My mid-life crisis has definitely passed.
There used to be this something inside of me that wanted more out of what was usual; that chafed at the restrictions of society; that wanted to explore new ideas. I am one of those who stay in the fold. I have none of the rebellious streak that mark a trendsetter or someone who makes a mark in society. i am part of the collective who makes society strong.
I still get in a funk, a sort of ennui when I am not quite all there. Like last night. I was bored. But instead of stressing over it like in previous years, I decided to just read a book.
Romance? Psychology? Philosophy? Humor? I decided on Time Traveller’s Wife. It’s been almost 3 yrs since I last read it. It is still good. The first time I didn’t like the fact that there was a death. This time around, it wasn’t so bad. I focused on the time they had together. Yes, it didn’t seem so tragic anymore.
I’ve changed. My views have changed. I hope for the better.
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I attended an engagement party of a niece today and had a chance to mingle with other nieces and nephews in their early 20s.
I was teasing one niece, saying she would be the next target for the matchmaking activities of the older generation. And she said – as long as the guy is handsome and has a fabulous body. I had to smile at that requirement. I didn’t discourage her, after all I know a lot of good men who are handsome. It is not an either or thing. But as to being fit and having a fab body, I had to discourage her a bit. I think that is just a bit too much.
Youth. So concerned with looks and the physical aspects. Her cousin was no better. Though he did say he wanted a woman with brains, it was a taller order in that he wanted it to be accompanied with looks too. He was pretty sure he would not end up with an “ugly” girl.
I went along with the conversation but I teased them. I told them they shouldn’t be too stringent with their qualifications or they’d end up with the opposite of what they want. You never know with these things. But they were quite adamant that they would stick to their requirements.
I know a lot of those. They start out with impossible standards. And end up marrying somebody quite the opposite.
I only wanted someone who I could relate to, intellectually and physically. It didn’t matter if he were short or not handsome. I find that leaving it up to fate while keeping your guard up is the best strategy I have encountered.
My nieces and nephews have much to learn. But they won’t listen to talk from the older generation. They will have to discover their follies themselves. I wish them good luck.
I don’t know why those words hurt me so. Those are words I do not want to hear from the man I love.
People say I am a strong person. I think I am. And yet when O said those words to me, I was very very hurt. I did not understand myself. I did not understand my tears. Irrational reaction.
O was simply saying the truth.
Several years have passed and I think I know why I am so affected by these words. I tried explaining it to O but he doesn’t get this woman’s psyche.
While it’s true that I am independent and strong and might not need protecting, there is a little something deep down in my subconscious that wants to be protected and cherished and cared for. Maybe it is a result of the culture I grew up in where men are supposed to be the protectors and women are supposed to be subordinate to men. This is warped thinking but that is how it is in the Asian culture I grew up in. Women were not supposed to make the first move. Women were not supposed to be better than men. Women were supposed to be helpless. And if woman was better than man, woman was supposed to be silent about it and let the man think that man is better. That’s what I was exposed to when I grew up.
Maybe it’s something that O finds difficult to understand because he is an enlightened man. We are partners in our marriage. He listens to me; to my opinions and to my suggestions. He respects me and doesn’t think I should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. I can not find a better man than O. I am lucky to have a partner who loves to cook and who shares in all the chores. No chore is too girly for him.
And in spite of the equality in our partnership, he does protect me. When we cross the street and he walks in front of the incoming traffic. When it rains and he gives me more of the umbrella. When he gives me my favourite part of the chicken. When he makes nice to my family, even to those he doesn’t like much. I feel his protection.
And yet hearing those words said out loud hurts me to the core.
The rational me berates me. Aren’t actions more important than words? Hasn’t he shown that you are cherished? But why do those words still hurt?
I can never fully explain it. I finally told him never to say those words to me again. Some words are not meant to be spoken. Some truths need not be said. That’s the only solution I have.