Monday, August 09, 2010

Tea and Sympathy

My flatmate Amanda believes women who say that it’s much better to be single and single than to be married and unhappy are big fat liars.

“Those cannot be the only two options!” she insisted recently after coming home from a tearful afternoon tea where she comforted her friend Marlene who’s just broken up with her husband of two years.

Apparently, the news was unexpected (Marlene and Doug had just bought a new home and an ice-cream maker) and it was delivered between the finger sandwiches and the scones.

Turns out that Doug has been having a fling with the wife of his boss and a few nights ago, he declared to Marlene that he was leaving her for “Trudy”.

“He can’t leave me for someone named ‘Trudy’!” Marlene is said to have shouted in the middle of the Regent hotel. But Amanda said the kicker came when Marlene then vented that she wished she’d never met Doug and never gotten married.

“I’d rather have been single!” Marlene declared, to which Amanda automatically replied, “Choy, choy, choy!”

“No, seriously, at least I would have been happy!” Marlene sobbed into her smoked salmon sandwich. “No one deserves to hurt like this!”

The verdict haunted Amanda so much that after the tea, she headed straight to Chanel and bought herself a bag, but even that sacred activity didn’t cheer her up. So she tried again at Louis Vuitton. By the time she walked out of Diane von Furstenberg, she felt a little better, but by then, she was haunted by a new thought.

“I refuse to believe that she’s right!” she told us back at home, her feet drawn up around her on the bed.

“Does this come in another colour?” Saffy asked as she inspected her reflection in the mirror while clutching this season’s Chanel tote-bag.

“Not all men are scum. They just take a bit of finding, that’s all!” Amanda went on, hugging her pillow for moral support.

“I really like this leather, but I’m not sure about the chain.”

“Marlene is talking pure nonsense! I’ve seen plenty of happy relationships. Plenty! My parents! They’re happy. Now that they’re sleeping in separate bedrooms…” Amanda trailed off.

“I do like the fact that Chanel always has these little pockets in their bags, you can fit in all your lipsticks and handphones and...what? Why are you looking at me like that?”

Saffy sighed and turned away from the mirror to face Amanda.

“I’m listening! I can multi-task, you know!” she said and sat down by the bed. “Look, I happen to think Marlene is right.”

Amanda looked shocked. “She is not right! She’s a big fat liar!”

Saffy bosom shifted slowly and she looked at Amanda with unaccustomed softness. “You know how you always fantasized about what you were going to be when you grew up? I always knew I was going to be a movie star. Just knew it in my bones, just as I knew I was going to marry Johnny Depp.”

Amanda sat up. “Johnny Depp? Really? He’s so scruffy though.”

“Oh, he’s totally hot in a nerdy way!” Saffy’s bosom inflated with lust. “I can’t tell you how devastated I was when he got involved with that Vanessa cow and had kids with her. My point is I’ve recently had to come to terms with the fact that short of a meteor hitting Hollywood and wiping out everyone from Meryl Streep to Sylvester Stallone, I’m never going to be a movie star. Which means that I’m also never going to marry Johnny Depp!” Saffy concluded and sat back with deep satisfaction while stroking the Chanel bag in a way that Amanda later said was very creepy.

“What’s your point, Saf?” I asked after a long moment’s silence as Amanda and I struggled to connect the dots.

Saffy looked at us as if we were each a marble short of a full set. “My point is that not all our dreams will come true and the sooner we get it, the better. Marlene obviously got the point.”

“That Doug is a douche-bag?”

“No! That, chances are, we’re either going to be in an unhappy relationship with someone who will probably break our heart, or,” Saffy sucked in breath, “we’re going to be alone for the rest of our lives!”

Choy!” Amanda yelled. “Those can’t be the only options!”

“You better get used to it, Amanda,” Saffy said as she got up from the bed and walked out still clutching the handbag. “You can’t pick and choose to suit yourself. Life isn’t like a Chanel store, you know.”

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