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Love at First Sight

Seriously? We’re going to talk about this topic? Isn’t it just a myth?

Yes. Yes, we are. Because here I am in a loving relationship after having fallen in love at first sight with my second husband Cung. Yup, after everything I’ve been through, I gave love another shot, proposed (!), and here we are. He doesn’t believe in it, though. He had his own set of experiences.

Let’s rewind.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Did it go well for you? I’ll bet the answer is no. The several times that I have fallen in love, at first sight, didn’t go well for me. Looking back here are the reasons why.

Love-at-First-Sight Failures

  1. I didn’t take a realistic assessment of how possible the relationship was. It was long-distance involving oceans and miles and miles of flying and different time zones and altogether too much of a hassle. The stress of the situation piled up to the stress of everything else. The bonds did not manage to solidify, not with half the globe standing in between.
  2. I wasn’t really sure of what I wanted for myself. Did I want to focus on a career? Did I want to build a family – get married quickly and have kids? Or did I want to get rich? I wasn’t quite clear on my own goals and because of that, the roller-coaster of hormones made everything even more mixed up.
  3. I wasn’t aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. Many people have told me that I am charming. This is a great asset, but it can really backfire on me if I don’t know when and where to hold back, or when to press forward. What I’m saying is, I have been as much at fault at making other people fall in love at first sight with me, even though I was not ready to follow through!

I guess what I’m saying is it takes a lot more than one look to make love work. It often takes painful (or sometimes just dumb) experiences, but what’s important is that you learn a little bit more about yourself each time, so the next time the stars align and love hits, you will know how to deal with it.

What are your experiences with love at first sight? For some extra fun reading on physical reactions of love at first sight, check out this article.

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White Heels and Avocadoes

I walked to greet some of the wedding guests, seated spread apart across the Heritage Kitchen and Gallery’s garden. It was a hot sunny day, not ideal for sensitive skin but much better than rain, at least for this occasion, on this location. My heels sunk into the soft earth, and I almost lost my balance.

Darn! I thought.

I am not a fan of heels, but today, my wedding day, I pulled out these 8 inch white T straps. They were a perfect match with the asymmetric layered Carla top and white palazzo pants. Pants! I loved wearing pants for my wedding. The loose fabric of the wide cut allowed me to sit, stand, or dance comfortably anywhere around the garden.

One of my favorite moments was during the ceremony when we had to put on the wedding rings. Except in Cung and my case, we both agreed no rings. We had bracelets instead. And I put them in a lovely pouch in the pockets of my palazzo pants. No standing uncomfortably still looking lovely while waiting for the groom.

Not this time.

This time I paid for most of the wedding necessities: food, venue, photographers, church certificates, you name it. Last time my father paid for most of it.

This time I had semi casual outfit, last time it was a princess gown dress by Harry Lam, a top designer.

This time I wore almost no make up, since most of my face was covered by the mask required for Covid Protocol. Last time I woke up at 3 AM and started the 2 hour make up process with the make up artist.

This time, I married Cung, a one eyed rebel architect-historian-curator. Three years ago, I married Oky, a gentle genius architect.

Oky, my first husband died two years after we got married. I became a widow.

So what am I now? A once widow? An ex widow? A wife? A second wife ?

Life, love, and death does not fit neat categories, boxes, nor timelines.

I am all the above. Life, love, and death does not fit neat categories boxes, nor timelines. They defy our expectations, and we are left wondering: What Happened?

Rumi, a 13th century poet and scholar once said “sell your cleverness, and buy bewilderment.”

The white heels was the only article of clothing which I wore for both weddings. Custom made by the maker, it fit the contour of my feet perfectly. Amazingly, they stayed clean the whole afternoon, even after several more times sinking into the lawn. The heels endured.

With them, I walked towards the guests sitting at the far end of the lawn, one of whom was wearing an avocado around her neck. Avocado was the theme of my second wedding. Guests continued to ask : why avocado?

I thought : why not ?

Originally written August 6, 2020