Thursday, December 27, 2007

Like Walking on Aire

I’m happy most of the time.

I have an amazing partner, great friends, a job I mostly enjoy and I’ve never really wanted for anything in my life.

I say most of the time because about one day out of the seven that make up the week, I morph into this materialistic, money-faced bitch who grovels at the shined boots of the gods of Stuff.

I love Stuff. Love it. I’ve never really wanted Stuff before in my life, but lately, I’ve really been getting into it.

Look, I know that this is a season of giving or whatever. I know friends who are so saintly that they never fall in head-over-heels in love with material possessions and believe in the sanctity of buying things only when they need them, and even then, with utmost caution. I have pals who would rather save up for the future of their unborn children than squander it on a new set of clothes. I used to be one of them.

But I suppose I’m making up for lost time – when I was twelve or so, I was the girl who famously wore an orange shirt with hot pink bicycle shorts bought at the neighbourhood wet market for three dollars or so.

I was the girl who carried a free bag that screamed “I love reading!” when all my friends were carrying the then-uber-fashionable Kipling or Kipling imitations. You know that kid who had the violet-coloured plastic specs when all the cool girls had silver or gold metal rims? Me.

And the one who had to wear her school skirt two inches below the knee because according to her mother “you’re in school to study, not to meet boys!”? Guilty as charged.

So now that I’m older and have started gaining a little financial independence, you can’t really blame me for coveting a whole bunch of Stuff, most of which I can’t afford. It doesn’t help that everytime work gets a little overwhelming, Dee and I start discussing designer bags and which ones would be the best addition to our collections – both functional and to-die-for in design.

Today, after meeting one too many Coach-toting, diamond-bracelet-wearing, Ferragamo-buying tai-tais, I stormed grumpily into a department store and bought a cup of bubble tea, which I drank while simultaneously stewing in a funk and window-shopping.

At the Loewe store, I stopped outside to stare at the latest object of my desire:

The Loewe Nappa Aire.

It comes in three different sizes and seven different colours, and it’s made out of the softest, smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom, most unbelievable goat leather imaginable – I know, I’ve run my grubby little fingers across it repeatedly. And with its soft, basket-like shape, it falls into the category of chi-chi bags that are wearable and useable while still looking different.

Sipping my tea slowly while staring at the latest metallic colours like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, I felt frustrated to know that all I was ever going to be able to comfortably afford was my two dollar drink, while various people from the well-heeled to upper crust teenage brats swanned in and out of the shop and saleswomen salaamed their every move.

There are people who are turning in their graves at the thought of an animal lover like me coveting something made out of goat leather. And then there are those who think that girls who love these goods as much as I do are shallow, soulless bitches.

Well, duh, of course I am!

Hey, I’m no saint and besides, I know that out there, even the most straight-laced, god-fearing girl secretly covets something unattainble.

So yeah, one day a week (or so), I have no trouble giving in to my inner Pretty Woman and standing outside stores that refuse to serve me so that I can unabashedly ogle their merchandise. And if by any chance, there’s a (possibly good-looking, not too old) sugar daddy out there whose willing to sponsor some presents for a semi-cute chick in return for a full-on rendition of Santa Baby, I’m your girl. I mean, I may not be willing to give you sex or anything, but I can grill a pretty mean steak.

Even though we’re mostly loving individuals who understand the zen principles of being happy with what one has, we know we’re going to sell out for something at least once in a while.
Because really, whether or not Stuff makes us happy in a true and lasting way, we’re all jonesing for something that’ll give new meaning to the words “retail therapy”

And at $2,700 a pop, that’s true and lasting enough for me.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Dirtiest Mac Of All

Wei: “Look, Jie, I think I’ve learnt just how to play a signature John Lennon solo!” *plays the same two chords repeatedly in rapid succession with his eyes half closed*

Me: *laughing my head off* That’s almost exactly it.

Wei: You’re a blues, Shu, you’re a blues.

It’s times like this when I understand why I get on with my little brother so well.