Thursday, August 10, 2017

Diffident Dress

Don't get me wrong. Though I do have certain fastidious scruples about proper attire, I certainly don't contemplate showing up at a summer pool blowout all bedecked in a frilly silk ballgown. Let's not be totally daft. It's all about dressing for the right occasion; which means those stained t-shirts and ratty shorts that you wore while cleaning out the dusty garret last weekend simply shouldn't make an appearance at a dinner party.

And absolutely not to a wedding banquet. Have some respect for your troubled hosts please.

Yes, laugh all you like but I've seen that particularly graceless faux pas take place a couple of times. In fact our very own fashion blunder Reasonable Remedy did it twice, right in front of our very eyes so that my eagle-eyed nurses felt compelled to immediately post up on Instagram for posterity! Terribly judgemental they have become as well though I've tried my best to rein them in.

Or at least prevent them from emphatically pointing out the deplorable flaws in public.

Though sometimes it can be a little bit hard to judge!

However what I didn't expect next was a surprisingly patronizing critique from Diffident David instead. For someone like him - like the ultimate slob Lanky Larry - who obstinately champions the Get Casual Everyday Cause to find someone's attire absolutely execrable, I find myself absolutely flabbergasted. Have I finally successfully converted him?

David : I'm just surprised you didn't make a comment about his dressing!
Paul : Why? 
David : He looks terrible. 
Paul : In t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk? 
David : Yes!
Paul : You wear the exact same thing all the time. 
David : That's different. I wear better. 
Paul : In t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk? 
David : Mine is more fitting!
Paul : I hate to break it you but still t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk. 

Try as he might to convince me, I really couldn't tell the difference. Even with high-definition pictures to prove his point, I couldn't see it. Sure, the t-shirt was a tad less unkempt. Maybe the shorts were a little smoother and newer. But overall let's face it, it's still t-shirt and shorts with selipar buruk.

Selipar buruk just means lousy flip flops over here.

Wait, did that mean he doesn't actually like what he wears himself?

Sunday, August 06, 2017

All By Myself

Certainly not a theme song I'd recommend for anyone other than the eponymous Bridget Jones but these days I think a friend of mine might appreciate it. Remember the taciturn someone I once mentioned who drew the line between her super-tight BFFs and the rest of her ignominious generic Fs?

Well, let's call her Anxious Annie.

Delayed flights are not uncommon, and over here with the tiny runway coupled with the numerous domestic flights, it has become an almost daily event. Almost impossible for anyone to even confirm their flight ETAs, even once already safely boarded on the plane. For Anxious Annie however, the very notion of a flight delayed would certainly spell a catastrophe.

Annie : I realized I was all alone. 
Paul : In the airport? 
Annie : Yes. 
Paul : Aren't there dozens of other passengers around? 
Annie : Yes. They immediately all took out their cellphones to inform someone of their new arrival times. They all had someone. I had no one to call. 
Paul : So? 
Annie : I am all alone. 
Paul : There's no need to call anyone when you're going for a business trip. You could call a taxi. 
Annie : There's no one I could call!
Paul : Uber? 
Annie : Nooo....

Well perhaps my bleak pragmatism wasn't exactly what she needed at the time. Diverted by her disquieting mental ordeal, I might even have chuckled. Probably one of the reasons I've been ingloriously bumped down to her forgotten second tier compatriots.

What? So you were singing All By Myself at the airport? 

Shoulder to try on, I can provide but you'd probably get a painfully realistic dose of tough love first.

Though I found the reasons obviously simple enough, I hesitated to even tell her. There's only so much you can reveal when you're cheerlessly mucking it up with the other shoddy acquaintances beyond the true friendzone, and not living it up with her cozy intimates. Would speaking the truth only leave you even farther in the cold?

So let me tell it plainly enough, Annie. Tragically there's no one to blame but yourself. It's hard to find a friend to call when everyone else has been placed at chilly arms' length, while the ones you count as real BFFs aren't actually that emotionally available. It's all about the science of friendship which means also being a friend, so hiding in seclusion and refusing friendly overtures isn't going to help. Being closed off only denies real intimacy between friends which is why there's hardly anyone around to call when emotional help is needed.

Really... that's the problem. Tough love, like I said.



Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Weird Things with Gay Couples

Haven't gotten around to putting it up but I just have to, even though it's a year late throwback, but hey doesn't mean it rings any less true. Especially since Charming Calvin and I get the first part all the time.

Stranger : Wait, are you two a couple? 
Paul : Yes. 
Stranger : I thought you two were brothers. 
Paul : I introduced him as my boyfriend. 
Stranger : Are you sure you're not brothers? 
Paul : Yes. 
Stranger : Stranger things have happened. 
Paul : Stranger than brothers saying they are together? 

Really. Not the first time we've gotten the baffled look since appallingly, Chinese fellas with square faces and dark-rimmed spectacles frequently get mistaken for one another. Usually to cover up their obvious gaffe, they follow it up with the common Chinese phrase 夫妻相 to mollify us after so it's all good.



Fortunately some of the gay stereotypes are actually true when it comes to me so the nagging questions on fashion and interiors are all fine since hell yes, I do have vehement opinions on that. Not too sure how Charming Calvin feels about it but busily snacking on the party hors d'ouevres usually saves him from answering.

And hey, if you're almost the same size are your man, it basically doubles your wardrobe. Isn't that the best part about being in a gay relationship? Never actually tried on his shirts since I actually have an embarassing number untested and unworn in my closet but I've definitely pulled on his shorts before. Way back when we were first dating. Having to dash off for work emergencies doesn't leave me much choice unless I carry spare clothes to change everywhere I go.

Which I do these days of course.

When we travel, I have to admit there are times when our clothes strikingly match, though never ever on purpose, but we still draw the line at getting couple t-shirts.



Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Boy with the Beanie

Men are visual creatures. Let's not deny the fact that the majority, even those happily involved in serious monogamous relationships, do spend a lot of our time scoping out the scrumptious eye candy around us. Certainly no serious intentions to buy to bring home but it's always fun to blithely window shop every once in a while.

Of course, plain gawking all by itself wouldn't be half as fun without the recurring conversation that crops up every once in a while in my circle. Hard not to when it's a gaggle of appreciative gay men downing expresso shots at a cafe whilst lustfully appraising the hot virile fashionistos who saunter by.

Friend : I should try a beanie. Makes a man look real good. 
Paul : No it doesn't. 
Friend : What do you mean? Just look at the hottie that just went by. 
Paul : He's a gorgeous attractive young man. He makes the beanie look good, not the other way around. 
Friend : What? 
Paul : Look at it this way, if a portly unsightly fellow were to wear a beanie, would you think he looks good? 
Friend : Not really. 
Paul : Then the beanie doesn't work. However put any man in a suit and they generally look better. 
Friend : Never thought of it that way. 

Of course several weeks later, he'll cheerfully forget and drool over a sexy hunk with a painfully hip man-bun; all the while imagining that a man-bun makes everyone look good.

No, it doesn't.

Usually it's the beauty of the man that makes the dress look good so don't be fooled by the art of marketing. There is a reason the wily advertising gods utilize impossibly attractive, genetically gifted models to deceptively fool us into believing that particular brand would make the homeliest of us look quite as mesmerizing.

The chiseled cheekbones and the body makes him look good. Not the beanie. Really. 

Man-buns? Beanies? Backward baseball caps? Cargo shorts? Three quarter pants? Rompers? Sure, they are all comfortable but trust me, they won't make you look good. Not unless you resemble the godly Chris Evans. If that's the case, even a misshapen gunny sack would be highly flattering.

Same goes for tattoos, permanent or otherwise.

Serious. If the item of clothing or accessory really can aesthetically improve someone's looks, it would work on most anyone. Even the plainest bridge troll around, and I do mean me. Till now, I find only a handful of accoutrements singularly successful in that sartorial endeavour, and that's a beautifully tailored fitted suit. Anything else, you better don't believe it.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pitch Perfect

Though there will always be the occasional eccentric such as Ambiguous Aaron who shudders at the very thought of karaoke and made a solemn vow never to step into such a den of iniquity, I think it's safe to say that most other regular folk do enjoy the occasional turn with the karaoke microphone. Hands up if you're Asian of course. And yes, by karaoke, I mean the Asian styled karaoke boxes with the private rooms and booths for the self-effacing shower sopranos to step out into the limelight.

Unlike the ones more prevalent in Western countries where wannabe stars sing publicly on a stage only to be jeered or booed off if the singing is off pitch. With crazed caterwauling masquerading as a tune, I wouldn't blame the unfortunate audience for targeting them viciously with broken bottles.


Generally from all the times we've headed for karaoke, friends I know here seem to fall into two categories!

The first whom I call the serious karaoke persona preparing to audition for the coming season of The Voice. Bet you'd all have seen this dogmatic fanatic rifling through the exhaustive song list searching for their one and only torch song - no, they won't try a new unversed song! - while professionally adapting the pitch and tone of the melody to their own voice. Then they stand up to ceremoniously switch off the vocal track, the better to listen to their own special delivery of the song of course.

Mind you, they invariably sing alone - so don't even dream of butting in when they're belting out their oh-so-precious theme songs unless you want a microphone tossed at your ear. It's their fucking moment and you'd better know it.

Seriously, the stage was made for them so I don't know why they aren't all getting on it.

Especially if you looked like this, I guess.

I come in the second category. Always think karaoke should be a fun event just having a group of like-minded friends to gather around. Honestly the worse you are as a singer, the better so there's nothing to be embarassed about. Isn't that the very reason we all booked a private room rather than yodel mortifyingly in public?

And come on, no way any of us could sing better than the original! If I did, I would have already cut my own album for sale. Or at least have a dedicated Youtube channel to peddle my croons.

These days I also find karaoke boxes a good place to pick up catchy new hits that you've never heard of since there's always a ready set list of popular hits played by the other customers there. And really, short of having gratuitous shots of half-naked hunks gyrating throughout, when else would I ever willingly sit through the entire music video?


Then again, maybe this is the way to get Ambiguous Aaron to come over!