What His Royal Highness thinks of By Estella Dot Com.

If you’ve been following me thus far, you’d have cottoned on to a couple of things: a) you knew ahead of His Royal Highness that I was blogging on By Estella Dot Com b) I’ve supported all of His Royal Highness’ career endeavours, even going so far as to impersonate him via a written petition to New Zealand’s former Immigration Minister – I’ve forgotten the man’s name as it was some 8 years ago and c) Now that His Royal Highness has completed his FRACS, it is about high time he return the favour by being supportive of me.

His Royal Highness heard from his former study partner, Mehan, that I was blogging and Mehan, in turn, heard from his wife Janaki, who I am friends with. You might like to ask, “Why didn’t you just tell your husband that you were blogging?”

The reason is two-fold: first, he’s never been very supportive of me. He says he supports me, and in the three-meals and roof-over-my-head sense that is true, but he has never supported what I want to do with my life. To be fair, neither has anyone in my immediate family. My father was willing to pay for me to study mass-communications at university but my mother vetoed his decision, saying, “What’s Estella going to do when she comes out? Does her father own TV3?” TV3 was Malaysia’s then-premier TV station.

To keep a long story short, I graduated with a Commerce degree and wheedled my way into television. In a field where even graduates have difficulty finding work that isn’t sales or public-relations-related, I had not one but two job offers. Yet, my family still held me to be a dreamer. Silly boy that His Royal Highness is, he thinks he’s being supportive of my aspirations by reiterating my parent’s suggestions I return to accounting, even though it’s obvious  I’ve never liked bloody bean counting and if I’d wanted to spend my days counting other people’s money, I’d have done so a lifetime ago.

The second reason why I didn’t tell His Royal Highness about By Estella Dot Com is that he would have stopped me. He would have stood in my way because that is what he always does before trying to engage me in a conversation, quite ironically, about my retirement. He likes to say, “And how will you finance your lifestyle in your old age?”

Me, “Won’t I still be with you?”


“Then it’s financed already.”

Come on. This is a man I have moved states and crossed seas for. If I don’t deserve a 401k plan for being mother and father to our child and picking up the slack while he is out making money, then who does? Does your employer harass you to help him edit emails while you are half-way to see Confucius in your sleep? Does he expect you to drop everything – and I mean everything – so as to type this and bring that, because it is oh-so-important to him?

So what does His Royal Highness really think about my blog? Aside from it leaving me less time to run errands for him, he loves being able to tunnel his way into my mind. He enjoys viewing the pictures we take together and reading about the day’s events from my angle. I’d get him to tell you this himself except that he is the sort of person who even needs me to communicate with his closest friends for he finds all forms of connecting, stressful. He does call his friends of twenty-over-years and his family once in a way, but that would only be after much prompting from yours truly and there would have to be a good reason.

Nothing I write about is news to him. He knows how much I dislike his father; the man soured two of the sweetest occasions in a woman’s life – my marriage and the birth of my only child – by dragging my husband to the casino to show me who is in charge. Many female friends have commented that if they were me, they’d have long been divorced by their husbands for openly criticising their in-laws. My husband is aware that he’d be a fool for siding with them over me when a) he has to face me daily and b) they have absolutely no clue what he’s been doing all this time in Australia.

They look at friends and children of friends who have done specialist training in Malaysia and keep asking him, “So when will you be done?” He told them that he was being penalised for having imperfect English and they gave him advice from their own lives, where everyone speaks some mangled version of the language. One family member even dared him to climb above my head, to find a language tutor instead of relying on me, without realising that prior to her suggestion, I had already found him two.

I shot this family member back a couple of lines about the strain of being persecuted for your linguistic deficiencies by those only able to articulate their thoughts in the one language, but I doubt I got so far as the first few words with her. Like too many people who’ve never read Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Black Swan, and opine that the title must refer to Natalie Portman’s movie, they don’t know what they don’t know. Really, it’s often ego masquerading as concern that compels us to offer someone something they have no use for. Advice that discounts circumstances falls into this category.

But isn’t he afraid his family might read this? Hardly. Do you think His Royal Highness and I could have been married for ten going on eleven years without his family having the slightest inkling about where they stand in relation to us? Like my family, they are always welcome to call and visit. However, you can’t keep asking someone to relocate back to Malaysia without their spouse being pissed off by the intrusion. Similarly, you can’t keep probing into our finances, because they damn well don’t involve you!

I hope this answers everyone’s questions about what His Royal Highness thinks about By Estella Dot Com. Trust me, if he had a problem with it, he’d have said something. He’s LIKED my page. If you read By Estella Dot Com, you should too.


By Estella Dot Com, a change of tag.

By Estella

After posting 60 odd stories on By Estella Dot Com in the last 3 weeks, it dawned on me that my former tagline “the heart-song of an unapologetic sentimentalist in suburbia”, while representative of this blog, might be less than helpful to the would-be-reader trying to decide if my writings are suitable for him or her. I appreciate that for many of us, time is scarce, and our after-hours reading should not only be entertaining but edifying.

In light of that, I have changed my tag to “Cross-cultural parenting, relationships and lifestyle stories for every person, everywhere.” What do you think about that? Would it better help the potential reader to discern what this blog is about?