Dear Rockstar, We Create Our Own Fairytales

Dear Rockstar,

Once upon a time, there was a pretty girl who cleaned floors for her ugly step sisters and mother, dreaming of the day when she would meet a prince who would whisk her away to live in a palace where someone else would do the housework.

Not too far away (Mum thinks, since they seem to all have been following the same crap - maybe it was the water they were drinking) was another pretty girl whose adopted mother put her in a tall tower with lots of books and jigsaw puzzles. But she still dreamt of meeting a prince who would climb up by the rope of her long hair and whisk her away to live in a palace that had tv perpetually tuned to Lunar Jim and CNBC.

Then there was the girl whose step mother tried to kill her for being too pretty so she ran away and met dwarfs. She choked on an apple til a prince came to save her and whisk her away to live in a palace.

Mummy thinks this is why lots of people think happily ever after comes with prettiness and princes. Also maybe a reason for Bridezilla.

When their rockstars were born, Mum watched some of the women around her receive “push presents,” many of which would yes, involved diamonds or expensive watches. So anyway your mother quite likes diamonds. (Surprise, surprise.)

(Well gold, watches and especially diamonds store some value – they are like a fixed deposit account you can wear - Bloomberg has an old article about diamonds because of US dollar weakness and well, it's easier to store than gold bullion under your bed... Mum once had a colleague with maybe 20 expensive watches and an elaborate bequeathing each item to nephews, nieces and so on, matching each timepiece to the personalities of their recipients. As in "I think this nephew is more a Cartier Santos." Justify, justify, justify.)

But then when Mum first agreed to marry your father he was heavily in study loan debt and still had 2 siblings’ college education to pay for. We did not remain in debt for too long, but even when we began to do well, memories of those beginnings made Mum find it very hard to expect diamonds from Daddy. And well Daddy just doesn't shop like that.

Yet Mum is still a girl. With friends and (now ex) colleagues who had stuff. And this the thing, because even though they don’t particularly want guys to buy them stuff, they will occasionally still look at the stuff their friends’ guys buy them and wonder why their own guys didn’t buy that for them. And then a girl will feel really, really bad for thinking it, however briefly.

Then one day Mum realized it wasn’t uncommon for her ex colleagues to have “right hand rings” that boasted rocks larger than the ones they wore on their wedding ring fingers. So she went out and eventually bought 3 more for herself.

(And then she quit to spend more time with you because she realized she could never buy that.)

Then your father invested in blog platforms and advertising, and Mum figured all that stuff she wanted to record about raising you (the first 2 years of your life went by in such a flash while she was working that she never wanted to miss a single thing more) could be a blog so your father and friends could test away.

Mum wrote on Word, backing bits and pieces up separately in case her blog became irrecoverable. Guinea Pig Blog Of Unforgettable Moments can be oxymoron-scary. But it wasn’t like you could expect some other blogger to just come in and let you loose on their blog with their slicing and dicing testing, was it? It was Mum's way of being supportive to your father. That was the only reason in the beginning it was a blog and not simply a diary.

Mum lost pictures or links often, and later on as she grew to understand the concept of blogging, also a lot of readership. Besides often going down for maintenance and upgrade, the servers were maintained in China, so the blog took prohibitively long to load if you accessed it from Malaysia or Singapore (it loaded faster if you were accessing from say, China). But Mum always assumed her readers were Malaysian/ Singaporean (because she lived in Northasia, she never intended Northasian readership, thinking the family would have more privacy that way. Things didn't quite work out that way, though.)

What Mum didn't know for some time was, your father would come home from his grueling banking day job, and quietly back up Mum’s entries in an identical blog on a completely separate platform even as we read Mr Men books and said nightly prayers before bed, or were already asleep. Cos when his blog experimental platform chewed up Mum's stuff, Daddy felt bad (though Mum didn't complain that much, it was what she signed up for)

When it was decided to temporarily divert resources away from the experimental blog platform, Mum had lovingly kept this blog, growing more and more valuable to her as it captured precious moments and attracted reader emails and comments, for about a year. It was then your father told Mum he had registered this blog domain sometime back, and completely replicated her blog, some 250 or so entries. Oh, and he threw in a professional blog design too, could he have a few pictures for the designer please?

In case you were wondering, this is how your parents love each other. Your mother and father do not sweet nothing (possibly your mother could, though she thinks talk is cheap, but it is not likely your father can do this if his life depended on it. Your smartass-ness continues to amaze and confound him. You should keep it up.)

Sometimes your parents do not even walk together on the same street, your father can be insanely impatient and occasionally Mum would still like to wear heels even though she isn't very good on them. Therefore we have been known to meet at our destination, while walking at different speeds.

(Oh, and tangled phone wires, dog hair balls and piles of books or boxes can also make your father strangely upset. He goes thru manic cleaning sprees every couple months, which is when you and Mum spend extra hours out, sometimes with the stressed-out dog along (when JD starts getting earnest scoldings for shedding it is time to stay out of your father's way, both your parents are obsessive-compulsive but in different ways)... As you get older Mum will be reminding you to hide anything you don't want to lose during one of his sprees, because mark my words, Daddy throws everything.)

Exiting lift for day out - note spaced out expression on Daddy - this means he is not really here, he has not left the office yet

See? On the berry shortly after...

Before you were born your parents could sometimes go a whole workweek without really speaking to each other. Now it's more like, half a week. As in, we could easily maintain second spouses and families, though Daddy might notice if Mum was preggers (this is a joke, but it's true Mum has had RMs give her lectures on cheating, "Seriously. Do you know how easy it is for a man to keep another wife in another city?" But well they should know, Mum has had RMs who have to provide alibis for cheating clients)

10 years ago your mother didn't believe in the institutions of family or marriage. She knew so many people who weren't happy together. And some spoke a lot nicer to each other on a daily basis than sometimes your parents do. It can really freak out colleagues and friends. Not that we say mean things to each other but just how we cut short conversations when we're busy. (Ok, nowadays that's more your father since Mum has stopped working)

But never doubt that your parents love each other. We just say it by sending handbags for professional cleaning, going for the occasional modelling job... And you have this blog. This is our fairytale. But without the bullshit.

Love, Mum

Oh, and look, Daddy on his berry again! Twins!

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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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  • Dora

    Great new design. Love the colours.

    I’ll take a gift like this over diamonds any day. Really demonstrates his love and dedication.

    As for diamonds – one really only need to fork out some cash right? 😉

    • Anonymous

      Right! Same as replacing them dining chairs and other furniture he throws out! 😀

  • zmun2

    Dear Aileen, I love your fairytale without the b*llsh*t. A long lasting loving relationship is all about understanding, loving and accepting each other and you have all the ingredients as illustrated by your/this post. Your husband does not need to buy any diamonds because you are the only diamond he will ever need or want in his life. I believe that he treasures you immensely (I went and read all the posts in your archives about your courtship/love story after reading this post – I can’t help it – I just love a beautiful love story)..

    • Anonymous

      Thanks zmun… erm, dunno bout the diamond thing but meant to say with the courtship/ relationship thing that happy marriage doesn’t come easy, it takes a whole lotta work! (But wow, can’t believe you really went back and read all that?? That’s a HUGE compliment!!)

      • zmun2

        Hehe, I myself can’t believe I read your archives too but I did. What a romantic adventure – getting married in Las Vegas and not to mention Elvis too…

  • Heather Sario

    Another beautiful piece, Aileen.
    I melted with the not-too-obvious sweetness, and smiled at King’s not-too-prince charming-yet-so-so-so-so-real-kingly ways.
    That’s the kind of fairytale I’d like to tell my kids one day too.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Heather, sometimes a bit worried about overshare but without fleshing out things like Kings throwing out our dining chairs and bedside tables very hard to illustrate… Loved your letter too btw, but didn’t know how to comment…