Saturday, May 30, 2009

Of family and friends...

Read 2 interest articles in 我报 papers recently. One was this lady writing about her family, and the other was a (presumably younger) woman writing about her friends.

The first article made me smile as I read it. The second one made me sigh and even felt a little sad. But both articles made me nod my head in agreement - "how true..", I thought as I read them.

About family

The woman wrote about how her 3 year old son made her nice-guy "Good cop" husband go mad with fury, while she, who is usually the "Bad cop" mum, had to for once, play the good cop. For those who are unfamilar with such parenting terms (or ploy, as some would say), this is simply the usual er... deployment of a parent as the discipline keeper (ie. the Bad cop), while the other parent naturally takes over the role of the comforter for the weeping baby (ie. the Good cop).

For friends who know me, it should be clear who's the Bad cop and who's the Good one. :P

Well, the article wrote that there would be occasions where her usually mild-tempered husband can get driven up the wall by the toddler, such that he scolds the kid with raise voice and when this happens, the poor tot would really frighten. Since when did the Good cop turn evil??? The tot's mum (writer) would then "transform" into the shoulder for the tot to cry on.
This type of scenarios happened once VERY occasionally, but it has happened before in my family too! haha.. that's was why I was nodding my head in appreciation, as I read the article - also because it was quite well written in a humorous way.

About friendships

The second article was written by this lady who recounted how her brother was feeling "betrayed" by his friends who had 'forgotten' to invite him to their wedding, even those he was their 媒人, just over a year ago. To make matters worse, the couple getting married had invited other common friends to their wedding, but had left him out.

The writer then spoke about her own experiences in "maintaining" friendships. She had been the one organising the annual gatherings for old classmates, but it had become increasingly difficult to organise these as people started working, got married, and basically got so busy with their own lives that they could not even find time to meet up with old friends.

A good point she mentioned was the "common interest". As each of us get on with our own hectic lives, there is only this little pockets of time that we can allocate to our friends and interests. For example, I love to play the classical guitar - so in my little free time, I teach the guitar in schools and I meet up regularly with my quartet buddies to rehearse and put up regular performances.
In this way, this small group of us friends- all of whom have graduated many years ago from the same university - constantly keep in touch with each others' lives.

But what about those once-close friends who did NOT share such common interests with us? As time goes by, and with everyone struggling to find time for themselves - outside of raising their own kids, and visiting their parents -, these "friends" will slowly but surely transform into mere "acquintances".

This reminds me of a blog entry I'd written some time ago (i think it must've been years back), about the effort it takes to maintain friendships.


Facebook is simply an electronic means of making us feel less guilty about not getting in touch with some of our friends. It creates an illusion that we still know (and care) what's going on in their lives... when sometimes, we simply don't anymore.


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