“Mam, please put your seat belt on,” the smiling stewardess forces me to open my eyes. Yea I don’t want to put the seatbelt on, it’s like agreeing to leave San Francisco. It is too late to run now they’d already closed the gate.
Great, now I am strapped… trapped in this twenty hours flight that will send me home, sandwiched in between the selfie queen on my right and the sleepy business guy. Why didn’t I request an aisle seat! I wish I had the guts to open the emergency door and jump out of this plane.
Surabaya Airport is always crowded since apparently it takes a village to send one passenger away. I see my parents standing in the arriving hall, surrounded by loud people who don’t know how to queue. My mom just turned 53. She now has lines on her face, still beautiful but older than I remember. My dad still looks the same, even though he complains about how uncomfortable dentures are.
“Put your seatbelt on!” Dad yells at mom when the seat belt alarm doesn’t stop going off. They always sweat the small stuff, how nostalgic. Ah, the traffic is worse now than a year ago; they are trying to turn this city into Jakarta. Funny, the dirty streets stay the same. Trashes are in every corner and the smell of untreated human waste mixed with years of garbage indiscriminately thrown into the river. Unlike in the States, hundreds of motorcycles and no one is walking. “It is too dangerous,” they said. “The air is too polluted,” they said. The fact is you would melt to death before arriving at your destination.
I hear dogs barking, I smile. Now this is home. Once I open the door, my furry babies are surrounding my feet. Soft fur, paws, wet kisses, love. The house is busier than usual; tomorrow is the big day: my sister’s wedding. I walk upstairs and then enter the lavender room, my childhood room, our room; there is the bride to be. She looks gorgeous, more than ever; I miss her. The beautiful off-white dress with a beaded bustier and a wavy voluptuous ball gown is hung on the canopy bed frame. I helped her pick the dress a year ago. I can’t believe that my sister is getting married at 21. After a year of long texts, I shook my head every time she texted me: choosing shoes, makeup, hairdo, invitations, venues, expensive menus, dealing with the drama on table seating, and figuring out who to invite. I don’t get why we have to pay for 450 people, which is considered a small wedding here, since usually, people splurge to invite a thousand – mostly the parent’s connections, not even the bride’s and groom’s friends. Well, she is happy.
I had put on a cobalt blue chiffon dress when my mom walked in.
“Are you sure you want to wear that dress, the neckline is too low, also everyone will see your back tattoos,” she complains. I remember when she fired me from the family business after I got five tattoos in one day. Yea, I used to work for my mom, just like most Indonesians who help their family businesses.
“This is the only dress that fits,” I did gain 30 pounds since I moved to the States. Pizzas.
“Are you sure?” She pulls out a pastel dress with Chantilly lace applique that I wore to the high school prom. The zipper broke when I tried to wear it.
Video by The School of Life
It’s 4 am in the morning. Sighs… Everyone has to get up this early. The wedding organizers were already busy lining up before the makeup artists arrived. Seven photographers are busy capturing the special day, the flashes are hurting my eyes. Oh shoot, here comes Aunt Ursula. She is wearing the same dress as I am, with extra flowers, crystals, and feathers and hair as tall as pineapple. “Oh I know [another single human] – he is rich. But you have to lose weight first. Then I will set you up,” the small talk grates on my last nerve. The room is loud, I hate social gatherings like this, panic attack, “Mom, where is my Xanax?”
In my bathroom – trying to breathe. The bridesmaid is knocking on the door because she left her purse inside. I ignore her. I can’t stand seeing so many fake smiles downstairs. Now the event organizer is knocking, it’s my turn to get my make up done.
At the church, “I do,” they say. My sister hugs my parents and cries.
Mom is crying, Dad is sobbing.
The ballroom looks opulent with red rose centerpieces, crystal chandeliers, black, red, and white fabrics hanging, and a black grand piano on the stage. My sister wasn’t kidding when she said she would invite the city’s orchestra. The east meets west food fusion is mouth watering. My favorite is the braised bird’s nest with fish maw, enoki mushroom, and crispy shrimp wanton. We walk to the pool area and the fireworks displays scenic colorful explosions. The wedding was beautiful; the guests were not
“Why are you still single?”
“Maybe your are too picky.”
“Why did you gain so much weight?”
“You should catch the bouquet.”
“Are you okay? Are you happy?”
Yes, I am, until I got here. Here, if you are not married, you are doing something wrong. It doesn’t matter if I have a successful career, it doesn’t matter if I pay my bills instead of relying on a rich guy. It doesn’t matter if I have a healthy dating life and a perfect social circle back in the States.
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to get married. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to continue my parents’ business. There is nothing wrong with being curvy. There is nothing wrong with tattoos. There is nothing wrong with not wanting Hermes bags or Louboutin shoes. But, they will never get me here.
Have you ever felt awkward being single at a wedding? Leave your response in the comments below.
I recently read some stories about Yvonne Eisenring who decided to quit her job as TV reporter to look for love. A year ago, she left her apartment in Zurich, traveled to 12 countries, and had at least 50 dates since then. Her year-long trip gave her a chance to write a bestseller book, Ein Jahr für die Liebe: 1 Jahr, 12 Länder, 50 Dates(One year for love: 1 year, 12 countries, 50 Dates).
“When I turned 27, I realized that I hadn’t been in love for a while and asked myself why,” Eisenring told Vice. “I wanted to see if falling in love is more likely to happen when you have free time and no responsibilities.”
Her story reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Hilbert – a tale of one woman’s search for self-discovery, including love. Gilbert took a year off to travel across Italy, India, and Indonesia, where she eventually met her now ex-husband in Bali.
Video credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Last year I spent four months traveling around China, and I met a lot of fellow-tourists there who just packed their bag and traveled. Some adventurers indeed live by the “work, save, travel, repeat” motto, #wanderlust. Since we are single, why not just explore the world for a self-discovery. If we are lucky, we might even find love. But last year, did I find love? No.
Yes, I did have a lot of dates when I traveled, but the deal with “vacation-boyfriends” are sweet, romantic and not causing any emotional baggage. Both parties knew that there is an end to the “honeymoon” trip. Even though we enjoyed the time together a lot, but it would be unrealistic to pretend the date can continue back in every day “real-life.” We can’t all live out The Notebook fantasy, when Rachel McAdams managed to live happily ever after with Ryan Gosling only after a short summer love affair.
It sure did help to take a time off and asking yourself on what you want in life. However, does dating full time really equal the discovery of your soulmate? Hell no! Quitting your job won’t help you to fall in love.
So, how about Eisenring? Did she find love? “I don’t want to say because that would be giving away the end of my book. All I’ll say is that I’m very happy at the moment,” she said. We can't wait to read the bestseller book in English.
But Eisenring did share her key takeaway from her forty-hour-a-week search for love:
“It’s worth it to take the risk and focus on your private life. Some people are afraid of losing control or getting hurt. Falling in love shakes you up. It’s strange that people will put so much effort into their careers but don’t want to invest anything in love.”
Should we invest more in love? Leave your comment below. You can also read Yvonne’s full interview with Vice here.
It’s a lie of we say our political choice doesn’t have any impact on our dating life. My date last night said, “Change is needed.” Then I thought, “Let’s see if the change is for better or worse or both.” Instead of Netflix and chill, it was CNN and panic.
Donald Trump is the new President of America. Many people are posting #NotMyPresident online, and Canada’s immigration site crashed last night. However, Trump supporters couldn’t be happier with the result of 2016 election.
Video source: Fox News
There is now a dating site called “TrumpSingles.com” claimed that it is “making dating great again.” I first thought it was a joke, but after last night apparently everything is a joke.
“At first I was concerned that people would think this was a parody site,” says founder David Goss to the New York Post. “But people have told me that they’re so happy they can finally go on dates without worrying about political differences.”
The site isn’t the first to exploit on the relation between romance and politic. If you are decidedly not Trump fans (I raised my hand), there’s a dating website called “MapleMatch.com” for those who are looking to find potential Canadian partners to save them from “the unfathomable horror of a Trump Presidency.”
Read the original article “Turns out dating is really hard if you support Trump” and “Maple Match: service helps Trump-fleeing Americans find love in Canada.” Don’t forget to leave your comment below.
A first date might be tough, but it is actually the easy part. What is hard is to get a second date. We’ve all been there. When your blind dates finally look like their pictures, the date went well, but then you’ve never heard from the person again.
What went wrong? Here are six must-read articles that will guide you to a second date.
#1. Things not to do on the first date
Wondering if your first date behavior might be annoying your date? Here are the biggest pet peeves for first dates, according to both men and women…
“The Biggest Pet Peeves On First Dates, Because It’s Seriously Time To Put Your Phone Down”
Written by Amanda Chatel for Bustle
#2. Reasons there is no second date
Dating coaches and matchmakers from around the country share nine simple reasons you were ghosted right off the bat.
#3. The first date playbook
Tips on where to find dates, what to eat and drink… what to talk about… how to time it… and how it should end.
“Here’s What You Need To Do To Get A Second Date”
Written by Lovin Dublin according to Singles in America survey
#4. Seven ways to get a second date
Coffee Meets Bagel, surveyed more than 1,000 couples who met on their app to see what makes for a great first date that is more likely to lead to a second date… Could there really be an intricate science to getting to a second date?
“7 Ways To Get A Second Date, Because Playing Hard To Get Is Overrated”
Written by Amanda Chatel for Bustle
#5. Three signs to avoid a second date. Sometimes, you can’t force the chemistry
If these three things happen on the first date, save your time and don’t plan a second.
“If These 3 Things Happen On A First Date, There Probably Won’t Be A Second”
Written by Christina Caballero for elitedaily.com
#6. What if you are the one who wants to avoid the second date?
Went on a date with someone and you can already tell that he/she is not the one? This article shows you the best way to turn down a second date.
So, did you manage to land a second date? Share your success stories below.