Apr 11, 2011

Girly Time on Valentine's Day!

Malaysia is awesome, even an irreverent day like Valentine's Day could be an issue. What made me laugh so hard was when a Muslim religious authority said that it was a Christian holy day. Woot!

There are only three things my father asked me to do. First, work in an air-conditioned room; second, NEVER buy a second-hand car; and third is to NEVER venture into politics. I have thankfully done all three. The only reason I mentioned this was so I would remember the moment in 2011 when Malaysia would consider Valentine's Day as HARAM. I see what you did there, Malaysia. Nais.

So what did you do on Valentine's Day? Me? I was... a bridesmaid.

Yep, you read  that right. Big ol' me became a bridesmaid. And no, Ganaesh does not magically appear in this story. He was doing Ganaesh-y things on Valentine’s Day. :3

This is not a story about the wedding. That is Lia’s story to tell. This is just a story where I became selfish and pretty and tired and happy in the space of one week.

Warning, bapak panjang post nih!

My cousin (who I love so much and would do anything for, including putting my big butt into a tight, short dress in front of my relatives) once asked me to be her bridesmaid for her, and I said yes. That request was made waaaay back during my high school years, and it surprised me to no end that she still remembered that promise. Though my body has grown horizontally since then and she is kinda myopic in things like this, (Me: But I’m so... big. Her: What? Manada. Ok, ba tu.) I said yes (with trepidation) to the offer. (Refer previous post). That was over a year ago. I thought I could lose a ton of weight before the big day.

No, dear readers, that didn't happen. What did happen was this.

I joined a 10km marathon, a 7km sunset run, a 4km city run, and a 2km World Walking Day event. The "losing weight" part didn't really work out, but I did get a few inches of my waist back. Her wedding was scheduled for December, but one of her relatives passed away and it was pushed back to 14th February. It’s not just that it's Valentine’s Day but it also marks the day of her engagement a year before. A normal person would continue on exercising and slowly go on losing weight. I'm not normal. I stopped running and exercising. When the week before the big day came along, I was cursing myself for being fat. But Lia, bless her soul, said it's okay. Just come to the fitting and try out the dress. They already tried it on her elder sister (?) and her uncle (?!) and were confident I could fit... and it did fit, somewhat. It was too short for church (it was a bit above my knees) and the one of the hole for the hand is too tight.

The dress itself is sleeveless, gold in colour with lace, and has a bandage/layer detail on the skirt. It has a band under the bust and my favourite, two pockets. It also comes with a brown belt. When I wear it, I look like a member of Wonder Girls.

So, all that was left was the alteration on the dress, finding a pair of white shoes, manicures, pedicures, contacts, and getting my eyebrows trimmed. The most important thing was for me to maintain my weight; it's too late to lose any, but I have to keep myself from gaining anymore.

Now, I'm not a girly girl (look at that pic!). I neither have the grace nor the elegance to be one. I just can't be bothered by playing a role that I'm not comfortable with. I was raised to be able to do anything regardless of my gender (whatever this means). The caveat was that I be a good girl, and that's it. I remember the times when I would go to church with Lia and her family, and during the service Lia would be pushing my legs together because I was sitting like a boy. She must have been so relieved with this dress because it forces my legs together. XD I'd love to be a girly girl, like the heroines in soaps or shoujo mangas. It’s just not in me. *sigh* So, being a bridesmaid, a girly girl, was a bigger challenge for me than for most people.

This is the story of the transformation.

First! I went and bought myself contacts (both clear and coloured) and practiced wearing them for a week. It was so weird and scared the life out of me. I couldn't tell if it’s there or not, and the idea of rubbing my finger on my iris still creeps me out to this day. It's such an inconvenience because I felt like rubbing my eyes the whole time. One eye is blurry because I have astigmatism in that eye, and the optician had warned me that it will only be 80% clear. (In my line of work, 80% is great; it’s already an 'A'. I found out later how wrong I was) It was kinda okay after the third day. I had to sing the Hokey Pokey every time I put the contacts in though.

Second! My eyebrows. They are thick, bushy and dark. My only consolation is that they don't form one line and create a unibrow. XD Anyway, I was really going to go to a beauty salon and get them trimmed or at least under control, when the bride's sister said, "It's okay, the makeup artists will do them on that day."

They didn't.

Third! Shoes. Not just any shoes, high heels. After my convocation fiasco which unfortunately brought me to tears (I wore heels and I cried because it was so painful; my feet became swollen!), I hated high heels with a passion. Kitten heels are fine, espadrilles (wedges) are fine, just not high heels. I wear selipar jepun everywhere, much to Ganaesh's dismay. My feet are shaped like duck feet. They don't have sexy curves or anything fancy. They're just a practical pair of feet, which is fine by me. But even I have to agree that weddings require heels. Hm

At the wedding reception dinner rehearsal (it was at the Grand Borneo Ballroom, a really fancy-schmancy place) I admitted to Lia that I haven't bought shoes. You know what she did? Told me it’s okay and I go my merry way? NO! She did more than that, she dropped everything and brought Beth (our friend and also the maid of honour) around 1Borneo to find the perfect white shoes for me. *touched* We visited Vincci, Bata, Charles and Keith but no luck. We finally went to Lea's Shoes (Lia jokingly said, "Ya, mari pigi kedai kasut saya!") and found them there.

Fourth! Manicure and pedicure. Lia was actually in the middle of a manicure when she went to the rehearsal and subsequently the impromptu shoe hunt. So Beth and I went along with her. Oh, I forgot to mention, this was the day before the wedding. (Now you can see how inconsiderate of me to find shoes at the last minute and what an angel my cousin really is!) Lia got 'scolded' for chipping her manicure and it had to be redone. She did the whole nine yards! Manicure, pedicure, waxing, wax treatment, etc. While waiting, Beth and I decided on doing a manicure and pedicure, respectively.

Beth’s shoes would completely cover her toes, so she just wanted a pedicure. My toenails however, looked like a herd of elephants stomped on them, and moss and other gunky stuff started growing in them. Besides, my heels were strappy. It was a crime not taking the pedicure. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford a manicure. It was nice seeing my toes got treated so royally. Lia picked the colours, and yes, the three of us used the same colour on our toes.

Well, except for Beth. It was on her fingers.

Fifth! Hair and make-up. On the morning of the wedding, I went to Lia’s house. It was already brimming with activity and everyone was doing something, even the babies. I didn’t take a picture of me before the makeup, but here’s a picture of the hair.

Nice eh? No, extensions were needed, no fake hair; just my own (with at least a can of hair spray). I’ve never seen it so... coiffed before. I’m such a lazy hair owner, I just let it grow and grow and when I feel stuffy I’ll cut them myself and then go to the hairdresser and get scolded by them.

Anyway, before that Lia was giving me a hard look because I was wearing my glasses. I quickly said I’ll change into my contacts then she relaxed a bit. I changed into my colored contacts and felt that they were much better than the clear ones because of the balanced degrees on both eyes. It was around that time when I realised that I should have worn a shirt so I could just unbutton it and change into my dress later, but I was wearing a T-shirt, which would destroy any makeup or hair if I removed it. Thankfully there was an extra kain sarung nearby... so there I was, walking around the place wearing kain sarung, tied up above my chest. XD

I sat in the ‘makeup section’ of the house and got myself a new face. It was the first time I wore fake eyelashes. To be honest, I hated them. My vision was cut in half as if there were blinders on my eyes. And I didn’t like the colour of my lipstick. It's fine, and it looks good, but I still don’t like the colour. Here’s the final result. What do you think?

I finally looked like a girl! <3 It was a lot of work, but I guess it was worth it. :) I felt beautiful the whole day.

Oh, the wedding? It was at a church near my house. I almost burst into tears at the part where her father gave her away. The wedding was conducted in Kadazan, but when they exchanged vows, it was in English.

It was so touching.

I love you Lia. May you and Arch be happily married forever. Gimme some kids for me to cuddle and spoil, will ya? ;)

P.S: I danced at the wedding reception. The poco-poco (Oh, no! HARAM DANCE IS HARAM!), the sumazau, the joget. The only dance I bowed out of was the first dance with my partner, one of the groom’s men. Forgot his name. (Sorry!) He played the guitar in the band. But it was for the best; it would have hurt more if we did because he’s not Ganaesh.

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