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Sunday, January 14, 2007

When I was younger, my mom used to yell at me for my school uniform. Being in secondary meant that I went through something like 3 sets of uniforms a week, which had to be washed and ironed before the next Monday. This also included the white canvas shoes which had to be polished with white paint. At that age, I was considered old enough to do this simple task without repeated yellings from her.

When I entered university, it became the shirts and jeans that I wore to uni. Now I had something like 5 or 6 shirts after one week of school, plus about 3 or 4 jeans. The laundry load increased, and it was my fault for wearing all these clothes to school. I was already old enough to start washing and ironing my own clothes anyway. When was I going to learn to take care of myself?

Then I started buying my own clothes. She complained about the increasing load of laundry, which was funny, because I mean, no matter the number of clothes in your closet, you're only wearing about 5 or 6 per week right? I also didn't know where the extra laundry she was complaining about was coming from. I started periodically doing my own laundry.

Now I'm working, I do my own laundry on a weekly basis. On Sat or Sun mornings, after breakfast, I take down my laundry basket, wash, and hang up the clothing. At the same time, I took down the ones I washed last week.

This was what I considered a reasonable system, since now, she didn't have to wash and hang and take down my clothing anymore. However, she didn't think the same way.

Yesterday morning, when I woke up at 1330, [one of the rare times I really sleep in, to my profound bad luck] I read an SMS on my phone that said "Your clothes are in the void deck."


When I asked her about it, she yelled that my clothes had been hanging there for 2 weeks [which it had not, because I had washed them just 1 week ago] and I was forever forgetting to take them down [which I admit, I do so] and now she was going to save herself the trouble and just chuck them away. I said I had only hung them up last Saturday morning, to which she yelled something else back at me, which I forget now. [she's yelled too many things at me for me to remember, or even bother.] She then laid down the ultimatum that my clothes could stay no longer than 3 days on the laundry line, and that I had to write down on a calendar when exactly I washed them, hung down, and took them down, to leave behind a kind of physical record so to speak.

Besides some ordinary tee shirts, I also lost a B&W dress I wore on Xmas and NYE, black thai silk pants, and a pair of tailor-made pants from Vietnam. Some of the best clothing in my wardrobe, actually.


I went through an entire gamut of emotions on Sat, ranging from grief, anger and then resignation about my lost clothes. I also decided that I absolute could not live with my mom and that I had better start looking at my own property one day.

This morning, she took out a bag of clothes from the storeroom and chucked it at me. It turned out to be the clothes that I had thought I had lost. So the whole thing turned out to be a farce, to punish me for leaving my clothes 3 days too long on the laundry line.

She grumbled something about not being grateful for it. I'm wondering, should I feel grateful?

Grateful for what? For losing my clothes? For her yelling at me? For her treating my property like rubbish?

Because I don't feel grateful. In fact, I don't feel particularly respectful. To me, I have no respect for people who do not respect me in return. You can earn my resentful obedience, but you cannot earn my respect or my gratitude.

It's funny, because I learnt that lesson after teaching 30 kids for 6 months. After 26 years of living with 2 children, she still hasn't learnt it.

Which is another reason why we find ourselves at odds at our age, over all sort of petty things.

She still hasn't learnt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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