When you’re growing up, a single day can sometimes feel like a year and at the end of the day, as you’re being tucked into bed, it’s hard to believe that you’d ever managed to pack in so much – playing, reading, chatting, napping, laughing, crying, poo’ing, eating at least five times and then playing some more.
Then, one day, just when you least expect it, you realize that you’re all grown up now, there’s so much to do, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to pack it all in.
“Seriously, I have a to-do list as long as my arm!” Amanda complained the other night. She walked in the door, carelessly kicked her Manolo Blahniks into the corner and collapsed onto the sofa. “I’ve been in meetings all day and I still have 40 unanswered emails to sort through. And it’s nearly midnight! Where did my day go?”
From the other end of the sofa, Saffy looked up from an old episode of ‘The Amazing Race’ that she’d recorded a few months ago. “I hate emails!” she said. “They’re like a venereal disease, you just can’t get rid of them! Whoever invented that damned thing should be shot! Oooh, is it just me or are those cowboys, Jet and Cord super-hot?” Saffy cooed, demonstrating, not for the first time, her complete inability to stay focused on anything longer than a commercial break.
“I’d marry them in a heart-beat!” Amanda said immediately. “Even it means I have to live on a dusty old ranch, lasso horses, milk cows and say ‘Hey, y’all!’ all day!”
“That could almost be the lyrics to your next hit country single, Amanda!” Saffy giggled.
But still, Amanda’s question – ‘Where did my day go?’ – haunted us. As I write this, it’s the middle of June. And I distinctly remember us just celebrating the new year. At this rate, Christmas will be arriving tomorrow.
“You know what will really irritate me?” Amanda asked the next day. “It’s if I wake up and suddenly, I’m 60!”
“That’s all you’re worried about?” Saffy piped up. “I have nightmares that I’m going to wake up 60 and find I’m still single!”
“Choy, choy, choy!” Amanda said hurriedly as they both knocked religiously on our wooden dining table.
Saffy’s formidable bosom shifted with all the slow motion majesty of a John Woo gun fight. “Really, when you come right down to it, what’s the point of all this?” she asked, waving her hands around. “Each morning, we wake up. Drag ourselves to work. Suffer the indignity of being yelled at by fat ugly bosses. Get stressed with 300 emails and stupid deadlines. Go home and get ready to do it all again the next day. Oh, and we also get to take home five dollars a month! For what?” she added with great dissatisfaction.
“And at the rate the years are slipping by, 60 isn’t that far away!” Amanda said, stubbornly returning to her original point.
“60 doesn’t bother me at all!” Saffy huffed, though Amanda later said that was a bit rich coming from someone who’s been 29 for the past five years. “What does bother me is that I’m still going to be single at that age. How depressing would that be?”
What would be more depressing, I ventured, would be you weren’t single, but that you were shacked up with some Hong Kong movie star who insisted that no one knew the two of you were dating. Like how nobody knew Ronald Cheng and Charlene Choi had gotten divorced, when the greater shock was that no one had known they were married in the first place.
“Oh, yeah, those two weirdos!” Saffy said. “I’ll never understand that. And don’t get me started about that whole Fann Wong and Christopher Lee fandango. Why bother being attached if no one knows about it? I mean, isn’t the whole point of a boyfriend is so all those smug married couples can stop judging you?”
“And pitying you!” Amanda added.
Saffy sighed. “Ugh, I hate the pitying.”
Meanwhile, the bigger issue of how fast time is passing remains unsolvable. If Saffy and Amanda don’t want to wake up one day 60 and single, I don’t want to wake up one day realizing that I’d not done half the things I’ve always wanted to do. Like bungee jump. Learn how to ride a horse. Play the piano. Take part in a Bollywood dance number. Save the world.
And all because I spent the greater part of my life chained to a stupid desk.