Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Happy Loving Day!

That’s what my Primary 4 student, Emily, wrote on the Valentine’s Day card she made for me when I went to her home on Saturday to tutor her and her Primary 1 sister.

How can I not love my job?

I’m beginning to develop an attachment for all my children. I have nine students now (another recent 2 additions, whom I will meet this Friday).

Sec 2(N) – Zhen Ling
Sec 1(N) – Guan Hui
Pri 2 & 6 Brothers – Jing Xiong & Jing Rong
Pri 1 & 4 Sisters – Lina & Emily
Pri 4 & 6 Sisters – Stella & Vivian
Pri 2 – Daryl

Emily and her really petite Primary 1 sister, Lina, are an extremely endearing pair. On the first day when their Mum decided to put Lina together with Emily for tuition with me, Lina sat at the table half an hour before I came in sheer anticipation. The two obliged me with their diabetes-causing saccharine smiles to get those “Well done!” rubber stamps by my next session with them.

Primary 2 Daryl is my chubby ice-cream-, chocolate-, sweets-, basically-food-loving boy who told me in sincere candidness when I sneezed, “Wah, Cher! Your sneeze can frighten people ah!” And who affectionately waved, “Bye bye, Miss Devil” at the end of the lesson where he saw me in my red hair. He is the boy who used his chin to wipe the table, and later with a piece of tissue after I tell him how unhygienic that action was. Following which, he uses that same piece of tissue to wipe his sweaty face.

Secondary 2 Zhen Ling was my first student and the one whom I’ve had the most number of sessions with (16 to be exact). He can be offensively blunt, loudly telling me that I have something stuck in my teeth and that I look ugly without my glasses in addition to other random insulting commentaries. Yet, I can’t help feeling a sense of affinity with the boy. Teasing him when he completed his homework way before the last-minute-time-period (a rare occurrence), I told him I was so happy with him that I’d give him a kiss. “Err.. No, thank you… I don’t deserve it,” came the pretentiously humble but self-preserving reply.

They are all charming children whom I know will produce a surge of the awful I-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-do-this feeling in me when the time comes for me to part with them.

Monday, February 09, 2004

The First Time I Paid More Than $15 For Hair-Shortening

Against those secondary school days’ “I will never dye my hair (until I’m 45 and need to cover the grey hairs)” oaths and the later JC period’s “If ever I dye my hair, I’ll colour it either purple or blue” logic, I dyed my hair last Friday. Not only did I break the first oath (made in impetuous self-righteousness and self-love), I did not achieve what I had set myself to potentially do in the subsequent more thought-out JC oath (i.e. I did not dye my hair blue nor purple).

My hair’s red now. No, not the entire head. I don’t wish to stop traffic with a redhead alongside my Mum’s bright red lipstick.

The hairstylist, May, tied my hair up like Nezha’s (some Chinese lengendary character, whom I have yet to encounter but who has a repute for his vertical ponytail extending from the top of his head).

She then got her goateed assistant with yellow petrified (head) hair (his hair texture had a striking resemblance to pubic hair) to paint the rest of my hair that wasn’t erect.

Before I continue, here’s the misplaced prologue:
I have been recently seeking a genuine change in my hairstyle (not an unnoticeable trim that girls usually sacrifice four to five MacDonald Value Meals for and get upset over should no one notice a change in their hair length), and was desperate to the extent that I would have my hair dyed should there be a need in the transformation process.
I made mention of this to my TFYE (Theatre For Youth Ensemble) kharkees, Ave and En Ying, during one of our many rehearsal sessions. An invitation was extended to me to join them at a salon at Far East that coming Friday. This was both very nice of them, and also quite thrilling for them, anticipating having a hand in and witnessing a somewhat radical change in the hair-related aesthetic style of straight-haired, centre-parting, passé Weiling.
En suggested a pink for me, but I chose to do something milder (in comparison to a pink) lest I get disowned, and also because I couldn’t afford to pay another $40-50 to get my hair stripped of its colour by a damaging bleaching agent (the second reason also applies to why I did not have my hair .

Anyway, back to the 2-hour, $77 experience, I had my hair and scalp painted red by Mr Pubic Hair (Ave cheekily and obsequiously loudly called him “the Nice Guy”). It was a rather torturous affair because of the unexpected itchiness the dye on my scalp brought about. Mr Pubic Hair probably couldn’t stand my high-pitched complaining commentary (a great tool to get what I want) and scratched my scalp for me, much to my delight. Ave exclaimed from where she was planted with her hair bundled taitai-ishly in a towel, “Aiyo, Weiling, what are you doing to the Nice Guy?”

Oh well, flirting with him I guess, and satisfying my itch.
“Lower, lower, a bit to the right, upper, righter… Ahh…”

As my “personal assistant” was near completing his menial task, En (or was it Ave?) said that my hair looked like bleeding entrails from the back.

He then placed me under a rotating heated halo for almost half an hour. This was the point was when I truly appreciated my company and came to the divine understanding of why women go to salons in toilet tradition – in twos or more.

The best part of the process was lying down and having my hair shampooed – by someone else. I guess that’s where the half of the $77 went to – the I’ll-lather-shampoo-into-your-hair-for-you-and-get-your-scalp-cells-accumulated-under-my-fingernails-even-though-you-can-jolly-well-do-it-yourself pamper treatment service.

The Final Result
Anyway, I have a bird-nest crown of my original hair colour and a left parting, two red streaks shaping my face, and red tips at the back of my head. Whenever the wind blows, a different design emerges (when I don’t put any hair-styling-and-stiffening substance).

The Reaction
En was the first to see the final product and her compliments were definitely supportive and the kind which did not make me repentant of spending $77 on a hairdo that would last for about only a season.

Ly told me sweetly that he was worried about how people would view me as an Ah Lian on the first night he picked me up. Oh well, he has since tried to redeem that comment and himself since by telling me he’s growing accustomed to the new spunk. What a darling…

Grandma and Sis loved it, with my sister showing me off to her friends in church.

Mum… that’s a tough nut to crack still. For a prudent someone who believes in only going to QB to get her 10-minute-$10 haircuts and who isn’t fond of seeing her daughter clad in anything less than a T-shirt and knee-length whatevers, I suppose it would take extra time to get a “that’s nice” from her.

People in church generally, particularly the older folks don’t like it (what I gather from their silence) while a few of my peers are quite thrilled by my new look.

My tuition kids gawk at me in surprise when I enter their homes, but are so saintly and sweet that they endeavour not to offend me, by masking their expressions and keeping silent. What angels!

Friday, February 06, 2004

It's Great To Be Needed

Which Cancer Causing Agent are you?

Well, to the TFYErs, being a useful and needed sun sure beats being the useless, purely aesthetic moon (the star of romantic scenes, no pun intended.. or the creator of pretty swishy swashy waves) who lives off the light from the sun.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Dried latex on my face.. The make-up trial for Secrets From My Room...
The latex seemed to work only on the lower half of my face, but nevertheless, that looks a little scary already.

The latexing process:
1) Liquid latex, that looks like white glue, is plastered onto our faces. (Latex smells strongly of ammonia)
2) While our skin is held taut, a dryer blows the latex dry.
2) Upon drying and releasing the skin, some creases in the latex over our face forms.
3) Repeat 3 times