Friday, March 16, 2007

Sacrificial Altar

According to most reports, the life of a lucky carefree bachelor is seemingly foot-loose and fancy-free - a seemingly dizzying social whirl filled with happening hotspots and endless pubcrawls.

Or so they tell me.

In real life, it's far from the truth - since everyone else assumes the above despite what the oblivious bachelor might claim. Have you ever noticed that in the office, unwanted odd jobs and irksome duties are usually assigned to the unfortunate singletons? Last minute meetings and unprecedented events, sudden unforeseen weekend on-calls and dreadfully dull courses.

Colleague : Oh, there's this lecture on Saturday.
Paul : Yeah. So there is!
Colleague : Hey, you can do it. You're not married mah.
Paul : True. And I'm unlikely to be married if my social life keeps getting stunted by my work.

I know. I can get quite nasty at work too. Still I managed to get my point across ( leaving my poor colleague agog ) which leaves me free this weekend to write this. Sure I believe the duties of a family man bears more weight but that doesn't mean I, being the single guy, should be the unfortunate scapegoat each time some menial task is set upon us.

And that's not the end of it. Somehow or rather it seems as if the seemingly single, carefree bachelor / spinster is usually the one dumped upon with a heap of irksome family responsibilities stemming from a motley assortment of indigent, largely inept relatives - usually ranging from simple tasks such as running simple errands for them to far more complex labours such as dropping by for infrequent home visits / medical check-ups and arranging transport from A to B.

My brother, fortunate man that he is, manages to escape such unwanted attention by happily providing the clan with two hopeful offspring while I'm still the shockingly single son. Said unmarried state obviously making me amenable to all sorts of unreasonable demands from playing indignified emergency chauffeur to last-minute dinner date material.

Mom : Are you free tomorrow evening?
Paul : I should think so. Don't have anything planned just yet.
Mom : I think you have to go pick up Aunt DimWit Della who's finishing her checkup in the hospital.
Paul : Me? What about my brother?
Mom : He's got a family to think of.
Paul : And obviously I think of nothing.
Mom : She's your auntie mah.
Paul : And there are amazing technological inventions called taxis that provide transport which she can well afford.
Mom : She says they are dangerous.
Paul : Sure, it's like a pleasure drive through war-torn Iraq.

Yeah, pull out the yellow guilt card. Like anyone's gonna try putting the moves on the far from desirable Aunt DimWit Della. Not sure why she keeps calling me though since she knows she's gonna end up the unwilling barb of my acerbic jokes.

Demands I don't mind fulfilling!

Sigh. Although it doesn't sound like it at the moment, I actually do love my super-sized family, no doubt about that. I don't think anyone else makes such an effort to remain in contact with their numerous relatives around - including far-flung, unheard-of third cousins. Believe that blood is actually thicker than water.

But that doesn't make me the fall guy of the family, does it?

Actually makes me feel like flying out to Hanoi, engaging the attentions of a ravishing, fertile Vietnamese bride and start procreating like rabbits just to escape the attention. Maybe then they'll start hounding my younger unmarried cousins. :P


Dave said...

Problem: Being single makes you an target for shitty jobs from your friends, colleagues and family members.

Solution 1: Go adapt a child from a 3rd world country, just like how Angeline Jolie does. In future, child adaoption will be available at high end department stores. 10 mins for filling up a form will get you a child.

Solution 2: Refer to Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet for the ultimate solution.

Solution 3: Match making service for single late 30 something to early 50 something with a young Vietnamnese/Indoneisan/China for a fee.

jase said...

Do what I do

"You know I don't have a car right?"


"You know I don't drive in KL even though I have a car right?"

or when you need to pull out the big guns..

"You want the car's insurance premium to go up, AGAIN!?"

hehehe :p

snowdrop said...

well, just know that you're not alone, Paul!!

have been stuck with weekend developer's launches, fulldays saturdays AND sundays for 5 weeks running; being sent overseas for someone else's matter just because "she has a kid, you see"; being 'volunteered' for team building exercises on the weekend that apparently married persons need not attend (i suppose on the basis that being married means you must obviously know about "teamwork"???)... the list is endless!!

family obligations i can heck, pain in the proverbial as it may be (you said it, blood and all that) but REALLY, i'm paid only as much as the next person and don't see that my singlehood means i owe it to married members of society to make their lives more comfortable. selfish? perhaps. but whilst i sympathise with the juggling of career and family, it riles me no end that unmarried persons don't get the same consideration. one CHOOSES one's lifestyle and the benefits and costs that comes with it.

phew. sorry about the rant. sore topic :)

_ethnwg said...

Haha... quite bitchy you are to ur ma.

I don't like being inconvenient esp. when I had to do something that I do not like.

Family mah!

That's a killer phrase you cant refuse any obligations. Sigh

Maximus Leo said...

Move country!! That is what I that chores like this are relegated to the younger members of the family!

savante said...

Love your first idea, dave :) Not sure how to go about that.

They all know that I do have a car, that I drive to work, jase :)

Thank God I'm not the only one, snowie!

Does sound nasty on writing, ethan. But it didn't come out that nasty in real life.

I can't, max. I like this country.


Wai Leung said...

i can't help but notice you commenting on one of my friend's blog. man, i love the idea of yours!! ssacrificial altars!!!

getting hooked to your posting man!!!