Expat Wives = Swans

Because Milly’s birthday party last year at the casino on Sentosa was such an amazebobs success, I’ve been stressing my gorgeous head off for a way long time about Max’s bday, coming up next month. So the coolest thing has happened, and Seth is defo right about the universe being wise and all that.

Yesterday I went to a beauty workshop held by one of my BFFs here, about Guasha. Now, Guasha itself is incrediblé. It’s basically this little curved tool thing that costs $15, and you put an ocean of coconut oil on your face (or wherever – you can do derrières, arms, legs, the whole caboodle; if you can dream it, you can Guasha it). So you run the thing over your skin, paying particularness attention to wrinkles, should you be in the unfortunate position of possessing them, and by stimulating the lymph you literally rub out said wrinkle-age. The mentalistest thing is that…

Babeses, it bloody works!! 

Ridic, I know, and I wouldn’t believe it had I not done it. Totes truesome though. Insania.

Anyways, so at the Guasha thing I met some really awesome ladeees and I so felt the ladeee luuuuuv goin down. One of them was a horse whisperer who used to be an astronaut. How cool is that??

Another ladeee was something to do with yachts (all these expat wives with jobs!! If I knew we weren’t repatting, I would definitely get one). I’d heard there’s a lot of yacht stuff here, but as I’m an Orchard Roader at <3, I rarely feel the need to venture water-wise, unless I’m on one of my fabulous holidays. Froo Froo and I are crazy about the Tanjong Beach Club, but I like to stay close to the bar and the DJ so the actual water is more of a backdrop. Like The Truman Show.

Anyhoo, yacht chick made me think that we should totes have Max’s party on a yacht!!! That would just kill all the other parties at Polliwogs, Port of Lost Wonder, or at the condo pool. Expat wives can be SO competitive (like a few months back when there was this who-has-lived-in-more-countries jam-shackery), but I choose to rise above all of that by just being a mahusiv lot better. More creative. More expensive. More awesome. That way there’s no need to compete.

So I have to get busy planning. As if I didn’t already have nuff on my plate!! I know that you, dear readers, appreciate the lengths I go to in sharing my glamorous life with you, and that takes up a lot of my time. Don, au contraire, so doesn’t appreciate. He thinks I just swan around from brunch to pedi to Pilates to high tea to cocktails to dinner to activating my hot moves on the dance floor. He doesn’t seem to get that there’s a great deal going on under the surface. He doesn’t realise that I, like most expat wives, am a swan; elegantly gliding through choppy waters, whilst underneath I’m working my hot a** off just to stay afloat.

Here’s me working my hot a** off with my personal trainer, Eva. It’s surprising how stunning I can look during a workout.

 

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Free Anti-Ageing Techniques, For Expats and Non-Expats

I believe I may have mentioned once or twice, that expat wives can be very competitive. Cousin Clara says it’s about, “establishing a hierarchy in a mixed environment, wherein cultural norms such as class system are less clear-cut than among static populations”; but I think it’s more like Froo Froo at Tanjong Beach Club. She does that sniffing thing all dogs do. I won’t degrade her by going into details, but I think you know what I mean.

Anyhoo, today I was lunching with my Expaterati girlies – some friendses and some not so much – and a discussion emerged about personal anti-ageing preferences in the facial region. My totes babesome BFF Flo has had a fair old whack of interventions: regular meet-ups with Lady B, a touch of collagen, a few teensy implants, a little eye-lift, and some other minor bits and bobs. She is gorgeous. Trust me. Hot as.

Au contraire, Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey (why does she still get invited to our lunches??) shuns all beauty enhancements, and instead chooses the Abandon All Hope approach to physical signs of ageing.

As loyal readers will know, I espouse the Ladeee Luuuuuv view, that we ladies should be free to decide what, when, why and how we do whatevs we want with our appearance, as long as we look and feel our utmost hottest at all timeses. And we should totes support each other in those decisions, rather than put sistas down.

Me and the gals were therefore thusly being super supportive when we said to D & G that maybe she should consider doing something about her face; at least opting for waterproof mascara, given the realities of this climate (she seriously looks like an owl and I’m seriously not joking TBH). I feel mahusively sorry for her because I secretly know that her hus is heavily involved with his male PA (I’ve only told six other people, including Flo), so we were doing her a favour by trying to force her to make an effort. For her own sake, you know?! It’s what her Guardian Angel would have wanted.

In a way, we were just being the earthly embodiment of her Guardian Angel. At the time, I even formulated an intention to chant for her in my meditation space with the Buddha water feature and a nice Nag Champa burn, offering up these words: May the Universe throw forth eternal blessings to make Mrs Doom & Gloom look a lot better so that she can be a bit hot, namasté.

So I was serioso horrificated when D & G said to Flo, “I completely respect what you’ve done to your face, and your right to choose that. But I choose not to do those things, so you should respect my right not to. And no offence, but you don’t look your age, or anyone’s age, you just look like someone who has had all kinds of stuff done to your face. You basically look like everyone else who has Botoxed, collagened, and whatever elsed their faces beyond recognition. I don’t even know what you really look like!! Do you?!”

Weeeeellll, that was a step too far, babeses.

I was shocked (Flo was too, though you’d have to know her deep down to see it, due to the lack of facial cues), but I remained sufficiently in retention of my verbal and empathic skills to intervene.

“Hon”, I said, with my sweetest Kate Middleton smile, “Just because you choose to pay zero attention to your appearance, despite the fact that you’re probly pushing 49, and you’ve obviously had way too much sun on your face during your youth, it’s really quite unfair to judge others, ya get me? Partic when they look way hotter than you, and their husband isn’t screwing his dude personal assistant”…

Oopsy!! It just came out! Oh dear. All cool though because almost everyone there (except D & G herself) knew about it anyway. So that was fine.

D & G stared at me, with the weirdest look. It was like a combination of, “I hate you and I want you dead”, and “OMG, babes, thanks so much for letting me know!”

More the latter, I felt, so when she stood up to leave, it seemed right for me to give her a great big hug. People need warmth and intense suffocating closeness after hearing difficult news. I know that because of my six-month counselling training.

After my lovely hug, she left, and I was happy for two reasons: 1. I felt secure in the knowledge that I had done all I could to boost her self-esteem. And B) I wanted to get back to my pastrami Reuben – my only carb and mayo shots this week. No way I’m not going to enjoy that!

Once she was gone, we normal happy ladies had a nice chat about how we manage to look so young. I shared with them two of my amazing anti-ageing gems that are 100% free. Because I am v generous, I will share them with you too, dear readers.

The first one is to think of a beautiful female celebrity who’s at least ten years older than you. Fully appreciate that a ton of work and cash has gone into how she looks. And know that she will always be SO VERY MUCH older than you.

And that’s it! It’s basically my reformulation of Einstein’s theory of relativity, applied to ageing. You’re welcome!

My other genius tip is to say that you’re older than you are. For centuries, women have been making the ridic error of claiming to be younger than they are. Whyee?? If you say you’re younger, people are more likely to be looking at you, thinking, “Yowzer, she looks rough!”. Say you’re five or ten years older though, and they’ll be thinking totes the opposite, begging you to reveal the secrets of your amazebobs youthfulnessification. A great thing about this technique is that after you’ve said it a few times, you will start to partly believe it, so you can fully embrace the positive feedback you receive.

Then, unless you develop an as yet unclassified mental health disorder of believing your own age lie, you’ll also partly still not believe it, which will remind that you’re really 35 not 45 (or 50 not 60, 60 not 70, you get the pic). That’ll keep you totes aware of how young you actually are, in contrastation with the age you’ll be a decade from now.

All my girlies agreed that both ideas are incredibly wise. So it’s fair to say that this proves beyond reasonable doubt that if you follow these strategies, along with my previously provided beauty advice and my fashion go-tos, you can be as hot as me for many years to come. If only D & G read my blog. It could save her marriage. There’s just no helping some people. Shame.

 

Froo Froo in her dokini at Tanjong Beach Club. Even the dog is hotter than Mrs Doom & Gloom.

Froo Froo in her dokini at Tanjong Beach Club. Even the dog is hotter than Mrs Doom & Gloom.

 

Win a Night Out With Me & My Expaterati Girlies!!!

To celebrate my birthday month, I am inviting one awesome reader to join me and my Expaterati girlies at the Hard Rock Hotel Singapore venue, the Coliseum, to see my London Queen Charli XCX (you know, that Boom Clap song), on the 22nd of April. Boozeness in this lovely intimate venue is on moi! For a chance be That Person, contact me at emmajane.austenjones@gmail.com, or tweet @expatEJ, telling me why you are the babester, guy or gal, that I should pick.

The deadline to apply for this incrediblé fun-ness opportunity is the 15th of April, so get those fingers typing! For dear readers who don’t live in Singapore, I’m so soz, but flights and accommodation are not included : (. I will, however, pick you up from the airport in my soft-top Maserati, bring a mahusiv welcome sign with your name on it to the arrivals gate, and shower you with a magnum of Veuve Click.

Can’t wait to hear from you!!

EJ x

(NB. This is a genuine offer, but you must be willing to have a wild night out with a fictional character in a red wig and her non-fictional friends.)

The Great Big Bagel Debacle

bagels

I was mega-busy this morning with The Fake Scale campaign (deets coming soon, peeps, and a gazillion thanks to the ladies who have come forward to co-captain the mission). Because yesterday was no-helper day, I got abso nada done and I really need to get the logo sorted. Argh!! I should also launch a campaign to get Don to agree to a second helper. It’s just ridic how much I have to do on Sundays. Cleaning the juicer is shear hell, and I’m sposed to do that at the same time as supervising the irritants!! How, might I ask?? Don, of course, does not feel my pain. 

I was v busy with #thefakescale for a good 36 minutes, but then I had a brunch date at Sacha’s with the Expaterati girlies – some friendses, some not so much. The meet-up wasn’t until 11AM, and although it’s only a little walk across the street for me, I had to leave home an hour early, to take the long route and get lots of steps in. I’ve joined up with some of the girlies to compete on getting our daily Fitbit 10,000 steps, and I knew they’d be at the brunch. Frankly, I’m not doing so well. I’m only in the lead most days because I put the damn thing around Froo Froo’s leg when the helper takes her out, or some nights I just wave my arm back and forth a lot. Cheating like that isn’t part of my modus operandi and must be doing untold damage to my chi : (

So I knew I’d be seeing the Fitbit gang, and I abso had to get my numbers up. Expat wives can be so competitive!! Ugh. I did quite awesomely though, arriving at Sacha’s with a lovely healthy glow, in my hot gym gear. Some of us ladies can really rock the gym bunny look, while others, unfortunately, can’t rock any look. That’s what I was pondering while air-kissing the assembled wife tribe. A couple of the not so much friendses had obviously made an effort to look their best, but ouch!! If I wasn’t so busy, I would become a fashion consultant for expat wives. I did a weeklong course once on iconic looks for tropical weather at the London College of Fashion, so I’d be fab at it.

The brunch was fairly fun, with everyone saying how brilliantly I’m doing to keep coming out on top with the steps, but then emerged: the bagel debacle.

Doom and Gloom Wifey started to critique the bagels, saying that it’s so difficult to find a decent bagel in Singapore, and that there just doesn’t seem to be a genuine New York bagel anywhere. “It’s absurd!”, she said, “We’re only 10,000 miles away from NYC. It’s 2015! We should be able to get anything everywhere! How hard can it be?!”

Ever the voice of reason, Flo responded, “Babe, I’m sorry, but what’s the big deal? This place uses proper Jewish recipes, and the bagels here are amazebobs. You’re not from New York. You’re not even American!”

“Well you’re not even Jewish!”, D & G retorted. God, she’s rude.

“No, but neither are you!”, Flo said, looking a bit flustered by that point, but only I could tell. You have to really know her because her face gives little away.

“No, I’m a Buddhist who knows a shitload about bagels, so screw you!”

O. Em. Gee.

I wanted to intervene, but my mouth was full of Reuben. Before I could say something wise to rescue the situation, D & G had picked up her gigantic LV handbag (this season! so jelly of that bag!!), saying, “I’m late for an appointment”, and swooshed away. Oh dear. I hate to take anyone off my awesome Facebook page, but that kind of behaviour is just intolerable. It’ll only get worse. She has to go.

Eight Types of Expat Husband & Further Scientificated Subdivisions

One of the 839 blogs I follow is called Wine and Cheese Doodles, by an amazebobs babe called Dina Honour, and I, like everyone else, totes loved her post Nine Expats You’ll Meet Abroad. As a tribute to her for her birthday – which must be some time this year – (and no, I am so NOT going to say “in Honour of”), I decided to write a post on the types of expat husband roaming around out there.

As we all know, men aren’t consistent in their personalities like we ladies are. On the whole, they’re way more neurotic than us, which is why they’re always calling us neurotic (it’s a projection, babeses). So to accommodate the mahusiv chasm that exists between their inner and outer selves, I have created a highly scientificated systemisation of subdivision for each type: how they are “On Road”, as they say in certain parts of London (that means in public, peeps), versus how they are at home.

For extra depth, I’m adding another subsection of geographical metaphoricality: if he was a place, what place would he be? (I know, coolest idea of all time. Mine, por supuesto.)

Awesomely, I’ve already mentioned a bunch of guys I can use as examples, starting with my darling husband, Don.

Photo credit: http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net

Photo credit: http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net

Don the Extremely Successful Family Man 

(Who didn’t have to become an expat to be successful because we were quite well off already, thank you very much indeedy.)

On Road: Socially impeccable. Men want to be him, and women want to be with him. The ladies love him, but they know he has an amazebobs wife who they can’t possibly compete with. Ferget it, Ladeees!

At Home: Well, rarely. He’s just so busy. Understandable. When he is home, he’s the daddy of the goddamn decade though, if you know what I’m talking about. Always being the fun parent (just to piss me off), and bearing gifts for the children and the help.

If he was a place he’d be: Singapore, Manhattan, London. On rotation.

 

Will the Player

On Road: Charming initially, but then really boring and a bit nasty when you get to know him. He left his small town for the “big time” (big according to him) so long ago that he has no clue who he is and is sorely in need of a reality check. Despite being married, he seeks out other women to make himself feel like he isn’t just an irrelevant ageing piece of sh**, and tends to succumb to intense bouts of yellow fever. (And no, I’m totes not saying that because I’m angry or bitter. Nothing ever happened, so don’t even go there or you’re ridic.)

At Home: Kinda depends on who you ask. If you ask him, he’ll say he’s a great father and a long-suffering husband. Hmmmm. Ask his wife over a few glasses of wine, and she’ll tell you he’s a narcissistic, arrogant, aloof piece of what I already said. I haven’t seen her for a while though. I heard she has stopped drinking. Can’t last.

If he was a place he’d be: Las Vegas, or possibly Tijuana.

 

Matt the Outdoorsy, Everything is AWESOME Enthusiast

On Road: He’s super excited to be an expat, and is constantly going to hawker markets or to Malaysia, or Myanmar or whatevs. He only does all that stuff because he has a boring job, and he isn’t as successful as the other chaps in our Expaterati crew. If it wasn’t for his wife, Liz, adding a touch of glamour, he’d be a completes expat nobody.

At Home: I imagine Matt is a pussy cat at home. He’s so annoyingly enthusiastic that he mainly wants to go hiking at the weekends, and do all those trips to “real” Asia type places. He wouldn’t be seen dead in one of my divine Orchard Road malls, which explains why he dresses so badly.

If he was a place he’d be: Ummm, Luxembourg? In his head, Nepal.

 

Zach the Needs-to-Grow-a-Pair Trailing Spouse

On Road: Because of his combination of emasculation and techy-ness, men love him. He’s totes non-threatening, and he knows all kinds of fascinating (yawnicus!!) stuff about what’s happening in Silicone Valley. Women, other than me, think he’s SO cute and “suuuuuch an amazing dad” because he’s the stay-at-home spouse. He goes to PTA meetings and Baby Mozart BS. He gets a ton of kudos for what we ladies (by which I mean our helpers, of course, so it’s vicarious, but that still totes counts) do anyway, but really everyone knows he’s just whupped.

At Home: I don’t know them that well, but I have it on excellent authority from my friend Flo that Zach is a mega-diva behind closed doors. Apparently he properly throws his toys out of the pram at Sarah when they’re on their own. He obvioso knows deep down what a big loser he is.

If he was a place he’d be: Surrey, or San Fran in the rain.

 

My Father – Serial Expat and All-Round Wuzgunna Guy

On Road: Throughout his expatness, he was a lot like Don in that the men looked up to him, and the women were all over him. He has been everywhere, done everything, and is always up for a round of golf. Unlike Don, though, my father has a majorly roving eye. So I suppose he’s a bit of a Will too.

At Home: I’ve already gone into that. Even now that he’s retired, he acts like he’s lord of the bloody manor, living out some latter-day colonial fantasy.

If he was a place he’d be: Noosa, Kensington, Hong Kong, and Mumbai (all rolled into one).

 

Fred the Closet Gay But Otherwise BEST Husband EVERRRR

On Road: This chappie has an amazebobs social set, and is, on every level, the ideal husband on road and at home. He goes to tons of great parties, and knows the coolest people on the island, all thanks to his gentleman PA of whom he is extremely fond. I think I should add another item to my New Year’s Resolutions: to be-friend this dude so that I can run around with his crowd.

At Home: Considering what a moh-foh nightmare his wife is, she is blessed beyond reason to have landed such a great catch. Fred is super nice, super good-looking (in that eyelashey gay way), and super generous. He encourages her to buy designer handbags twice a season (!), and he books massages and spa treatments for her, on his own initiative. And he travels a lot! Yet the wife is still miserable!! Wtf, woman? What more could you want in a man?? Spoilt much?!

If he was a place he’d be: Florence, Brighton, Melbourne, and a juicy hot chunk of Bangkok.

 

OK, so now I’ve run out of guys I’ve mentioned before, but there are two more mega-important types of expat husband that I can’t leave out:

Mr I’m So Much Richer Than You (“I’m here for tax reasons”)

On Road: This guy is a major charm factory, similar to the player type. Women lurv him (another chap with no immunity to yellow fever). Men pretend to like him because he’s such a BSD (msg me if you don’t know what that is), but really they only want to beat him at squash to reassure themselves that money isn’t everything. LOL, yeah right.

At Home: His wife hates him because he chose money over what they left behind. (Ladies, stop with the hating! Nothing wrong with that!!) So he, too, is rarely home due the haters who live there, ie the wifey and their four embittered teenage kids.

If he was a place he’d be: Well, Singapore, I suppose… Or Monaco if he’s the real deal.

 

Mr WHOOP-WHOOP, I’M GOING TO MAKE PILES OF CASH!

On Road: This is the bloke who tops up his housing and car allowance with his own money (or even savings! ARGH!!) because he is labouring under the misapprehension that he is suddenly loaded. He is noticeably extravagant, and overly generous, which makes him a popular party guy. Quite annoying after a while though, because his underlying sense of inferiority causes him to compete over the teensiest things; way sillier than what we wives compete about.

At Home: He watches a lot of TV, particularly property shows (because he’s so chuffed about the idea of his negative equity house back home earning some rental income), and keeps himself and his family constantly entertained. This is because, if he allowed himself a single moment of reflection, he would realise that he is spending a shedload more money indulging his wealth fantasies than he is earning. Yes, that old chestnut! He also can’t let his wife think too much because then she’d be bashed in the face by the revelation that they’re going to be expats forever, whether they like it or not.

If he was a place he’d be: Any places from Disney movies, or Dubai. But really Detroit.


If you think there are any other types of expat hus then I can assure you that, based on my astute intuitive knowledge and perigrin-like observational skills, you are wrong. BUT because I am totes mega-ly open-minded, I welcome your (wrong) comments. For your sake, dear wifely readers, I am wishing you a combination of Don and Fred – without the gayness if you prefer.

On a final note, I can only apologise for not including a section on expat husbands in same sex marriages. I’m afraid that I haven’t met any married gay male couples among the Expaterati, and the only gay husbands I know personally are Elton and Dave. They don’t count as expats in my book, so it’s really a grey area for moi. If anyone knows about this stuff, babeses, please get in touch and write a guest post for me. You can even have a profit-share of the vast income I earn from my work as a celebrité blogger.

The Who-Has-the-Most-Starbucks-Country-Mugs Competition

Since getting back from Boracay, I’ve had a bonkers busy week, what with the kids off school, and trying to find reasons not to spend time with them. The helper has taken them to a few things, so I should stop beating myself up about it. Us mummies! We can be so unkind to ourselves!!

Yesterday I went to meet up with some of the mums from Max’s class PTA, which I wouldn’t normally do (tons of emails to delete about all this parent involvement stuff argh!). It’s a new year though, so I’m all about opening my heart chakra to people I don’t really want to hang out with. It won’t last.

I was a little bit late because I got chatting with our pool guy about his incredibly tedious life. I think it’s important to maintain a positive rapport with the staff, as consistently demonstrated in my favourite TV show, Downton Abbey. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: it would really have suited me to live back then. Way more my scene.

The PTA meeting was at a Starbucks near the school, and serioso, what unfolded was worse than I could possibly have imagined. Apparently, everyone else reads the emails! When I arrived, I got only the slightest nod of an acknowledgment, and no thank you whatsoever for bothering to show up! They just kept on talking about the emails.

I felt like such an outcast!! In that moment, I took on the feelings that every politically marginalised and oppressed person must experience. I felt like Nelson Mandela. I felt like Aung San Suu Kyi.

I was still reeling from my oppression when a conversation started about who had the most Starbucks mugs from different countries.

Boracay mug

I have 28, which I thought was amazebobs, but some of the other ladies had so many more!! Argh! One woman had 115, but the winner by miles was the chick who had a mug from the Forbidden City. Wow, mega-mundo impressed!! She got that in like the five minutes before the po-lice shut it down. (Yes. The po-lice shut it down, I believe.)

I cannot stand competitive expat wives. It’s just embarrassing. I’m totes not jealous though. That’s not my modus operandi. I’m not a big douche, am I, dear readers? Nope.

So it was a complete accident when I stood up to do some spontaneous flash mob yoga, and my knee knocked Forbidden-City-Mug-Woman’s hot skinny latte into her not so skinny lap. Oooopsy! That’s my tree pose for you!! I always get a perfect angle on it, consequences be damned. I just can’t help myself.

Perfect Angle

I should probably be a yoga teacher, but the thing is that it would be a lot like Starbucks because I would put all the other teachers out of business. Because of my awesomeness. So I mustn’t go there. Don’t worry, lovely Singapore Yogis, I’ll leave you to it! I know how hard you’re trying : )

The Who-Has-Lived-in-More-Countries Competition

I feel really really really peeved today, following a conversation with one of those irritating expat wives who thinks she knows it all. These women get on my nerves. Let’s call her “Betty”. (I know she writes a blog too – about her fascinating travels, of course – so I wouldn’t want her to be identifiable.)

Anyway, so I was at a lunch with a few ladies, having a nice chat with Michelle (argh! should I tell her about what her husband did?! Awkward!!), and then this Betty pipes up and starts going on about their last country, and all the other ones she has lived in. She listed all the countries, and while other people were trying to talk about something else, she just kept at it. So annoying and immature! I’ve lived in more countries than you, Ms Betty Boo, so you can just stfu!!

Finally, someone else managed to get a word in, and the topic changed to expat/ third culture kids, and how fun it is for them to move around all the time. Then, Betty threw herself with full force back into the conversation, but this time tried to tell everyone how her kids are so much more third culture than everyone else’s!

My kids may be younger, but they’re just as TC as hers. I hope she leaves soon, and then she can add another country to her stupid list.

The only thing that is making me feel slightly better is that I noticed they’re opening a new Vietnamese restaurant in the Paragon. There’s really nothing like a good pho.