.. and took me along with it…
I bought this dress out of sheer desperation because I was invited to a glitzy event on Apr 5 that demanded evening dress, as no less than the Acting Minister of Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin would be Guest of Honour, plus a myriad talking heads that are fixtures in the media.
And I suspect, i might be sitting close to the main table, which turned out to be accurate — I was on the next table to GOH’s enlarged table. But then so were a couple of other tables, given the huge circumference of the GOH table.
Okay, what I bought isn’t strictly evening wear, in the sense that it isn’t black, floor length or gltizy. But hey, it’s a major concession for someone who mostly wears denim skirts, jackets, jeans or dresses, the operative adjective being denim.
So I bought the dress — mainly because of what the dress code demanded but also because believe it or not, I had functions on the two days following it, a rarity, as I’m no social butterfly .
So I bought the dress, as I could get the max bang out of the money spent, as i intended to – and did — wear the same dress to all three functions, because I was confident that none of the others going to the three functions would be “overlapping” guests.
I was right!
There was no buzz the first night, as there were many speeches, many strangers sitting with strangers and too many VVIP spotting for anyone, and I mean anyone, to pay attention to what I was wearing.. I could have ignored the dress code, something that I noticed quite a few in the 50+ tables gathering did..
It was different on the 2nd nite – Apr 6 — at old class mate HPC ’s 70th birthday bash at Penang Place in Biopolis – hosted by her myriad god-children. The party was so big that many PP regulars were driven to dine outside the restaurant!
Everyone thought me a bit formal– from the word go. NS who came to pick me up. Ditto LPC. And so on.
The dress was attention grabbing at the 3rd event for the right reason: JL celebrating the first spring of her first grand-kid at a high tea at Intercontinental at Bugis Junction.
Amidst all the singing and real babas and nyonyas dancing up a colorful storm, I was complimented by hostess JL and others, tho I was no competition at all for the star of the show: Anna Rose, all of 5 months!
It wasn’t the last outing for that dress. It got two more outings be4 it was sent into the wash. And if you wear the amount of Clinique’s Get Happy or Estee Lauder’s Beyond Paradise that I do, and go from aircon car to aircon malls and/or restaurants, then clothes can do several rounds be4 needing to meet the washing machine!
I kept the dress for a family lunch on Apr 10. We were going to ION but at the last moment opted for Plaza Singapura because I wanted to redeem the goodies in my Ichiban card!
Again, the law of co-incidences worked its magic for me. As we were finishing, a friend from CPF FBed me to say that Tim Ho Wan @ Plaza Singapura has opened — at last. A colleague had bought her some char siu bun that morning and they were delicious.
Had we gone to ION, I won’t have had the energy to dash over. But since I was in the same building, I decided to go pick up some of the buns while the rest of the family headed for the carpark where I promised to meet them within minutes. I’m the optimistic sort.
So it was with shock and surprise that I discovered the snaking line outside Tim Ho Wan. My heart jumped happily when told the takeaway queue was separate, believing it would be shorter.
I wasn’t wrong. It was shorter but each customer was limited to buying 5 buns! I consoled myself that as I wanted to buy 4 only, so being given 5 was a 25% bonus.
But the queue barely inched for 10 minutes. I soon found out why. An affable hunk with soothing voice and demeanour started explaining to potential customer by customer that all the buns had to be split between dine in and takeaway. Also, each tray that Chef Mak (founder of Tim Ho Wan) baked contained only 20 buns. Oh yes, the restaurant was quite liberal with early bird takeaways, allowing customers to buy unlimited quantities. Hence the backlog in meeting demand. Hence the ration.
In short, Tim Ho Wan didn’t, couldn’t or won’t anticipate the demand on what was its opening day, a fact i didn’t know till I had joined the queue willy nilly!
The minutes passed; family members called from the carpark to demand what was keeping me…
Said hunk and a colleague decided to close the queue altogether, sending other hopefuls on their way.
A few behind me in the queue quietly melted away, probably because they had to go back to work. I deliberated mentally whether I should give in but the Tim Ho Wan hunk was still nattering on and I was optimistic that if I applied some antique charm on him, he might let me have my order ahead of the others. At minimum he would be moved by pity that this ditzy auntie actually entertained thoughts of charming a hunk?
It was no dice but mayb our “flirtatious” conversation was so asinine that it drove away whomever else were behind me in the line and I found myself the last in the queue with some 10 others ahead of me.
My turn came finally around 2.45pm and it was worth the wait. I decided to try my luck and asked for 10 buns instead of the rationed 5 and was happily surprised when with a nod from the hunk my request was filled.
It was worth the wait and the wrath of family members who didn’t appreciate being left to cool their heels for 45 minutes in and around the carpark while I queued! Although half of the loot I passed over to sister D did mollify her somewhat.
Did my dress help in some supernatural way to get these golden buns? Or was it something else?
The next appearance of my dress may explain.
After four wearings, the dress was waiting its turn to be washed when I had to rush to the supermarket to pick up some essentials one late Saturday afternoon.
I grabbed it off the hanger, put it on and drove off to Clemeti Mall, thinking that such a big Fairprice Finest shouldn’t be too crowded. I was wrong. It was ren san, ren hai between the racks and at the check out lanes.
I was in a hurry and looking at my amount of purchases — not a lot and nothing wet or highly perishable — decided to die-die try the self-scan and check out lane.
Again, my trepidation was misplaced. A Fairprice sup came to my rescue. Not only that. She even gifted me with a spare “bonus point” voucher discarded by a previous customer and then took me through the paces.
It was easy peasy and I was so pleased with her thoughtful help that I grabbed a shot of her, to post on FB, Twitter and now in my blog. Good service should be acknowledged and publicised while the converse should at least be dissed thru word-of-mouth
So did this experience have anything to my much worn dress? Did it give out the sort of aura that made people want to help or be friendly to me? Was it the pastel shades or the soft draping material that softened my personality like a magic cloak?
I won’t know till I next wear it. But it will take me to more places for sure and give me more wear to make it worth the $59.90 I had paid for it