Thursday, September 25, 2008

Being gracious

I did not experience/observe this personally but hooby did. He saw a mother pushing a pram(with kid, of course) into the MRT train one day during morning peak hours. With the pram, this mother was occupying about four "standing spaces" in the train and guess what!....she got many "dirty looks" from other passengers! OMG! Those passengers were frowning! They must be thinking..."why is she here? I don't even have a space to stand!" .

So much for being gracious. DUH!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Making personal choices, just let us be

There is something that sparked off this post. These days, even a single sentence in a full long article can have me make inferences to how I feel. It is about what Ms Teo Ser Lee (TODAY Newspaper, 16 Sept 2008) said "Men want to have a successful, good-looking woman who will still be submissive..." -AND- "...if I meet someone tomorrow and he asks me to give up my career, I would...".

"Men Parents want to have a successful, good-looking woman children who will still be submissive..." . In my case, maybe? ...Healthy and Happy yet Submissive?? Hmmmm.....

I do think most parents would want their children to be healthy and happy (over rides being successful). If you can be healthy and happy AND successful, it is a triple bonus for parents of course. But I can hardly agree with being affirmative and aggressive at work yet be submissive to parents at home. If it happens, it will be one of the toughest "task" to accomplish, IMO. Too many roles to play and too many situations that conflict and contradict your own behavior. The child will ultimately turn crazy and suffer from schizophrenia. :O

Parents should not assume ~what they think is good~, ~will be best for their children~. Helpful advice based on long years of experience is useful (I am not discrediting that) but the children (of decision-making age, say above 25? I'm not sure, kids mature early these days) should be able to make their own decisions with the help of parents' guidance and advice. And with decisions made by their children(already adults!), parents should support their children and give them their blessings, whether the decisions made by the children turn out right or wrong in future. I am not sure if this sounds too ideal. Or am I dreaming ?

This brought me back to the scenario two years ago when I (we, including hubby) had to convince my parents for an opportunity to venture overseas for hubby's career. We were "disallowed"! The constant series of negative preaching came "Why?" "Can't you find another job in Singapore?" "Why must it be overseas?""What will happen to your own career when you follow him(my hubby)?" "Why?" We took great efforts to convince them it is a good opportunity. And really, I am not lying. And finally, we told them it will probably just be two years - this may be a partial lie, but even so, it was a "white lie". During the two years in California, we get the SAME question repeating every time we connect via the web - "when are you coming back?"....there is just this deadline of "2 years" in their mind though we tried very hard every time, conveying the message that there is no work contract (of 2 years) at all. Nearing that two-year deadline was more and more of reminders "it is nearly two years, when are you coming back?" Come on, can't you give us time to settle down? We were thinking of staying put for least for a while (that does not mean not returning to SGP). We just did not have the guts to break your hearts.

To them, everything in Singapore was GOOD GOOD GOOD (thanks to the govt. and SGP media). Why did they not ask - "are we happy there?" They thought I was not really happy there. They assume I will be bored, thus not happy and keep asking us to return to SGP. They ASSUMED. And due to constant questioning of our return, my hubby realized I was under stress - yes, I was indeed pressurized to return to SGP. He did not want me to be unhappy due to the stress. To be frank, both of us were happy in California. I am not saying California is ALL GOOD and Singapore is ALL BAD. However, I think we prefer CA to SGP in some ways (more on that in future posts). These are all personal choices.

I feel sorry for my hub that he married me - someone with over-protective parents who cannot let go even if I am already married. I confided in my girlfriend. I told her I was unhappy. I told her I returned to SGP because of my parents (that is a fact!). I told her my parents controlled me too much to the extent of controlling my hubby. She said something which was true and reflected what I was feeling. She commented "poor thing...your hb...being tied to an invisible string". Oh I think both me and hubby are tied to invisible strings. It's like a dog leash. You let them go, but not totally. You make sure they are within your line-of-sight just to know they are ok. Hmmm....perhaps, "invisible leash" for us is a better analogy. Stop pulling us back! And don't treat us as kids anymore. How are we going to learn survival skills this way? We need to face the real world outside, you know.

In the eyes of parents, kids will be kids forever but PUH-lease, don't treat us like kids in all your actions. Being 听话(obedient?) does not mean I am being submissive and definitely does not equate to being filial. Put it clearly this way, when you are filial, it does not mean you have to be obedient always, and submissive always, to your parents, ya? Many times, I just wanted to avoid conflicts and clashes by being obedient. But I think my tolerance may just wear off some day.

If I had to make the same decision again - to be out of Singapore and to be at somewhere more conducive (it does not have to be California but at least we know CA is reasonably conducive), I will make the same choice. No regrets. And hear me, this choice is mine and nobody forces me (though my parents would have jumped to the conclusion that I was influenced!). That shows how well they understand me. "...if I meet someone tomorrow and he asks me to give up my career, I would...". I don't think I was ever asked to give up my career then and will not be asked to give up my career in future. However, if certain decision needs to be made, it will still be a personal choice, ultimately.