I’ve been a little bored today (I know!! Shock, horror, right?!) because everyone I know was at the Diane Von Furstenberg talk for Singapore Fashion Week, and I couldn’t go because I had to take Milly for an urgent dental appointment. Kids! The bane of my existence.
The appointment lasted just long enough to miss half of the DVF, but not long enough to take up the rest of my morning. There weren’t even any Mega Threads on Facebook : (. As I was at a loose end, I took myself off down Orchard Road, and was hit by a dreadful new insight (I wish I wasn’t so keenly self-aware; it truly is a curse, not a blessing). I wandered through the shops from Orchard Central to the Paragon to Taka, then on to the Ion and Tang’s and Wheelock and the Forum and the Palais Renaissance, and it was just as I was getting my third coffee of the morning at Tanglin Mall that I realised that there was absolutely nothing I needed to buy. Not even vaguely needed, and I am running out of places to put things at home. The helper has, for some reason known only to herself, stopped tidying away my stuff in the bedroom and in my dressing room. Instead she just leaves things pretty much where I’ve dumped them, and puts them into piles that get higher and higher. One of the piles fell over yesterday and Froo Froo got taken out by a Tampax box and a v heavy pair of socks. She nearly lost an eye! I need to have strong words with the help about this hazardous issue. Maybe I’ll send her a text later.
So it felt really depressing that there’s a ton of nice stuff out there to buy, and I couldn’t buy any of it!! I don’t think this has ever happened to me before, and it was quite upsetting. While I was waiting in the coffee queue at Brunetti’s, guess who appeared, to brighten my day (noooooot!!)… Mrs Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey. Ugh. I didn’t want to risk getting into conversation about the last time we met (when I happened to mention that her hus engages in intimate relations with his male PA), and she gave no indication of recalling it, so I asked her if she was going to any of the Fashion Week events. I told her I’m going to an awesome party this Friday night at H & M, and I’m struggling to get an invite to Victoria Beckham’s thingie on the last day. Annoying!
“Oh hell no”, she said, “I’m not going to any of that nonsense! A celebration of vanity!! An Emperor’s New Clothes charade of telling fools they need more stuff, stuff that’ll end up in landfill! Better to send money to Nepal than spend it on lining corporate pockets! What a complete waste of human endeavour. It disgusts me how much these brands are making. The margins are obscene! And I don’t know if this is true, but I heard that the so-called high-end shops – god what a stupid term – don’t even pay rent here… Can you believe that?! Because their presence alone is so valuable to the big malls. Madness. I hope it’s not true.”
“Uh yeah, I heard that too, but it’s defo not truesome”, I said when I could get a word in, “Because someone in the um… high-end retailing business told me it’s not, and why would they lie?”
D & G stared at me, like she thought I was making a joke, and I decided to just keep on talking.
“And I don’t think it’s that fair to say that because something is expensive it’s a complete waste of human endeavication. Most of this stuff is amazebobs, and super well made and lovely, so designer items will be a credit to anyone’s wardrobe for years to come. Investment pieces, you know?”
“Ha, ‘investment pieces’! Lol!! You really buy that idea? That’s what they say when they’re trying to persuade people to part with ridiculously huge sums of money for things that no one actually needs! And you say ‘for years to come’, but this time next year, or even in a few months’ time, there’ll be another range of Chanel espadrilles that makes the last ones look dated.”
I noticed that I hadn’t inhaled or blinked for ages, such was my dismay at the anti-capitalist ranting to which I was bearing witness.
I grabbed my skinny decaf latte from the counter, and said, “Babes, I gotta run! Great, as always, chatting to you. You have such interesting thoughts. Ok byeeee!!”
I didn’t wait to hear her reply, and dashed downstairs to Cold Storage. At least I always need food! And it was lucky I did because they had a fab offer on for Marlborough Sauv Blanc (must tell thousands of expat wives about that via the FB groups… Wait, actually no must not because then they’ll sell out). After sorting out the delivery order for 60 bottles, I made my way back down Orchard, stopping at Chanel to get a new and improved pair of espadrilles. I realised I’d been salivating when D & G mentioned them, so it was indeedy fortuitous that she reminded me! The shoe cupboards, at least, have apparently remained within the helper’s self-assigned remit, and there is ample space for more footwear. Thank goodness for that!!