Sometimes I wonder if I still have it all together. The possibility of a screw loose somewhere looms large at times, especially when I mull over things that certainly seem ludicrous at best.
How many women do you think worry about who gets the crockery in the event of a divorce? Any sane mind would fight tooth and nail to get her rightful share of whatever's owned, jointly or otherwise (harta sepencarian in Islam), instead of splitting hairs over mundane pots and pans.
Strange as it may sound, in my case I fought over nothing and asked for nothing but to be let free. And when it was finally granted, I left, with only my clothes and my books for company.
Back to that kitchenware issue; it has been 23 years since the ex and I parted ways in 1987, yet I still pine for my beautiful Noritake 'Blue Hill' complete dining set and my Corningware set-of-three square bowls.
This sounds pathetic I know, but I think of them often. I was not in a position to take them along with me when I left the matrimonial home - I was carless, homeless and penniless to boot - but my love and attachment for them never fade.
At times I think I am an unmitigated fool whose priorities have gone askew; then again I have never been one enamoured by jewellery and such. The said tableware, however, is a different kettle of fish altogether (which is stranger still because I don't even like to cook).
I believe it's how the history of those two crockery sets link with my life's journey that set them apart and endear them to me to this day, even when they are no longer in my possession.
The blue-flowered Noritake set, for example, was purchased for RM2,500 (or thereabouts, can't recall exactly) in the early 1980s. It held some 100 pieces; the very first expensive, complete dining set I ever had the privilege of owning.
Made of fine porcelain, it graced our dining table each time we entertained (which was quite often), and during festivities. When not in use, it occupied a prominent spot in the display cabinet. The Noritake set was truly my pride and joy.
Then there was the Corningware bowl set, a surprise birthday gift from the ex. To say I was floored would be to put it mildly. I was young (in my mid-20s) and impressionable, thus getting a set of three expensive kitchen bowls costing RM500 as a birthday present, instead of something more personal like a bolt of silk for example, was rather regretful.
I kept my counsel though - it was a gift after all and should be accepted with grace - and this blog jotting is the first time anyone hears of my heart's lament. [I guess 30 years is a decent enough stretch to reveal a long-buried resentment].
Like the Noritake set, the Corningware bowls served us well and I know they are still serving the current household, bless them both. I remember giving them a wistful last look before packing off, well knowing they would never be mine again except in spirit.
Today, there is a similar Corningware set-of-three square bowls, but of a different design, in my kitchen, courtesy of Pak Abu's golfing skills (he won it in a tournament some years back).
But there is no Noritake and never will be again, because I realised long ago that my heart has room only for the one I left behind...