“Haiyah, so one year see one time, so how ah? When you getting married/having kids/having your second kid etc”
Pisses you off doesn’t it? What sort of answer are the relatives going to expect? Tomorrow? Next month? On the 27th of July? This year, the ante is upped when the Ministry of Baby Making blasts headline after headline with freebies, goodies, dollars and cents just so that you Singaporeans can make us some babies! All over the world, baby numbers are dwindling – small countries such as us and Hong Kong face the real problem of wipeout in a couple of generations if the statistics continue its trend.
Mr. Government may be barking up the wrong tree – the ground keeps criticising they’re merely “throwing money at the problem”, so off they went to the drawing board and came up with: Dating Vouchers. Don’t laugh – it’s true, the Social Development Unit (otherwise known as the Institution of Matchmaking) is actually paying for your dates. If you actually met someone you want to spend your life with, you better keep it a secret till your death bed, you really don’t want your partner to think that you’re too cheap to even pay the full price of a social event! Oh well, if you’re going to be cheap, bloody hell, why not go all the way? Supplement your dates with vouchers you can claim off your credit cards, flyer miles, telco points! Damn, if you have enough guests, you could even get a corporate sponsor to cover your wedding!
Steady boh, imagine this: Edward and Chantel’s wedding, brought to you by Giordano.
But the problem Mr. Government, maybe people are afraid to get into relationships! You date one girl for a hundred years, and then you breakup – then what? Look for a new one? So easy meh? I’m sure you all read about this Yahoo article about “runaway brides”, turns out that couples nowsadays have no qualms about splitting up at the very last minute. Very clinical. Very sad. I’ve got a few friends who have had this happen to them – not funny at all. So maybe the problem is that our relationships are just like Vin Diesel, too fast, too furious. Steady, break, steady, break, patch back, not happy, break, steady again, break again – I tell you, even the most fickle minded market aunty also will kee-siao.
So if MCYS (or is it MCYY now?) wants to spend, why not do something radical? Here’s an idea: Love Insurance! For a premium, you can both buy an insurance that will make a payout if you breakup! To protect from misuse, this could work just like car insurance: No Claim Bonus style! Sure can work right? Think of what couples will say! “Eh dear, sorry lah, dun break up lah, i buy you flower ok? I don’t want to affect my NCB on my next girlfriend…buy you dinner lah nor…” – problem sorted! Girls, you can even check on the dating history of your boyfriend-to-be (for a small fee of $20 of course, eh what, free ah? Got admin fee you know!)
Ok, so this sorts out the dating part – singles everywhere, now insured against breakups. They date dutifully and one fine day, the boy proposes to the girl in a (surprise, surprise) hotel room, on a vacation of course (eh, don’t look at me like that! How many of you have proposed this way! Ha!). He hands over the Lee Hwa, the girl says “so when buy HDB” and they’re on the way. After that – the real problem: to baby or not to baby.
Seriously lah, think like a Gen Y-er, think like a modern 21st century couple: why the hell would I want to sacrifice sleep, salary, sun, sea and sand to look after a screaming bundle day after day, night after night for 18 bloody years before the bundle can start drawing a salary and feed his own fridge? I’m not belittling the fact that children are a joy and blah, blah, blah… but let’s go back to the drawing board and think like a modern executive. Father works, mother works so you’ll either be subcontracting baby duty to either grandparents or a maid. No wonder people are saying it’s expensive. So unless your baby bonus is enough to keep a fleet of Ferraris, you’re going to continue hearing complains that “…neh-hoon ish very expensive”.
We’re not looking for work-life balance either. If anything, we’re looking especially hard for work-life imbalance. Imbalanced in favour of life to be exact. Look, in Spain they have siestas, in Britain they have the pubs, in France they have frogs legs and wine, in New Zealand they have sheep and all over the world people have a drink and a good time without having to mortgage their flat. But what about us? Having lunch at Lau Pa Sat is just about the most exciting thing to happen in the day! And after work? Zoom – back home to the telly because entertainment is just too damn expensive… and nobody talks or discusses anything over a coffee, what fun is that?
No wonder we need bloody discount vouchers on dates! Have you seen the price of a musical? Or a movie? Or a good restaurant? The price could pay off a ransom in some countries!
So we need cheap entertainment – and laymen’s entertainment please. This is Singapore and majority of us still don’t speak the language of art galleries, Shakespeare and caviar. Keep it simple please, we work our brains hard enough at work and the last thing we need is to think of why it ought “to be or not to be…”, and to us 24601 is too many numbers to buy into this weekend’s 4D.
It’s ironic really, the wealthy are starved for time… the middle class are clamouring for wealth, thus have no time… and that my friend, is perhaps why we’re exporting our baby production abroad.
But please don’t tell the Ministry of Baby Making to stop handing out money yet, because…heheheh… a little money is still better than none *wink*