Saturday, August 04, 2012

A love story - Part 12

I was a perfectionist as a child. Whenever I came across a "Once upon a time..." story that did not end with the "and they all lived happily ever after" ending, I would reject the ending of the story and, in my mind, spin an alternate Disney-style ending.

One such show was the popular Oshin [おしん or 阿信] Japanese TV series broadcasted in the mid-1980's. In the final episode, Oshin's former boyfriend verbalized that he wondered about their paths if they had been married. Oshin replied,
"I feel that this way is the best. Because we are able to be alive at the same age, that we can continue to remain as best friends. ... (Of) Those with whom one can reminiscent about the past together, only you're left."
Oshin [Final episode]
Oshin shared her view on an old-flame relationship at 11:29.

When I first watched this TV finale as a teen, I could not understand why they chose such an "awful" ending (in my opinion at that time). Here was an elderly couple, who obviously still cared deeply for each other. There was nothing in the way of social convention stopping them from re-uniting as husband-and-wife, so why didn't they?

It was only after my love story with AL and perhaps with the passing years, that I have gained a bit of wisdom to appreciate the original ending.


Part 12 - 老友 [Old friends]

(A) Farewell lunch

Sometime in the mid or late-2000's, AL ended his secondment to Singapore and returned to Hong Kong. Before he left, we met up to have a farewell lunch together. Once again, he lamented about his life with 6Snoopys. He complained that even his parents were telling him off, “老婆是你自己选咯!” [i.e. "You chose your own wife!"] Then he said (in Cantonese), "You know what? She said that if we ever were to divorce, the daughter is mine and everything else goes to her!"

AL was expecting me to chorus to his tune, but I did not. Instead I told him (in Cantonese), "Right from the start she had told you that she did not want any children. You knew it. You were the one who insisted on having children. Despite all her objections, she gave you what you wanted. What more can you ask for?"

AL was taken aback by my retort. He paused. Then we switched topic and continue to chat as per our "old chum" days. That was the last time we met-up.

(B) Facebook friend request

In 2010, months before I left Singapore for Canada, I set-up a Facebook account to facilitate keeping in contact with friends and updating everyone of my status. As part of the initial Facebook set-up, I "exported" my email contacts to Facebook for the automated invitations to my friends to add me to their FB Friends lists.

I received a rather odd FB message from AL in response to my FB friend request. He wrote, "I am now a happily married man." Nothing else before, and nothing else after that cryptic statement. I smiled, knowing what he probably had thought of my FB friend request. Thus, I ignored his cryptic reply. Anyway, AL added me to his FB friend list.

(C) Happy Birthday!

AL's birthday had just passed last month. I sent him a private FB message with a simple greeting, "Happy Birthday!"

I used a private FB message because I am not sure if he would like others to know that I still remember his birthday. [Note: I can recall his birthday mainly because it is close to mine and both our birthdays share a mathematical feature.]

He replied, "Thanks ! Good to hear old friend blessing!"

I then replied, "哈哈,老友!:-D" ["Haha, old friend! :-D"]

I think AL understands what I mean. We are old friends [老友] in several ways. We are both getting on in years, having arrived at middle-age. [Note: AL is only a few years older than me.] We used to lament that we were aging, even back in our 30's. We had known each other for almost two decades now. Through this period, we have seen each other through our mutual good/bad/ugly sides, yet we are still friends.

There is something wonderful about having someone whose friendship withstands the test of time, and who can accept oneself as one is -- scars, scabs and all. Cheers to "Auld Lang Syne"!


This concludes the "A love story" series. I shall leave you with a lovely song that pretty much wraps up my experience as shared.

The Glory of Love
[Original sound track from the movie "Guess who's coming to dinner"]


  1. Replies
    1. Hi CK,

      What to do? I prefer to "go gentle into that good night" than to "go out in a bang". Low key, no fuss is my preferred mode, although I have kicked up hell occasionally when I felt that it was called for.

      The above is the real life ending. If it does not suit your taste, I am sure you can re-write an alternate ending in your mind. ;-)

      Cheers, WD.