Upgraded Girls

Ever read books called “4 Blondes” or “Trading Up” by Candace Bushnell?

It’s hilarious. It’s also scary, especially to me, to realize that there are so many women out there, who are willing to give up anything, anything!, just to climb a social ladder and be in a better position (richer, more famous, etc).

Oddly enough I’ve seen this thing is happening around me.

There are lots of girls who would do anything and jump right into every possibility, setting aside their own dignity. There’s an interesting description about the main character in both books, Janey Wilcox (gosh what a lame name!): “Janey had no money, but she’d found that was irrelevant as long as she had rich friends and could get rich men”.

That is so scary. But yet it’s so real. I have happened to see a nice, bright, young lady, who had sacrificed her friends, career, and even dignity, just to be with this married guy, in order to get a monthly pocket money, a rent in a nice place (which is as nice as 5 star hotel and much much nicer compares to her tiny, gloomy room across the street before, and rumoured to be as expensive as her monthly salary), luxurious things such as brand new bags and clothes, iPod, guitar, PDA, and other expensive stuffs. Today she looks much more polished than a couple years a go. Upgraded alright. The reason why she’s chosen that path, I guess, was because her colleagues’ influence. This girl worked for an office, which its staffs are rich girls (well they’re not entirely rich, mostly their parents or husbands are), and they show up with authentic Louis Vuitton bags, Prada clothes, and Bulgary watches. Of course she wanted to be accepted in the society, and she wanted to feel those nice luxurious stuffs its name she never heard of before. One way was open, and she just jumped right in. She forgets that no matter how expensive the bag she carries, she still can’t by a sense of style, or class.

One girl hooked up with a guy who just moved from Singapore. He showed up a couple months ago with this girl, and instantly we know there’s something… missing… about this girl. I mean she’s so stiff, never said a word, always sat next to him and never wanted to mingle with us. Then we found out that she keeps lying about her job (keeps changing if one asks what she does for a living), and she doesn’t speak English! How she talk to HIM… we never know. Perhaps they only need three words: you, me, and bed. But that’s not a relationship, is it? But the guy made a plea to my friend, begged her (and us) to be nice to his ‘friend’, because – on his defense – he wouldn’t be able to find a ‘nice girl like you’ (mean us), he’s not in the mood of relationship right now, and his situation is perfect for him (I guess by situation he meant: he provides money and she provides, err.. everything else). The girl, of course, is really enjoying her position right now. When my friends went to this guy’s party, the girlfriend happily gave a a free advice to my friend, which is: hurry up, immediately find a rich bule (white, western) guy, because they will fly you to Bali, pay your dinner, buy you clothes, and other stuff. Upgraded alright.

An extreme example would be this girl. She’s in her early twenties and has managed to made herself pregnant (!) with a senior Western guy (!). They went out a couple of times, but nothing exclusive at that time. But of course she must seize the day! After a long, long time of doubts and endless arguments, he decided to keep the baby. She delivered a beautiful boy and  when he saw the baby, he melted. So then he married her. She now is a lady of the house. With huge monthly allowance, of course. What a big gamble she played, and yet she has won!

The main reason behind the idea of upgrading themselves without considering the moral ethics, honour, and dignity, is because they project themselves to be in a certain “level”, certain “degree”. They see themselves walking in Plaza Indonesia with brand new Gucci bag and spending lots of cash for coffee, lunch, dinner, and shopping. They want to have nice clothes and gadgets, join the expensive gym and clubs, go to Bali and preferably Singapore and hopefully further up like UK or US (hence, they could have a passport, yay!!), so they can brag about it to their friends. Knowing that they can’t afford it, they would do anything to be able to catch the dream. The easiest way to upgrade them? Finding a rich guy, of course!

I find it amazing, when my friend told me about this girl, who was an ex-fiancee of a Westerner who is working for hospitality industry. This girl never works! She has monthly allowance from her daughter’s father (not the ex-fiancee), and from the hotel manager as well. With this money she’s able to feed herself, her baby AND her mom. When she broke-up from him, she’d found a guy who would feed her and her family as well. Like the main character in Bushnell’s books, she surrounded herself with rich friends and found a rich guy. She never had to work. If she runs out of money she just has to phone some guy and they will send her cheque. She told my friend that she thinks working is a dull task. The last time I heard about her, was that she’s getting married soon. With a rich guy, I assume….

Maybe the world has changed.

Maybe I’m too judgmental. But I wonder if these ladies I told about are really happy? Is she happy, knowing that she sleeps with someone else’s husband? Is she happy, knowing that he wants nothing else except a gorgeous kitten to display and bed and does not care about her feeling at all? Is she happy, knowing that she can get a guy to be her baby’s father but can’t tame him because he still goes out and flirts all the time? Are they happy, knowing that they have lost their dignity and honour in the process of finding  ‘happiness’?

Would they really do those things just for money? Just to upgrade themselves?

Janey Wilcox was asked what she wanted, “What do you want out of life?” and she answered:

“I just want to have a good summer.”

We all do.

But some will do anything to be able to have a good summer, no matter what it takes. Others, I hope, just like me, are sane enough to work hard to make a living, and spend a good summer accordingly, as a reward to ourselves.


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