Sunday Ramblings: Hari Raya Aidilfitri, a short hiatus and some pride and prejudice…

Highgrove, St Clair, Dunedin, Picture by Raina Ng

So the Ramadan month is over, and we look forward to a holiday, followed by the Merdeka day (Independence day) holiday at the end of the month. I will be away enjoying the company of family over in Sydney and then Dunedin, New Zealand for a couple of weeks so we here at WritersClubKL will be taking a short break from Sunday posts, and Friday Fictioneers until September.

Monday and Wednesday stories have been queued so do stop by to enjoy them…

The past few weeks had been a busy weeks with the Olympics, and a visit from an old friend, Alice. There was much reminiscing and nice long chats about things that matter to us, on top of other things. We were having dinner at one of my favourite places, when I overheard a conversation between the restaurant owner and someone on the telephone. “You want to come by my place or not? You know who’s coming ah? Dato’ Lee Chong Wei’s coming ah.” (This is all said in a very Malaysian Chinese accent.) I told the two girls, Alice, and Sulyn (an upcoming gem you’d be hearing about from me very soon) who did not believe I heard right. Of course we had dinner and looked up to see the national hero (because he won the silver medal in badminton) saunter in with a group of his friends.

(Before I relate the story I need to make a statement that the three of us are all really proud of his achievements and respect him for that.)

Believe me you, we are not the types to go all goo-goo eyed but there had been a lot of hype after the latest Lin Dan v Chong Wei match, and we are not the kind of girls who would go up for autographs or pictures or such but after some contemplation we thought, “never try never know”. So we asked.

Well we were left standing with bruised egos, and quite humiliated when he declined with a “beh sai, beh sai”. (Hokkien for can’t and he was referring to photos with us). Fair enough, the dude needs some privacy, and he needs to eat. But a conversation transpired between Alice and myself, and later with Joanne.

Alice: I am quite disappointed I must say, I thought it was most ungentleman. Me: Mmm yea. But it was his privacy, so yea.

After all that is said, Alice and I also talked about how we should just let it go, it is after all just our bruised egos, and we should not judge him for expectations he has been held up to in this department. But the whole debacle led to another conversation between Joanne and I.

Me: I think the reason why the term ungentlemanly came to mind is because there was lack of, or no consideration at all about the fact that three young ladies were standing, in wait, only to be humiliated.

Joanne: But guys, a lot of them, do not think like that, do they?

Then what was he thinking? That we were “not handsome enough to tempt him“* to oblige us? We dare not judge, but somewhere in there the word arrogant popped up.

Me: There is no consideration huh?

Joanne: Nope, I do not think they consider all that.

Hmm. Do they? What would Lizzee Bennet have thoughts, or said?

Had he “behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner”*….

Impressing us “with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others.”*

The questions is, why were we so inclined to shake our heads and say, “how ungentlemanlike”. Is there something in-built in us girls that we expect men to act a certain way?

To consider and protect a girls’ honour, or keep her from being humiliated, is that not something all men should consider? Or was it an unreasonable expectation?

Let me ponder upon these questions while you share your thoughts with me, will ya?

Maybe the theme for September Readings should be Chivalry or The Gentleman?

Till September ladies and gentlemen….

For our muslim readers, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

* Quotes from Pride and Prejudice.