I received two surprises post wedding.
During the short merenjis ceremony, there was this stranger woman who blessed us. My husband introduced her as "Kakak I".
After she was out of audible range, right there and then jugak, atas pelamin, while maintaining my smile, I asked him, "Sejak bila you ada kakak ni!"
I kan memang jenis otak geliga, I can't settle until I get what I want, "Siapa tu? Cepat bagitahu!"
"Tunggu lepas ni lah I cerita. Orang tengah merenjis ni. Senyum!"
That night, I asked him again. He told me she was his kakak angkat. Kakak angkat?!
Mesti tipu lagi. I dah cakap dah I am not stupid.
Nak jadi isteri mithali punya pasal, I waited until the next day.
This time, we were in the car on the way to a friend's party.
I was membebel about something else which led to this whole kakak angkat thing.
Husband: Itu pun you nak jealous ke? Dia kakak I, dia dah kahwin dah pun, dah ada anak.
Me: You ingat I jealous ke dengan perempuan tua tu? Please lah. I bukan bodoh lah nak jealous-jealous dengan orang tak lawa. Kalau you nak scandal dengan dia pun, tak kuasa I nak jealous.
Husband: Habis tu, apa masalah you?
Me: Masalah I is you rahsiakan benda ni dari I! Kenapa? Kalau tak salah, tak payah berahsia, kan? I tak jealous, tapi I dah ada syak wasangka. I tak nak ada rasa syak wasangka pada suami I sendiri!
Husband: You nak tau perkara sebenar?
Me: You dah kahwin ke sebelum ni?
Husband: Dia memang kakak I!
Me: Macam mana? Bapa you ada dua isteri? I dah agak dah family you ni!
Husband: Bukan. I ni anak angkat. Mak betul I serahkan I pada Ma. Ma tak ada anak, jadi masa Mak betul I mengandungkan I, dia janji akan bagi I pada Ma. Ma yang bela I sejak dari kecik, tapi I bukan anak dia. Kakak I tu, memang kakak kandung I.
Me: Kenapa you tak beritahu I sebelum ni?
Husband: I nak bagitahu lepas kahwin.
Husband: Sebab I malu!
Me: Apasal nak malu pula? Auntie I pun dibela saudara juga!
Husband: Family you memang asal orang kaya. I ni orang susah. Mak kandung I tinggal kampung. Kerja dia sembahyang je. Kakak I tu kerja dia bela ayam. Kalau I ni tak diserahkan pada Ma dulu, I takkan ada peluang sambung belajar. I tak tahu apa jadi dengan I sekarang.
Me: Habis, kenapa you tak jemput parents betul you datang?
Husband: Ayah kandung I dah meninggal sebelum I kenal you lagi. Mak kandung I tu dah tua, tak boleh jalan jauh. Nanti I kenalkan you dengan diorang.
So, after this, I have to go to his hometown and start to get to know his actual family members.
And I thought I married a straightforward no hassle guy.
"Lepas ni, no more secrets. I am educated, I am a straight-As student, I am not stupid. I tak nak jadi isteri-isteri yang tak tahu apa-apa pasal suami dia. I nak being able to explain what my husband does. You kena beritahu semua pada I sebab I sekarang isteri you!"
"Okay," my husband took a deep breath. "Sebenarnya, kitorang rugi RM500k hari tu. Kerja-kerja I selama ni, separuh kena bagi dekat kawan I sebab I kena tolong dia juga, sebab tu sekarang ni I tak ada duit."
My husband, and some of my friends, always think my family is rich.
Okay, I have been dying to explain this to people (but I can't, because it's weird lah nak explain pasal family wealth tiba-tiba je) so I'll just say it here.
I am not rich. My parents were not rich. We started our life very modest. We climbed our way up because Father was a stingy man. Eh, no, the better words to use to describe him are he was always careful with money.
Father passed away after he came back from Hajj. Coincidentally, he already prepared his will before taking off. His properties, were divided equally among us, the children. He even left a fortune (I never knew he had) in the form of saham, for his grandchildren and future grandchildren- in case they don't get the privilege to further their studies with scholarships.
Father was very particular with his money, that it may only be used for beneficial purposes. He always dreamt big for us, so, most of the money spent was mostly to get the best education.
(Sidetrack a bit: I pun sebenarnya takut dapat anak kurang bijak.)
Even if my parents were rich, we, the children, rarely get to taste the luxury of it.
We were not aware of it and we were not raised as rich children.
Take me, for example.
As I was growing up, my pocket money is cukup-cukup je. Starting off with 30 cents in primary school, slowly becoming RM2 in secondary school.
My teenage escapades to the shopping malls, depended on the mercy of Mother to give me extra money to spend. Most of the time, I spent my duit raya/ scholarship money.
All of my siblings (except one) had full scholarships.
I used to wear second-hand clothes all the time. Mother shopped in Tesco for my raya clothes. Mother hand-sew my school uniforms until I was 11, then her eye-sight deteriorated.
One time, I kept recycling my clothes, my friend asked me to stop because my pants were too tight for me.
Whenever I am out with my friends, I limited myself for RM40 for shoes and tops. This habit stayed on until two years ago, I required supports from Brad P and my husband, that I could actually spend more without feeling guilty.
See? I had a tough childhood even though deep down, I knew my parents could afford way more than that. But somehow, none of my siblings have ever asked for more. We were actually comfortable with what we had.
My sister is so rich (relatively, from the multiple scholarships she earned) but she still lives in her rented house without a proper bed (only a mattress), no cupboard, and she still reads using low lights (because we should not waste the electricity). Her salary is almost equal to mine, and she only started to work for less than a year ago. But with her qualification and academic excellence, I tak jealous sangat pun. Memang patutlah. In fact, I am proud of her.
Even though I may not look the part as if I come from a wealthy family, people tend to presume my family financial status whenever they come over to my house.
Before my wedding, I jokingly asked my colleagues to buy me nice gifts. One of them said, "Eh, what do you want? No need lah. You already have everything!"
Recently, a colleague who did not attend the wedding reception, looked through my picture album and said, "Is this your house? Is this your house?"
Eh, tak percaya pulak?
How do one respond to that kind of question! I pretended like I didn't hear her question to brush it off. -_-
My friends from school pulak, lain cerita. They are the children who memang come from wealthy families. Mega super rich families, the kind who get scoldings if they ever try to ride a cab or the LRTs without supervision.
Them: Ectopy, I really like your dress! You design ke? You tempah dekat mana? Mahal tak?
Me: Ni baju sewa je lah...
Them: Really? Then, how come it fits you so well!
Me: They took my measurements and alter it for me.
Them: Oh. They can do that?
That night, before going to bed, my husband snickered for the fact that my friends didn't even know about the existance of wedding dresses for rent.
"Abang ni, tak baiklah. Diorang baik tau..." I defended my friends.
But my friends are really nice, humble people. Sometimes, they are just oblivious without realizing it. And they love me anyway.
I always dreamt of a special wedding. Like, I dreamt that the very first time I get to go to Italy is for my honeymoon. I dreamt that the very first time I ever wear expensive, customized clothes is for my wedding. I dreamt that the very first time I ever go to manicure/ pedicure/ facial treatment is before my wedding.
I never get to do all that.
Sometimes, I got all bratty and told my then-boyfriend-now-husband, "I bukannya miskin sangat sampai baju kahwin pun sewa!" and pouted. "See, my friends tempah baju dekat so and so, pergi honeymoon at so and so, photographer dia so and so, buat wedding dekat so and so, hantaran dia so and so..."
It always broke his heart whenever I said that.
3 hours ago