Conversations With Mom #2

There was a day when the sun shone so bright and the temperature reached thirteen degrees with a "feels like" of fifteen degrees. As we didn't want to waste every seconds of this perfect day, we decided to stroll around a beautiful public park in Porto, enjoying the beauty around us. The warm sunlight that continuously touched our faces. The fragrance of trees around us. The pretty Algarve, one of the signature flowers of Portugal, blooming almost everywhere in the park. While I paid attention to the nature, my mom was more interested in observing people around us. A man who was reading a newspaper alone. A couple who were gently kissing each other. A group of students who were drawing the city landscape. She said it's in the nature of psychologists to enjoy observing and analysing people from their body language and appearance. However, this time was different. Instead of talking about other people, she was apparently more interested in talking about me.

"So, you haven't made any decision about your partner?"
I showed my uninterested face. I knew sooner or later she would ask this question again.
"You know there are many men interested in you", she asked in a very confident way. Although I was a hundred percent sure she was just being nice to me. 
"Errr... I don't even feel like that way", I said while approaching the trees full of Algarve flowers.
"Well... if I were a man, I would definitely fall for someone like you"
"Errr, I think all mom say this to her daughters, huh?"

I kept my attention to the flowers. It's weird how it made me feel like spring is already here. Then I heard her chuckle and, in a very low voice, said "that's true". 

"But seriously, what about the handsome one you used to tell me? I think he suits you well... he looks smart and has steady job"
"Na-ah. We only met twice and after the second time we went out, we haven't talked again till now"
"Oh... why? Come on, don't be so picky"
"Mom.... you know I'm the farthest thing from picky. I never set standard on this thing... it's just that we have different sense of humour and he really loves talking to the extent of making our conversations one-sided"
"Hmmm... what about the other one who is also doing PhD?"
"Na-ah. We can hardly talk about anything other than curriculum, journals, researches, and other things that relate to academic life... we don't really have common interests other than that"
"Hmmm. I see... but nobody's perfect, anyway..."
"I know, I know... I wasn't trying to say that I've been looking for someone who's almost perfect. But someone whose imperfection perfectly matches with me, to the extent that his weaknesses no longer bother me... and vice versa"
"Hmmm. Then tell me... what are you really looking for in a man?", she sat on one of the wooden benches.

I sighed. This simple question has been asked me a great many times, and yet I still find difficulty in answering it. 

"I think I only need... a chemistry"

She looked surprised and laughed out loud, to my embarrassment. 

"Yeah, I know it sounds so cliche and cheesy and doesn't make any sense... but you know, it's so difficult to find someone with whom I have chemistry. I mean.... the REAL chemistry"
"Come on, Nazura, don't be like a naive kid. Chemistry is not something that you develop in seconds... it takes time for you to decide whether you have this chemistry or not. And in order to know it, you should give someone a chance"
"I know, I know...  that's the thing. I was kind of 'trapped' with a number of wrong people only because I thought we had a good chemistry together. But as we got closer, I lost that chemistry"
"Various reasons".
"For example?"

I pointed my camera to a part of the street nearby upon which a tree casted a shadow. It had been asking for my attention since I came. 

"You know I'm a flexible person who tends to love and do many things so it's difficult for me to get along with someone has a great number of specific likes - dislikes and is strict about it. Or someone who already has this certain impression of me, so he tends to show his interests and acts based on what he thinks I like. Or someone who demands to be contacted hourly even though there's barely anything worth informing about. Or someone who is in a rush to show me everything about him and as results he leaves nothing for me to be curious about. Or the other way around, he's just too afraid to be himself when he talked with me so I don't know who he really is"

After capturing the object with different angles, I finally put my camera down and sat beside her. 

"But the thing is, it's just a few of many examples that I found. And the more I live my life the more I realise that what I'm really looking for in someone is not something that can simply be explained and seen. Not something that are often standardised in our community. It's not even something that only relates to my perspective towards political condition in our country, my taste of music, my sense of humour, my way of living... it's something much deeper than all of those things. Way deeper than the logic can reach, the words can explain, and the eyes can see. For me it even took several years and involved meeting different guys until I've come to realise what and who really matters to me. 

She didn't say anything. Maybe she was still trying to understand what I said. 

"'Is it too much to ask for? Am I too weird?"
"No, you are not. Actually, I've been in your position... I think I've told you that there was a time when our relationship was getting serious, I told him to give us some time to see whether there was other person who could suit us better... until finally we reached a certain point when we were more convinced we belong together"
"Yeah, of course I remember. You have always been too eager to tell us how you had a lot of suitors, from a good-looking doctor, a son of powerful military figure... but you always told me that among those men, dad was the only man who dated you with an old vespa while the rest brought their fancy cars"

We laughed together, but of course, she was the one whose face reddened and lips formed a sheepish smile. 

"Exactly! And the main reason was actually more-or-less the same as you... whenever I was with other men, I just didn't have this chemistry with them... and actually none of them successfully got your grandma, aunts, and uncles' hearts like your dad did"

I just smiled this time. I have already heard this statement for hundred of times now. And yet only this time it made my heart warm and rekindled a faith that I thought I had lost. 

"In the end, you chose dad who is a total opposite of you. The "anak-gaul looking type" who was very popular among his friends with his long hair and eccentric sense of fashion, his love for a diverse range of music, and his preference to sit in the last row during the class... while you are the "anak-rajin type" who used to be very socially awkward, prefer sitting in the first row, and couldn't care less about music other than the classic piano pieces you've taught yourself to play"

I continued teasing her. She looked embarrassed but happy at the same time. We laughed together. This time was harder. 

"Ah, now I miss your dad even more", she said in the sweetest tone she usually use to tease dad. 

We stood up and continued walking through the park, while I secretly found myself realising how sometimes the way my mom being so romantic in the most unromantic way is actually quiet romantic for me. And by that, I don't mean her last statement, but indeed how she chose my dad as her life partner. 


  1. Kalo ada tombol like aku udah pasti ngelike tulisan ini bahkan sebelum aku beres baca semuanya, btw salam kak aku Helly, sering mampir ke sini tp ini pertama kalinya aku komen :)

    1. Hi Helly! salam kenal yaa... makasih udah sering mampir ke blog aku dan ngasih komentar kali ini hehhee :)

  2. How do I explain this that I even got goosebumps when reading that "chemistry" part.

  3. Ooooh,aku makin jatuh hati dengan caramu nulis curhatan kak Ozu. Love the way you explained about Chemistry

    1. Hihihi enggak keliatan labil seperti biasanya yaa :))

      Thank you Erny! :D


Post a Comment