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Monday, July 04, 2005

What makes an SPG?

When I was a hysterical, hyperventilating fourteen, I remember being asked by my equally hysterical and hyperventilating friends about what I would look for in a boyfriend. Being the time-wasting, homework-avoiding individuals that we were, we all sat down and wrote out lists of criteria (using different coloured pens, of course).

I think my list went something like this...
'My Dream Guy'
1. Must be a dedicated Christian
2. Is not married/engaged/attached
3. Treats his own family with respect
4. Is tall!!!!
5. Must have dimples
6. Must love music
7. Must love my parents
8. Must think I'm incredibly hilarious
9. Is pretty hilarious himself
10.Doesn't have allergies
...and so on.

Now, way back then, the idea that he would also be 'Chinese' and 'Singaporean', I assumed would be pretty obvious. My girlfriends were far more pedantic than I and included both the former and the latter as part of their top ten criteria. Maybe this shows how, even then, I was already more open to the idea of interracial marriages.

On the other hand, when I was preparing to go abroad for university studies, my mum casually mentioned that I might marry an Ang Moh and settle abroad. The very horror of that idea made me so upset that I cried more or less continuously for the rest of that week. Perhaps I'm not as liberal-minded as I think.

I didn't limit my dating circle to caucasians fact, all my previous crushes and boyfriends were all Chinese. It just so happened that my last boyfriend was the first and last Caucasian I would ever date - and I married him.

When we were still dating, I brought him home to Singapore for a visit. To my surprise, I started to notice side-wise glances and tutting and surreptitious pointing from strangers in MRTs and buses and shopping centres, as well as the occasional "SPG!" hissed through gritted teeth. I guess I had not realised that I would be judged by the company I keep. Naive, eh?

I hadn't thought of myself as an SPG (Sarong Party Girl) before then, but I did wonder what an SPG would be like. What would make a girl into an SPG? Would the SPG date only caucasians or expatriates? Does the SPG have a fetish for the white man or is she attracted to his independence and generosity? Does the SPG revel in the transcience of the relationship or does she see it as her ticket out of Singapore?

Am I an SPG?

I don't think I am.

I think a real SPG fancies the Caucasian Expatriate because he is a caucasian expatriate. If an SPG were to make a list of criteria of suitable boyfriends, 'Caucasian' might be top of the list. She would choose the caucasian over the oriental any day, even if both suitors were equally matched.

I don't actually think of MDH as caucasian; that is, I don't seem to look at him and see the colour of his skin. Being a caucasian is part of who he is but it is not all that he is. To me, he is simply MDH.

And, by the way, he fit all the criteria that my hysterical and hyperventilating fourteen year old self had set, so many years ago.



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