Although I am def heading for celebrité status locally, I have to say that I remain super chuffed that most of my dear readers are expats; particularly those in Singapore who can sympathise with my horrendous plight borneded out of my ongoing subsistence without a helper. As I shall illustrate below, some others here – those who I perhaps naively, nay nostaligically, nay foolishly call my “friends” – are being far less understanding…
Since returning and not having a live-in, I have had virtually zero quality time to myself, and therefore thusly, I am hardly ever able to share my glamorous (#notsomuchnow hashtag sadface) life with you. There have been dreadfully dark days when I’ve thought, “If I have to fold another towel I will literally lose my mind and throw myself off Archway Bridge”, despite the mega-precautionary structures which are installed thereon, so desperate and fervent has been my distress. How do people live like this?!
Beautiful Archway Bridge. Credit: Nigel Cox
It’s not that I don’t know what I must do. I am trying. I have made every attempt possible to locate appropriate staff who match my specificatations, as I shared with you previously, but the working classes here are so spoilt and unrealististically aspirational that they believe they are worth a living wage for minimal work. A nanny, apparently, despite her enormous fee, won’t even wash windows. “Call a window cleaner if you need your windows cleaned”, was the disgracfeul retort I received at Nanny Interview Number 107. (I have an Excel sheet for everything now, thanks to my online accountancy course.)
Will someone not tell these people that the American Dream (as fabulously as it works over there, where people get the opportunity to work three jobs and then have awesome stuff happen whereby they magically climb the social ladder through merit and hard graft and all that, and end up as Kanye)… Will someone PLEASE tell them that we just don’t operate like that over here?! In Blighty, you are what you are – deal with it. That’s Britishness, so suck it up, babeses. We are incrediblé lucky to retain our amazebobs Royal Fam because they preserve the sensible order of a class system, thank eff, which is beautifully reinforced by the public school thing, and the sweet pre-prep thing before that. I like to compare it to the whole caste jobbie in India. It just makes sense, you know, and has been so fab for those nice Indian people, as evidenced by their slammin’ economy. They are nailing it!! Go them! Essentiallially, all it is is that it’s Darwinisation, so come one: “Inequality”..? What even is that? It clearly rocks, whatevs it is.
So anyhoo, in my limited, v precious time I have been trying to touch base with my old girlfriends over here because they obviously want to catch up with me, and who could blame them? What with FB, they know that I’m back and I have had to formulate a Specific Intent (that’s what my life-long yogi practice has taught me) to get in touch with at least two of them each week. This week I had Evie and Robbie next on the list.
I squeezed together some time for a gel mani-pedi at Margot London in Crouch End (totes awesome BTW – so speedy, such lovely ladees, and nails now divine), during which I was able to Facetime with Evie. Evie is one of my London besties from way way back when we were both juniors at the same law firm. She was almost as talented as me, but she already had a kid at the time which of course meant that she couldn’t compete with me, let alone the chaps. Then she divorced, re-married and popped out three more irritants (what now, now??). So currently she has three children under five, AND a frankly insane teenage daughter. Plus, the blokie she married later is a musician or something, so b’byeee corporate lifestyle! What was she thinking?? She moved outside the M25 into Commuter Land, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Can’t 100% see the point in staying friends with her, if I’m honest, because I mainly like people who live in London, preferably zones 1-2. They’re just better, you know?
I was telling Evie what an awful time I’m having for want of decent staff, as a single mother in this glorious hectic city that she clearly no longer relates to, and she was actually quite nasty to me. She said, “Oh well, EJ, I don’t know what it’s like to have everything done for me and the kids, so I can’t really offer much help. Why don’t you just get an au pair?”
An au pair!! It was then that I realised the full extent of the gigantic gaping chasm between us, which has arisen through no fault of my own, but due to her lousy choices. Had she made wiser choices, she would know for herself that an au pair brings all the downsides of having a stranger in the house without a sufficiently compensating number of upsides. FFS, au pairs are worse than the over-paid nannies I keep meeting! They do practically nothing, are constantly making toast (so I’m told, and that’s a lot of bread), and then bugger off back to Bulgaria or wherever as soon as they witness their first stabbing. So no, Evie babes, thanks for your poor-person advice, but I won’t be going down the au pair route.
Praise be, three of her four irritants started to yell while we were chatting, so that closed our hashtag awkz conversation.
Next, because I had some time left, I phoned Robbie (Roberta, not Robbie Williams), who is also a v old friend of mine. We met when we did our Law degrees togev and she was always a right-on feminist type. I’m sure she fancies me (all mega-feminists are lesbians, let’s face it), but she is generally single or mingles, gender-wise.
“EJ”, she said, “I hear you! I’d rather have a wife than be a wife, any day. And the word, ‘wife’!… It shouldn’t even be about gender. It’s about convenient servitude. Women are told all the time how f***ing rewarding it is to raise children. But we live in a patriarchal society! If it was so damn rewarding, men would be clamouring to do it. Are they..? No, of course they aren’t. Then there’s all this nonsense like the thing going around on social media this week, suggesting that women should be grateful, or feel guilty if they don’t – did you see it? ’10 Things Mom Is Grateful For’… Are those the only choices available to a mother in 2015? Grateful or guilty?? Honestly, Eeej, it makes my blood boil!”
As likers of my awesome FB page will be aware, I have seen said post, and here’s my take on it:
At least Robbie understood my pain. Though probly mostly because she wants to get into my pants. (Which might be cool, now that I’m back in London – mightn’t it? I’d be a very hot lesbian I reckon, and it’s still so trendy.)