Souls & Purses

Just your untypical youth, in so many words. Content unrestricted.

An ode to my armpit hair

So to get straight to the point (because it’s almost 6 in the morning and i need to wake up early-ish in a few hours) tonight i went to a party where i knew i’d be bumping into a few people i “know”. Mostly because the host is good friends with a lot of people whom i have kind of had history with. A fling or two here and there, someone i’ve gotten into a fist fight with, no biggie.

Just kidding, i was kind of freaking out. I mean, obviously, the reason why it’s called “history” is because it all happened a long time ago but realistically speaking, in a country with less than a million people population wise where there’s not a lot to do or places to be, i guess you can’t blame some for dwelling on things or holding onto grudges longer than they should. The cowardly (but safe) thing to do would have been to back out and stay home instead of showing up but hey, i’m not one of those aforementioned people, i can be mature and move on, right? So i went anyway with a few friends– but obviously dressed and made to the nines because duh, i’m not stupid.

Turns out my worries were futile because none of the people i expected showed up (thank God but not gonna lie, i was kind of disappointed because who was i going to slay with my on-point makeup game now? Jk– kind of).

Anyway, that wasn’t actually the point of this post. The point is, in preparation for tonight, i actually did some quick self-grooming which i would have been more than happy to put off until further notice. But upon doing so and upon reviewing my outfit choices for tonight and witnessing the absence of certain dreaded guests, i realized that not only were my efforts gone to waste… i was also…kind of disappointed in myself. And not for reasons you’d guess.

I’m talking about the body hair that went down the drain when i shaved my armpits and legs before leaving the house. I’m currently going through a phase right now where i’m discovering and rekindling parts of myself i never knew i had or thought i had laid down to rest back in my rebellious teenage years. But a part of this phase included me not giving a fuck and making the subconscious decision not to shave. I mean, i knew i’d have to shave sooner or later but up til yesterday, i was more than happy to let nature run its course within my follicles.

I was actually quite privately proud of the small-scale forest that i’ve been nurturing in my underarm region for the past few months. I rarely wear sleeveless tops nor go out without a cardigan (mostly because i think my arms are huge) but underneath, i took comfort in knowing that i was running my own underground feminist rebellion, something that i didn’t need to shout from rooftops or post openly on social media, my own private revolt equivalent to burning my bras (except for the fact that i really do need to wear a bra because it gives me good posture and keeps my nips under wraps).

And if i’m being absolutely honest, i liked the idea that i was being lazy and didn’t feel the pressing need to shave in order to feel clean and ladylike. Men aren’t expected to, so why am i?

All this…until last night. I didn’t even think much about it while doing the deed, it felt so normal like part of a routine, but now that i’m back in the comfort of my own space, i can’t help but feel like a sell out. I liked my long soft leg hairs and my armpit fuzz. I wore my skirts and shorts proudly without sparing a moment’s thought about what people would think upon closer scrutiny. So why did i feel the need to impress the people last night with my smooth hairless skin? People i didn’t even think of anymore, people who don’t play any part in my life except for dredging up bad memories. My boyfriend doesn’t pay any attention to it so why did it matter to me that they might have?

I feel genuine remorse and i cannot wait til my lovely forests are restored back to natural order. Also, since i don’t have B.O. and don’t require deodorant, i assure you that they were forests that Glade would be proud to name an air freshener after.

That’s all.

R.I.P. armpit and leg hair. Til next time.



Business owners, you shouldn’t suck

Now, i’m not a professional event planner. I’m not even an online business owner.

But from a critical customer’s standpoint, do you know what i think is absolutely crucial to keep an event or company afloat? Especially one which specializes in public relations?

It’s the way you make the people who show up to your events feel that will outlast everything else.

Your food may have been crap, your event lame and lackluster, the venue smelling of fish and cigarettes and the stage propped up with canvas and tarp. But, trust me when i say that if you even made half the effort that you do to get the same incompetent vendors time and time again, to actually get to know your potentially loyal patrons or even make small talk, that’s 70% of your job for the day done.

Or, your food may have been gourmet take-out, the place reeking of expensive perfume and the event an all-white affair to match your vendors’ pearlie whites as they peddle their $9 milkshakes. But if your event-goers went there and left feeling even shittier than they did before walking in, what, really, is the point of your event that was created to “bring a niche community closer together”?

I’ve been to a few events this year and let me put it out there, i am not claiming to be the friendliest person out there, not even the closest, and i know i can be rude and hostile at the best of times. But i can assure you that none of those times are during the hosting of an event or the welcoming of guests to a gathering.

You don’t have to roll out the red carpet, you don’t need goodie bags filled with smartphones and vintage cameras and pastel rainbow-coloured stringers– but at the very fucking least, could you not spare a smile and some very small, small amicable conversation for someone who is shitfaced awkward as hell and standing in the corner?

At first i thought i was being salty af but then i asked around and it turns out i’m not the only one who feels that businesses nowadays need to step up their PR game. You don’t rely on the event to make a connection with the people who make it successful by being there, you don’t rely on the people to bring their own friends just to make themselves feel at home, you take it onto yourself to do it.

Cause i may or may not remember the horrible food poisoning i got while eating some bad cheese and it may slip my mind that there literally wasn’t any water for sale during the scorching event which already had an unworthy entrance fee, but literally the first thing that comes into my mind when someone asks me, “so, how was the event?” that really sways my answer is how i felt while i was there.

“Oh it was great! The food wasn’t all that, in fact, it was all kind of overpriced and it was also really hot but the people there were really nice though! It was just a nice atmosphere all around”

as compared to

“ummm it was…okay? Like it was so hot and everything was just not worth the money at all, it was badly executed and idk it just wasn’t a great event. Nothing special”

are the two types of answers i can give to someone which may or may not impact their decision to go to the next one. If you think about it, those are essentially the same answers with equally honest judgments but just phrased in a different context.

I know it’s still a baby industry but how the fuck else are you going to nurture growth if customers are dropping off one by one because it’s no longer worth their time?

Also, you know how shitty self-righteous wannabe world travellers always go, “go out, do things, meet new people?” Yeah that’s bullshit because what they don’t mention is that when you go out do things and meet new people, you should also bring a friend with you as backpadding to fall back on because without a friend, you’ll look hella stupid and no one will think of approaching you at all.

I went to an event last month where i was literally on my own the entire night and if it wasn’t for me striking up a conversation with people around me, i could’ve gone the entire night without opening my mouth. The host/organizer walked in front of me, walked around me, stood beside me talking to all the regulars that he/she was familiar with, the whole while side-eyeing me because i’m obviously new, without saying a single word. I spoke to someone and asked if she was new there and she went super friendly, “no but i can tell you are!”. She was friendly and talkative but at the same time, in my head i was just thinking, “if you could tell i was new and on my own, why the fuck did it never even cross your mind to make me feel welcome or say a single word to me?”.

I went to another one where i had had a substantial talk with the organizer a week or two before her event. I went to another event of hers and went, “******, hey!” and she looked at me and went, “hey!” without any form of continuation. So we just continued looking at each other and i eventually walked on. I would’ve continued it but it’s her fucking event, right?

I don’t know if it’s just my face or the way i look or whatever but regardless of all that, it shouldn’t have been an issue or a barrier standing in between you making a person feel welcome at your event which you open up to public. It makes me think that sometimes, business don’t really grasp the power their customers hold and neither do the customers themselves.

No one’s perfect and i guess just because you’re a business owner, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily come equipped with excellent conversational skills. So no, i suppose you don’t automatically have to be nice to everyone just because they come to your event. But in that case, why don’t you take a nice cut from all the profit that you make from your $11  diluted gluten-free vegan no-fruit smoothies which taste like what i imagine compost to taste like and hire a decent team to do it for you?

So local businesses, if you’re wondering why you suck, this is probably why. That and you  make people wait 45 minutes for a burger.


What would i keep if i lost you?

I’ve been reading a bit lately and in the last three pages of the book “Shanghai Baby” i came across this passage. In it the antagonist, Coco, is packing up her things and getting ready to move out from the apartment that she up until recently shared with her boyfriend, Tian Tian. Tian Tian in his last days was an impotent morphine addict and while it’s not explicitly mentioned how his death comes about, it’s pretty much assumed that he dies from an intended overdose.

Just before i left, i sorted a few things out. I touched up the manuscript and cleaned up the apartment. I planned to move back in with my parents, so i needed to give Connie the key. Tian Tian’s things were still there. I chose one of his self-portraits, a collection of Dylan Thomas poems he’d liked and a white shirt he used to wear.

The shirt still had his smell. Burying my face in it made me realize what it is to lose happiness.

Being someone who tends to attach meaning to just about anything in the search for significance, i often put myself into a character’s shoes. This time it made me think. If my boyfriend Demitri went away like that, which shirt of his would i keep with me?

Over the years, my boyfriend’s style and his appearance has seen a lot of changes, initially kick-started by him but enthusiastically curated by me until today. I dote on his aesthetic now (i mean i won’t say it’s perfect but it’s certainly an ocean’s length away from where he began). I love that he now knows the difference between shin-high white socks and ankle-length black ones and that he’s now aware that not all polo shirts are equal. I also appreciate the effort that he took to study the stark contrast between a $3 neighborhood barber cut and a professional trim by a proper hairstylist.

But then i thought deeply to myself after coming across Coco’s grief and realized that if i ever lost the love of my life, the shirt i would take with me wouldn’t be that long black one that i think he looks so effortlessly stylish in or the red and black check button-up that makes him look so sharp, or even that double-breasted cardigan that makes me swoon and go weak at the knees.

In fact, it would be his ugliest, most heinous polo shirt, the one with the wide horizontal stripes going through it, each at a more garish colour than the last, ranging from Panadol pink to tree-hugging green, the one that i always thought made him look like a food-colouring infested Raya cake.

But i would keep it with me and i’d take it to bed with me for months after and i’d hold it close to my face for the last traces of his favourite perfume while my tears poured into its threadbare seams and stitches. Because at the very core of it, the man wearing that was the one i fell in love with. I loved him so much then, even with his poop-brown boardshorts that he would wear out nonchalantly when we stumbled out for dinner after a long nap spent in each other’s embrace, or when he thought nothing of his bedhead as we sipped contentedly on bubble tea together. After all this time, he’s still the one i turn to in times of distress, the one whose breathing disappears to alarmingly shallow depths when he’s asleep, the same man whose hands i impulsively seek even in my deepest, heaviest inertia.

Even at his prime, i’ll never ever forget that that was who he was at the beginning. I can’t say if being with me has changed him for the better but i do know that the man i met five years ago is the man i would always choose to remember him by. In fact, i’d choose that kek-lapis-shirt wearing man with the unsightly sideburns over the other prince charmings anyday.

20 bullet thoughts

1. I’m done with exams

2. I’m done with my degree

3. All that’s left to do is graduate

4. I’m currently waiting on news to see if I’ve been accepted into a Masters programme (in the same uni)

5. I’m currently also waiting for a sign to see if i should apply for my dream job (that in all fairness, is screaming out my name. It’s not often you see your dream job at your dream website being advertised in your face twice)

6. Problem: Am i ready to pack up and move to a new country so soon?

7. Do i prioritize my higher education over getting my foot in the career ladder? Is this a once in a lifetime chance? Do dream jobs in dream cities at dream websites come a-knocking twice?

8. Q:What am i going to do with all my free time ahead of me?

9. A: Read, write, absorb.

10. Write. Write… And write.

11. But to write, first i need to read. And that doesn’t count dragging out The Lost Symbol over the course of the past two months.

12. I’m going to focus on my writing from now onwards.

13. As i was typing #12, a thought literally just threw a figurative glass of ice cold water in my face and up my nose because that’s obviously not going to happen if i pursue an irrelevant Masters degree in Business Management. Which, by the way, will take up another year and a half of my life.

14. What am i going to do?

15. Am i taking the safe route and diverting myself away from a chance which will unlikely present itself twice?

16. Am i ready to move to a city where i know practically no one and just leave everything behind?

17. Also, if i were American, i’d literally have moved out of my parents place and into a foreign city/country five years ago. So why am i still hesitating at the ripe, old age of 23?

18. Why am i so confident that i’ll get this job?

19. Because inside, in the deep red core of my heart, i know that job is for me.

20. I’m going to sleep it over and wait for a sign. Because i have a headache and i need to wake up in an hour.

That’s all.

More consistent posts up in the near future, i promise.




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