Eizwan and I are generally hermits. Sure you may see us flitting about town, carrying big pots and various plants or…doing something really stupid like buying an oversized steamer that you have to carry from the home décor fair just because it’s on discount, all the way from Hall 2 in PWTC up the ramp into Hall 1 PWTC and then into the Best Western Hotel and out of the Best Western Hotel onto a road that’s filled with heavy machinery because they’re doing massive road works, all the while juggling a beast of a product that might topple you right into the direction of a speeding Mercedes who is far too important to stop for an ordinary pedestrian like moi, trying to navigate across a treacherous road like Kuala Lumpur because, really, who needs to stop for people who can’t afford cars or drivers to drop them off, but generally. Yes. We’re both homebodies, so you rarely do see us about town.
But when we do go out – we find that the number one question people ask us is this: “So…how is married life?” The thing is,no one actually ever waits for the answer, they usually have a glint in their eye and they zone in on my tummy. Which thankfully since I’ve lost weight, is less flabby these days.
The second question that follows, is the most pertinent question that everyone wants to know. Most people are subtle, as in, as subtle as a brickbat to your face: “So…biler lagi?” (When is the hypothetical baby coming along?). Some are less subtle like the open grabbing of your flabby tummy in public, groping you and then shouting aloud: “Eh? Takde isi ke?” (What? Is there nothing inside?)
I know pregnant mums complain about this constantly – saying that the moment they get pregnant, their tummies are fair game for everyone to touch, to caress and to grab. But do spare a thought (just a few seconds, won’t hurt you) and think about the newlyweds whose tummies are also fair game. This is a common trend amongst Malaysian aunties, like somewhere in the Book of Aunties there is a commandment that says, ‘Thou Must Grab the Stomachs of Young Newlyweds and Harass Them on Their Fertility.’
Is it terrible to say that I’m so used to the groping that it’s become a motivation to lose even more weight? How embarrassing would it be to have someone grope you and announce proudly to everyone that a baby is on the way, while you stand there, red-faced, stammering, ‘There’s no baby, I’m just fat’.
It is funny though, that in a modern world, we still see fertility issues as a predominantly female issue. Malaysian uncles don’t grab their newlywed nieces’ stomachs (perhaps there is that issue of sexual harassment, arrest and jail-time hovering over them), only Malaysian aunties do. But everyone should know by now that fertility is an issue that covers both men and women and if aunties do feel the need to be nosy and to humiliate, it would only be fair if they humiliate both parties.
That is why, it’s only fair that after grabbing a woman’s stomach, it would be best that Malaysian aunties grab the husband’s crotch as well, and then shouting aloud, ‘Why? Not performing well, is it?’