Some people feel that Crazy Rich Asians isn't "Singaporean" enough.
But in Singaporean blogger Coco Ong's love story, she's the girl-next-door dating someone from a privileged background -- something critics might finally find "authentic" enough.
"Prince Charming for most girls"
Ong calls her ex-dating partner Michael.
She describes him as a "Prince Charming for most girls":
[...] tall, a scholar from this extremely prestigious university (shan’t name which), a commando, came back to Singapore and has been working for awhile. He’s from a good background, high SES by definition, plays golf, and also very disciplined as a person (which was what I really liked about him).
Michael recognised Ong from a couple of ads she had been on, and the two coincidentally ran into each other on several occasions over the next few months.
This led them to start dating for "quite a while", although the period of time was unspecified.
Used to date fancy girls
In the beginning, Michael confessed to Ong that he has never dated anyone like her.
According to Ong, he used to date fancy girls that carried branded bags, drove super cars, and stayed in landed property.
On the other hand, Ong carried canvas tote bags, lived in a three-room HDB flat, and didn't have a licence.
When Ong suggested that he might just be dating her for the novelty of it, Michael did not deny it, but instead said that they'll see how things go.
Doubts about family and financial background
One day, Ong wrote, she felt that something was off, and thus decided to question Michael about the status of their relationship.
To which he replied:
"I think we’re going somewhere, but I have my doubts sometimes.”
When Ong clarified what those "doubts" were, Michael revealed that they pertained to her family and financial background.
Ong explained that she thought Michael meant that time would make things better for her, financial wise -- that she might eventually start making S$15,000 a month and "get her sh*t together".
Ong wrote that she was not offended by this.
Rather, she was hurt.
Started going on dates with other girls
The two continued seeing each other for a while more, until Michael started going on dates with other people, which Ong was okay with, and met a doctor.
"I could tell from his face that he was happy to announce that she’s a doctor. In the same conversation, he also expressed that coming from a good background helps."
Ong took it as a sign from him to leave, which she did.
Her own background
Ong says that she does not blame Michael, but instead, came to the realisation that it was elitism at work.
Michael has been brought up in such an environment surrounded by nothing but the best. The best facilities, the best amenities, the best teachers, the best influence. I can understand where he’s coming from -- that if he worked so hard in his life, why should he be with someone who could potentially pull him down or make him feel less?
Subsequently, she shared more about her own background -- her parents were teenage sweethearts who were Chinese educated, and also school drop-outs.
After they married, the couple had three children, with Ong being the youngest.
Even though he was not highly educated, Ong's father has always worked hard to make sure the family has everything they ever needed.
Her mum was a stay-at-home housewife, who works part-time as a babysitter for additional income.
Ong continued to pen down her thoughts about her father, poverty vs. elitism, and growing up as a "low SES girl-next-door" in general.
You can read her full story here.
Top image adapted from Yu Kato/Unsplash and Ong's blogpost