Yes, that is the name I gave the old Shirley before I smashed her head into pieces and buried her under a bed of white daisies.
I placed a tombstone out of respect and carved the words, “Here lies Redgrave”.
Her funeral was simple and elegant – something she would not have approved. But she is not around to whine and gripe anymore.
The Vomit of Society – you might say it is too harsh? Well, if you only knew the truth. Then you would say that I was being kind on her.
How shall I paint this picture without making anyone barf?
The Old Shirley was born into a really good family, who gave her more than what she needed to start in life.
Few people would have that kind of luck or luxury.
Where people strive each day to make a living. She drove her parents crazy with her wild ways of enjoying life. As if she was just milking it for everything it had, sparing no one and nothing.
What else would you call a person who is blessed with so much, and yet continued to use her abundance to feed her own excesses and self-indulgences?
She created the original cess pool of only thinking of herself and only what she wanted, with no regards for what others would need or how they would feel.
As long as she was happy and got what she wanted, the rest can rot into the background.
This was the same person who proclaimed that she would only drink champagne, and good champagne, mind you – like Dom, Krug and Cristal. If you gave her a Verve Cliquot or Moet, she would pour it down infront of your face for insulting her delicate palette and proceed to ask for a Perrier with a slice of lemon.
She also proudly announced that she would only eat desserts first and then move onto starters because she had no time for inter-courses.
She could paralyse you in 5 words or less and strip you of your self-esteem for all to see. And if she was in a particularly good mood, she would even shred your self-worth in 8 words or less.
Can anything be more horrific than a woman who is armed with some intelligence and the gift of the gab, but use them all to belittle others? It seemed that her only justification for living was to make others feel totally inadequate.
And that is just for starters –
I would say that she does not look too shabby in her heydays. Especially when she cleaned up and made the extra effort to dress appropriately. She used to turn a number of heads and not to mention, string them in a row like a trophy of sorts.
Everything about her was crafted so that she looked as if she was someone truly important and significant. Hence, she bought herself all those cars like Porsche, Range Rover and a Harley Davidson’s Fat Boy. She even had the disc brakes installed and the bike lowered so that her short legs could swing over them. But the running joke was that she could not even ride a bike. And if you had the gall to point out that fact to her, she would dismiss you in her casual haughty stance and say, “Because I can”.
Her most favourite past time was to make life a living hell for those who served her – from those who had the utter bad luck to wait on her in restaurants, bars and cafes to her own maids in her house. I often wondered if she had a heart at all.
Living with her was like kissing death every morning. I think one of her ex-boyfriends might have actually said that exact same words.
On the surface, she was the embodiment of all the things we love to hate and would truly have to try hard NOT to hate. Well she just made it so darn easy for people to really dislike her.
But on a deeper level, this was one lost chick – one very lonely, empty lost chick.
She never had the courage to use any of her talents or gifts for greater good. Even to just donate her used fancy branded clothes or shoes for charity, she would rather burn them so that no one would ever lay their hands on “her things”. Everything was either hers or not hers and thereby should not be enjoyed by anyone else too, for that matter. And if something is not about her, then it should not even be discussed in the first place. A complete waste of good conversation, she would say.
She used to have dreams of becoming an artist, even a fashion designer. And she did win her fair share of awards, without bribing the judges or coercing them, mind you. But she never worked at it.
I always saw her as an over-pampered spoilt brattish pet. She made hell looked like heaven on heels. And I was not even referring to her famous short-fused temper. That is another horror story altogether. Gives me chills just thinking about it.
There was only one thing I liked about the old Shirley – she could write some killer poetry. But even that, she did not pursue to perfect her art of writing or using words. She just refused to work at anything.
In a sentence, she was lazy to the core.
So, are you not starting to agree with me now? My name for the old Shirley will always be “The Vomit of Society”.
Yes, she may have been always afraid that she would fail if she went after something or worked hard for something. Yes, she even had a low self-esteem deep down inside because she always believed that she was just the beneficiary of her parents’s hard work, blood, sweat and tears. She could never respect herself because she always felt so useless.
In any case, despite it all, her actions and speech have caused the most damage to herself and to those around her. When she refused to face the truth about herself and find the courage to do something positive about them, to change her situation – she became a liability and pain to herself and others around her.
People in various walks of life, are burdened with multitude of responsbilities, problems and issues. Some receive a larger magnitude of those problems more than others. Yet we always have a choice. We can always choose to make those problems worse for ourselves and even become a problem to others – or we can exercise the choice to work hard at resolving those problems and even become a solution for others. That is the most amazing thing about the human spirit. It is boundless and borderless.
However, when someone who is already blessed with so much does so little, or worse, does nothing, then I am very sorry to say, but sympathy for such a person would be lacking from others. And that is the truth about life and people.
We would find it hard to sympathize with people who just keep repeating the same mistakes, and who keep launching the same assaults on us. They just wear us down – they deplete us of our patience, understanding, tolerance and eventually, love.
So, I had a very tough decision to make. It is either old Shirley’s life or a completely new life – one that is full of possibilities and that promises a better result. Because old Shirley’s ending was just too painful to watch, let alone, bear.
If I don’t kill her, who would?
No one would love us enough to stand by all our worst, our ugliness and our atrocities, and yet still remain sane or standing.
We have to clean up our own mess and start the path to redemption all on our own.
So, her death freed me.
I have much to thank her for, actually.
Now, I have no one else to blame but myself. Because my life is finally in my own hands.
From here, I have to work even harder than before, because regaining trust and restoring friendship demand that I must be consistent.
I used to think that freedom was all about doing whatever I want, when I want and how I want and with whom I want. But I realised that was really undisciplined, un-accountability and irresponsibility.
When we really care for the people we claim to care, or if we truly care for ourselves, we will never be so careless and casual about what we must do. To be there for the people we love, to be reliable even for ourselves and to be someone who can be entrusted with greatness, we must rise above our own issues.
This is real control.
I am changing the definition and description of old Shirley, version 2002.
Now, I am working hard to unveil the new Shirley Maya Tan, version 2010.
Some day I know even old Shirley will thank from her grave.
I have re-defined who she really is and what she is made of.
And look how pretty the flowers have grown on top of her since her funeral. There are yellow daffodils, delicate ylang-ylangs and purple hydrangaes.
I might even say that it has become a beautiful garden.
Good bye, old Shirley and hello, Shirley Maya.