How I Met Your Father

Dear Rockstar,

Mummy recently had a super (as in awe inspiring) spike in readership, thanks to the kindness of a great guy named Tim. Some readers asked how Mummy and Daddy met so here goes:

The Location:

Bar None, Singapore. Daddy crashed Mummy’s girls’ night out because some new girls had not known it was girls-only and had forwarded the invite to Daddy. The rest of us cc-ed on the mail had thought Daddy was a girl (his email address only had his Chinese name, Yuen Fong).

That’s how Daddy found himself the only male among a big bunch of girls. Daddy then went to the bar for two big jugs of Long Island Tea with lots of straws sticking out, which he held, one in each hand (Mummy hopes you remain forever too young to snicker at this), as he spoke to Mummy. Mummy’s friends flitted around but didn’t wander too far because they kept coming back to sip from the jugs Daddy was holding. So Mummy didn’t wander far either.

The Pickup Line:

“So what do you do for a living, are you a model?”

Mummy decided that anyone who thought this line was cool had to be safe and un-buaya. However, our conversation soon turned to work – Mummy is fascinated with geeky things like derivatives and investment products and Daddy is Supergeek.

Mummy also respects guts. When Mummy and friends went dancing, we were deliberately mean to any males who might approach us because we just wanted to be left alone to dance (hence the strict no-guys rule on our nights out). But when Daddy was still politely standing after our mean, we felt bad and tried to make up for it.

Your father later told Mummy our intimidation tactics were nothing compared to what he had already been through begging for the money and opportunities to complete his education.

Getting The Phone Number:

Mummy had no intention of giving your father her number. She couldn’t get out of it because she took out her handphone when one of her friends complained of a missed call. Daddy immediately took out his hp with an “Oh right – before I forget, what’s your number?”

Before Mummy could open her mouth to fake number him, he casually added “I’ll call you right back so you have my number.”

Getting The Home Address:

Area & Street Name: Mummy refused to let your father send her home, in case he was a fruitcake. So he queued politely with Mummy for a taxi and then listened in as Mummy instructed the driver.

Block Number: The next day, Daddy emailed saying he had a friend looking to rent a room in the same area/ street and was figuring out bus stops and routes to work. Somewhere in the conversation, Mummy also threw in that she lived on the top floor.

Mummy never figured out how your father located the exact flat (there were maybe 6 on the top floor) Mummy was renting a room in but he showed up with roses and a home-made card one evening.

The Offer:

Your parents dated for less than 6 months from that day in Bar None, before getting engaged.

Mummy had been looking for a job because the bank she worked in was undergoing a merger (she would eventually survive 3 mergers in her career). Daddy’s team at Rabobank was hiring. When it seemed we might date, Daddy offered to be the one to look for another job, if Mummy ended up on his team. Mummy does not know many investment bankers who would make that offer.

As a result, Mummy never went thru with interviewing at Rabo. Shortly after deciding to avoid Rabo, she began interviewing at HSBC and secured her (then) dream job 2 months later.

Daddy says he would not have stood a chance if Mummy hadn’t also been in the market and understood quite how good he was at what he does. That’s not true – nerd talk might turn Mummy on, but it was Daddy’s determination to succeed without sacrificing his values that made her think she could spend the rest of her life with him. Even if, unlike Mummy you don’t believe in God (she fervently hopes you will, but it is for you to accept Him yourself one day), we have a responsibility that defies living the letter of the law without also its spirit.

Mummy believes if you truly love someone, you can make all kinds of sacrifices for them. If they love you back, they will never let you sacrifice too much. And no relationship can work without both people loving each other.

The Ring(s) and tv:

Mummy wore a 0.3ct SGD400 ring for almost a year while she worked at HSBC with colleagues who wore giant rocks, before we finally got our own rock (1ct). Your father insisted. The condition was Mummy must never upgrade or buy any other diamond ring of her own (your father thinks this would make the one he bought meaningless. Also, Mummy’s colleagues had a rather intimidating habit of buying jewelry for themselves with their bonuses. Fine, Mummy did that too while she worked right up til 3 months ago, but as promised, never bought anything that quite topped the ring from your father).

Your father wears a SGD80 silver ring Mummy gave him early in the relationship from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In old, antiqued English, it says “If you have love, you have all.” From back when we started with nothing.

For Daddy’s engagement gift he didn’t want a watch or ring. (Some trendy choices among colleagues and friends were Cartier wedding bands or those love bracelets literally manacled round the guy's wrist but your father hates jewelry.)

Instead, he chose a giant, widescreen tv. Mummy left him in the shop after his first 45 minutes of snoresome discussion with the salesguy and went shopping, returning much later to pay for it when he had finally decided.

This happened almost 7 years ago from when Mummy is writing. She hopes when you’re old enough to read it Mummy and Daddy will still be together. As of today, at least Mummy can say we’re still in love and  make such a good team. But marriage and love require effort – on both parts – because life and experiences will inevitably change us as we grow older. Forever and ever is a long time, and if you think it was always easy, wait til you read the next installment…

Love,

Mummy

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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