Letters of Life

No Reservations Required

Put simply, to reserve is to keep, hold back, or withdraw, something which is meant for future use.

If someone is ‘reserved’ it is inferred that the person is withdrawn, does not offer information about himself freely. He holds back. In this age of (mis)Information, I’m inclined to think that being reserved is an advantage, that not volunteering too much errs well on the side of discretion.

What about its opposite idea: No reservations?

If to reserve is to hold back, to not reserve is to not hold back, or to not save even. A popular restaurant where no reservations are required means anyone can have first dibs on getting a table at dinner on a Saturday, especially if you plan ahead.

Applied to people, the meaning gets more interesting. Someone who has no reservations about discussing his opinion about Max’s behavior on Saturday night means you will likely get a full airing of what he really thinks about what Max did, and what can be done to curb Max’s mad inclinations in the future.

Or if you are fully convinced in your mind about doing something, you do it with no reservation of will, and do it with complete conviction, confidence, and even enthusiasm. For instance, I have no reservations about how I put together my wardrobe these days. Once, I went to brunch with someone I wanted to impress. The skirt was an Impressionist’s palette of bright florals, which I teamed with a favourite zebra-print shoulder bag. Only the solid black wool top provided relief and rest for the eyes.

Ok, that was fun to write. So what happens when a group of likeminded people get together and plan for world domination?

Obviously I’m joking about that bit. But I’ve always wanted to use it and it was fun saying it.

But in the minute that lapsed between that sentence and this, I am thinking, maybe, it might just be possible that, maybe, I wasn’t joking.

When friends get together and do things together, and do things together for other friends, there’s a boldness of action, a stirring of initiative, to indulge in actions that without a concerted energy, might require more effort on one’s own. I might never do it. But with you in the picture, I can.

It can be as madcap as shamelessly appointing oneself the best man to someone in the group getting married, and the others booking plane tickets or bus tickets for the hour’s flight or five-hour bus ride to a small town on the east coast of West Malaysia to attend that friend’s wedding dinner.

It could also be shamelessly playing the role of the best man to the groom in a civil ceremony in which a best man is not required. (In this nonexistent role, a good best man makes sure the out-of-town fiancée whom he has yet to meet carries a hand bouquet. For the photographs.) Thus, it could be finding oneself snipping the thorns off red roses in the backseat of one’s car to create a hand bouquet the groom can later present to his fiancée whom we have never met.

I found myself yesterday in the company of people who set aside valuable time for other people who matter to them, who have decided that these other people matter to them. There was jollity, camaraderie, completeness. And who knows whether or not these little things we do will steal the hearts of those we like, of those we think of as friends for life?

If you visit featherglass often, you would know that personal photos are seldom posted because the intention is for mass readership (haha) and not a personal snapshot album. And while the writing is personal, I draw the line at making this space too personal. Leave a comment if you think otherwise.

Rules were made to be broken.

People heaven-sent and hell-bent on making an impact in their world, one person at a time.

People heaven-sent and hell-bent on making an impact on their world, one person at a time. (Gosh, I was thinner then.)


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