The most stressful time of the year is upon us again.
It really is very stressful.
All the preparations that have to be made way in advance:
- Buy new clothes and shoes and handbag
- Buy new towels and bedsheets
- Buy snacks and bak kwa and drinks
- Spring clean the house
- Wash the car
We’re talking about the Chinese New Year, of course. Buying new things and cleaning the house is supposed to bring good luck in the coming year. The snacks are for feeding the hungry hordes of relatives that will troop endlesly to your house in the 15 days of the Chinese New Year.
Fortunately, not being head of the household, I’m exempted from some things. Like preparing food for reunion dinner and buying mandarin oranges and decorating the house with too many red-coloured items. I just need to take care of myself and my own bedroom. And whatever snacks I buy I eat myself. BWahaha.
But I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to buy new clothes (or anything else for the matter). As a last resort, I’m wearing something I received as a Christmas present which I haven’t even tried on yet.
But we did get bedsheets. The Goonfather dragged me to Aussino a few weeks ago to pick out our CNY bedsheet and quilt cover.
I suggested getting this diabetically sweet, girly pink quilt cover, thinking that the Goonfather will bop me on the head for even considering that he will deign to lie on something that’s gonna make him look like a pouf.
But he said, “Okay!”
Wow. That was pretty shocking.
So we got it, and a lavender bedsheet to match.
Ironically, the quilt cover is shopping themed, which only serves to heighten my stress over not having anything new to wear on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
The feeling is like when you didn’t study for an important exam and you’re hoping the day never comes. Every hour that ticks away adds one more butterfly to the pit of your stomach.
I spent the entire day cleaning my room today when I could have played PotBS instead. What a waste of time, but it had to be done.
To tempt me into buying CNY clothes, the Goonfather had promised to subsidise me $200. But I still never made it to the stores. Now you ought to believe me when I say I’ve been insanely busy.
No rest for the wicked.
After reunion dinner tonight, we’re going to Loyang Tua Pek Kong (Chinese temple) to usher in the new year and mob the God of Wealth together with thousands of other people hoping for some of the god’s wealth to rub off on us.
After that, we’re going to hang out at someone’s house and stay up as late as possible because some Chinese believe that, the later you stay up on the eve of the new year, the longer your parents will live. It’s not logical at all, but since when has tradition ever been logical?
After a night of not sleeping because you want your parents to live forever, the morning starts early with visitations, during which you’ll meet long-lost relatives, relatives you don’t know the names of, relatives you don’t even know are relatives, relatives who force you to eat up all the cookies and bak kwa in their houses, and relatives who ask you the same questions every year, when all you’d rather do is go to sleep on their couch because you haven’t slept all night.
There are people who actually love all this and look forward to it every single year. I really want to know why.
Or maybe not.