There’s always the general consensus that a child will pick up their parents’ characteristics, actions and mannerisms. To me, that’s pretty true. I picked up my argumentative attitude, my desire to save money and my (relative) tidiness from my mother. From my father, I learnt how to spend when necessary and how to enjoy good food. I’m pretty sure my desire not to offend others comes from my mom, and my don’t-care-if-it’s-not-my-business attitude from my dad too.
But there comes a point when you understand your parents’ behaviour, and learn that not everything they do is perfect and should be copied. Of course, no one can forge the perfect personality; everyone has flaws. But some things are so clearly very ugly, and I’ve very consciously avoided doing the same.
The biggest is probably hypocrisy. My mom is still very guilty of that. As a child, doing well in school seemed necessary, and my parents pushed me pretty hard in primary school. Getting good grades and entering the gifted program didn’t help matters. There weren’t many carrots to motivate me, but I don’t care for material motivation really. I didn’t have many wants back then, and I knew how important money was, so I never asked for much, if anything.
(Now, with my own savings, I can buy what I want. I also know how to balance my money against my desires, so I don’t care for any material motivation currently either.)
Anyway, my mom would insist that I ‘should be able to do better’ because I was ‘smart’, and I just needed to ‘work hard’ to match the best kids in my class. And when I argue that other kids didn’t do as well, and that I had relatively good grades, she would tell me not to compare grades. What? You’re blatantly comparing my grades to those who did better, but tell me not to do so against those who didn’t? How positive.
It’s probably why I dislike being hypocritical, and try to do my best not to be a hypocrite. It probably also culminated in my lazy attitude towards studying, because of the not-so-positive reinforcement about study from when I was younger. Now that I’m older, my mom doesn’t interfere that much with my studies, especially since she doesn’t understand any of it. I’m glad she wants to feel involved in her child’s education, but please, spare me the hypocritical bullshit. Grades aren’t everything anyway.
Surprisingly, I find that my mother has more bad habits than my father. Although he’s rougher in nature, careless with everything and anything (something I unfortunately picked up as well), my dad’s pretty well-mannered. My mom, however…geez. Talking when eating; complaining about the food, about her work (which I understand from her POV, but she really should have just kept out of the problems that are none of her business, like the whole family tells her to) and basically everything under the sun…
I care for her. I really do. But some things just drive me loony.
EDIT: This JUST happened. My mom cut some mangoes, and put them in the fridge without telling us. Now it’s our fault that we didn’t eat the mangoes. What? I’m not some omniscient god who knows immediately that you put something in the fridge, especially if I didn’t open the damn thing. Just because your efforts weren’t appreciated like you wanted them to be, doesn’t mean that I’m in the wrong.
This is another one of those things that drives me up the wall. Don’t apportion blame when there isn’t any. I appreciate the things you do for me, but forcing me to take the blame for your annoyance is just unfair. I subscribe to logic and reason, and such a ridiculously illogical blame game just gets on my nerves.
Not to mention her reluctance to admit wrong on things, always changing topics just so she can avoid having to do so. Or repeating the same line insistently, as if just saying it more will make it correct.
Edit 2: Or, as she argues now, it’s that it’s my dad’s fault for scolding her; that she always buys things to eat for herself and never for the kids. That we’re too lazy to prepare and eat something she does buy and leaves on the table (which neither myself nor my sister actually asked for and wanted from her). And she brings out the ol’ argument about how we probably won’t do the same for her when she’s old and can’t do it for herself, that we won’t be filial like she has been caring.
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
I know this sounds like a First World Problem, and in many ways it is. But I never demanded to eat those fucking mangoes. I didn’t even notice them. Every few days, my parents go out to the supermarkets to buy bags and bags of groceries. Am I supposed to do the fucking inventory every time they come home, just to take note of everything they buy and what was bought ‘for me’? Hell, is it my fault my dad is stubborn and always wants his way, thus forcing you along for the ride?
It’s like everything that goes wrong in her life CAN’T be her fault. Must everything bad that happens, be blamed on someone that’s not her? Is she faultless and perfect? Is everyone around her supposed to be omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, being able to read her mind and tell what she wants, and do what she expects?
I get so sick of arguing with her. She acts like the stereotypical emotional woman who never sees herself as wrong, and thus everyone else must be responsible for the shit she’s enduring in her life. I’m not saying all women are like that; just the general perception/stereotype.
And I can’t even attribute my annoyance with her attitude to some sort of generation gap. My dad gets bloody annoyed with her plenty of times too. And so does my sister. Which leads her to proclaim that it’s 3 against 1, and that she’s always getting bullied by the rest of us. Am I unfilial? Maybe, but does being filial mean I have to put up with all your illogical outbursts and terrible arguments?
Also, if being filial means I have to take the initiative and do everything myself, then yes, I’m pretty fucking unfilial. All I do is laze around at home all day, staring at my computer screen. I don’t care for the family. I don’t offer to do housework. I don’t want to learn electrical maintenance from my dad, so I can help fix things around the house in the future. I’m going to throw both my parents into an old folks’ home and abandon them there. I don’t want to learn how to cook. I don’t want to go out and work. I don’t want to learn how to drive. I don’t do this. I don’t do that.
Am I fucking Superman? Maybe I should go pick up some martial arts too (which she harped about before as well)? I’m not perfect, and I can’t be. Please don’t fucking expect me to be perfect, because even you aren’t. If you want me to learn how to fix appliances and do electrical wiring (which you tell me is what men should know how to do), don’t expect me to learn ‘feminine’ things like how to sew or cook (which you also complain about me not learning).
Can’t your son be an average wage-earner, who has his own interests and desires, and doesn’t want to conform to whatever idea of perfection you have in mind for me? I’m fucking 21 years old. Out of those 21 years, only about 7 were spent not studying, and most of those were when I couldn’t even walk. Do you expect me to cram my entire life with learning different things I have zero interest in, just because ‘I should’?
Fuck this shit.