure I can get the whole story in its own time without my intervention.

Sure enough, halfway through the game, PPQ started telling us about her on-going. She went out with LK again, this time for dinner after work. The gals had to ask who asked first, him or PPQ. It was him that asked first, she verified.

Ah, I was thinking, this PPQ is either very smart or very stupid. Beforehand, LK already mentioned to me he received a few smses from PPQ for lunch but he was busy. I knew that he was going to make it up to her for not being free, so the dinner was no surprise. On the other hand, the way PPQ was saying it, she either wanted us to think he’s earnestly chasing her or she wanted to pretend it was all true.

I started worrying again, which was utter stupidity, but I couldn’t help it. On and on in my mind was LK saying the words over and over again, ‘Should there be anything else?’ when I asked him if the date was only for fun.

These 2 people are going at it at cross-purposes.

Oh yes, to digress a little, a quickie conversation that made me pissed happened on Friday. It was PPQ being asked by the younger, idolizing gals whether she does indeed like the irascible, charming LK. I was busy working at my cubicle but her lovely voice reached me anyway.

‘I think I do! I mean, he’s very eligible. Dresses very well and is a scholar! What more could a girl want?’

To which I snorted so quickly and so badly and so loudly, that I had to cover up, bring up a jokes website and ask the gals to come over to read them so that they won’t suspect I heard it. The whole thing is starting to turn into a joke I can absolutely appreciate. I’m almost sure I should see the demise of this relationship, if it ever happened, with PPQ the worse for wear again.

Of cos, what more could a gal want except that a guy is eligible? I’m sure she doesn’t need things like kindness, care, concern or basic attraction. As long as he dresses very well and get As for grades, I’m sure he Mr Right.

What utter shallowness. And it’s terrible because I didn’t know when I became so angry about the whole situation, except that I thought it was such a waste of time for both sides. Why can’t somebody just be the bad person and tell PPQ off for her air-headedness about relationships? Was it because that since LK became a friend, I’m actually worried for his reputation and safety? After all, after seeing her in action, the thought that she might like to turn Martyr for Love is highly plausible?

Again, the whole story is running away from me. There’s so much and so little information to write this out since everything is in bits and pieces. Back to the poker game at my place on Saturday: Suffice to say there was bit more conversation about LK this and LK that and LK everything for the next 30 minutes into the game. By then, everyone who’s got brains at least the size of peas have discovered the new PPQ and her rather larger-than-Life-imagination. Apart from naming her second future son, she did everything to confirm that as a person, she thinks much too much and much too highly of herself. It’s weird, because just a few days before, I thought she was suffering from low-self-esteem….

Colleague Jill came to the kitchen to help make the coffee during a short break, where she gave me the second largest piece of news of this entry. Due to her work, she’s required to sometimes go back on weekends and in fact, had came from the department to my place.

‘Guess who I saw at the labs?’ she gave me a cheeky smile while I ripped the 3-in-1s apart.

‘PPQ?” I said. It was hardly a subject between the 2 of us that never got back to her.

‘Yah and you know why she was there?’

‘I have no idea.’ PPQ’s work does not involve weekend burning…..Hmmm……

‘She went back to buy fish porridge for LK.’

‘Huh?’ I was mystified. Did LK lack the hands to buy his own fish porridge?

‘I’m not kidding. She told me she came back just to buy him lunch.’

‘Oh well, if he did ask her for help, that’s hardly news.’

‘Yup, but he didn’t. She just came all the way back to buy it for him because she knew he’s in the lab today. But that’s not the best part, the best part was that, not only did he NOT know she came to give him lunch, he didn’t even arrive yet when she got there, so she waited till she couldn’t wait anymore and actually left the takeaway at the receptionist.’

‘At the receptionist?’ I gasped. It was unbelievable.

‘Yes! Then she smsed him a cryptic sms and asked him to get ‘the surprise’ from the lady at the lobby.’

‘From the lobby.’ I intoned. I was gobsmacked.

‘From the lobby.’ She confirmed, her lips quivering.

And the dam burst out in the kitchen. We laughed at the flabbergasted performance that is PPQ. It was bad planning, and terrible coordination all rolled into one. I know I should look at it and think its sweet, but the thought of him going back to the lab, most likely with lunch already settled, receiving a ‘surprising’ soggy bowl of cold soup from a grumbling receptionist was too much. The whole lobby would have smelt of soup. I wondered how amused the receptionist must have been to receive it and how equally amused she would be to find out who the lucky guy was.

Somebody’s embarrassment shall know no bounds even as we speak.

Jill and I giggled irrepressibly when the whole bunch coddled us unsuccessfully to tell them the joke. It was nice to have an ally.

The whole thing ended with success. Success meaning that I won enough to buy a cup of coffee. The whole adventure would have ended here and in fact, been sufficient for a blog entry.

But another new thing about PPQ I would learn is never to expect the expected when it comes to her.

A series of smses was flung at me today, while I was dosing off to sleep at my balcony, mouth wide open, enjoying the sun….

They were from PPQ.

Dear AKK, I wanna tell you something. I strongly believe in the TS theory now bcos it has been proven in my case. I have managed to find out one of my secret admirers just now…. Haha…

I felt uncomfortable about the ‘Haha…’ I smsed back, ‘Really? Was it someone I know?’

No, u dunno….it’s 1 of my JC frens. He is marrying soon. He drove me home just now. On the way, he asked me why I never like him…then I told him why, then he told me tat last time he did have crush on me. Haha… But it’s all past le. Haha…

The ‘Haha…’s are starting to sound demonic.

I wrote back, ‘Actually, it’s best not to go looking, just know it can liao.’ Whatever possessed me to tell her the TS theory…

The next sms made my toes curl and wonder about her mental state….it was long and filled with lots of haha-s and apostrophes.

Ya…I know…unless they divulge themselves.. so I strongly believe tat there are at least 9 more out there who is thinking of me now. Haha… Really…I am so glad tat this fren of mine is so brave 2 be vulnerable to me, to tell me this. It really makes me even believe tat theory, felt better about myself. LK jus happen to be the bravest to approach me in a more aggressive way… Haha… Or he is hiding something behind his sleeves by being so nice 2 me…So I have 2 be mre careful… Now I believe tat ‘the one’ shall overcome all obstacles 2 court me, and not the other way round. Haha…=)

Oh man! This time, I got a very amused A (who has been kept very updated) to pen the sms back to her because I am left speechless with guilt and …fear?

It would be best not to think so much and just enjoy a great frenship in the making. Even if things don’t work out, everyone can still be frens.

Rather than dampen the spirit, her reply was a roar of self-expression starting with…..

Haha… thank u 4 ur advice. Anyway, I still wanna thank u 4 ur TS theory. This is going to make a difference in my Life le… Haha…^-^

Oh no!!!! What have I done??!!! I have given power to the undeserved!!! The knowledge has mentally disabled her senses!!! And what’s with ‘hiding something behind his sleeves’ mean? While I agonized, A guffawed at the entertainment.

Half an hour later, PPQ sent her pièce de résistance. Note the hesitance.

O……..Ya……AKK...... mind I check w u? Did anyone give you cookies 4 ur birthday? Haha….

I have a bad feeling about this…..


Monday, March 19, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen Vol 6

Warning: please read the whole series as they are all part of a running story. Apart from vol. 1, 2-5 are all consecutive entries. Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5.

Hi all!

It would seem that the drama of PPQ couldn’t seem to slow down enough for me to take a break before I update again. So I am, cramping my fingers away on my lappy for the sake of my sanity. Because writing these things out purges me from those demons that the whole episodes have put into me. Now I can say that I’ve learnt something, which I always knew, but always had to re-learn again and again because I ALWAYS ALWAYS forget. And that is this:

You really don’t know a person till you see them react to situations.

For PPQ, it should be known by now that while I harbour no ill will towards her, I am somewhat tired by the incessant outpouring of her private life. Every now and then when she deigned to talk to me about her new leash of life, I will try to turn it into another standpoint. Mainly by telling her that having guys like her or liking guys are currently not the most important thing in her life right now.

‘if you must know, you shouldn’t go crazy over just these 2 guys, you know?’

‘oh AKK,’ she flicked her hands dismissively. ‘I’m not.’

‘you aren’t?’

‘No, the other one was much too old.’

I recalled her having another date from the seminar asking her out. And almost immediately, denoted him Andy.

‘Like how old?’ I was think to the tune of 15.

‘He’s 7 years older than me, he’s so Uncle!’

My eyes widen than narrowed. Some of my most charismatic friends are 10 years older than me. In fact most of them age better than wine….

‘PPQ, 7 years is pretty short, considering you aren’t that young yourself.’ I twisted the knife in slowly.

‘But I can’t look at him in THAT way!’ she confessed.

‘What way?’

‘I mean, I can’t consider him at all, he’s just too old for me.’

‘wait a minute.’ I had a thought. ‘So how was the date, really? Was it nice?’

‘Yes, it was great! I had lots of fun.’

‘Fun until you found out he’s 7 years older than you.’I accused.

‘AKK,‘ She huffed. ‘I’m not as shallow as you think. I just gradually felt like I was talking to my 2nd uncle as the night wore on’

‘Yes,' I persisted. ‘AFTER you knew about his age.’

'I’m not like that, ‘ She replied quietly.

‘I just want you to know that there is nothing wrong with just making friends, be they older, younger, shorter, plumper, cuter, uglier. I’m just saying that you should just learn how to make friends first rather than make boyfriends out of these new friends. In fact, only when you love yoourself can you find somebody who can love you back the way you want. And Singlehood is the best situation to start loving yourself more.’ Once again, I thought of Jill and her composed and happy demeanor.

PPQ’s eyes misted again. While a part of me grew more disgusted with her with each passing day, another part of me constantly beats me up for forgetting who and what she is. I seem to always forget that we are all different and we think differently and while PPQ may never be a friend of mine because we think from 2 polars, doesn’t mean I should force her to accept my own views.

‘I’m just very lonely.’ She intoned sadly. ‘after I broke up with him (the latest BF), I lasted 3 days before I begged him to return to me….but it didn’t work. I’m really a failure.’

Oh man….I’ve made the Heavenly Queen’s eye water!!! Awkwardly, I patted her on the shoulder and grimaced at the scene I was imagining, her having to beg him to come back. Perhaps I’m married and therefore feeling all smug that someone’s tied to me, but I can’t help but feel she gave the whole of womankind a bad name for not standing tall when she should have.

She relived her past while I absently slapped her back, finally I took the easy way out of the whole situation.

I opened my mouth and said, ‘Have you never heard of the TS theory?’

=======================15 minutes later=======================

‘Meaning,‘ PPQ reiterated slowly, ‘that every person has 10 secret admirers that they don’t know about?’

‘Exactly! Isn’t that great to know???’

‘I don’t believe it,’ she said flatly.

‘Well, the theory stands because it can’t be proven lah. If it’s proven, then how to be secret admirers anymore?’

She looked dubious, but I knew if this doesn’t raise a gal’s esteem, nothing will. It sure did for me.

‘Think about it.’ And I went off.

Later that night and the next day, I would soon know the error of my ways by empowering her with my theory.

I have worse feelings now than ever.

Stay tuned........



Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen Vol 5.

Hi all!

Again the warning: if you dun understand the title, please read the whole series as they are all part of a running story. Apart from vol. 1, 2-4 are all consecutive entries. Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4.

As promised, here's the newest installation.

The morning started off busily with me cramping the keyboards away for a memo update, and reading blogs at the same time. So imagine the back of my hair standing up when I heard a small voice from the left ear drowning out all the office noises of hard workers.

‘AKK, can I ask you a question?’

PPQ had pasted her face close to my left cheek, which totally freaked me out. Firstly because I was lost in work and secondly because I suspect she was reading my monitor.

Thankfully, I had the outlook to cover the blog sites. I faked a large stretch that made her face shy away and asked loudly and within earshot of everyone, ‘Yes? How may I be of assistance?’ There was the hope that she would change her secretive question with a more mundane one, since my Life is definitely too short to cater to her cloud-nine or hell-eighteen emotional status right now.

But I guess PPQ is not much of a subtle thinker. In fact, I now swear that while she’s academically woo-hoo, she’s ZERO brain cells in emotional quotient and social etiquette. When the question came, it was a shocker.

‘AKK, does LK have your handphone number?’

The question was tentative and yet, I could spot a slight accusatory tone mangling the innocent sentence into something derogatory and insulting. My temper started rising. Because of the security access required to enter our block, anyone coming in had to call the center for help, usually the technician that provides the service. Since LK had failed to reach me to get him in, he then called PPQ to allow him access. As I’ve left my HP on my desk while I went to the restroom, she must have seen it vibrating and blinking away just before LK called her.

Bloody Hell……

‘Why do you ask?’ What I really wanted to say was: What business is it to you?

‘Nothing. Just asking.’ For the rest of the day, I would receive this lame phrase for the other questions she’ll randomly throw at me. But I see her eyes grew concerned at my answer.

Blow this for a lark. I’m not up for a fight this early in the morning and I’ve plenty to do. So I told the truth, which was, ‘My office number is directed to my handphone, any client will get my HP blinking.’

Apparently satisfied, she turned back to her work while I hastened my own so I can attend to LK, who was using my machine 3 rooms away.

The whole morning was spent in relative peace till we broke for lunch. LK took the first half of his data back, promising to return after lunch to continue. On my side, I heaved a sigh of relief that PPQ was busy with her own work and did not linger outside the lab door. Perhaps the whole day will pass uneventfully.

I should have known better. As I escorted LK down the corridor out of the building, I saw the whole bunch of my colleagues crowding it, all ready for lunch. LK said Hi to PPQ and everyone along the corridor before stepping out. As I said, he really is a very friendly person. Since no one knew this guy was the date of PPQ, I stayed silent and let him out quietly.

Once the door closed, I turned and walked back to a tittering crowd.

Then I heard PPQ’s voice wafting through.

‘Yup! Yes! He’s the one! That’s my date! Isn’t he cute?’

Oh brother… Now the whole world could put a face to PPQ’s joy. On and on, the phrase ‘Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched’ went through my head again.

During lunch, PPQ took center-stage again. Another guy from the relationship seminar had asked her out, so she happily told anyone willing to listen. On my part, I’m beginning to suspect that she’s either having a much too-low-self-esteem that she couldn’t believe such ‘peach-flower-luck’ could strike her twice, or she having such a high self-esteem she thinks she’s got it made just because she had dates.

While I was silently munching away on my noodles, one of my favourite colleagues elbowed me.

‘I know exactly what you are thinking,’ she whispered.

‘Really? Like how?’ I answered morosely, wandering how the whole thing had got out of hand.

‘She was worse when she broke of with the first and second boyfriends. I was her shoulder to cry on.’

‘I really don’t know what she’s doing, you know, it’s a huge big hoo-ha now. What if people just want to be friends first? It’s like eating the batter before the cake is baked, eventually she’ll complain that she couldn’t eat the cake in the end…’

’Well, for PPQ, you need to understand that she doesn’t have guy friends. Guys are to her avenues for boyfriend- or husband-hood. Did you know what she thinks about us single gals in the office?’

‘What?’ Eyes big big, I was aghast that PPQ had opinions about singlehood status and made it known to the singles. Colleague Jill is currently in her 30s but happily and fulfillingly single. She’s my favourite because she’s always logical and calm in the face of the younger, crazier colleagues. To think that anyone would use her first as a comfort pillow, and yet insult her is hard to understand.

‘What what? Say say!’

‘Well, for one thing, she thinks there’s something wrong and incomplete about us. She thinks that in order to be whole, we need a guy.’

‘Oh God….’ I exclaimed, soaking up the office currents.

‘That’s why she’s so adamant about getting a guy. She’s barely single for a month and she’s on the high radar already. Probably also why she’s so anxious that these guys should be the answer to her loneliness.’

‘So…essentially, ‘ I said slowly. ‘She doesn’t want to end up like you or the others…She thinks you gals are losers…’’

‘Exactly!’ She beamed.

‘That’s mean!’

‘Yup, but you can’t change what a person truly feels.’

‘How come you never told me?’

‘I hardly think it’s a proper office conversation.’

I am sick in the stomach. That’s what PPQ was on the insides. She sounded like an absolute bumpkin who’s never had her horizons widened. This girl has got TUNNEL vision. Were she born during the old days, she’ll probably cheer the loudest should an adulterous pair be tried at the village square and drowned in the river.

She sounds like she never grew up and never adapted. Men, to her, are a means to an end. Like a status symbol.

Sitting across Jill, I was glad I did not mention this after-hour servicing to anyone in the office. My survival instincts must have clearly heard the call of the Wild (probably PPQ again). Because eventually LK and I did do dinner together, although a dinner of packed rice across the large table in the meeting room, which is vacated every 15 minutes to check the machine, is hardly what anyone would call a ‘date’, more like a necessity. Even then, I felt it’d be murder to leak this tidbit out to PPQ.

‘So how was the date?’ I asked casually.

‘Great! Had a lot of fun!’

‘Hmm…Is it all fun and nothing else?’

LK leaned back in his chair and stretched nonchalantly. ‘Should there be anything else?’

‘I mean, don’t the flowers and the musicians mean anything?’

He slammed the chair back onto its four legs. ‘My goodness, she told you that?’

‘That and more, my man.’

‘Ow…. I was hoping the whole thing would be a bit more discreet.’

I thought about how the whole department now knows who he is and what he did and how they met and felt sorry for him.

‘The flowers were just because it’s a date. It’s just something I do.’ He said defensively. ‘The musicians didn’t require any planning, I just waved a hand over and they came. And while I may or may not be interested, what’s wrong with knowing each other better first?’

I nodded. It was as I suspected. LK really was just built this way. Earlier when I escorted him back in, he ended up talking to the cleaning lady who was in the same elevator as us. By the time we reached our floor, he knows her name, how many kids she had and how her bad back ached on rainy days.

When the whole session ended at a timely 9.30pm, he whipped out a plastic bag and flourished it at me. I took it and looked inside. It was a large bag of mixed chocolates from Chocolate Heaven. I almost flung it back at him. His connection to PPQ is making me wary accepting anything from him or treating him any better.

‘What’s this for?’ I asked suspiciously.

‘Ta-daa! Happy belated Birthday!’

‘Eh? How did you know?’

‘You told me.’ He looked wounded.

‘I did?’ Arrgghh….kopi and chocolates….this guy does his homework well….

‘Yes lah!’ he huffed. ‘During our last scanning, your hubby asked you if you were free for a dinner reservation on your birthday and you said OK, then when you put the phone down, you told me.’

‘Oh…. Thanks but I really needed to tell you that I can’t accept gifts from my clients.’

He sighed. ‘I’m treating you as a friend right now and showing you my appreciation of your bending the rules for me. Even if you don’t accept this gift as a real present, then take it as a treat for the whole department.’

‘Hmmm…’ I considered. He had a point. Somewhere along the way, we had become friends. It is really quite idiotic to pretend otherwise. And while I have misgivings, there’s absolutely nothing to hide, especially from PPQ. There’s nothing I owe her.

‘OK, thank you very much. I shall share it with my colleagues in the pantry. As a friend, I’ll regard it as a birthday gift, but you’ll have to understand that I’ll say it’s meant for everyone.’

He broke into a smile. ‘So long as you know, it’s fine with me.’

‘I do. Thanks again.’ I led him out of the facility.

As I watched him walk off, I recalled what I said to PPQ just before she left for the day when she came and asked me, ‘Do you think I should have told so many people about LK?’

To which I replied rather archly, ‘What do you think? While you may not value your own privacy, don’t you think as a friend, you should value his?’

Eyes shuttered, she looked thoughfully at me and walked away. I have a bad feeling about the whole bloody thing….



Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen Vol 4.

Hi all!

Wah lau…I think I can update everyday…..

For those who do not understand the title, you’ll definitely have to read the series in their appointed volumes since it is a running story.

If so, pls read them in the following sequence: vol 1, vol 2, vol 3 (below this entry).

So early in the morning when I entered the office, to say that I was curious would be an understatement. I found out that PPQ is not exactly a subtle person. Her emotions do run their course on a roller-coaster, sometimes in a series of endless hoops.

To say that I was concerned would also be an overstatement too, because I’m not that nice a person to care for people who aren’t so close too much. I may worry a bit, but that’s about it. But with somebody like PPQ, who always seem to relive her history through her encounters with the opposite sex, and this time with someone who’s obviously been around, I confess to being a little more than anxious.

But generally overall, I’m curious enough to want to witness a dramatic story unfold in a fashion akin to a novella. Yea, I confess extremely readily of my KPOness to the whole situation.

So when PPQ came sailing in all smiles and happy laughter, I was prepared to cock a ear to listen to her. Because of my client relationship with LK, I was the obvious choice to pass the joy to. But I needn’t have worried, because her joy was palpable and full of charity. She’s prepared to share all date details with everyone in the office.

I’m still considering the earlier wisdom of telling her to ‘not count her chicks before they are hatched’, but she’s on a roll and starring as lead actress, so hell, I joined the group and sucked up the drama. Her happiness is indeed pretty lovely to watch.

In the abject attention of all the female colleagues (close to 10), she excitedly exclaimed her date to be the most fun and happiest she’s ever had and met. An hour long discussion with many ‘oohhs’ and ‘ahhhs’ and ‘lucky you’ followed.

‘He brought me to XXX restaurant for a candle-lit dinner’

‘ooohhhh….that’s nice!’, gushed the office gals.

‘He bought flowers and asked the waiters to present them to me with the dessert!’

‘waahhh….’ We wowed. I had to admit that it was a classic LK (ladykiller) touch, especially with the dessert.

‘There were singers that went to our tables just to serenade to us! I think he planned it!’

‘Ooohhhh…goodness! That’s so charming!’ the whole office (the guys has joined the conversation) warbled and commented. Obviously LK has scored a clear goal into PPQ’s heart.

‘And best of all? It’s all so coincidental! If it wasn’t for AKK, he might not even have spoken to me!’

The whole cohort aimed their optic lasers onto me as I was suddenly thrust into the limelight. They too knew that PPQ had been depressed like sugarcane being pushed through the juicer of Love. The guy seems to them perfect in every way and they must have been glad to see the increasing-radial aura of sadness shrink away from the office atmosphere. Oh no! I remembered thinking this. Some pre-disposed survival instinct is kicking into high gear.

‘….I don’t actually know him that well.’ It’s a LIE, I know him well enough to form some opinions already.

‘Oh AKK, his ice-breaker was ‘Do you know AKK?’ If I didn’t know you, the conversation would have stopped there.’ She giggled deliriously.

And the crowd ‘oohhh’ed again and patted me on the back.

I’m expressly certain that LK would have steered the conversation proficiently all by himself, but under the metric gaze of the office and her megawatt gratitude of my involvement to her Prince Charming, my guts shriveled like a raisin trying to raise that point. Already I have foreseen my future. It was either to be hailed as the Saint of Love and Fortune or the Witch of Bad Coincidences.

Then my phone rang just then to save me. But argh! The witch of Bad coincidences brought none other than LK to sing out my name on the other end.

‘Yo! Got time for me, Miss AKK? I need a lot of it.’

The cheek of the man. But yea, to give a benefit of the doubt, he is indeed one of my best and most law-abiding, well-behaved customer who never blames the tools. You’ll be surprised how many researchers blame the machines for their bad results when it’s obvious it is their own skills they should question.

‘Anytime. Scanning only though.’ I should shut up right about now.

There was a chuckle. ‘Ok, sorry for teasing. How about a slot for tomorrow? And get this….’

He gave me a heart-stopping number to the amount of plates he’s scanning.

‘So many! I’ll need to block the whole day tomorrow and half the day after for you then.’

‘Yes, as to that.’ His voice grew serious on the phone. ‘I really need this batch of data ASAP. In fact, I was hoping to finish them tomorrow.’

‘Hmmm….but I can’t finish unless I open after hours.’

‘Please? Just this once, I promise.’


‘For all the times I’ve been a great client? I’ll not pull this type of stunt anymore, promise promise….’

And then, as the coup de grace….

‘And you can ask me anything about the date yesterday. There’s no kissing, so I can tell.’

And I burst out laughing. I appreciate his candour and the fact that he knows I know and doesn’t care.

‘Right. Promise not to tell the rest of them users of your privileged treatment, put my name and facility in the paper you are publishing and I’ll open shop for 4 extra hours for you.’

There was a sigh of relief on the other end. ‘Thanks, man. You’re a saint. I agree to all terms and I’ll buy you dinner while you work.’

And I’m thinking currently, as I wrote this, that PPQ and I are different types of girls altogether. I’ll go even further to say, dare I say? That a dinner’s a dinner and means nothing. That a guy friend can be a friend only and nothing else. That making friends is not a choice depending on whether he’s eligible for the future or not. Friends can be made anytime anywhere. So the thing is: what is it about PPQ that her heart can jump out of her mouth just because a guy looks at her and what is it about me that my heart doesn’t even pump when I was similarly single last time? Maturity? And yes, expressing to spent more time with a person does not equate said person likes the other?

But while I don’t grudge a free meal. Professionalism needed to win over.

‘Nah. It’s OK, nothing to it. No bribing the technician.’

‘You sure?’ he persisted. ‘Perhaps a coffee?’

OK. Professionalism is great but nothing gets in the way for a cup of kopi.

‘Deal. Help me get that nice kopi-siu-dai in the corner hawker and I’ll pay you back.’



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen vol 3.

Hi all!

Today I had an extremely excited PPQ (pls read vol 1 and 2) corner me the minute I walked into the office. Although we talk abit, we were nevertheless not very close, so it was a surprise that she thought it fit to drag me to a corner of the office just to show me something.

It was an sms from my client (denote LK for ladykiller):

Hi PPQ, I got your number from the seminar contacts list, hope you don’t mind. Would you like to have dinner sometimes?

‘Oh, AKK!’ she gushed. ‘I’m so excited! I think he likes me!’

My open face closed. I was hesitant to tell her in the face of her brilliant happiness that while a guy asking you out is a good indication he’s interested, it doesn’t mean he’s THAT interested, especially to someone like LK.

But just in case, I said ‘that’s good. But you must understand he’s a very very nice and very very friendly (I emphasized) man.’

What I really wanted to say was, ‘Don’t count your chicks before they are hatched.’

She didn’t get it. ‘Yes, I know!’ eyes sparkling, she smsed back and told him she’ll be delighted to go out with him.

Very soon, the date is set. They are going out…tonight.

PPQ is getting so excited she fairly floating off the ground.

LK came over to run his plates again at my department. A casual question got this answer.

‘Nice to just make more friends!’ and he winked at me.

I think he wants to be my friend too.

I have a bad feeling about this.



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Sad Ping Pong Queen vol 2.

Hi all!

Recently I had another chat with the Sad Ping Pong Queen. To update a few things about her? She has finally dump her then current BF and is going around trying her best to enjoy singlehood.

The key word is ‘trying’.

One of those things she did to get herself out of thinking too much, was to catch up on her reading, which was good until I realised....

scenario 1---PPQ intently reading a thick book and AKK approached her:

‘Hey! What’s that you’ve got there?’

‘Oh! It’s a self-help book, I need some motivation.’

‘ok, I bet it’s about women power and independence, ya? That type of book makes me feel great sometimes.’ W#hich was a lie, of cos, because I don't like books that superiorly tells me my life isn't good because I've not actively practicising what they preach.

‘Oh no, actually. It’s about how relationships work. I’m trying to see where I went wrong.’ At this, PPQ coughed and her eyes misted over.

I sighed and left her to her feelings.

So much for looking for happiness. Would she really want to know that the whole thing could have worked out fine if she’d follow their 10 ‘golden rules’ of lasting relationships? Really, I wouldn’t, but hell, I’m not her and I’m not that masochistic either.


Scenario 2:
A few days ago, PPQ asked AKK to accompany her to a seminar during the weekend.

‘Wait wait…I think i heard wrongly, what was it again? What's it called?’

‘It’s a seminar on ‘how to make relationships work’. Want to come with me? It’s only $10.’

‘er…no thanks. You enjoy yourself though.’

‘Yup. I'll try. I’m sure I will learn many things.’

PPQ thought a bit more then voiced out.

'Do you think, AKK, that I could meet someone there? perhaps another person with the same problem as me?

'Er...I'm sure you aren't the only female who decides to make her life better with a clean slate.'

'No, AKK.....another guy.'


Then the weekend went by and on a Monday, my office phone rang. It was one of my clients who wanted to request my services. After we confirmed time and date, he suddenly perked up over the phone,

‘Ay, Akk! I got stuff to tell you! I met your colleague, the PPQ, at the relationship seminar! What a small world!’

Eh? This client of mine is quite the ladykiller. He dresses well, looks cute, can talk, is super-single and happy just the way he is. Apparently he went just to keep another guy fren company. Lo and behold, PPQ sat just beside them and they all started chatting.

Just as I finished the conversation and put down the phone, PPQ came into the office and went straight for me, chirpier than I've seen her in weeks.

‘Guess what! I saw your client there! I didn’t know you had such a cute client! So gentlemanly somemore…….’ And she walked to her desk with a silly smile on her face….

I have a bad feeling about this…..



Saturday, March 03, 2007

Things that make you go ‘er….’

Hi all!

When your colleagues unabashedly with 2 oranges and say, ‘ happy CNY, AKK! Here’s a pair of oranges for you!!’

AKK: “Great! Thanks! And here’s a pair back for you too!’

Colleagues: ‘Ay so bad ah, no ang pow ah? U married liao leh’

AKK (embarrassed): er…..

When you invite your friends to come over for CNY during a dinner gathering:

AKK: hey, everyone at this table is invited to come my place this Saturday!!
XYZ: yayy!! Another gathering! ABC, you bring your bf along leh, I’ve never seen him. AKK, ask ABC to bring her BF leh!

AKK who has seen the bf and really didn’t like him much goes ‘Er….’

AKK on email: hey all, you guys are invited to my place for CNY!!

ITE ask AKK loudly and with everyone within hearing range, ‘Hey AKK, my BF says he wans to come, can he come? Pretty please?!’

AKK who wans to keep it small but got caught in the great outdoors goes ‘Er….’

NUS asks AKK ‘Ay, I have activity with my BF in the morning, so can I bring him to your place? I’m driving and it’s very bad to dump him lonesomely at the MRT while I come here by myself.’

AKK who can’t think of a better place to dump the BF so he can go home goes ‘Er….’

NUS mass-mailed everyone: Yo! See u all, I’m bringing BF, Akk allows!!!’

Then.....‘Oy, AKK, I heard NUS’ BF going, can I bring my other half too?’

and the cycle begins....

So when did I start having idiots who can’t read between the lines of ‘If you didn’t hear it from me, then you aren’t invited?’ clause?

Have I been missing out on the erosion of common courtesy?

And why when I open my house with purely good intentions, I get ppl who get pissed that their other halfs can’t come along? I mean, come on, my house right? It’s got a capacity to what it can hold and how much I can cook.

Pls think for me and be kind to me. I didn’t have to do this. Stressed over pitiful lousy things……