Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Party Post - Part 3

A friend, Aida, asked about "the family" in the comment box. This is something to talk about and I think you all should know their reactions to the party.

Since this party was meant for friends only, we did not invite anyone else from the family except for our children and my two BILs (because they are in the same age category). I did not invite my parents and MrNordin did not invite his.

In fact, this party was kept a secret from my in-laws and other close relatives because I just want it to be for friends. But out of courtesy, we informed our parents (just our parents, ok?) that we're having a small makan2 for friends on Saturday night. This, to avoid them from dropping by unexpectedly during the party.

My parents tak kisah pun. But my MIL? The first thing she asked, "Ada kemah?" Then, "Birthday Yati ke?" MrNordin kept on telling her that it's a company do and only for office friends. Of course we couldn't tell her that it was for my 40th birthday and ada disco segala. Nak mampus? So, we told the children, use the same story line whenever Wan or anyone asked~ it's baba's company function and for office friends only.

Anyway, on the day itself, my MIL kept on calling MrNordin insisting that she wanted to come over to the house and check on the preparation. Adoi... orang tengah sibuk pasang lampu disco ni, mak mertua pulak nak datang buat spot check! She kept on calling 3, 4 times telling MrNordin this and that. Asking him why tak jemput orang sebelah (our neighbour happened to be a Minister), why tak ajak orang ni, why mak tak boleh datang, why this, why that.

You see, whenever we do functions or gatherings at our house, we would invite all our relatives (well, only MrNordin's mostly. My relatives kadang2 je). And we never cut corners. People usually have fun. So this time around, the fact that they were not invited made them very curious to know what's going on.

One of Nordin's aunty SMS me a day after my birthday, saying that "Oh... ada buat party ya this Saturday. Senyap2 je tak beritau. Tak apa lah... zaman moden sekarang ni macam2. Aunty tak kisah.." Like, what the heck? There must be a reason why we don't invite you, right? And anyway, it's our house and it's our party, we can invite whoever we want. I don't have to explain to you why I'm having this party and why I don't include you!

Anyway, I didn't want to layan her. I just said thank you and didn't even mention about the party. Now, she's bugging our kids pulak trying to find out more about the party. Tried to pull a fast one on Nabila yesterday when she SMS her saying, "Your house ada party ya last Saturday. Sampai hati tak jemput... " Nabila didn't reply her SMS (smart girl!) , and so she called Nadim pulak at home, asking about the same thing. Nadim also gave a non-chalant answer. Hee.. hee... my kids are very clever!

Hai... macam2. Kalau orang tak jemput tu, faham2 je lah, kan? Tak payah lah nak sibuk2 tanya. I dah agak dah something like this will surely happen. We spoke about this last night at the dinner table and had a good laugh. One thing we will not do is justify our reasons for holding the party and why they were not invited. No one should question us coz that's our prerogative. Some people are just so busybody, why ah?

If only my MIL knew what we did last Saturday night... :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Party Post - Part 2

I'm still thinking about the party that night. Can't get over it. I think, we pulled a good one there. I had what I wanted ~ a party, the polka dot cake, the friends, the dancing... complete! I just wish the night would never end...

Personally, I think the best thing about the party was seeing all my friends, old and new, coming together for fun and relaxation. I've been wanting to do that for a long time. It has always been in my dream to meet up with old friends like that and just dancing away like the good old days.

And I'm glad MrNordin was game for it as well. And my children too... they were pretty excited about the party and helped a lot with the preparation. Now they tell us, "My friends said ~ Wah, your parents are really cool lah!" Hee.. hee...

I think, both me & MrNordin enjoy throwing parties like this. I remember the first time we had this kind of party at home ~ it was New Year's Party 2006. I was 4 months pregnant with Nizzar at that time. It was supposed to be just brunch and karaoke for family, but it ended up until very late. People just didn't want to leave! It started at 11am and ended at 2am! There was a continuous flow of food and activities and people just chilled out. I don't know how we did it, but we did. So now every year, they expect us to do something for New Year's Eve. Hmm.. :(

Then, there was MrNordin's surprise birthday party when he turned 43. We did a 60's themed party, but not many dressed up that time because the invitees were mostly relatives. They all ada macam segan sikit... But we had fun anyway, altho' my MIL made a big fuss about me wearing a skirt that night (Mak... 60's party lah... biar lah Yati pakai skirt... kata MrNordin.)

Anyway, parties like these are fun only if the guests are game for it. So far, it has been good. Perhaps I should consider a carreer change and become a "Party Planner" instead. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

MrsNordin's 40th Birthday Bash

Earlier this year, as I was sitting across MrNordin during one of those dinners for two, I told him I wanted to have a party for my 40th birthday. It would be just for friends and there would be some serious dancing to the tunes of the 70's and 80's. And that's what we did last Saturday night. A disco party for my 40th birthday!

Well, I wasn't really sure at first if people I invited would be keen on a theme party. You know, some people may be shy and all. But I sent the invitation anyway, stating that the theme is 70's & 80's and "Please dress up!" Much to my surprise, the response was pretty good. Even my officemates yang bertudung and quite "proper" were very excited about it and came in full force dressed to the theme! I was very impressed!

The preparation took about two weeks. Nothing much actually. Booked the caterer, sourced the decor and lightings, and we were all set. The most important thing was the disco ball ~ without it, macamana nak disco, kan? We got it, of course, plus all the other rotating disco lights and such (I think now, sesiapa nak buat disco party, boleh rent the lights and equipment from us!).

The dress ~ I bought one, but two days before the party, we found a box full of MrsNordin #1's 80's clothes. It was like, "Wow!!!!". We couldn't believe the dresses we found in that box. Semua original 80's! So we all wore her clothes, except for MrNordin, who wore his own 80's shirt which he found in his closet.

Music was MrNordin's department. My dear husband slept at 2-3 am every night before the party to get the right songs, and believe me... they were really good! You wouldn't believe the kind of songs he put in for the disco. People were like, "Where did he get those songs?!" Human League, Saturday Night Fever, Madonna, Do The Hustle, One Way Ticket, Kool & The Gang, Rick Astley... hee... hee... really nostalgic!

Anyway, let the photos do the talking, ok? But all I can say is, I think it was a great party. Out of 60 people we invited, 50 turned up. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Almost everybody danced, and almost everyone dressed up to the theme (except for a few who were shy, I think, but still their baju ada some hints of 80's or 70's).

The most outstanding was my dear friend, Shila & her husband Jab, who came as Austin Powers. Oh my! When I saw them walking up from the gate ~ one in this bright yellow jacket so typical of Austin Powers and the other, in her afro hairdo and big sunglasses, I was speechless! They looked so coooool! Seriously! (you can read her posting on this here)

The other is another dear friend, C, who specially tailor-made his baju in Dhaka. Groovy is the word for him! Another groovy guy is K, who looked so cool in his shoulder length wig, wide-opened shirt, and a long necklace with the "PEACE" sign. Totally awesome! I felt I was back in the 70's at that time!

So, to all who came, thank you very much for making my day. My family and I had a great time and we felt really honoured having you with us at the party. And to MrNordin, thanks for making my dream come true. This is truly the best birthday present I've ever received and I love you.

Now, enjoy the photos!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Get Ready To Party !

Shadow Dancing (Andy Gibb, 1979)

You got me looking at that heaven in your eyes
I was chasing your direction
I was telling you no lies
And I was loving you
When the words are said
Baby, I lose my head

And in a world of people, there's only you and I
There ain't nothing come between us in the end
How can I hold you when you ain't even mine?
Only you can see me through
I leave it up to you

Do it light, taking me through the night
Shadow dancing, baby you do it right
Give me more, drag me across the floor
Shadow dancing, all this and nothing more

All that I need is just one moment in your arms
I was chasing your affection
I was doing you no harm
And I was loving you
Make it shine, make it rain
Baby I know my way

I need that sweet sensation of living in your love
I can't breath when you're away, it pulls me down
You are the question and the answer am I
Only you can see me through
I leave it up to you

Do it light, taking me through the night
Shadow dancing, baby you do it right
Give me more, drag me across the floor
Shadow dancing, all this and nothing more

Do it light, taking me through the night
Shadow dancing, baby you do it right
Give me more, drag me across the floor
Shadow dancing, all this and nothing more

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Late Evening @ Craven

What do you want for your birthday?


Are you sure? (smiling)

Sure... I wanted a party for my birthday and it looks like it's gonna happen. So, let that be my present.


But... are you still gonna send me flowers tomorrow?


Coz if you are, can you make sure they come in a basket so I can bring 'em home easily?

Hmm... ok (smiling again..)

(Let's see what he has in store for me today... )

Update @ 12.40pm:

The flowers did indeed arrive in a basket... :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mrs Nordin's Turning 40 Tomorrow!

Yeay! Sorry, haven't been updating. Busy, busy, busy..

Yes, I'm turning 40 tomorrow! Is this for real or what? Can't believe that 40 years of my life have passed. Another 40 years to go? I don't know. Insyaallah...

Now, I dah masuk category makcik2. People call me "aunty" now if not "makcik". Whenever I hear anyone calling me "kakak", I'd be so thrilled. Such rare occurance these days...

There are a lot of things I want to do as I reach 40 but I dare not commit coz I'm afraid I may not follow. Quit smoking? Pray harder? Have another baby? Tough decisions... Let's just go by the flow, lah. It's easier that way.

But one thing for sure, I want to party ! And it's in progress. So watch this space !

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Me, a rubber band?

Me and MrNordin were reminiscing in bed the other night about our early years in the UK. Different years, of course… Him: 1980-87, Me: 1988-91. He was in London, I was in Kent.

What triggered the conversation was my eldest stepdaughter’s first-week’s experience in college (UiTM), how she’s adjusting to the new surroundings and friends. She came home last weekend, worrying about her classes, her room mates, her schedules, the long distance between her room and class, the bus rides, money ~ the list is endless. MrNordin said, she’s a worry wart.

I can understand why she’s feeling that way. Campus life is different from school life or her 1-year Matrics in Gopeng. In school, everything is provided for ~ transport to school, money, food, don’t have to worry about basuh baju or kemas rumah. All she needs to do is study. In Matrics, she slowly had to take on more responsibilities like washing her own clothes, make up her own bed, buy her own food, make her own arrangement to go for outings or come home for the holidays. But she need not take the bus to go to her class as it is still within walking distance.

Now, in UiTM, she has to wake up really early and beat the morning crowd to get a seat on the bus that will take them to their respective classes. It’s a 5 mins drive, but still far to walk. The time table is different too, a lot of waiting, she said. The friends are different. Next year, if she’s unlucky, she may have to stay off campus, meaning she has to rent a room outside. Now she worries about paying rent, electricity bill, cooking her own meal, bla, bla, bla, bla… See? Now you know why MrNordin calls her a worry wart.

I told her, in life we have to make a lot of adjustments. How well you adapt to your new surroundings will determine how resilient you are as a person. Take things a day at a time, enjoy the new experience as a university student, don’t fuss over the unknown… these are our advice to her. Hopefully she listens.

Looking back, I've gone through a lot of these in my lifetime. First, going to a boarding school far away from home when I was 12. Imagine, at that age, I was sent away to live on my own, make up my own bed, wash my own clothes, no friend, had to make new friends... I think that was more difficult than what my eldest step daughter is going through right now.

I still remember, the first few months I was there, asyik nangis je teringat my mother. Berendam airmata, kata orang. Bila bangun pagi (we had to wake up at 5 am), nampak jalanraya from my dorm with the street lights still on and cars passing by in the wee hour of the morning, I nangis. How I wish I was home at that time…. and how I missed my mother… Tuhan saja yang tahu. Sakit perut ni everytime bangun pagi sebab rasa macam sedih sangat and tak tau macamana nak get through the day without my mother. I felt so lost! Duduk je atas katil tu nangis until I managed to pull myself up and go to the toilet. Hee.. torture, I tell you.

And that time, mana ada handphone. Nak call home pun, seminggu sekali je. Itu pun kena beratur kat public phone. Now, anytime of the day boleh call parents. In less than an hour, boleh sampai rumah kalau nak balik rumah. Dulu, kena tunggu cuti penggal baru boleh balik. Itu pun kena naik train, satu hari satu malam. Horror! But after a while, bila dah dapat kawan, things got better. Tak nak balik rumah pun ada bila cuti sekolah, takut miss the friends.

After A-Levels, I went to the UK to further my studies. This one was not so bad, although it was further away from home, because I wanted to go. I wanted to see the Cathedral in Canterbury, that's why I chose Kent.

Adjusting to life in the UK was not that difficult, but it wasn't that easy either. Again, I was all alone in the batch that flew off on the same day with me, but I made friends with them. As JPA sponsored students, we were provided with good students' accommodation at the university, with ample heating and hot water all year round. Unlike my daughter's room, which is tiny and is shared with 3 other students, I was sharing a whole house with 4 other students ~ 2 British, 1 American and another M'sian girl ~ one room each. Good, eh?

Unfortunately for MrNordin, he had a tougher time adjusting because that was his first time ever being away from his family. Also, he was staying at MARA hostel and from what he told me, heating was always a problem. He was very miserable during winter because it was so cold. On top of that, he had to take the tube to class everyday. So, ".. naik bas pegi class like what Nabila is complaining about now is nothing, ok, compared to what I had to go through last time...", he said.

I guess, for Nabila, this is a new experience for her. Trading the comfort zone of her own home for something measly like her small room in UiTM maybe shocking for her, but she'll toughen up and learn to be more independent as a result. Life is not a bed of roses after all, right? I want my children to understand that in life, there are many paths that we have to cross to reach our destinations. It's not easy, but with sheer determination, one will get through it with excellent results.

Also, people are different. Not everyone live in the same big house like we do and not everyone lead the same lifestyles. Ada orang susah, ada orang senang. But never pass judgement at them just because they are different from you. Always be humble and be nice to people. If you treat them nicely, they'll treat you nicely too, and vice versa.

Lying in bed side by side with MrNordin that night, reminiscing about the past, made me realise that I have gone through quite a lot over the last 40 years of my life. And a lot of it involved making adjustments to suit the new situations. Boarding schools, universities, jobs, friends, break-ups, betrayal, married life, stepchildren, gosh... so many! Nevertheless, I think I adapted quite well to all these changes and this is confirmed by my fortune teller, who said, " are like a rubber band...".

Well, rubber band or not, I did it my way and I'm happy to announce that I survived it all and came out a better person. And that's what matters most...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

To be or not to be

Our CEO announced a new round of promotion again yesterday evening. Why I said "again''? Because we've had a series of these announcements over the last month or so. A LOT of people have been promoted recently, deservingly or not, and most of them are newcomers.

In the latest round, two people from my office were promoted to GM, including my boss. And these two have just joined the company last year. I've no qualm about my boss's promotion, I think he deserves it, but the other guy... besides the fact he's very close to the Big Boss, I'm not sure how he got the promotion. I've been with the Company more than 8 years now, but not once have I been promoted. Not that I'm complaining, it's just that sometimes who you know speaks louder than what you know, if you know what I mean.

When I look back at my career path, I wonder if I'm really cut out for the corporate world. 8 years, but stagnant. Not moving. Sometimes people come and ask me, "Eh, kenapa diaorang tak promote you, ya? Dah lama you kat sini... bla.. bla... bla.." Ok, I get offended sometimes when I hear this but to me, it's a matter of choice. If you want a promotion, you have to earn it lah. Work hard or work smart or whatever lah. But in my case, I'm just plain lazy. Is that a crime?

I don't want the extra responsibilities, the extra headaches, the extra working hours that would stress you up as you move up the career ladder. As such, I'm quite happy with what I'm doing right now. My boss is pretty flexible with time, I get to come in late or go off early when I need to, and he's not very particular about office protocols as long as I get my job done. Although I may seem relaxed at work, I don't compromise on my work assignment ~ that's one thing I don't do. Whenever there's a job to be done, I'll do my best. There are days when I have to stay back late to finish off a project, I'll stay back and I don't complain either.

Sometimes when I read other people's blogs or hear from friends who are now Directors/CEOs/VPs/someone important in their organizations, I envy them. They negotiate deals, seal big contracts, make important decisions, run million dollar companies, travel the globe for business meetings... But me? I'm just sitting here quietly in my cubicle doing my usual 9-5 job. Pukul 6, I balik rumah. By 7pm, I'm usually at home already, playing with my little boy. I don't use a Blackberry or carry a notebook to check my e-mails from home. Everyone else does that, including my husband, but for me, work is work and home is home.

Does that make me any lesser as a woman? Should I aim higher and go for that VP seat? Should I change my mind set about work? Do I have to play a different ball game altogether?

No. My answer is no.

I asked my husband one day if he wanted me to be more successful in my career. You know, kan best kalau orang tanya, what does your wife do? "Oh, she's a VP at so and so.". He said to me, it's up to you.

I, for once, cannot imagine myself as a VP in a big corporation. It was never in my dream. Ok, I'm not ambitious, but that's my choice and I think it's ok. Yes, it would be nice to see my name printed on the business card like that, but given the many roles and responsibilities that come along with it, I don't think I want that. And yes, you get to mingle with VIPs and high net worth people, and see your photos in Tatler or whatever, but I think can live without that.

And the money? Well... yes, I can do with a lot more money, but if it means having to sacrifice my time with the family, I think I can forgo that. I'm not good at juggling two things at a time. I know if I go for my career, my family will suffer. Either way, someone will get hurt. So, again it's a matter of choice.

But I'm happy for those friends or people I know who have made it to the top. I'm very envious of them infact! But I know I can never be in their shoes because 1) the size doesn't fit, 2) i don't feel comfortable in it, and 3) that's not my kind of shoes. Mine may not be a pair of Jimmy Choo's but they still make me happy wearing them...