Three profoundly disturbing things have occurred this week:
1. My father, now in a home for peeps with dementia, has got himself intimately involved with another inmate, and apparently the two of them believe they have been happily married since 1968.
2. The loo brushes. I now know who the culprit is, and it’s not pretty.
3. I found some rather unpleasant material in the photos on Max’s iPad, which is synced with Don’s iCloud. There must be some mistake, though, because Don and I are the perfect example of expat marital bliss.
It has all been too much, so I’ve had to take myself off on a retreat to Nikoi Island, to meditate and drink Veuve with my girlies. They have all gone to bed now (well, they went somewhere, anyway), so I am allowing myself to percolate these horrendous issues, little by little. I am writing to you from a white sand beach, about my troubles in paradise.
So here is the awful tale of my father’s delusional nuptials:
Yesterday, after an amazebobs Expaterati high tea, I got a call from Chantelle, my father’s actual wife/ trophy bride/ #golddigga. Yet again, she was all crying and snotsville. She fails to realise that I am not her therapist, but I suppose that’s slightly my fault for being so incredibly empathic and so damn lovely all the time.
So she tells me that she has been going every day to Shady Elms to visit my father, and yes, Don’s PA did a fab job in finding such a beautiful place. (Love love LOVE Don’s PA, particularly because she’s so alarmingly disgusting to look at, not that I’m insecure because I’m SO not, and if you think I am then you’re ridic.)
Then Chantelle did that annoying sobbing thing that the irritants do sometimes, and said my father doesn’t know anymore that she is his wife. Instead, he thinks he’s married to this old dear, Victoria – also off her rocker – and has been for a very long time. (Mega-LOLs!)
“The first few weeks, everything was fine”, Chantelle snotted at me, “But then he started to forget who I was… which just got worse and worse… and then this Victoria came on the scene. So I’d turn up, and there’s my husband all over another woman! Pawing each other like teenagers!! That’s my husband! I’m a former Miss Australia!! What’s she got that I don’t have?!”
Channeling cousin Clara the shrink, I said, super-kindly, “Well babes, they’re much closer in age than you are… like a lot, right? And let’s face it, you are young enough to be his granddaughter, right?… So like, maybe she’s got quite a lot that you haven’t, ya know, lah? Like maybe they have way more in common, and she’s probably all wise and stuff because she’s so old, even if she is bonkers. Don’t stress, sweets. Stop beating yourself up. Maybe you just can’t compete with the older gals.”
I knew she wasn’t listening to my excellent counsel because I could hear her blowing her nose. Like, a lot. Which I hate.
“And now”, she blubbed, “The staff have told me that I need to phone before I get there, to ‘limit the distress caused’. So I do that, but the whole visit he’s just asking where Victoria is, and telling me to leave so that the staff will let him see her! And I feel like I’m the one losing it here, Emma-Jane! I can’t deal with this! I’m crying all the time” (yeah, I clocked that, babes), “and I can’t even look after my own daughter! I’m really not coping. Angel is getting in with a bad crowd, and I feel like I can’t help her because I can’t even help myself! I’m falling apart, Emma-Jane… really badly…”
Then there was more crying. Ugh.
All I could think about was how Clara advised me to go for an intricate nail art manicure when I was on a Debbie downer this past week, which totes saved the day for me. So I suggested that.
Lead balloon, dear readers! Even though I was passing on kosher advice from a real, certified, proper Tavistock psycho-type person!! Talk about ungrateful.
“I just need time, EJ. A bit of time to get my head together, and to find a way forwards… if there is one”, she droned on, while I scanned my Facebook newsfeed for exciting, inflammatory posts on the Singapore Wives’ FB groups. There were some awesome ones, so I set about commenting.
“Mmmm”, I said, helpfully, and inserted other useful phrases at appropriate intervals such as, “Yes, I feel your pain, I understand, you’re so right, I hear you”, and the always fabulous, “And if there’s anything I can do, of course, just let me know. I’m here for you”.
Because of the six-month counselling training I did, I felt sure that I was saying all the right things to get her the F off the phone so that I could get back to my real life.
But no!! It totes back-fired on me!
The next thing is I hear her gushing is: “Oh, really, Emma-Jane?! Are you sure? That would be so helpful! Thank you so so much!! Singapore sounds like a great place for teenagers. I mean, it’s totally safe, right? So much to do, and none of the awful drug problems we have everywhere else. And good schools… I’ve heard about that UWC place. Oh that’s just amazing! Thank you! You don’t know what this means to me. You’re really a wonderful person.”
I had no idea what my step-mutha (she’s younger than me, babes! Yep, even younger!!) was on about. I had to agree with her, though, that I am a wonderful person. So when she said she’d ring UWC asap, and get the flight booked for Angel, what else could I do, babeses, but say, “Um yeah, ok then, sweetie”… What else?! I was cornered. Like a wide-eyed bunny about to be mowed down by a tanker.
The skinny is that, even though we’re expats so we choose to live thousands of miles away from our families, my father’s life is now encroaching upon mine in the most heinous fashion. His 16-year-old step-daughter (not even a blood relative, people, how generous am I?!) is coming to live with us because his infantile wife can’t deal. What, is this dementia thing contagious or what now, now??
The only positive here is that Chantelle recovered her composure enough to end the call, and I managed to make my way out the door in good time, looking very hot. I went to an amazebobs talk by an advertising chick, hosted by some gorgeous babes from SheSays. It’s a bunch of girlies who voluntarily support other girlies to do creative stuff. Which is uber cool, I think, as does my annoyingly smartsville Harvard friend who put me onto it. So the lady, Amy, was talking about storytelling in marketing. I know all about marketing though already, as anyone can tell from my status updates on Expaterati Global. Marketing? Nailed it! Desperation is the key to global domination. Yes, lah. That’s what Mr Gandhi said.