Fried fish maw and don’t force the cool

When I was with my American ex, he taught me the phrase ‘don’t force the cool’.  Incidentally, this was 1 of his email IDs.  He explained that it means not to act cool when you really aren’t.  Essentially, it’s trying to act as someone other than yourself.  When I was friends with Amanda, this phrase popped up in my mind on several occasions.

Amanda bragged constantly about herself – how capable, intelligent and organised she was, how she would be an asset to my friend, how she would help him to run his business, how well she was doing, how much she was earning, etc.  Even when we dined at posh venues, she would insist on paying at times.

1 day, the bubble burst.  Seeing that I toted designer bags, she also wanted one.  Thus, I accompanied her to browse at the boutiques.  We traipsed from shop to shop and she kept talking garbage about how she would scan the merchandise, blah blah blah boring as hell, but she visibly blanched at the price tags.

For somebody who claimed she earned the salary she did, buying a designer bag costing a few thousand wouldn’t be a big deal.  She refused.  We even went to Fendi, where we spotted a tiny pouch costing less than S$1,000/- and yet she couldn’t bear to part with the money.

Look, there’s no shame in being frugal or not earning a high income.  There’s also no shame if one isn’t of a high rank in the corporate world.  In fact, the movers and shakers are frequently men and, more often than not, they prefer to deal with men!  What I’m trying to highlight here is – don’t force the cool.

Thereafter, she burst her bubble quite a few times when she declared that her dresses weren’t cheap, but they inevitably were, relatively speaking.  She would disparage another friend by making remarks such as ‘you’re JUST an admin assistant’ in order to make herself seem superior… and… cooler, I suppose.

But she never really was all that, no matter how she tried to portray herself to be.  Eventually, she was forced to resign from her company.  She claimed that it was getting rid of the top management, but it turns out that they retained the second and third in command.  It was just… well… her who had to leave.

She’s now back to teaching English to Indonesian children in Jakarta.  It forced her to start life afresh because she wasn’t liked by many who knew her here.  Ultimately, she’s still very much alone in Jakarta.  Perhaps despite talking about changing herself over and over, she never really did go about taking that step.

I have friends from all walks of life.  I wouldn’t have looked down on her if she’d just been herself instead of making herself to be some hot shot.  Oh well *shrug*


My man bought some fried fish maw as a treat : )  It was pretty tasty!  This version was prepared using dried fish maw, though.  I prefer the taste of fresh ones : )


If I’d been someone I wasn’t, I doubt my man would’ve been together with me anyway.  Moral of the story?

Don’t force the cool.

Wishing you fun,



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