Sometimes I wish I had different parents. Is that bad?
Everyone must have at some point. When there are frictions and things.
I don’t know, more rational people. People you can truly talk to objectively without being afraid of disturbing their cultural norms and archaic world views. I talked to several adults in church today about various things and grad school and they were all very comfortable and understanding about it; they asked serious questions and were not naive and ignorant like everyone else. People who can justify what they say and what they think, instead of throwing me bog-standard arguments, to borrow a phrase from rayner/the economist.
Today I argued with my mum about going to visit my grandfather’s niche. She said this (the most irrational statement over this summer yet): “While you are still here we should go to the columbarium and change the flowers.”
I said I didn’t want to. It was hot, the columbarium is smoky as hell and the very act itself is pointless. Remembering a person after death is a totally personal thing, my grandfather is dead, he is not going to care about whether I change his flowers or not, and i mean the fact that he is dead means that he is physically absent, so why should my physical presence be a factor in this “reunion”? couldn’t i just think about changing his flowers in absentia? even the act of changing flowers is arbitrary. if the exercise is to make me remember my grandfather, which i do, vividly, probably even more so than her with her 老人家 memory, i could just sit in a chair and think about him without doing anything at all.
She threw a big fit and said i was rude, i was disobedient (well to her, anyone would be), i had no manners, i didn’t respect my grandfather, after america i was different (anyone who knows me at all will know this is not true. in fact, i didn’t change AT ALL. but my mother doesn’t really make an effort to know me), and countless other fallacious arguments that i could not be bothered to address/remember. my mum becomes weepy and emotional and irrational when she gets mad (i.e. when i disagree with her). i become cold and indifferent to her in that state. there is no talking reason with her when she is upset. she, like my father, are mere children when it comes to controlling their emotions. but my father is more objective than she is. he can see my point of view without getting completely neurotic at how untraditional i am.
i beg to differ on this point. I am not untraditional. I respect chinese values that are actually valuable. such as giving money to support your parents when they are old. not blowing your own trumpet. and eating truckloads during chinese new year. I do not abide by chinese values when they are stupid, tedious, and offensive. such as burning joss sticks to the dead. gambling at someone’s funeral. telling indians to stop cooking curry. buying 4d when one of your grandchildren does a poop on the floor (liangze’s popo).
now she has stormed off crying to her childcare centre where she will reflect on how much more manageable the kids at her centre are than her daughter (bull crap) and how much simpler younger kids are to handle.
it sure is shitty in this bog.