“A friendly reminder of …… Baby Shower….. Tomorrow 3pm Cafe Gray”
Crap. Tomorrow?? I thought it was Monday. No scratch that. This is Kings' fault. Of course it is. "Oh 20th is a Mon. I'll be back to watch Rockstar before your party" <whack forehead with heel of hand> Come on Aileen, you know the man you married is incapable of lucid conversation when he has a blackberry in his hand.
I’ve never had a baby shower. I was too busy trying to prove I was a kick-butting professional who hadn’t noticed she’d been knocked up. “Yeah I gained some weight, recently… like, 45 lbs.”
Except this one time on a conference call vetting some hairy termsheet “Aiyo you people… My baby is turning into a quant!” A momentary pause followed by uproarious laughter on the other end. Oh, did I say that out loud? (Maybe it’s a Goldie thing – the superquants find that hilarious.) 2 days before I checked into the hospital, I was in the dealing room ,“Ok, so I’m off to have a baby now... My email works from home right?”
Friend Whose Party This Is For, also a banker, married someone who used to be a partner in a hedge fund firm. Before they set up their own hedge fund, they were all Goldies (ie from Goldman Sachs).
Wait a minute - I recognize a name on the mailing list – from the Who’s Who columns of senior bankers moving from this bank to that bank. I scan the address list – there are quite a few bank email addresses. In fact, now I remember - this bunch swings really swanky parties*. And I haven’t done my shopping or thought about what to wear. Freaking fantastic. It’s much harder to dress for women than it is to dress for men.
*They organized a hen party at Azure. I planned what I was going to wear (navy with taupe patterned three-quarter sleeve chiffon dress with high neck and ruffles and a skirt that hits just above the knee, trusty gold Prada snakeskin heels, deep red glossy lipstick in as made-up a face as I will ever do, Burberry black Cinda bag – I left my day bag behind in the office when I went for the party because it didn’t match the outfit) and spent countless lunch hours shopping for the perfect gift (Agent Provocateur, but I asked for the Lane Crawford matte gold gift wrapping instead – it went better with the little black whip in soft luxurious leather with large white feathers that I attached to the front of the box, after convincing the hot salesgirl in pink-and-black uniform with the fishnets to sell me the whip right out of their window display.
After dinner, countless be-stockinged hazings of the bride-to-be and an upright penis cake one of the mums had asked the lady who bakes her son’s school snack cupcakes to make up (and which many other restaurant patrons came to our table to take cellphone pictures of), the others went to M1nt while I went home to Rockstar. Maybe I should have stayed, I remember Kings’ colleagues offering him some kind of membership there for HKD 15,000 – which was taken up by a fresh joiner to the bank in her mid-20s - and apparently you see lots of models and stars but I missed the one I had at home and was used to rushing home straight after work.)
Anyway with Kings in Vegas, Rockstar and I were going to brunch at Landmark Café before spending the entire weekend browsing the Central shops and scoffing at “silly girl dresses” (well I have to give him some incentive – he hates shopping.)
I passed all these places several times a day... On occasion there were demonstrators on those steps...
Now I have to do a default “corporate” gift ie buy some generic luxurious branded thing with nice wrapping like she’s a corporate counterpart instead of one of my best friends. At least for this party. Still hoping to personalize the gift a bit more, I pop into Mothercare to look for the knee-length tights I suggested in basic black/ white/ navy/ heather, a staple for anyone who wants their young toddler to not flash as they learn to walk and crawl and pull their dresses up. (But no luck – everything is spangled or pink, which I find harder to match.)
(I thought to look for tights after hearing her husband has decided there will be no bikini contests when their baby girl grows up (hahaha good luck with that one), and there has been some discussion about short toddler skirts.)
So Jacadi. No-brainer “corporate” gift. But I spend more than an hour deliberating outfits (they’re expensive, at least they should be pieces that can be mixed into several different outfits – which is why I decide against a dress, in favor of separates.) And of course, they’re completely out of their beautiful catalogues. Darn. I learned to dress Rockstar from those catalogues. I gravitate over to the boys section. May as well. I’m already in the store, right? Why not. Exactly.
Just the grey cardigan is HKD 1,300. “On sale” it’s HKD 1,040. I know the argument, you lovingly keep these clothes for the next generation. Rockstar’s own little boy one day. But I have no work stress to fuel my shopping so I settle for a beautiful wool cap with a crest on the top – to keep Rockstar warm despite him hating most headgear – this looks like his Halloween policeman’s cap from Toys R Us (when he has it on, Police Officer Sergeant Rockstar is on his best behavior. I was hoping he would wear a cap like that outside to similar result.)
Landmark taxi queue... For the longest time there were demonstrators outside the Citibank on the left too... And a taped recording of "Citibank Pui Cheen Pui Cheen" (Citibank compensate us)... You usually pass them on your way to Bumps To Babes...
Wildfox Couture sweater the salesgirls were asking me where to buy online...
When I get home, Rockstar sniffs at the Jacadi hat before disappearing out the door. He returns with his Halloween costume cap and a serious explanation why this is better. So now I have to return Beautiful Wool Cap With Crest On Top.
(written last night) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This morning I come down with horrible stomach flu. Stupid fried fish the helper made for dinner the previous night is still in my stomach in the morning. But not for long. It’s all downhill from there and I can barely stand by the time I find a doctor. No posh baby shower for me.
Instead of HKD 600-800 tea, I see International Doctors Limited (the only one open on a Saturday who isn’t fully booked – they have one slot left) for a HKD 900 consultation. Our own family doctors do not do weekends (though the pediatricians have pagers).
Staggering home from the doc’s, I’m greeted by the sight of Rockstar fast asleep half buried in pillows, his mouth open. I clean up and climb in.
When I wake, it’s 3pm – I would have been at the party. Rockstar rolls over and looks at me with unsettlingly alert beady hamster eyes, when he was in deep sleep only a moment ago. I put my hand on the pillow, palm up, between us. A little hand joins mine. Then another little hand meticulously adjusts my fingers, just so, around the first hand, before dropping back to the pillow. Consciousness rapidly leaves his face. He sleeps with his eyes partly open, like I do – it freaks the hell out of his father. I watch his eyes flicker back and forth, the pupils rolling and dancing under half-closed lids. Little fingers twitch.
Best party in the world.