Getting Things Off My Perky Expat Chest

I have a couple of things on my perky D-cup chest today that I need to get off it (studies show that anxiety is 253.7% worse for saggage than breast-feeding), and chanting hasn’t helped at all. My morning green smoothie with organic kale, beetroot, coconut water of course, and red dragon fruit did help a bit, but then I got a text from Chantelle*. Hence Thing Number One on my chest.

“Can we speak, Ems? XO”, read the text.

Ems now, is it?! I think I’ve been too convincing about pretending to like her. Ugh.

When I bit the bullet and gave her a call, she said that it’s all getting much worse with my father’s dementia. She told me that he had a few moments of lucidity recently which gave her hope, but then he descended into a “worse place than before”. OMG, that use of the word “place” to describe a state of mind! I’m sure people say it just to piss me off!! It sounds great when I use it to express the beautiful empathic side of myself, but most people, let’s be honest, can’t carry it off like I can. Cannot, lah.

I thought she was going to follow with her usual woe-is-me modus operandi of: I can’t take it that my husband doesn’t recognise me and thinks he’s married to someone else bla bla bla, self-pityage diatribe. But no! Instead she told me something designed purely to upset me.

“Ems”, (puke), “I wasn’t sure whether to tell you or not, but you’ve been so open and giving towards me – offering to have Angel come to stay and all – so I feel like I owe it to you to be honest.”

Babes, I wanted to say, I didn’t offer to take in your waif ‘n stray wayward daughter. You totes guilted me into it!!

Before I could clarify the situation, and maybe even back out of the whole unwanted teenage house-guest business, Ms Chantilly continued.

“The thing is that there was this moment when your dad seemed like his old self again” – yeah, too right, OLD! And what’s a young piece of A like you doing with a rich OLD guy..? Hmmmm, allow me to a’ponder a mo… –

“And he was so sweet. He thanked me for being a wonderful wife, and honestly, I could’ve cried, it’s been so long since he’s been like that. But then he said the most terrible thing. And I don’t want to tell you, but I think you have a right to know, Ems.”

(FFS, woman! Don’t you see that I don’t care what you have to say?! Just stop calling me Ems!!!)

“He said… he said”, Chantelle started sobbing. V much back to her predictable MO, then.

“He said, Ems, that I’ve been a better wife to him than your mother ever was, with all her other men! Those are his words, hon, not mine. I’m so sorry to break it to you like this. But I thought you should know… Oh, wait… but maybe you know already! God, sorry!! You’re so close to your mum, you probably do know! I’m sure she had her reasons… with whatever was happening… all that moving around… must’ve taken its toll on the marriage, and… like you’re always saying, expat marriages can be so challenging, and…”

Chantelle was floundering around like a big fishy flounder, so I took the opportunity to interject. I arose from the silk-upholstered Georgian chaise longue upon which I had unknowingly reclined, and said, “Babes, of course I knew that! You shouldn’t be stressing about it. Yeah, Mum-ski and me are totes BFFs! She tells me everything”.

Chantelle then went into full-on embarrasada mode, thanked me again for “inviting” Angel to live with us, and, praise be to all that’s holy and decent, got the eff off the phone.

So now I know a heretofore unknown fact about yet another person, but a way less fun one than the others. It’s super fun knowing that Michelle is married to a filthy cheater, and that Liz is a husband-stalker with vagenitical cunticulitis; but this new issue of my own mother being a ho…??

I’m totes not sure how I feel about that.

 


 

Pushing the thought swiftly to one side because it’s so horrendously unthinkable, Thing Number Two that I’ve been argh-ing about is this global problem of airbrushed and photoshopped images messing with my little Milly’s head. It is NOT OK that a four-year-old girl falls over in the middle of the night, trying to “work it” with a thigh gap. Not ok at all!!

I am therefore thusly thinking about using my immense influence as a celebrité blogger to levy a campaign for a “fake scale” rating to be put on images in the meeja (media, babeses). A little bit airbrushed would be a one on the fake scale, and huge chunks cut off bodies would be fake-scaled at five. Genius, right? My idea. I know. Amazebobs.

Only prob is that I don’t know if I really have time to take on a global initiative of this magnitude. Probly, I spose. But will it interfere with my gruelling self-maintenance schedule??

Arghamundo, it’s so tricky being a parent, and a mentalist thought has just popped into my lovely, mysterious brain that maybe I should put my daughter’s needs before mine… Would that be coolio?? Has anyone else had that ground-breaking thought? Relate much??

If I’m going to do this thing, I can’t do it alone. I’ll need all of you – yes, everyone in my (philandering) mother’s aqua aerobics group, and the scrabble group too, and beyond! – to help me launch the campaign. If you’re in, please drop me a line in the comments or email me. Click share on the post if you know anyone who’s up for an awesome mission. I think we need a fab logo and catch-phrase, and I’m happy to use hot pics of myself to really draw a crowd. Hot pics that are only slightly airbrushed, and I will of course apply the fake scale to myself : )

I’m pretty lucky though. I really don’t need a lot of fake to bake. I’m sizzling already! This pic is a zero on the fake scale, my loves. ZERO.

 

Zero on #thefakescale

Zero on #thefakescale

 

 

 

* She’s my father’s trophy bride, FYI.

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Merry Expat Exmas Mega-Fiasco

Image: gracialouise.typepad.com

Image: www.gracialouise.typepad.com

Well, dear readers, members of the Expaterati, Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you had a Merry Chrimbo, because I am sorry to say that I totes did not. Despite all my efforts to be good this year, and to give my family a lovely day, Santa basically dropped a bag of flaming poop on my doorstep.

The helper had the morning off, so I made everyone a beautiful breakfast of scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and mimosas. Well, I supervised. Even though he is almost 7 years old, Max is still miserably bad at cracking eggs, so he got a lot of shell in the mix. Then he had the heat turned up too high, which made the scrambled eggs into murderous lumps of orange fishy sponge. Ugh.

Mummy was in charge of the mimosas. She opened the champagne far too brusquely, and the pop made Froo Froo dog pee all over the floor. Mummy then proceeded to pour herself and Don huge measures of champas vs orange juice, but gave me only the tiniest bit of bubbles, with mostly pulp. Not only that, she insisted on making fresh OJ, which meant that I had to spend several hours of my Christmas Day cleaning the juicer! I had been hoping to bust a chill after breakfast, maybe catch some rays and a swim on the roof terrace. Thanks for ruining that, Mummy!

Max and Milly were of course completes over-excited about opening their presents, and their awful noise also scuppered my chill plans. By midday I was worn out, so I went back to bed while Don sloped off to his cigar club, and Mummy and the help took the irritants to church.

When everyone got back, we did our obligatory Skype sessions with the family back home. I could really have done with more sleep, but I made the sacrifice, in keeping with this season of giving.

I don’t know why I did though, because all I got in return for my efforts was a ton of grief about the presents the helper had ordered on Amazon. I told her quite plainly to get pretties for the women, and toys and gadgets for the children and men. That’s pretty clear lah, ya?? Ya, lah, you agree, of course!

Apparently, my instructions, when translated into Tagalog, became crotchless underwear for the ladies (including my sister who we all know only wears huge off-white pants), and a selection of these for the men… and for the children! ARGH!! What now, now?? So instead of nice thank yous, I got repeatedly blasted, with each Skype sesh! Well ho bloody ho to you lot back in ole Blighty! As if the children had any idea what an Eva is!! Please, peeps. It has only just come out. Most adults don’t even know about it. (I certainly didn’t.) Cousin Clara the psychologist was the only person who didn’t completes lay into me. She said that my “gift-giving process was fascinating in a perverse way”. So, the best feedback I got was being called a pervert. Fab.

After the calls, I had no choice but to strongly reprimand the helper, and true to form, she immediately burst into tears. That A. Pissed me off, and secondly, made Milly start kicking Froo Froo. Mummy (oh SO empathic, aren’t you?!) grabbed Mills and the helper, and took them away to the upstairs back living room to do god knows what. Max didn’t notice any of it because he was totes immersed in Minecraft la-la land, and Don didn’t even look up from his Economist.

Now one would think, dear readers, that that would be sufficient ruination of my Chrimbo; that I had suffered sufficely from the slings and arrows of outrageous expat exmas fortune. Hells to the NO! Turns out that I had not!!

For the evening meal, I had gone to the major trouble in October of phoning Raffles Hotel to book a fabulous table for their buffet (incl. free-flowing Veuve Click), for Mummy, Don and I. It truly is a gorgeous-amundo setting, and it was supposed to be the perfect ending to our special family xmas.

That, it was not. Mummy was in a foul mood and hardly spoke. Until, that is, she was on her third glass of VC (after two G & T aperitifs), which is when all hell broke loose.

Raising her glass, she began to speak: “Well Emma-Jane, and you too, Don, I would like to say thank you so much for a truly delightful Christmas… For your wonderful generosity of spirit, and your warm hosting…”

“Oh Mum-ski”, I blushed prettily, like Kate Middleton, “There’s really no need to thank us…”

“No, what I was going to say is that I would like to thank you, but in actual fact, I am utterly appalled by the two of you. As if this trip wasn’t bad enough, Hilda has told me everything, and I’m absolutely disgusted!”

[WHAT?! Who the eff is Hilda??!]

Fighting through my shock at Mummy’s bizarre and totes unexpected outburst, I looked at Don to see what he was going to do to defend me. He stood up and went to the buffet.

“What on earth are you talking about, and who the bloody hell is HILDA??!”, I managed to say, after a quick touch-base with my higher power.

“Hilda, stupid girl, is your helper! She has a name, you know?!”

Oh! Hilda!! Right, that’s her name. Of course. Lololol!! In those moments I was terribly worried that Mummy had dementia too, that she had invented a mystical all-seeing being, and that I would have to get Don’s PA to find her a home too. Twice in one week! That would have been pushing it with the PA’s goodwill – even at this time of year.

“Yes, ok, I know who Hilda is. But I still have no clue what you’re on about, Mother. And I find it humungously ungrateful – even deeply abusive – that you would attack your daughter like this on Christmas Day!”, I told her, firmly but kindly.

“It’s just rude, Mummy. Rude!”, I added for good measure.

“Is it?? Is it really, Emma-Jane?”, she continued, insisting on using my full name just to be a big B.

“Hilda has told me about your drinking, that you’re drunk virtually every day and night, that you’re never home with the children, and that you SMOKE! Smoking, Emma-Jane?? Grow up!”

While I was putting my side of the story across, explaining that it’s terribly stressful being a trailing spouse and expat mother, constantly straining to adapt, she had the nerve to keep spewing.

“You are a terrible mother! Milly has serious anger issues, Max is addicted to Minecraft, and Don!! Do you even know what your husband is up to, while you’re swanning about?!”

By this point, I had been rendered speechless, for possibly the first time in my 38 years on this planet. I think even my hair had de-pouffed.

“I’ll tell you what Hilda said, shall I? Not only does Don have a drawer full of un-mentionables, but he is involved with another woman, at least one other woman. Where do you think he disappeared off to today? The cigar club wasn’t even open!!”, she hissed at me.

“Did you know that, Emma-Jane?? Did you? So, you are a terrible mother and a failed wife. Thank goodness you have your career to fall back on… Oh, no, wait a minute, you have no career either!! Look at yourself! On the brink of 40, and this is all you have to show? Very little, Emma-Jane. Very, very little.”

At last the tirade came to a close. I stared into space, as sweetly as I could, given the trying circumstances.

Don came back from the buffet.

“More champas, Glammy Gammy?”, he asked.

“Yes”, replied Mummy with a smile, “Yes, I think I will. Why not? It is Christmas, after all.”

“Cheers!”, Mummy said, once the champagne had been poured.

“So Don, my darling, Emma-Jane and I have been having a little chat in your absence, and we’ve come to the realisation that I’ve been away too long, and the rest of the family need me to go home. I won’t be coming with you to Boracay, very unfortunately, but I hope you have a lovely time. I’ll be leaving in the morning. I’ve decided to stay here at Raffles tonight, so as not to get under your feet for any longer than necessary. I’ll pop by tomorrow to say goodbye to Hilda and the children.”

“What a shame, Gammy!”, Don said, like he had just lost a few quid on the horses, “We’ll miss you awfully. But of course, needs must!”

Yes, I thought, in the cab back to Emerald Hill Road: needs bloody well must. Thank phewy that judgmental, insensitive, helper-loving woman won’t be joining us on our fabulous holiday in paradise. Branjelina and their brood stayed in the exacto same sea-view villa we’ll be in this time tomorrow, so you go home, Mother, and enjoy your lovely rainy New Years in suburban London. Needs must, sweetie Mum-ski. Whatevs.

So, merry flaming poop in a bag expat exmas, Expaterati peeps. May all your dreams come true.

Part Awesomeness, Part Mega-Notness

Today was a day of two halves. Half sugar, half lemon. In the morning, Mummy and I went for mani-pedis at the Forum, and massages at the Hyatt. The children are off school and in need of constant attention, so I just about managed to pry Mummy away from the helper. They went off to Universal Studios. Helpers love that place as much as the kids do.

While getting our nails done, we discussed my father’s shenanigans, and I gave her the skinny on the calls I’d had from Chantelle about his mysterious disappearance. She agreed that he must be up to his old tricks, but thought his alibi of meeting his Guildford school friends was a little odd. Even now, she credits him with using his brain to think! Totes unworthy of it, if you ask moi. She even said, get this, that she feels sorry for Chantelle, wasting her youth on an old man. Mum-ski!!!? So sweet, but so completes naive. The girl is basically on an annual salary she could never have earned off her own back (though evidently doing just fine on her back UGH disgusto), and given my father’s age, all she has to do is hang around long enough for her shares to vest. Golden handcuffs? Golden suspender belt, babeses, hahaha!! Vom.

Not only that, he’s supporting her 16-year-old daughter, Angel (it’s actually Angelica, people! And she’s no angel, I’m sure), including paying her private school fees. Angel was at a crappy public school until my father showed up with his white stallion and gold card, and Lordy only knows what those public schools are like in Australia. I’ve seen Summer Heights High. I know what the score is. (LUV Ja’mie!!! Can so relate!)

Mummy’s insistence on empathising with Ms Chantilly was starting to push me over the edge, to the point where the nail girl told me to make my toes to stop shaking. It megannoyed me because I know very well that almost no one is more empathic than I am, so when anyone pretends to be, I just think, “Shut UP! Don’t even try to go there or you’re ridic!!”

I didn’t want to say that, of course, because Mummy is so obvioso clueless about a truckload of relationship issues. I’m not going to be the one to burst her mahusiv bubble. Not my modus operandi, and most defo not good for my chi. I decided to let it go, make peace with the matter, and have a big chant about it later, over a few glasses of sauv blanc.

Then we met my fab local friend Audrey Lim for lunch. Mummy so wanted to meet some Singaporeans, and go to a traditional sort of place, off the beaten track. So we went to Dempsey. Jones the Grocer. Mummy looked a bit disappointed. Dunno why. What’s more traditional than that?!

Next, we cabbed it back to Orchard, to skip around the malls, and indulge in one of my favourite sports: Rrrrra-shun spotting. I thought I was good at it, but Audrey is AMAZEBOBS!! She can spot them from two miles away!!!

Mummy was a bit of a spoilsport though. She said she didn’t find it funny, that it was racist, and that she wanted to go home. Ex-cuuuse me?! Firstly, Bling isn’t a race, and B. I am the least racist person in the universe. My mother can be so insensitive and judgmental towards me. I really regretted not telling her to shut up earlier in the day.

So, I let her go home, and Audrey and I went off to the Loof bar for cocktails. She told me about this super cool dance marathon thingie she’s going to next month, and I’m totes thinking of going too. Dancing hotly is one of my greatest skills, and I just don’t do enough of it in public places.

When I got home, I was ready to hit the hay. The irritants were tucked up in their beds (so cute when they’re unconscious, that’s when I love them most ardently/ at all?), Don was at a work thing, and Mummy was eating nasty Philippino fish head soup with the help, both of them squawking away in Tagalog. I was just about to get in the bath when my phone rang. Ms Chantilly. She was super upset and sounded like she had a runny nose which made me feel sick to my stomach, and I nearly hung up. I was trying to steel myself against the nausea, while fumbling with the headphones to plug them in so that I could splash my face with cold water.

Then, as I prepared to click IPhone_calling_screen copy , I heard her saying, “ssptltifhhbjsur and the doctor said that your father has dementia”. What now, now???

I felt I was about to fall over, and edged towards the bed to make a graceful landing.

“What?”, I asked, “What did you just say??”

She repeated herself. Oh. Yes. Yes, that’s what I thought she said.

“Chantelle, I’ll have to call you back”, I said. Her distress and runny nose had impacted me in a big way, and I could totes feel myself rocketing* to Planet Panic: I can’t go to Australia! I’m too busy! I don’t know anything about dementia! It’s too ugly! I don’t have time for this! I can’t possibly HELP!!

For seven minutes, I did my pranayama breathing, in one nostril, out the other, but that didn’t help. I did the crow pose twice, and then a few tree poses, but that didn’t help either. As the panic started to rise, I ran, arms flailing, to the wine fridge, and downed two glasses of New Zealand’s finest. That helped. I knew then what I had to do.

I went to my meditation corner, bathed myself in white light, and spontaneously experienced a connection with my higher power. In that moment, these words appeared in my mind’s eye:

IMG_3601

I felt immediately better, so I called Ms Chantilly back. When she picked up, I could tell she was crying, and I knew I had to be kind, but firm.

“Where is he now, Chantelle?”, I asked, using my awesome skills from the half-day conflict negotiation training I once did. She sobbed (UGH UGH and UGH again, why must people cry at me all the time just to piss me off??) that he had been admitted as an inpatient for his own safety.

“Perfecto!”, I said, “Best place for him. I’ll get Don’s PA to find him a nice care home in Noosa, and he can go there as soon as he’s been discharged”.

I made some digital-effect blurpy- blurp robot sounds (my DJ experience really paid off there!), and said, “Sweetie, you’re breaking up”.

The last words I heard her say were, “But Emma-Jane…”.

But me no buts, baby. But me nooooo butts.

I really need to do a long treadie session tomorrow, espesh if I’m going to be on Fit For Fashion next year. I was looking at my behind in the mirror tonight during the panic yoga, and I think the Din Tai Fung dumplings might be taking their toll. It’s so tricky fitting in enough gym time, what with Mummy here : ( BUT, of course, it’s totes abso lovely to be surrounded by family at this beautiful time of year, and I am so super blessed.

* Check this awesome Kate Spade rocket clutch. Likee. Wantee.

PXRU5309_974-1

Bikini Party, Babeses!

Hotness

O
Em
GEE, peeps!
I had the MOST amazebobs Thursday, when I went to this seminaked competition at a totes coolio groovalicious clothes shop on Orchard Road. Guess who won, babeses… Yes, moi!!! YAY!!!!!!!!

99 other people also won, but given that there are 5.47 million bods in Singapore who are perfectly capable of wearing bikinis, I think I can safely say: NAILED IT!!!

Hells-ya, I did!!

It wasn’t that easy, actually. I had to get up at ridic o’clock to arrive by 7 AM (I’m only a five minute walk away, but I had to straighten and pouffe my hair.) I chatted to lovelies in the queue, made some new besties (super fun buff gay guys, and finally, more local friendsies!!), and suddenly it was time for the shop doors to open. Then we had to run round in our tinies, choosing clothes. The choosing bit was almost as tricky as getting up before 9 AM! Their clothes are so me, and I looked incrediblé hot in literally everything I tried on. Literally. Totes literalmenté.

New local gal pal

New local gal pal

Anyhoo, I eventually chose something fab, and fought my way through the paps clamouring for my attention (maybe I should become a celebrity instead of a child psychologist, writer, historian and life coach), to the exit. One of my new gay BFFs, CJ, was standing outside looking awesome, and he said, “Like, let’s grab some lunch, bitch!”, and I said, “Like, totes let’s, bitch!”

So, like, we did! And his besties came too. We went to PS Café Ann Siang Hill which is my new fave hangout. CJ is hilarious! I had the best time, just chatting, chilling, and drinking rosé and berries sangria. Then I checked my ludicrously expensive watch – I was just admiring how it glints so nicely in certain light, not looking at the time – and saw it was 6 PM. OOOPSY. I had told the help I’d be home by midday.

While I was having sucho mucho fun times, Mummy’s flight landed. I think around 9.30. Annoying timing, Mutha! I did tell her to change it because Singapore Air is never late, but she said she didn’t want to “go to all that bother”. (Selfish.)

It wasn’t a major inconvenience though because the helper got the bus to Changi, with a sweet sign the children made: “GLAMMY GAMMY” in big letters, so that Mummy would recognise her.

Once I realised how late it was, I gave my new GBFF lots of air kisses and dashed off home. I tried to think of a good excuse for my absence, but then I thought WHAT?? I’m not a kid anymore! Just because Mummy flew 5,000 miles to see me, it doesn’t mean I need to curtail my sosh activities from a prior engagement. Plus CJ knows TV people, so that’s my career we’re talking about.

Besides she’s really coming to see the kids, and they were home before I was, so no prob.

I walked into the house, expecting to find jet-lagged Mummy reclining on a chaise longue in the downstairs front living room, but instead I was greeted by the sound of raucous laughter from the upstairs rear living room. From Mummy, and, get this, the help!! What now, now?!

So, there was my mother with her G & T and chamomile tea chaser, Max playing Minecraft, and Mills asleep on the Froofster (who looked too traumatised to move), while the helper laughed uncontrollably at whatever stupid thing Mummy had just said. Thankfully, I was so overjoyed to see Mummy after such a long time that I was able to ignore the gigantic boundary transgression which was happening under my own roof. I thought she understood about not fraternising with the help!! She had thousands of staff in her expat days.

The helper disappeared as soon as I arrived, looking embarrassed, and off she went to wash the car and clean the shoes. Too right!

I had a lovely catch-up with Mummy, hearing about her aqua aerobics gang and her online scrabble shenanigans. Mega-LOLs. While we were trying to talk, Max and Milly kept interrupting, showing her their artwork and their Mandarin homework. Egotistical little irritants!!

I’m just happy that I’ve signed them up for an awesome speech and drama holiday camp during part of the break, so that they won’t completely monopolise Mummy’s limited time here. My Harvard friend who is some know-it-all about childhood development and stuff recommended it. She says it’s the best way for kids to learn, and this place is fab. Whatevs, sweets. If they’ll take the irrits off my hands for a few days, let’s do this thang, babeses.

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P.S. (not the café lol) As you know, I’m never one to blow my own trumpet. I just wanted to let you know that I made the national paper here. I’m a page three girl! Go me!!!

From yesterday's The New Paper : )

From yesterday’s The New Paper : )

More hotness

More hotness

Expat Kid Bday Party

It’s Milly-Moo’s fourth birthday party next weekend. Her actual birthday is the week after, but I needed to schedule the party for a weekend when Don’s away, so that he feels guilty about missing it. I am having to work mega-hard to make it the best party in her class, and there have been a few tough acts to follow already this school year.

Because we don’t live in a condo and the Port of Lost Wonder is booked solid, the pool party option is out. So, I decided to hire the kiddie section of the casino at Marina Bay Sands. There’s no actual gambling, of course. They use sweets instead of chips. Adorablé, right?! There’s also a dance floor with VIP area, and for the $20,000 hire fee, they throw in the DJ, which is nice. I was thinking of doing it myself, to practice my mixing, scratching and mash-up skills, but then I realised I would be too busy looking hot.

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Marina Bay Sands Casino

I’m getting a pink limo to pick up Mills, me, and some of her little besties, with their mummies. Cocktail attire, natch. No shorts and flip-flops at MBS, sweetie! (Please would someone tell David Beckham that!! Save him from himself!)

Food-wise, it’s sushi (healthy AND Asian; my genius idea of course!), 100 Krispy Kreme donuts, and one of those totes trendy cakes made entirely out of fruit. All the Expaterati kids’ parties have them, so you just sorta hafta. And what happens is hilarious! The kids get so excited when they see the colourful cake, and then they realise it’s all fruit, and their little hearts break right there on the spot! Haha!! I can’t wait for that bit. It’s the highlight of most birthday bashes I’ve been to with Max and Mills.

For the bevs, I’m doing mocktails: alcohol-free Singapore Slings and Piña Coladas. I’m also getting a few cases of Mini-Me Möet. It looks just like the real thing, but contains no booze. I think it’s so clever of these drinks companies to start embedding the drinking norms of our society as early as possible.

I am still working on the activities and games, probably including a piñata and pass the parcel, with samples of beauty products inside. I’ve been speaking to Mac and Stila about sponsoring the event. We’re haggling over the finer details because I want them to provide a make-up artist for the little girls free with the sponsorship package, but I also want waxing and ear-piercing thrown in and they’re just not responding well to that request.

Anyway, it is all in hand, and thankfully the gift is sorted. I got her a three-foot tall Expat Girl Doll. So cute! She has a little LV suitcase (I chose that over the North Face backpack option), gorgeous mini-Prada shoes (I chose those over the Doc Martins), and no sense of identity whatsoever on her sweet perma-grin face. She talks too! In four different languages, she says, “I love you”, “Where’s the airport?”, and “Bali again?!” LUV IT!

Lastly, but in no way leastestly, Mummy arrives next week, in time for Milly’s party. I haven’t seen her since August, so it’ll be fabbo to hear all the goss from her aqua aerobics group and her online scrabble crowd. She’s terrif. The kids are so looking forward to seeing “Gam-ma”, (or Glammy Gammy, as Don calls her). I’ll have to fill her in on the situation with my father and that woman.

Wuzgunna Men

So, Don is not a perfect husband (especially with this new-found stinginess, and the mysterious lube incident), but I would like to tell you a little about an important boxee he ticked when it came to not marrying a man like my father.

I had a Wuzgunna father. Everything he never did for me was what he wuzgunna do.

He wuzgunna take me to the zoo.
He wuzgunna buy me an ice cream.
He wuzgunna help me with my maths homework.
He wuzgunna invite my first boyfriend round to vet him.
He wuzgunna ask his old boys network if I could do a mini-pupillage at any of their law firms (which didn’t happen, so I decided not to go down the barrister route).
He wuzgunna not be away for my birthdays. Every year he wuzgunna do that, until I boarded, and then he still wuzgunna, but had a better excuse not-ta.

He wuzgunna be there when Mummy started her cancer treatment, and when my sister had the twins.

Their whole marriage, he wuzgunna be on time. But was he ever, Mummy?

He was, however, on time for all their appointments with the divorce lawyer, and on the day of his second wedding.

My “step mother” (oh please) is six years younger than me. Yes, six. She’s a retired professional gymnast, and an ex-Miss Australia (vom). When my father exchanged work for golf, they moved to Australia. Mummy went back to England, after 40 years as an expat.

My father and Chantelle (or Chantilly, as he calls her, pronounced Shont-i-lee double vom vom) live in Noosa now, which I’ve heard is quite nice. They have invited us to come and stay, and I wuzgunna, but then I realised something: I totes don’t wanna.

So this, dear reader, is why I married Don. Don is a man of his word. If he says he’ll be home at 7 o’clock, he walks through the door at 6.55.

The fact remains though that Don is still a man. And Ladies, all men will, in the end, let you down. The higher your expectations, the further you will tumble. You can’t pin your hopes and dreams on these people, you know. Even the ones who aren’t Wuzgunnas eventually ain’t gunna. Trust me. The trick is not to care too much. (I should also think about becoming a couples counsellor. I could really help people work on their marriages because I understand the male psyche so well.)

I used to feel horribly upset and worried about Don running off with some bit of fluff, but now I have realised that, if that’s the foolish choice he makes, it would by no means be the end of me.

Anyway. I’ve decided to see Will tomorrow. The timing is perfect because Don leaves in the morning for Sydney. Not that there’s anything dodgy about meeting a friend for a drink, just because that friend happens to be a guy.

He got in touch last Saturday:

 

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So, he wants to drill me for WordPress tips because he has started writing a blog about fishing. Yawnicus! I’m happy to share my expertise with him though. (Wish I understood this “SEO” thing! Blogger-luvvies, what’s all that about?? HELP!!) Hopefully he just wants to know my expertise about the basics.

I also agreed to see him because I want some support with my project this Friday. I could do with a man’s input on my important feminist mission. Since missing the deadline to apply for Mrs Expat Singapore, I realised that this kind of objectification of women is simply unacceptable. I cannot, will not, stand idly by while women, be they members of the expaterati or otherwise, are ritually humiliated and commodified like this.

On a final note, I am totes luvvin the furore about Kim Kardashian’s humongous oily bits. Ridic!! You go, girlie! Personally I wouldn’t want to have such an unfeasibly large bottom because I would be afraid of toppling over, but if she likes it, and can stay upright unassisted, then well done her. More power to you, Mrs KWest! Luv ya, babes. When are you coming to visit us in Singapore??

I am not one to stand in judgement over others – that’s not my modus operandi – but anyone who disagrees with my perspective on KK is v silly, v insecure, and just mega bigtime wrong.

Expats Can Be Such Totes A-Holes!

Most of us are awesome and lovely, but I have to say that some expats are incredibly rude, self-centred, and self-important. If locals ever develop a negative opinion of us, perhaps sometimes it is entirely justified. Today I witnessed an appalling example of this, while in a lift at the Ion, and I would like to share the incident with you, dear readers (wow, I definitely no longer have to say reader, single! Thanks, Mummy, for telling your scrabble group!), so that you can join me in my expression of outrage.

Ok. So. There are a ton of malls in Singapore, and generally they have a lotta lifts (elevators, lovely Americans, elevators. But your word is cooler : D), serving a lotta floors. Often the lifts can get crowded, and might take a while in transit between floors. Today I got the lift down from the PS Café (who knew they had a terrace? Well, my gorgeous NYC friend who I met for lunch knew! Yay! She asked not to be named) to B2, and then back up again to exit. I was too stuffed after over-indulging in the truffle fries (love love LOVE those fries) to get the escalator.

When the doors slid open at B1, there were these two blonde women standing there, and the one with a gigantic pushchair (the kind that there’s plenty of room for on the wild plains of Hampstead Heath, but here, darling?? I don’t think so), looked quite unattractively frazzled. The one without the pushchair forced her way into the lift – where honestly there was absolutely zero space – and began imploring the existing liftees to make room for her friend. Ex-kuse me?? We were here first, honey. Entonces mi amores, myself and the rest of the liftees had to squash together (lucky for her we were all completely unimpaired, unencumbered people! I mean, what if we had been wheelchair-users or we had had pushchairs too??).

During this cringe-worthy unfoldment, Pushchair Bird said, “I’m really sorry, but I have been waiting for 15 minutes to go up one level because I don’t feel comfortable taking the pushchair on the escalator with a small baby, and all the lifts have been full. I’m sorry to squash you, but if anyone is able to take the escalators, I’d be really grateful.”

She looked like she was about to cry, but thankfully we were all able to avoid eye contact, ignore her pleas, and be-grudgingly make enough room for the silly woman and her stupid baby. A guy at the back said, “There’s really no room!”, and I thought, “Ha, you tell her, sunshine!”

OMG. In those moments, I was truly ashamed to be the only other non-local present. How abso toteso embarrassing. I just wanted to curl up and die right there in the basement of the Ion. Yowzer. Who did that Pushchair Bird think she was?? Disgraceful behaviour. And that’s why it is no wonder if sometimes our hosts view us with negativity. The minority spoil it for the majority.

Now, my cousin Clara says that this kind of thing is an illustration of what happens when Caucasians move to certain countries, notably those with a colonial history, where they are easily physically identifiable as being foreigners. The specific words she used when we spoke today (I didn’t tell her about this exact incident, but this is what she said in general about the expaterati) were “inflation”, “narcissism”, and “being a big fish in a small pond” (um thanks, Clara, for that patronising use of metaphor, but you’ve completes missed the mark there because Don was a big fish at home; so you may need to check back in with your textbooks, sweets).

Anyhoo. After the Ion, I stopped off at Marketplace at the Paragon to get sushi for Max’s dinner, a Waitrose ready-meal for Milly (she loves those and the helper is busy washing the car and cleaning the shoes tonight, so I thought I’d give her a break), and the next stock of organic f and v for my green smoothie tomoz. Incidentally, Don’s out tonight, so I won’t be eating. Not after all those fries.

I get to the till and the check-out minion starts putting my purchases into plastic bags, as per usuo. Then I notice from my peripheral vision that the (obv expat) woman behind me has produced her re-usable bags, and is giving me the full-on evil eye! (the “hairy eyeball”, as Kath & Kim would say, so much LOLOLOL). So, I’m like, “What, now, now, now??”

Not being one to avoid conflict (bottling it in is not good for my chi), I turned right around to face that B – while flashing my Passion Card across the reader – and said, “Sorry, do we have a problem here?”

And you will not believe what that hoity-toity B-face said…

She said: “Do you know how long it takes for those bags to degrade? It takes from 20 to 1,000 years for every single bag, and a lot of bad things happen to marine wildlife along the way. I totally understand if today you’re just in a hurry, or you forgot to bring a bag, but you can have one of mine if you like.”

For the second time in one day, dear readers, I was just dumb-founded. The arrogance of these people! As a Brit, and therefore a Servant and an Ambassador of Her Majesty, I am always polite, even in extremely tense situations like this one (given my astounding composure, I should become a hostage negotiator. I would be amazo at that, and I could defo turn those ISIS peeps around. Tweet me, Barack and Dave). So I said to the B, “Thank you, that is really immensely kind of you, but the checkout girl has already packed my things, and it would be an insult and a burden for her to have to re-pack them. But thank you. Really.”

As I spoke, I gave her my very pretty Kate Middleton smile.

Ha! That told her!! Her high-horse clearly wouldn’t let her waste the time of a lower worker. Haha!! Own-goal there, dearie. Hahahahahaha : )

The fact remains, though, that non-expats can also in addition as well be total a-holes, too. Take, for example, my cousin Clara.

[Abso no offence Clara, but during our conversation today you were a complete C to me, and you really had no right to talk to me like that.]

When we were skyping earlier, I was telling Clara that I thought my helper’s bras were a little risqué (I see them on the washing line if I am ever in that part of the house), so I am thinking of ordering her to dispose of said items and buy more conservative breast support-wear. Clara responded that I have “no right to dictate what she wears under her clothes” (wtf?), and even when I expressed my concern that she may have a hot skype paypal business (why else would she need these garments? Surely she doesn’t have a boyfriend… that’s not allowed here), Clara took the help’s side against mine! She said that my helper “is an adult and can wear whatever she chooses, if it doesn’t affect her employment with me”.

Oh, Clara. You seem so knowledgable/ know-it-all, but I am beginning to wonder if you have any clue what the real world is like. No offence. Mwa Mwa, cuz xox

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P.S. Clara, your page about On the Skype Couch has only had a couple hundred hits in the last few weeks, so I decided to remove you from the page name. It’s much more impressive with just my name, and I’ve already noticed a surge in hits since I cut you out.

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!

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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 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.

What You Should Know From the Get-Go

I will have you know this: I have worked extremely hard to get where I am today.

I worked hard at school, at university, and then as a solicitor in London. I have learned eight languages, written countless books and articles on many subjects including law, green juicing, child psychology, anti-ageing products and procedures (advertisers, contact me! Freebies accepted under duress LOL), and travel, of course (I’m all over Trip Advisor reviews, but under a nom de plume); and I am an accomplished poet. My poetry has been compared to Rumi by my most literate friends.

Surprisingly (I am still surprised now, all these years later), I did not sashay my way through my Law degree as everyone said I would. It was actually quite difficult, and required my full attention; which I gave it, once I got to the final year. After my LPC I went into criminal law, and let me tell you, I have met some real characters.

So now, here I am, after all those years of blood, sweat and tears. I am finally where I always wanted to be. I have reached my zenith.

I, dear reader, am an Expat Wife.

I am an expat wife, like my mother before me, her mother before her, and her mother before her. Her mother before her, I am really not sure about, but I think she did very little with her life.