They say that jealousy is not a good colour on anyone. And by they, I mean, of course, my mother. It’s something she’s always saying to her sisters whenever they lose to her in mah-jong, or when she shows up at her weekly book-club wearing new diamonds that my father bought her in a mad fit of guilt over some fight they had had the night before about something that had really been my mother’s fault but which she had skillfully turned into his.
In the little flat that I share with Saffy and Amanda, we’re always jealous about other people’s good fortunes.
I’m jealous that Dan Brown can write a multi-million dollar best seller without even raising a sweat.
“How difficult can it be to write a stupid blockbuster novel?” I say to myself every day as I sit in front of my computer staring at a blank screen.
Amanda is jealous that Prince William never looked her way when she showed up in her slinkiest most revealing Prada dress at the Botanic Gardens in the high heat of the day, hoping that he would fall so madly in love and lust with her that he would immediately cause an international scandal by ditching the Duchess of Cambridge and moving in with us in our little flat.
“And to think that he may actually have knocked Kate up while they were in Singapore,” Saffy observed quietly.
“Hate her!” Amanda sniffed.
Meanwhile, Saffy is jealous that her most treasured possession, her formidable twin-peaked bosom, has yet to land her a coveted Victoria’s Secret Angel gig.
“Seriously,” she said while we watched last year’s show on YouTube for the millionth time, “can someone really tell me that she hasn’t had a boob job? Whereas my babies, which are all natural, aren’t as deserving of prime time TV?”
“It’s an absolute crime,” Amanda said.
Saffy, who wouldn’t recognize irony if she had a one-night stand with it and got knocked up, nodded in sisterly solidarity. “I know, right?”
What bugs us is just how easily good fortune seems to come to other people. As Amanda observes, the only reason she can see why she’s not the current Duchess of Cambridge is that she lives in a flat in Toa Payoh.
“I’m just as pretty as that Kate woman!” she said the other day as she grudgingly admired, for the hundredth time, pictures of the Royal Wedding in her souvenir Women’s Weekly edition. “And I’ve got a degree from Harvard! What does she have?”
“Royal connections and a posh British accent,” Saffy piped up helpfully.
“Oh shut up, Tyra!”
But what really gets our goat is all those people who became instant millionaires because of an app they designed. ‘Angry Birds’ get us particularly incensed.
In one year, the developers made $100m. One hundred million dollars. From a game that basically shoots badly drawn cartoon birds at badly drawn cartoon pigs.
“Wah, so fun, I tell you!” was Sharyn’s verdict as she tried out the Christmas edition. “I play play play till I cannot sleep! Jia-lat!”
This only made Saffy even grumpier as she thought of all the hundreds of millions of Sharyns out there who’d just parted with good money for such a stupid game.
“Why can’t we come up with an app of our own?” she demanded the other morning. The question haunts her waking hours as she scribbles ideas into a notebook that's devoted to app development. So far, her best idea is a variation on Angry Birds, but instead of birds, round heads bearing a remarkable resemblance to Prince William are hurled at a pair of bouncing breasts. “Modelled on mine,” she adds just in case anyone missed the resemblance.
Leave it to Sharyn to come up with an app idea that might actually make money. She told me about this afternoon at lunch, leaning in over a steaming bowl of bah kut teh.
“You know how there are apps that help you find people, like dates and friends?” she whispered, the steam from the soup fogging her thick glasses. “They show you on a map and where other people are, right?”
She took my silence as encouragement to go on. “What if you have an app that tells you if your enemies are near! Then you can fast fast run away!”
When Amanda heard about this, her reaction was: “Oh. My. God. That is sheer genius! Why didn’t we think of that? I have so many enemies I’m always scared of bumping into!”
Saffy says the first person she’d add with this new app would be Sharyn.