1. A Compliment Gone Awry.
A few years ago, I dined out with two closest friends. One of them told us about her boyfriend's temper. If he got angry, he would raise his voice and she'd learnt to shut up and let him be for a while. Only after he got calm would she try to talk to him about it. If I remember correctly, he got angry at his sister or something and they had a fight. My friend wisely said nothing during the heated debate. She then tried to talk some sense to him once the storm had subsided. I then did what I thought would make her feel good. I told her that I admired her for being able to shut up and for being able to cope with his temper. I told her that I couldn't possibly be with someone like him since that kind of guy would tend to push my buttons the wrong way. She then said this, "Oh, I know you two think that I'm stupid for being with him still." I was SHOCKED! I almost got speechless, but I found myself saying, "NO, NOT AT ALL!!! I meant what I said. I admire you 'coz you KNOW how to handle him and that's wise!" But I didn't think she believed what I said since what mattered most was that she thought it was an "insult".
I kinda felt deflated after that incident. Has any of you experienced something similar?
2. Two Sets of Parents.
Call me lucky. Until I was about 4 years old, my family lived in a small alley. In the same alley also lived my Dad's elder sister with her family and another family with two sons. Since the family had no daughter, when they saw a chubby little baby (me!), they fell in love with me. So they started playing with me A LOT. I'd visit their house a lot until my Mom got upset and threw me out of the house in a fit of anger. Well, she didn't really do it, but she did tell me to move to their house hi hi hi...
After some time, I began calling the parents "Mummy and Pappy" (I call my own parents "Mama and Papa"). My Pappy had a vespa and he used to take me everywhere. I'd stand in front of him proudly he he he...I don't actually remember anything much, so what I know is from my Mom's stories about them.
My Mummy had problems during both pregnancies, so she had to stay in bed during the whole 9 months (twice). I don't know if she's allowed to go to the bathroom, but my Mom told me that my Pappy would wash her hair during both pregnancies. Awww...such a LOVELY story, isn't it?
Since their sons were WAY older than me (I think they were either 7 and 9 years old by the time I was born or 9 and 11 years old), they spoiled me. My Mom said that whenever I was there and they had some fruit, they'd give ME the fruit first instead of their sons. I guess their sons understood and didn't get jealous since they were old enough already.
My Mom said that she'd prefer my playing with Mummy, Pappy, and their kids instead of my playing in my Aunt's house (Dad's elder sister's house) since my Mummy had the same kind of discipline as my Mom. My Mom liked that. My Mummy would scold me if I did something wrong, whereas my Aunt would let the kids do anything.
Fast forward: We then moved to our new house when I was 4 years old and I kind of forgot about them. I only remembered them whenever my parents talked about them, about how they loved me. My Mummy opened her beauty salon at home, so I would sometimes pretend to be a hairdresser and I'd comb Pappy's hair on the salon's chair (even though my Pappy was half balding already) he he he he...
I think we visited them once after we moved, but then we never visited them again. Until we heard news about Pappy's death. I just got back home from school (I think I was 13 back then) and then my grandma told me about that. It was like lightning in the middle of the day. I ran to the bathroom and cried. I felt guilty for having forgotten about him. That same evening Dad took me pay a visit of condolence to his family. I couldn't say anything there. The sons had grown up into adults and I realized there was a lump in my throat. It took me a few years before I could really forgive myself for having forgotten about them, especially my Pappy.
Then sometime at the uni, I wrote my Mummy a letter and asked for their photograph. She sent me one. Then we kept in touch every now and then via phone. Now she's sold her house and moved to Surabaya in East Java since her youngest son lives there with her family. Her oldest son is now living in Shanghai with his wife. I invited my Mummy to my wedding, but unfortunately she couldn't make it as her youngest son's wife was going to give birth near my wedding date.
The story of my life...call me lucky since I have two set of parents for the first few years of my life. ;-D