How Not To Lose Your Girlfriend During NS

When is a bargain not a bargain?

By Alywin Chew        7 November 2022

Change my mind: the most awesome month of the year is November.

Why? Firstly, this is because we have Singles’ Day.

To all you NSFs reading this, listen to this uncle who has been a victim of the NS breakup curse – stay single during these two years. Trust me, National Service is more lethal at ending relationships than the notorious SAF insect repellent.

And we all know how lethal that green tube of gel is.

Let’s face it, the relationship is going to be strained because you’re both going to be leading very different lives.

Sorry. I stand corrected. She’s the only one who’s going to have a life.

The first major obstacle you will have to overcome is the inevitable paranoia that she is cheating on you with some other guy. After all, she’s going to be meeting plenty of them in university.

Trust me, this alone is going to be more difficult to overcome than ALL the obstacles in the Standard Obstacle Course combined.

If you somehow manage to get past this, the next hurdle that awaits is communication. Remember, it takes both hands to clap. Be open with your communication. Put yourself in her shoes and have her do the same. 

Think she’s being unreasonable about certain matters? Let it go. Talk to her. Listen to her.

Think she’s being overly insecure? Let it go. Talk to her. Listen to her.

Think she’s being a complete brat because she wants you to spend all your NS allowance on her? Let her go. 

It would also be good to note that your girlfriend has probably been waiting to spend time with you all week, so don’t tell her that you’re exhausted and just want to spend the weekend at home sleeping. 

For crying out loud, you already get EIGHT hours of sleep every weekday in camp. 

You’ll also need to understand that just like how a guy doesn’t care about what his girlfriend does on a girls’ night out, she doesn’t care about what you did in camp, so cut down on the NS talk when you’re out of camp. 

Seriously, don’t tell her how painful it was to dig a shell scrape. You’ll only be digging your way out of the relationship.

Next, do not go alpha male on her and practise those command skills you picked up at SISPEC or OCS. Unless, of course, she finds it kinky.

The second reason why Singles’ Day is amazing is because of the mega discounts on offer.

I must admit, I’m a complete sucker for bargains. Whenever I see a “50% off!” placard, the song Let It Go plays in my head. And I really just let all my money go.

I also have a particular weakness for products that come with freebies. 

I recently bought a 10kg sack of rice from a supermarket simply because it came with a free ceramic cooking pot. 

“What on earth are we going to do with all this rice? We hardly even cook!” lamented the wife.

“But the ceramic pot was free! How amazing is that?” I retorted.

“Which part of ‘we hardly even cook’ do you not understand?” she replied.

I decided to give the rice and the freebie to my mother instead.

She now has two free ceramic pots and 20kg of rice.

November is also that time of the year when people who usually suck at math would miraculously be able to determine how much he or she would have to pay after factoring in all the different discount mechanisms introduced to lure consumers.

Think you’re a true-blue bargain hunter like me? Give the following question a go.

An online store is offering the following deals:

“Buy 2 of any item and get the third free”

“40 percent off any item worth $70 or more”

“$200 off for every $1,000 spent”

John wishes to buy the following from the store: a digital camera ($1,499), a gaming keyboard ($79.99), a wireless mouse ($59.80), three iPhone charging wires ($13.50 each each) and six cups of boba tea (S$4.50 each).

How much does John eventually spend?

I took just one second to solve the question.

The answer?


LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!

Want more fun articles like this, and other lifestyle content right in your inbox? Download the new SAFRA mobile app and opt in for the eNSman Newsletter – you don’t need to be a SAFRA member to subscribe – and never miss another story!