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.

Advertisements

Just the Usual Expat Hol in Paradise

A spot of beach art, where the other half (3/4? 7/8?) lives.

A spot of beach art, where the other half (3/4? 7/8?) lives.

Following my completes crappola Chrimbo (who would have thought it would’ve sucked so badly that morning when I was making my Expat Exmas Message, like Her Maj?), we are now on our fabulous holiday in Boracay. Boragrad, if you must know, babeses, LOL.

Another top-notch hotelee por supesto, to wind away all the stresses and strains of my equally fabulous life. That said, even with the kids’ club, I’m rather wishing we’d brought the help along. I had forgotten the full horror of the tedium that bath and bedtime can be with Max and Mills. I am having to do it myself!! And I don’t mean supervising! So, after a full day of lounging in the sun, and attending to my rigorous health and beauty regime at the gym and spa, I then get myself all worked up on the few evenings we don’t hire a sitter, thanks to the irritants. Well happy bleeping holidays to me! Don, as always, said that bringing the helper was “unconscionable”, and that holidays should be just the family. Hmmmmm. This means that I don’t really have a holiday!! Which leads me to conclude that:

Paradise – Help = Almost Hell

Gandhi said something very similar when he observed that, “Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as”… I’ve lost the rest of the quote, but the skinny is that it’s totes ideal for me to depend on my helper because she depends on us for her livelihood; and it’s totes reasonable for me to have a bit of a sh** hol without her.

As if things weren’t bad enough, guess, dear readers, who is here. One of my all-time least favourite members of the Singapore Expaterati: Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey. Ugh-amundo. I know you feel my pain.

On our very first day here, I noticed Mills in the pool, playing with another little girl who looked vaguely familiar. Returning my attention to my iPad edition of Vogue, I heard a kerfuffle from the pool, as an adult waded in – yes, D & G Wifey – telling Milly to stop pulling the other girl’s hair. Oh Lordy, Mills! Being the responsible parent that I am, I had no choice but to put down my iPad, and dive elegantly into the pool, to pretend to reprimand Milly. Poor kid. The other little girl, Janine, has obviously inherited her mother’s dour looks and tote lack of humour, so I’m sure she got nothing more than she deserved, but what else could I do??

Once I’d forced Mills into a half-arsed apology, I then had to make polite conversation with D & G: how lovely to bump into you, what a coincidence (yeah, right), how’s your hol, are you having a good time, ra ra ra.

She was apparently gagging for someone to talk to, because she launched straight into her standard doom and gloom diatribe. I noted from her lack of woven resort bag (only available to the upper echelons) that she must not be staying in one of the villas. Probably in the main cell block. In the timeless words of Beyoncé, “Sucks to be you right nooooow”. Wise woman, that Queen Bee.

“Oh, I suppose I’m having a good time…” she began, her dull preamble warning of so much worseness ahead.

“I wanted to go home for Christmas, or maybe skiing, but Fred’s PA couldn’t take much time off, so Fred decided we’d better not go too far away. And they’re flying back before me and the kids anyway.”

“But, babes”, I told her, “Skiing is just so wet and cold, and accidenty. And England is totes miz right now, with the yucky climate, and all that economy stuff… still… I think… Here we’ve got the beautiful relaxing beach, and the lovely weather… Um, apart from the whole tropical storm thang, but that’ll pass”.

“Yeah, I know….,” she said, and for a moment I thought she might shut up, so that I could dash back to my sun bed. Alas, alack, and mega-bummer, I was profoundly mistaken. She went on.

“It’s just that we’ve been on so many of these trips: Bali, Langkawi, Krabi, Koh Samui, Yogyakarta, Hoi An…”, she continued, as I switched off and admired how smooth my freshly waxed Brazilian was looking.

“Bla bla bla, fa ba na noo fa bla, and at this point, the whole of Southeast Asia has just merged into one big blur of white sand, palm trees, and resorts. When I look back over the years, I can barely distinguish one holiday from the next. How sad is that?!”

I re-engaged with her bla when I noticed that the gel nail on my thumb was lifting, and much as I loathe nail-biting, I found myself gnawing at it.

“And what really gets me is”, she droned on, “I’m getting so tired of being the well-off Westerner, surrounded by locals calling me Ma’am, who bow and scrape in the name of good customer service. I can’t relax when I know that the people around me are so much worse off. It’s the inequality of it all! What does it teach our children?”

[OH GOD, kill me!! JUST KILL ME NOW!!!, I thought prettily.]

“And Thailand! Just awful. We were there last year for Christmas, and I heard such incredibly devastating stories about the tsunami. Whole families, wiped out. Babies, children. I thought, how can I sit on this idyllic beach, knowing what happened right here, just a few years ago? Horrendous.”

I tasted thick saltiness, and looked down at my thumb to find that it was bleeding. The woman was boring me so much that I had actually started to bite off my own hand. Enough was enough.

“Darling sweetie babes”, I managed to say, following a quick check-in with my higher power, “The fact is that without us well-off whities coming and spending our spondooli, these nice people wouldn’t even have jobs. We’re doing them a favour! The least we can do is have a good time, honey. Don’t we owe them that much?!”

I hoped that my impassioned words might turn the situation around, but she got her mouth straight back in there: “That’s a ridiculous argument! The fact is that our spondooli, as you call it, is because of disproportionate salaries, earned through the exploitation of people just like the ones working in this hotel, borne out of their disadvantage and our good fortune. We did nothing to deserve this, any more than they deserve the poverty they come from!”

O
EM
GEE

I found, then, that I was sucking my (half-eaten, bloody) thumb – something I haven’t done since childhood. Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey woman, I shouted silently in my head, it’s only Day One, and you have RUINED my holiday.

Gott sei dank, D & G’s helper suddenly appeared from nowhere, saying, “Ma’am, I am the one to take Janine for her nap?”

D & G nodded, “Yes please, Reyann”.

“Well, that’s lovely anyway!”, I chipped in, determined now to either lift this bleeping woman’s mood or get the bejesus away from her.

“At least you have the help with you!! Lucky old you, babes! Don never wants to do that, and frankly it’s a nightmare come truesome!”

“You say that”, (oh ffs, despite my awesome adorableness of niceness, she was finding a way to persist), “but the thing is that I knew she would have a better Christmas here with us than lonely in Singapore, while all her friends are working, or if we sent her home to her family. When she goes home, she comes back a stone lighter, and completely exhausted. Do you know what she does when she has a holiday at home?”

It was patently clear that I didn’t give a rat’s bottom, but evidently the woman has none of my empathic or intuitive skills when it comes to observing the responses of others. Instead of noticing that I was desperate to get back to Vogue, she…

Kept.

On.

Talking.

“She works on the family farm! For fifteen hours a day, every day! Can you believe that?! And not only that -”

While she was talking, her husband’s PA sauntered over, a vision in white linen.

“Mrs Davis,” he murmured – golly, such a treacle voice for a man! how divine!!, “Mr Davis asked me to tell you that he and I unfortunately have work to do, and will be gone for some time. He’s so sorry. He booked you a few treatments at the spa, and I’m awfully sorry I didn’t let you know earlier, because the first appointment is in five minutes. There’s a buggy waiting for you at the lobby. You should probably hurry. Have a great time!”

And with that, the delightful cloud of a man floated away on the honeyed gusts of his own voice.

What a charming chappie, I thought, and how fortuitous that:

A. D & G’s sweet husband had booked her a pile of fab treatments,

and

2.) She was gone, and I wouldn’t have to listen to her hideous whining any longer.

 

I got back to my Vogue, but promptly fell asleep. I must have been plain plum tuckered by that woman’s chi. Assaulted, I would say. I have had to do a veritable sh**load of chanting since then to cleanse myself.

Weekends Are the Mega-ly Worst Part of the Week

The weekend is abso the v worst time of the week for an expat wife. The awfulness kicks off first thing in the morning, when you have to get up megaly-early, or it looks like you’ve been having lie-ins all week. Saturday is bad, but with the helper’s day off, Sunday is soul-destroying.

A big part of the problem is having to spend too much time with the children. Well, Max tends to keep himself to himself, but I mean Milly really. The most annoying thing about Milly is that, for a three-year old she is extremely self-centred. She probably gets this from Don, but I suspect that there is also a link with the breastfeeding. Until she went on to solids, Milly was exclusively breastfed, and since then the only milk she has is still lady milk. Not from me, of course, but from the help. That was on my list of requirements when we hired her:

1. Must not eat spam
2. Must not be too hot
3. Must currently be lactating

It was a horrible shame, but I had to stop breastfeeding after five weeks because I just wasn’t seeing Milly often enough for her to rely on me for food (and pumping is too disgusting to persevere with unless you have a really great party to go to).

Max, au contraire, was only ever breastfed by yours truly (we didn’t have full-time help in the UK), and he has really turned out far nicer than Milly. Whereas she takes after Don, Max is totes more like me in most respects, beyond his passion for Minecraft. I feel certain that there is an interesting piece of research to be done there, to determine whether excessive breastfeeding – or the wrong type of milk?? – can turn a child into a nasty little dog-torturing turd. I think I should pursue it, as part of my future studies in child psychology.

Another problem with weekends is that the husbands just swan around, from golf to tennis to the cigar bar, and the wives have to take up the slack around them. They never want to come to social/ whole family engagements that either they or their assistant didn’t arrange. They don’t trudge the kids birthday party circuit, year in, year out. Yet, all of a sudden they’ll come up with the brilliant idea of taking the children to Universal Studios or something (UGH), and hey presto, they’ve won the best parent award.

Then it gets to the evenings, and we either have to go out or, worse, stay in. Nightmare. You hear all this self-pitying “flying solo” tripe from the single expat mothers (and I think you’ll find it should be flying solA, girls, didn’t you pay attention when you holidayed in Spain?), but frankly babeses, what you’ve got right there is a breeze.

Melbourne Cup! (Australians are SUCH wannabes)

1413999883j7qes

 

Ok, so, I have a lot of Australian friends. Tons. And you know who you are, preeeety ladeeees! Love ya!! Amazo fun chicks. What I’m writing about today is so totes N.O.T. about you, girlies : ) Mwa-Mwa xox

What I didn’t realise from living in London is that Aussies are seriously such wannabes. In London they just all seemed super nice. Back-packery drinking types. Since joining the elite expaterati though, I have inadvertently stumbled upon a profound realisation. Basically, at the end of the day, if I’m honest, Aussies want to be real British people – well, people from the south of England, I mean – like they could’ve been, had their ancestors not made some really rubbish decisions.

What proves my point is Adelaidians. I am reliably informed that people from Adelaide are a cut above other Australians because they are descended from the only free settlers in the country. And so, people from Adelaide speak with a more plummy, more English accent (LOL, well they think they do!! I beg to differ, Your Honour!!). Now if it is generally accepted that people who are more like us Brits are superior, then we can quickly establish beyond even the faintest shadow of a doubt that therefore all Australians want to be English. Not only that, but ideally they also want to be related to the Queen. [I haven’t mentioned this, and I’m not one to boast or name-drop because I don’t need that sort of fake ego-boosting (Clara says it’s a defence, and the thing about me is, what you see is what you get, I’m totes my own person, & I don’t need to pander to the crowd), but I am related to the Royals. On my second cousin ex-husband’s side. Yes. True story.]

Anyway, so I went to the Melbourne Cup party here in Singapore a couple days ago, with all my gorgeosa Aussie girlfriends. I wanted to update you on it asap, but yesterday was just a wash-out. I had to stay in bed all day because my head was pounding. I don’t think it was the champagne or the late night. It was more the pressure of the fascinator. I had it bespoked, and it was quite heavy because of the battery pack for the flashing lights, and the wireless router so that I could display my Twitter feed via a small screen on my head. What with the weight of all that, the headband part needed to have a very tight grip on my skull to stop it falling off. Ouchey!!

Don’s bank was one of the sponsors, so he came too. He acted like it was suuuuuch a big drag for him (especially after catching the red-eye back from Cape Town the night before), but for some utterly unknowable reason he wore one of his best suits. So of course, he won the best dressed man! Meanwhile I came third for most creative hat. Is there no justice in this world??

Despite the fact that it was such a major bore for him, he looked pretty happy to be chatting up the 350 women there, many of whom were trolleyed and abso gagging for it. Hmmmmm. It was sickening how these women were coming onto him. And he was lapping it up, positively purring to himself. A revolting spectacle.

At one point during the roof bar after-party, I had to take Don aside and have some strong words with him. He feigned ignorance, as if he had zero clue that these be-hatted whores were hanging on his every word.

Not long later, he said he had to go because the travel had caught up with him. Liz left around the same time which was such a shame. I was looking forward to chatting with her about her previous work in publishing, and my promising career as an author.

Once Don was gone, I felt a bit disappointed that Will wasn’t there (work), but he would’ve hated all those women throwing themselves at him. So not his scene. Plus, Michelle disgraced herself, as per usuo, and that would have been completely upsetting for him.

Doom and gloom wife was there, wearing vomitly vile shoes, and she somehow ended up in our gang. She was talking about how terrible it was that the two horses died (ya, bloody terrible for me!! They were the only two I bet on! Wtf, horseys?!), and saying that it’s barbaric and disgusting that we were getting drunk on champagne and having a laugh, when the animals at the centre of it all were being exploited. And that 15,000 racehorses are slaughtered every year just because they’re not fast enough. And that we should all sign a pledge to stop betting on horses because we’re “betting on cruelty”.

“Oh god, here we go!”, I thought. I didn’t want that miserable woman plundering my buzz, so I told her quite plainly that exploiting, degrading, and abusing animals for pleasure is just one of those things that we humans do. We’ve always done it! Since the dawn of time!! So deal, baby. Get over it, and get over yourself!! That sorted her out. She moved to a different table, thank phewie, so that the rest of us could get back to our interesting conversations about helpers and holidays.

Friday Night De-Briefed

I’m still tired today, but I dragged myself out of bed to go to the new Lulu Lemon shop that has just opened at the Ion. So much yay!! I was gutted that I missed the big launch last Saturday, so I had to make sure to pay my respects asap.

But back to the Halloween Ebola fundraiser because I promised you I’d fill you in on that.

So, Michelle was drunk from the beginning. Honestly, it looked like she had vom’d all down her front, but that was actually part of her costume. It was v unfortunate because she was on meet and greet. Not a good look for a meeter or a greeter : (

Will, get this, came as… A hot Ebola doctor. Coincidence!! He wore a doctors jacket, but underneath all he had on was these haha:

IMG_1040

He pulled them off though (LOLs! NPI haha!!) because he’s a squash-player. Fabbo buns. Even if the right cheek is rather larger and more chiselled than the left.

He was really sweet because he could see I was under pressure, and not getting much support from my useless team of hags. He helped me out with the raffle, confidently wielding the mic to announce the winners. I’m not good at public speaking. I would like to work on it though because I’m hoping to start vlogging soon, so that I can go viral. Just writing doesn’t seem to be doing the trick; I don’t know why.

Once the party was winding up, I could finally relax, and pat myself on the back for a job well done. Michelle had passed out and their driver had to carry her to the car (not for the first time, I’m guessing!), so Will grabbed a bottle of Krug and two glasses from the bar, and we snuck up to the roof terrace. I didn’t even know that place had a terrace. We talked for a while about what a great success the party had been (btw, he had changed into a suit by that point haha), and then we got talking about our marriages. He and M have been married a lot longer than Don and I, and it was interesting – but quite sad – to hear how badly she treats him. By the sounds of it, he has given her everything a woman could want (they live in a black and white!), but he said that the more he has given her, the more distant and unpleasant she has become. I’ve never really thought about how hard it must be for a man to have a disappointing wife. You usually hear horror stories about the other way around: aloof/ philandering/ crappy husbands.

I told him a bit about Don, and how he’s really not interested in anything I have to say. He listened v attentively, and was super sympathetic. He didn’t diss Don though, which I thought was cool. He really seemed to get where I was coming from, and it was totes lovely to feel heard like that. He’s quite the conundrum because you’d think that someone in his line of work would be a bit of a C-word. Not at all though.

So we were getting along amazingly well (I’m pretty certain our souls know each other from a previous existence), and then his phone rang. It was Michelle. I could hear her ranting down the phone, telling him to “get your ass back home”. Classy, Michelle. Real classy. He said he had better go, “before she does something stupid” (what?), and told me his driver could drop me home en route.

On the way to his car, he said he had had a “wonderful evening”, and enjoyed spending time with such an “open, thoughtful, and beautiful lady”. Awwwwww : ) Then he said that all evening he had wanted to kiss me, but he didn’t want to make me feel uncomfortable. So I had to ask if he does this kind of thing all the time. He said no, never. Then his driver appeared.

And that, dear readers, was that. Don rang from Cape Town the next day. He didn’t even ask about how the party went. So why should I tell him??

I had better get ready for yoga now. It’ll take me a good half an hour to decide which of my new Lulu pieces to wear.

Awesome Fun-ness

I can’t write as much as I want to today because I am virtually on my knees from the mad social whirl of it all. This is such a busy time of year for the expaterati. It’s this period between Autumn (that’s Fall, Americans) break and Christmas when people aren’t travelling, and the “Social” section of my iCal is just bursting at the seams.

Hence my exhaustion and hurry! I went to an amazO brunch yesterday which lasted for 13 hours!! So I’m rather the worse for wear now, and have to dash off shortly to a pool party with Max and Milly. (OMG I haven’t told you that I resolved my stressful pool towel issue!! I ordered some from Orla Kiely in the UK. Awesomeness! More original and quirky than Lacoste, but still identifiable as premium designer goods by those in the know.)

Well, I say people aren’t travelling, but Don is, of course. Cape Town. So he missed my fabulous Halloween party. Which I KNOW you’re dying to hear about!! And I’m dying to tell you! But I’ve totes got to run, so I’ll give more deets mañana. Just a quickie highlights summary now.

So: I can quite comfortably say that the party was a ma-husive, unmitigated, rip-roaring success. Everyone said I did an amazing job. I got a ton of glowing feedback, and every time someone told me I was great, I did my really pretty Kate Middleton smile for them, and said that it was all down to my team. Bullshit of course. Those post-menopausal do-gooding hags were utterly f’ing useless. Especially Michelle.

The money we raised with the raffle surpassed my wildest fantasies. We had some lovely prizes which my team had extorted from their husbands. Canadian Cathy got us two nights in one of the Four Seasons at the Maldives worth $25,000 (flights and breakfast not included); American Amy donated a whole street of properties in Detroit, Michigan; and half-Lebanese Lana wangled first class flights with Emirates to Abu Dhabi. The ones with the onboard child-care! Whoop-whoop : )

After the raffle, we had this super interesting live interview with a guy in Sierra Leone who runs an Ebola call centre. I was able to tell him how much money we raised, and to reassure him that a vaccine is well on its way, thanks to me.

The best part of the night though was spending time with Will. More on that later, chaps!!

Ebola Halloween Fundraiser! & Mrs Expat Singapore!!

I cannot apologise enough for leaving you hanging, dear reader(s?) (hello Mummy!! Lolol, that’s still funny, isn’t it??). Since Don got back I have been quite busy because him being here means there has to be a meal on the table most nights, rather than me going out for dinner with the gals, or grabbing a quick poached chicken breast at home. So, I have to put a ton of time and energy into scouring recipe books and websites to do the menu planning for the helper. Plus, if I’m in an Ottolenghi mood (love, love, LOVE Ottolenghi!), she often needs the ingredients explained to her (yawn), AND I need to tell her exactly which specialist shops in the various corners of the island to go to.

The other reason I’ve been so outlandishly busy is that I have been organising an Ebola fundraising Halloween party, in my capacity as Events Chair of the Singapore International Women and Trailing Spouses Association (SIWTSA). The response has been phenomenal, even with the ticket price at $600 per head. I think everyone is as excited as I am about the theme of Ghoulish and Ghastly Disease Victims. My idea : ). The Expaterati are positively a-spew with excitement on Twitter. Such a great idea of mine. It’s a wonderful way of raising awareness about a really terrible illness, even if it’s only Africans who can get it.

Anyway, because of all this, I haven’t had a second to myself. Until today, that is, when I went for my colour (though I am a natural redhead), and keratin treatment (an anti-frizz must in Singapore – just ask Vicks Beckham about the ravaging toll this climate takes on the coiffure). As I sat there for four hours, I allowed my mind to wander, and I found that it wandered to… Michelle’s husband. He has sent me another message in the interim: “BTW, please call me Will. That’s what my good friends call me. Michelle calls me Bill lol.”

I didn’t answer, but I thought it was quite a sweet message really. Will is a much sexier name than Bill!

Then I thought about Don, and how he doesn’t say sweet things to me, or listen to much I say. Like the fundraiser, for example. He has shown abso no interest when I’ve told him all my exciting and highly creative plans for the event. He just says, “Yes, dear”, and changes the subject. Plus he’s away for the actual party, so he isn’t even coming. He told me where he’s going, but I can’t recall.

I realised that I was feeling something I haven’t felt for years. Not since the days when I used to have a job. I realised that despite all the things I am busy with, I am feeling bored. Which is depressing, and I refuse to feel depressed (hmmmm, maybe it’s time to relocate to a different country). Not my modus operandi! Depression is for people who have no control over their lives, like that doom and gloom expat wifey I met the other day. People call it an illness, but come on! Ebola, now there’s a proper illness. You don’t see great parties, fund-raising for depressed people, now, do you?? No! Because they would be crap, miserable parties.

When I got home, I tried on the dress I’ll be wearing to the Melbourne Cup in a few weeks. It’s still a little tight around the waist, but there’s time. I looked in the mirror, admired my lovely hair, and had one of those powerful epiphany moments when I realised that I actually look fantastic. I do get a lot of male attention, but I’ve always chosen to ignore it. It’s only since “Will” (awwww) has turned up that I realise my confidence has taken a bashing from all these years of being Yes Deared by Don. I see now that I have been hiding my not insignificant light under a bushel.

And I know what I need to do about it. I need to take control.

Yes. So, I am going to enter the Mrs Expat Singapore pageant! In fact, I am going to win that thing!! Or at least come second. (Or third.)

I have a frock picked out from the Paragon already. Take a look at this tangerine triumph, dear reader!

IMG_3129

One last piece of news (I is on a roll today, innit??). I think the Gucci bag Don got me in Dubai is a fakee. Oh, Don : (

A Tale of Two Husbands

Another stressful couple of days, dear reader(s).

One of the yoga places I go to that I really rate (and my rating should not be under-estimated in its value, given that I am an accomplished lifelong yogi, and can do the crow pose) is on Orchard, not far from my house. It’s one of those very earnest and spiritual, but warehousey-cool places (so cool they don’t provide any means of drying your hands after using the loo – I love that nonconformity!), where the atmosphere is befittingly sombre and dignified. I can’t stand it when people don’t take their practice seriously.

I really needed to go this evening because it has been a serio stresso couple of days. As it turned out though, even the yoga was mega-stresso! There was a girl there, late twenties/ early thirties, all skinny and dressed up in her Lulu Lemon, like she has even the faintest idea of what yoga is really about. It’s not about the clothes, honey!!

When we were doing the tree pose she kept peering at me, like, can you hold this as long as I can? I held it AND I closed my eyes, which is a very difficult thing to do, as any experienced yogi would know. I flickered them open occasionally to check out how she was doing. Haha, lo and behold she was trying to close her eyes too, but kept losing her balance. Oh you silly girl! It takes a lot of serenity, loving karma, and oneness with the universe to achieve the closed-eye tree pose, sweetheart. Stupid b****.

So anyway, yes, serio stressoso time right now.

Don got back yesterday. The children greeted him like he was some kind of hero, returning victorious from battle. Come on, I’m the one who has spent the last week in battle! With those little ingrates.

Froo Froo dog is, I suspect, developing dog borderline personality disorder. That’s the most difficult disorder to work with in humans, Clara says. So, in dogs, I dread to think what we are going to do. I would welcome any suggestions. (And, don’t forget, you can follow me on twitter @expatej)

After the children were in bed, Don passed out. Great, sweetie. So good to have you home.

Having run out of floss, I went into his washbag (Don is a passionate flosser) to find his. I found something else though…

Unknown

And it was half-empty!! What fresh hell is this???

I mailed Don immediately to address the situation. I’m not one to let these things fester. It’s not good for my chi.

He rang me to say that it has always in his washbag, and I must have forgotten we used to use it, it has been so long. Excuse me, what now, now??? OK, that does ring a bell when I think about it, but taking it on a work trip? Hmmmmmmm.

Then something quite shocking happened, dear reader:

IMG_0429

I didn’t respond, but I can imagine that Michelle – much as I adore her ridic-amundo – is a nightmare wife, so I do feel for Bill. He seems like a nice guy, despite everything. I used to think Michelle was just a really fun lady. Now I’m starting to wonder what it must be like to be live with her 24/7. Flo told me she starts drinking in the morning! Argh!! No wonder she needs so much botox.

Oh dear, what a messed up day. I’m so glad I have a massage booked first thing tomorrow. FYI, the massage is at the Hyatt, of which I am now an Official Member. Having so arduously struggled with deciding which club to join, I realised that I needed to prioritise Me in this difficult process of remaining sane under duress. So, I joined the Hyatt rather than bothering with all the other clubby nonsense. So far, so good. It could do with a refurb, but I’m not one to make a scene.

Our Unusual Orange House

IMG_3060

It seems that I am over my stress-induced writer’s block, brought on by Michelle’s husband and his feet. I am very much in the mood to write today, and I would like to tell you about where I live. (Please, stalkers: no, just NO, ok?)

So, I think I have already mentioned that we live in a house, or a “landed property”, as they call them here. We weren’t sure where to live when we came on our look-see (I love that Yankee expression!), and at first I was looking at condos as well as houses around Central and East Coast Singapore.

Then I happened to stumble upon a beautiful street called Emerald Hill Road… Wowee!! I’d read about it on Trip Advisor, and saw that it’s an amazing street of Chinese shophouses (which is a photographic specialty of mine, and these houses regularly feature in my many artistic endeavours), a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. For Londoners, Orchard Road is the equivalent of Oxford Street. Emerald Hill is quiet and historic, so I suppose it’s v like a Soho side-street.

When I told Don that I wanted to live on Emerald Hill, he had no clue what I was talking about. The fact is that working expat husbands really don’t know or care anything about where they are in the world. It is just about where’s work, where’s the airport, and where’s bed. I know this for a fact.

Now, I can be a bit of a push-over on some issues, but I was so insistent on the matter of Emerald Hill (I threatened to go home with the children, but leave the dog with him – he hates Froof the dog; but I was bluffing, of course, dear reader) that he agreed to put it to the mobility team, who put it to the relocation agency, who put it to the realtors; or estate agents in proper English.

Unfortunately, we were told that the houses on Emerald Hill were “beyond our package” by several thousand dollars, so although I was disappointed, that didn’t stop me chanting. As a seasoned chanter, I know that it bears fruit.

I chanted for five days, and on the sixth, I had a call from the mobility people saying that the relocation people had said that the realtor had found a property actually ON Emerald Hill which was within our package price range!! Hurrah!!!

So that’s where we live : )

It’s a house called La Taverna, which has been quirkily altered to contrast with all the other Chinese shophouses on the street, in that it’s painted a textured orange, with different un-Chinesey tiling.

One of the conditions of the lease is that we never open the front shutters (it’s dark, but that’s a small price to pay to live on this iconic street), and we have to keep a low profile. No parties, no deliveries, rarely open the front door. I don’t know why.

We’ve put Max and Milly in the back bedrooms because it can get quite loud out the front, with the bars opposite. Our bedroom is on the bar side, but to my mind, the noise just makes it more like living in Soho (for free, while paying off the mortgage back home hahaha!! I <3 being an expat); and Don is delighted because one of those bars has a members-only cigar room, so he pops across when he wants to read The Economist in peace with a Siglo VI Cohiba. He has met some fascinating chaps over there apparently.

Not that I would worry, but what I like about exclusive cigar bars is that there are rarely any vile nasty gold-digging, husband-stealing b****s there. It’s mostly men, talking about what they’ve read in The Economist or watched on Bloomberg/ CNN whilst on the treadmill.

They’re not the type to bother with all this Tinder stuff etc lolol. Don?? Hahaha! I know more about Tinder than he does! Bless him and his Ralph Lauren socks.

IMG_2349

Friend’s Husband Attempted to Play Footsie With Me – Is this normal behaviour??!!

Don is still in Dubai, and I’ve spent a lot of this week slightly freaking out about what happened last weekend. This is the first time I’ve felt calm enough to reflect on it, and I’ve been so upset that I haven’t been able to blog. I guess I just need to get it out, so that I can move on.

So, this is what happened…

Don and I went for dinner last Saturday with Michelle and her husband Bill, and another couple we know from our last country.

Michelle looked absolutely stunning for a woman of her age. I don’t know how she does it. She must be at least six and a half years older than me. A mutual friend Flo, who knew Michelle from their last country, confided in me that Michelle is on the Botox, but in a big way (much more than just the usual sprinkle that we all have). That must be it. I wonder if she has had collagen fillers too. And those boobs… Surely they’re not her own. Anyway, she looks fabulous, and how she manages to have flat, shiny hair in this climate is just beyond me.

So, we had an aperitif before going into the restaurant, and then a fair amount of wine with the starter. Bill was sitting opposite me, and when he brushed my foot with his the first time, I thought nothing of it. It was after the fifth time that I started to wonder, although his sparkly green eyes were firmly fixed on the proceedings, listening intently, and telling stories about his early years as a junior trader.

When the entrees arrived, he brushed my foot again, this time moving up my leg a little, and glanced at me with a bemused look. I met his gaze, but I was a little shocked, so I looked down at my food, and asked Don what he was having. What was this guy doing?? Is this normal behaviour? Surely not! I’m his wife’s friend, FGS. (Michelle doesn’t read blogs, so as long as no one in Singapore reads this, she’ll never know.)

Later on during the meal, Michelle was utterly trolleyed, and started loudly debating/ arguing about Bali with the other woman, Jenny. Jenny was of the opinion that Bali is so 2008, and that it’s much more cool to go off the beaten track to Yogyakarta or Laos; while Michelle said she feels attached to their regular haunts in Bali, and “what’s so wrong with going back to the same place?”

Most of the table, including Don, joined in with the discussion, but Bill tilted his head back, let out a sigh, and nudged his foot up my calf. He had taken his shoes off (!), and this time as he moved his foot up my leg, he stared right at me! I glared at him, putting as much resistance as possible into my facial expression, as if to say, “Hey, mister! That’s not ok!!”.

Yawning, he smiled and looked away. He put his arm around Michelle, who was now yelling at the top of her slurred voice about the profound serenity of Ubud.

So, this morning I’m sitting here with my kale, beet, banana, wheatgrass, and mangosteen smoothie, and my skinny double purple pod Nespresso, still wondering what on earth that was all about.

Bill may be a very charming and interesting man, with extremely lovely eyes, but he’s married to one of the most stunning women I have ever met. And he knows, of course, that I’m married! So what was he doing? Why would a man – especially a man with such a beautiful wife – come on to a married woman – especially one who is less beautiful (surely!) than his wife??

Bizarre and totes uncomfortable. I’ve heard about this kind of thing happening among the Expaterati, but I didn’t think it would happen to little ole moi.

A Downer Day

I just haven’t been feeling like my usual fun-loving, sparky, gorgeous self lately, which is why I haven’t felt like writing. Sorry, dear readers. Well, sorry Mummy and your aqua aerobics group, that is. I’ve asked her to tell her online Scrabble cronies about my blog (ha, crones more like, lol, jk Mummy!!), but she said it’s not the kind of thing they’d read. Hmmmmm. Not v well-read, these Scrabble people, then.

Actually, my lack of readers is part of why I’m feeling less than great. I’ve been blogging for over a week now, but I still haven’t gone viral : (

The more mis and emosh I start to feel about my non-viral state, the more obsessively I check my viewing statistics. Yesterday I must have checked over a hundred times, including throughout my lunch with Dull Kelly, and I just think it’s so tacky to be constantly fingering one’s phone when in company or at a restaurant. It’s so unlike me.

I’m also feeling down because I had a hard night with Milly. She was up twice, saying she’s worried about spiders in her room (honestly! I’ve seen more spiders in the UK than in Singapore), and she also had a nightmare that our dog had grown into a giant dog and kept kicking her. Then when we went downstairs this morning, Milly immediately laid into the dog to get her own back. Poor little Froo-Froo. I told Milly quite firmly that it’s just not on.

While all that was happening, Max was glued to his iPad, playing Minecraft, and although that’s partly nice because he’s less annoying when he’s occupied, it made me worry that he might be developing addictive tendencies. Parents are just powerless when it comes to new technologies.

Then I opened the dishwasher to look for my favourite mug (the “Best Mummy in the Universe” one that Max gave me for Mother’s Day), and lo and behold… There were plastics in the lower section!! I have told the helper about this at least a billion times, and she absolutely persists in continuing this insulting behaviour. I really think she does it to annoy me.

It all was so upsetting that I went back to bed for an hour, until Max left on the schoolbus, and the helper took Milly to daycare. So that meant I couldn’t go to meditation for the second week in a row, and I really needed to go today because of how I’m feeling at the mo.

I had better go for a massage and a facial instead, to nip this mood in the bud. I don’t want to feel like this while Don is in Dubai, and I’m on my own with two small children.

It’s times like this when I think that married men just have it so easy. They can just swan about (or fanny about, as my South London friend says lolol; it’s ruder in British English, but still funny-ish in American English), do whatever they want, go off to play squash or golf whenever, have interesting work nights out, and take trips all over the place. Then they pop home, like the big provider, and expect everyone to fall at their feet. Max and Milly think the sun shines out of Don, and they don’t understand that, as a mother, that’s extremely hurtful for me. I’ve tried to explain it to them, even crying occasionally to really emphasise my distress, but they still don’t get it.