True Love…Or Did You Pay to Be Slaughtered?

Yes, I am in Kuching now. The weather has been cool and rainy at night making sleep much more enjoyable! Other than that, did you celebrate Valentine’s day yesterday?
Nic and I detest anything that’s crass and smacks of commercialism. Valentine’s Day is one of them. Not because LOVE is trite or should not be celebrated. I think you should celebrate love everyday and not just romantic love. Love among siblings, love for your pets (yes, I can think of a whole list of my past pets which I positively adored!), love for your friends, parents, and yes, love for your partner, husband, wife, etc.
How about love for your environment too? That’s one of our fave loves anyway – we try to minimise use of plastic products, we carry our own shopping bag whenever we go out and we recycle paper, glass and aluminum as much as we can.
So really there are dozens of ways you can love. I find it utterly distasteful that most people have this narrow concept of love. Like some friends of mine who will pay and be happily ‘slaughtered’ by restaurants, florists, gift shops come St V Day. They MUST go all out – they must have roses, they must have a romantic dinner for two, they must have gifts. Despite the fact they could just do these things and more on any other day!
Anyway, whatever floats their boat. And heck, it’s their money.
I don’t want run-of-the-mill roses. Nor a fancy dinner. I am just as happy with a homecooked meal (the both of us are quite adept in the kitchen with our wok!) and a nice cosy down at home. I’d rather have a good massage than be battling crowds and traffic to reach a restaurant only to tuck in to substandard food cooked by some poor third-rate cook.
Nic and I had a different sort of Valentine’s Day last night – we took his parents out for a ‘chu char’ dinner nearby. It was memorable because the food was quite delicious (surprisingly as I thought the cook didn’t look too much of an expert). We opted for ‘chu char’ because his parents are more of the rice-type of people; they wouldn’t be happy in a western restaurant anyway. After dinner, we strolled over to the local supermarket because his parents had yet to buy all they needed for Chinese New Year.
So what’s this thing about declaring your love on Feb 14 and not any other day? You should celebrate your love every day and be grateful for each day you get to see your favourite people, friends, family and pets.
I chanced upon this article today and felt it appropriate to share with everyone about what happy couples and real relationships are really about. Not about gifts or trips or diamonds.
10 Habits of Happy Couples by Dr. Mark Goulston
Happy couples know that the real relationship begins when the honeymoon is over. Unless you maintain a garden of love, it will grow weeds and its beauty will wither and die. So let’s explore 10 habits of highly happy couples:
1. Go to bed at the same time. Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn’t wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.
2. Cultivate common interests. After the passion settles down, it’s common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.
3. Walk hand in hand or side by side. Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it’s more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.
4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode. If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.
5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong. If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.
6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work. Our skin has a memory of “good touch” (loved), “bad touch” (abused), and “no touch” (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the “good touch,” which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.
7. Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning. This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.
8. Say “Good night” every night, regardless of how you feel. This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.
9. Do a “weather” check during the day. Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you’re more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.
10. Be proud to be seen with your partner. Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact — hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.
Even if these actions don’t come naturally, happy couples stick with them until they do become a part of their relationship. They know that it takes 30 days for a change in behavior to become a habit, and a minimum of six months for a habit to become a way of life and love.
You can subscribe to Dr. Mark Goulston’s Usable Insights at

5 thoughts on “True Love…Or Did You Pay to Be Slaughtered?”

  1. Dearie, Hope you are spending CNY with much happiness and glee in Kuching. With regards to your article on 10 habits to remain happy.. I am proud to announce that I at least practice 9/10. We are human after all, no? But coming from a person who have ‘been there, done that’, I have resolved to be less naive but adopt a more mature approach to relationships. “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook”

  2. you are absolutely, irrefutably right! love should be celebrated everyday…not only on valentine’s day. therefore, i spent V day cooking up a storm in the kitchen and feeding My Three Men. V Day felt almost like slave day but hey, love is like that sometimes, rite? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hmmm…my wife and I had Kenny Rogers on Valentine’s. We actually trying to avoid as much hassle as possible.
    BTW, just curious, Margaret just roam around while you are away in Kuching?

  4. Hi Kate: Thanks sweetie! Ah, CNY was CNY. I was just commenting on the rush-rush syndrome to my cousin last night. How we all get so hyped up over pre-CNY preparations that when it’s finally over (or at least when the first 3 days of exhilaration, firecrackers, eating, gambling, visiting relatives and getting angpows or distributing angpows are over), we kind of fall into a post-CNY depression. Something like postnatal depression I guess. All our money’s nicely spent, all our gifts and hampers are given out and we sit back, a tad wistful and forlorn! But on the V day issue, I am so glad you got 9 out of 10. I got a 7/10 – haha, must work on getting the perfect 10!
    Marsha woman, you are the woman after my own heart I always say. You have Three Men, so I guess you have 3x the lurrrve we normal people get. LOL. Happy V Day to you, for the years of friendship we share!

  5. Hi Jack: It doesn’t matter what you eat I guess as long as you both had it together ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sharing a meal is more important than what the meal consists of, in my opinion. Margaret? Yes, she was a stray before we officially took her in so we figured she could take care of herself. We were contemplating to send her to friends who own cats but I don’t think cats are like dogs – they’ll probably bite each other to death. We gave Margaret lots of cat food the day we left, so at least she could stuff herself to the max and not be hungry for the next 2-3 days. We did this the last time for our hamsters – we go off for a week or so and put lots of carrots, long beans, dry food for our hamsters. By the time we come home, they’ll still be ok, so we tried this technique with Margaret. Anyway Margaret is quite adept at hunting mice so if she gets hungry I guess she’ll go off hunting!


Leave a Comment