Sunday, December 31, 2017

Face Off

In the little flat I share with Saffy and Amanda, we are all still reeling from the brave new world of Instagram.
            “Why did we not get on this earlier?” Amanda marveled the other day at brunch at the Ritz-Carlton as she slowly scrolled through @thegarrettswann. He’s part of the new generation of silver fox models – cute, well-built guys with white hair who look old because of their white hair, but aren’t actually old. Like Anderson Cooper. Apparently, there’s a huge market for guys like that. “Goodness, he’s lovely,” Amanda murmured.
            Saffy lifted her eyes from her phone and looked at Amanda sideways. “Would you like us to leave the room?”
            “No, really, look at this shot!” Amanda thrust her phone at Saffy. “And this is him with clothes on! Why do I never meet men like him?”
            Saffy gave Garrett the benefit of her attention. Her lips pursed. “Yes, I see the attraction,” she conceded. “But he looks like he has more skincare products than a woman. Do you really want to be with a guy who’s actually higher maintenance than you?”
            “Well, I don’t necessarily want to be in a long-term relationship with him,” Amanda told her. “A short-term fling is perfectly acceptable to me. Just to see what the fuss is all about.”
            From the other end of the table, Barney Chen said silver foxes are overrated. “I knew this model once? Had the whole Anderson Cooper look going on. He said it really was hard work. Turns out he’s a natural brunette, so he had to spend hours dying not just the head on his hair, but also his chest hair and his Australian hair! Can you imagine?”
            “Really? Isn’t that, like a lot of work?” Amanda asked.
            Barney growled. “Can you imagine?”
            “Yah, Australian very han-sum! I oh-so like!” Sharyn piped up, as she struggled with the shells on her prawns. You could tell she was anxious not to be left out of the conversation.
            Barney frowned. “Matt isn’t Australian. He’s German.”
            Sharyn paused in her deshelling and looked up at Barney over the top of her thick spectacles. “Then why he have Australian hair?”
            Saffy leaned in and whispered into her ear. Sharyn turned pink. “Aiyoh! That is called Australian hair, meh?”
            Barney shrugged. “That’s what I call it. Cause it’s Down Under? Get it?”
            “Eeee, like that oh-so can dye, ah?”
            “That’s why it’s a lot of work,” Barney told her.
            “Wah lau!”
            “Well, I for one, am still unable to tear myself away from watching Dr Sandra Lee!” Saffy said. “I was so worried that giving up Facebook would mean I couldn’t watch any more pimple pops, but here she is multi-tasking like a true blue Singaporean on Instagram!”
            There was a collective sigh around the table.
            “I love her,” Amanda moaned.
            “I start each day watching one of her clips while eating my muesli,” Barney said, his voice booming like boulders falling from a great height. “I’ve had a lot of one-night stands walk out on me because of that, but I don’t care. She’s way up there with Wonder Woman!”
            A few days later, out of sheer curiosity, I logged onto Facebook to see what everyone was up to. As I reported to Saffy, it was dire.
            “All that moaning and complaining!” I said.
            Saffy rolled her eyes. “Ugh. I checked in too. First thing I saw was Hilda’s post. Did you see it? She took screen shots of conversations she has with guys on Tinder and she and her friends were all laughing at how ugly and delusional they all are.”
            “Which one is Hilda?” Amanda asked.
            “The one with the big mole on her forehead.”
            Amanda raised an eyebrow.
            “I know,” Saffy said grimly. “Pot, please meet kettle!”
            “People can be so cruel,” Amanda said piously. As I later said to Barney, my eyes were rolling so far back, you could probably only see the whites.
            “Speaking of,” he growled, “did you see Kim’s Instagram posts of the fabulous white dress she had on after the Met Ball?”
            “Kim who?”
            My sister says it’s a strange world we live in when we’re literally on first names terms with Hollywood celebrities.
            “You need to be on Instagram!” I told her.
            “I know,” Michelle said. “My Facebook wall has become such a hostile environment. Every other post is of someone bitching about something or someone!”
            “Here,” I said, reaching for her phone. “Let me introduce you to Instagram and Garrett.”


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