Monday, 12 May 2008

happy and serene, despite everything

The world of applying for jobs is sometimes a disheartening one, and you have to take a bit of happy where you can find it. Here is what made me happy today. My Top.

About fifteen years ago, and for reasons lost in the wreathing mists of time, my mum was given a really lovely batik outfit upon finishing a teaching gig in Singapore. In a bizarre twist, it turned out (we realised years later) to be the uniform of Singapore airlines. My mum, not being built like a typical Singaporean lady, or indeed being one to wear outfits entirely made up of matching batik cotton, gave it to me. The skirt, alas, is lost, but I still have the Top, and I love love love it.

When I put it on I feel a little like a pretty and serene Singapore airlines lady, as long as I don’t actually look at myself. We flew on Singapore airlines back from NZ, and (notwithstanding their draconian luggage regulations that had us throwing clothing and shoes into a charity bin right there in Auckland airport before Uncle Tom Cobley and all) their ladies are all so poised and pretty and serene that I want to be one. On that flight, one of the airline ladies stopped her progress down the aisle so she could check out my knitting, and exclaimed over it, which was kind, and she thanked me profusely for making her such beautiful socks, which was a tremendously funny joke, because not only were they honking big men’s socks but there’s also no way in the world you’d need such a thing in Singapore and also, someone as petite and beautiful and serene and poised as her would never, never disgrace her feet with something so crude and homely and sheepy. And guess what else? The Singapore airlines ladies still wear the same outfit as the one my mum gave to me after the Singapore people gave it to her. Because why change perfection?

I have not had this Top for over a year because it was packed away while we were in New Zealand. It’s hibernated in a cold Canadian garage all that time; quite an ordeal for something whose roots are in beautiful, tropical Singapore.

So today the Top and I were reunited after all this time and it was quite a joyful thing.
And that was what made me happy today. I may even go apply for a job at Singapore airlines. After all, I already have the Top. The poise and the serenity will surely follow.

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