Toodlepip, My Loves! It’s Been REAL!!

Want to say a mahusiv thanks to everyone who came to my gigs last week, and for the three people in the whole expat wife community who didn’t make, I’m sure you had a good excuse (like husband away and helper sick). So for you, I’ll put the clip in this post.

I was meant to leave Singapore on Friday, but a series of rather wonderful occurrences occurred, so I thought HEY, why not just stay?! Hotels don’t give you the bill until you leave, right? So all I have to do is stay long enough to make some major cash (somehow), and then I’ll be able to afford the Raffles invoice.

Given that Agent Provocateur (the brand of my trademark sunnies) didn’t come through with the $2bn sponsorship deal I put to them, I’m pretty sure that Chanel (my new glasses) will be up for it. I’m happy to negotiate because hello, this is Chanel we’re talking about, so I could probably meet them at $1.9 or even $1.75bn. I’ll leave it up to them. They seem to know what they’re doing, so they’ll figure out what’s fair here.

That was my plan A, and then… Then I did my second sell-out gig from my sell-out tour of the whole of Asia but only in Singapore, at Chijmes. A lovely audience member tweeted this pic of me extolling the virtues of Grant Property, and now I’m thinking that they would most likely also love the opportunity to sponsor me as an emerging Asia expat (sort of) talent (totes).

Grant Property

 

Armed with Plans A and B, I also realised that I didn’t get to finish my second Tekka Market joke at the Blu Jaz, so I really need another shot at that. Plus, it has been so amazing hanging out in the sun that it just made zero sense to dash back to London.

Then the most incrediblé thing of all happened…

So you know that I met up with Mrs Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey last week, and that she is none of the above anymore, and that I actually started to like her because she has turned into a proper person with sensible values like partying and handbags, but then she said she’s getting her blog published, and mysteriously I didn’t like her anymore and considered throwing myself off the Swissôtel (I’m a complex person, as you know, dear readers).

Well. Crazy upon crazy, she came to my first gig and she brought a friend with her who’s a talent agent, and he loved me!! Not only that, but she showed my blog to her publisher and… He loves me too!!! OMFG!!!

So I’m like WOW, I have at least a gazillion reasons to stay in Singas, and only a few little crappy ones to go back to London, not counting the irritants. They’re fine with Don. He knows where their clothes and schools are, and has apparently hired a housewife I mean housekeeper. Oopsy, it’s just too easy to mix those things up, isn’t it?

Over the coming months, I need to assemblé my past posts into a book, as requested by the publisher, so I’ll be too busy to blog. Hashtag sad face. I’ll miss each and every one of you, and I know the feeling is mutual, despite you missing me more.

I might pop up occasionally, but it’s best I keep a low profile, in case Don thinks I should come back, and what with being on a tourist visa and all that.

I think, dearest readers, that I might be experiencing an epiphanification. I used to believe that I had worked hard to get where I was, to be an expat wife – like my mother before me, and her mother before her. Now that I have suffered the torture of repatriation, and returned to my spiritual homeland of warm nights on roof terraces, weekends in Bali, the peace of separation from family, the eternal transitions and exciting losses, the shopping, the laughter, the wonderful quicksand of the Unknown and Unknowable… Now I realise that this is where I was born to be. Not an expat wife, but a free soul: embracing the now, leaving behind that which no longer serves, and taking lots of selfies along the way. Descartes was wrong when he quotheded “I think therefore I am”. Or maybe not wrong, just not right anymore. Here, today, I have likes and followers therefore I am. There are 7.4 billion people in the world today, but I am somebody. And some people are more somebody than others.

 

This was my diary.

Love love love

EJ xx

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Eyes, lah ; )

 

 

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Expat Marital Bliss & How To Achieve It

Marriage

As I have previously mentioned, marriage among the Expaterati is a notoriously tricky business.

My explanation for this phenomenonamo is that most expat men are a bit crap, but Cousin Clara the psychologist thinks it’s because, “for the nomadic couple, a tremendous strain is exerted upon the marital bond”. We were Skyping in the course of my research for this post, and she said that, “throughout the upheavals and transitions, the joys and the losses, the only other adult who remains a constant is the spouse. So it is that one person who is consistently present to mirror back aspects of the other’s self, while both individuals’ identities go through intense periods of flux… not dissimilar to the challenging transitional phases experienced during adolescence. As such, the relationship – or the third presence in the couple, as I like to look at it – has to hold the difficult process of two separate personalities simultaneously undergoing extreme environmental and emotional changes”.

Now I have no idea what she was on about, but I also read a bizarre story by a ditched expat wifey, and that basically supports my theory. That said, Clara is supposedly the one with all the professional qualifications and experience, so I am willing to humour her (although we all know that my more direct beingness in the Expaterati trenches, backed up by my six-month counselling training, is way more valuable). So it remains a matter of conjecture, why exactly it’s harder to stay married as an expat than as a not-expat, but the fact is that is just effing is. Trust me.

I am therefore going to impart my expert knowledge on how to achieve expat marital bliss, by addressing seven key issues.

1. The spouse travelling a lot
For many corporate roles, frequent travel and spousal absence is a given. The best way to deal with this, in pursuance of marital bliss, is to see it as a great gift from heaven. When your hub is away, ladies, this is an ideal opportunity to be that young woman you once were at university, but now you have tons of cash to really get out there (which I did at uni anyway, but not everyone did, I am told). Your life is your own once more, especially if you don’t work and you have full-time help. You can knit, if you so choose, or you can go out dancing all day and night with your crew. Whatever you want!

2. If you have a job too
Should you find the time to have a job, you fall into a special category, in that I’m afraid you will be required to work triple-hard at expat marital bliss. You will, of course, have two helpers (lucky you!! I want a second helper so badly!!), but you will also need an executive assistant to book date nights, buy gifts for your husband, order your new season lingerie from Agent Provocateur, and so on. Unfortunately not all EAs in the workplace are amenable to taking on personal chores. I would therefore suggest that you get yourself on oDesk – other online freelance platforms are available – and hire a remote assistant located in the Philippines or India. They’re an absolute steal!

Once you’ve got that covered, you will have more time to address the other, more important issues, such as items 5 and 7 below.

3. The spouse being at home
Far worse than the hus being away is when he comes home. During these trying times, the wife needs to adapt to having another child in the house. Some husbands expect to eat dinner with their wives and families when they’re in town, so it is best to find endurance strategies, rather than wallow in resentment. Wallowing will only cost you more in Botox, and will irreparably damage your chi. So my advice is that when he is home, exploit your daytime freedom as much as you can, and, should you be called upon for wifely duties, use the following mantra:

This is only for today. He will be gone again soon. 

Additional chanting, meditation, yoga, and wine are also very helpful to counter the stresses of spousal presence.

4. Going on holiday
Holidays can be a highly anxiety-provoking time for the expat wife, and therefore constitute a major obstacle in achieving marital bliss. My counsel to you is, if at all possible, take the helper with you. Borrow someone else’s too. Take as many helpers as you can.

Unfortunately, Don believes that “family holidays are for the family”, so I’m a little screwed on that front. If you share my horrific predicament, I have three words for you: kids’ club, and babysitting. Go there, babeses. Find hotels with lots of kiddie services. Child-friendly cruises are also an excellent option. If you don’t, you will be overwhelmed with 24/7 irritant-duty, and thusly, the “third presence in the couple”, ie the relationship, will inevitably go down the scheister. Not only will you have an awful holiday, but you may well be metaphorically signing your Decree Absolute.

No helper and no kids’ club? Wave b’bye to your marriage right now, or don’t go on hol. Unless you have no kids, in which case, go you! Have a fantastic trip!!

5. Looking hot
To subsist – nay, thrive – as a member of the Expaterati, it is important to maintain a high standard of self-care (you can check out my complete guide to expat wife beauty and wellbeing here), and this has a dramatic impact on marital bliss. As a wifey, other expat husbands need to be looking at you and thinking, “DAMN, she’s hot!”. If nothing else, you owe that to your husband. You took the vows, baby! So you have to put your a** where your mouth was. Do everything in your power to look as hot as humanely permissible. If you can dream it, you can be it, Ladies!! (I know, I should be a life coach. I just don’t have time! There is way too much pressure these days on women to do it all!)

6. Intimacy and stuff like that
There is an abundance of threat to the sexual relationship of expat couples. Most men have not been vaccinated against yellow fever, and when they encounter – day in, day out – these predatory petite Asian girlies telling them how handsome they are, they really start to believe their own press. As a wifey, there is very little that we can do to change the behaviour of these women, but what we can do is keep our husbands grounded, and withhold sex when necessary. They’ll thank us in the long-run. So remind your hus that he is not all that and a bag of chips. Let him know that you’re there for him despite his rapid physical decline, except when you’re out having fun, or busy reading all the posts on the Real Singapore Expat Wives FB group.

7. Follow your own bliss
As men frequently tell each other, “Happy wife, happy life”. I have heard various interpretations of this phrase, but the one I choose to adopt is that, as wifeys, our main priority is to be happy. We have made the ultimate sacrifice in travelling a bajillion miles away from our friends, families, and often our careers (albeit to awesome places with awesome weather and cheap staff!!), so we thereby earn a free pass to focus on Number One.

So, Ladies, see this time as a beautiful lull between youth and the menopause (and beyond, if there is a beyond), when you can fully self-actualise. Have nail art mani-pedis whenever the urge takes you. Stay on top of the fashion news, and shop accordingly. Do some delightful charity work with the needy. Or get a job. Some of my Expaterati girlies have got themselves jobs recently, and I’m starting to wonder if I should get one myself. I could buy an awesome Hermés briefcase.


There you have it, dear readers: my ground-breaking study on how to achieve expat marital bliss. Follow this advice, and I guarantee that you too will remain a happy, fulfilled expat Mrs for many years to come.

No need to thank me, babeses, but be a love and click one of the share buttons below. All my share counts reset to zero when I upgraded my site, so I’m in need of some bliss myself on that front. I know, right?! Poor moi! First world problems are totes still problems.