2013-07-18

"Over Here" #junehlwong

I skimmed through this article, which a friend had shared, while stuck in traffic at Taman Connaught's pasar malam of death, and my first reaction was "how presumptuous," but I figured I'd write a longer thought once I got home.
Dear June,

Are you kidding? No, I mean, you've kidded, and the daughters are an obvious result. But what of your daughters' opinions?

Do they want marriage? Do they even want to have romantic and/or sexual relationships which they'd be willing to discuss with you? Have you checked, do they even like men? These are just the first things that pop into my head.

Let me assume that corporate rank is an admirable accomplishment. So about your friend, this nice top manager. When was dating ever uncomplicated? The economics may be somewhat different these days, women and men both are more likely to have ample resources for the support of relationships with multiple intimate partners, in series or in parallel, but relationships being what they are... are probably supposed to be complicated. I suppose if you don't really take relationships seriously, then they are fairly simple affairs.

And what is it with the insinuation that men who are chefs, or mobile phone salesmen, and repairmen, are less-than-men? Or even less-than-capable-of-marriage? This is a strange thought, and possibly even offensive.

I suppose you think that partying and clubbing are probable ways of finding men for marriage? I'm not sure where to begin on this - my mind just sort of jams at the questions I had above about how well you know what your daughters want. I'm not even going to go into the probabilistic outcome of what happens when a young woman goes to a club looking for a marriage - that's probably a fun topic for a dinner party, though. Also perhaps a trigger topic for all sorts of trauma.

I find it terribly insensitive of you to have reinforced a sense of low self-esteem in your daughters between the association of "their," "fatness..." while, ok, I can only agree that being "healthy," is preferable over the alternatives... I HOPE that's why your daughters ultimately ended up in the gym. I hope it wasn't just to try and reduce your whining at them. My parents whined at me a lot, for decades. I recently told them not to expect to see me again - it's not something I would ever wish for you to hear from those daughters of yours. Please just don't be an annoying parent. There's really no reason to keep.. those around.

Maybe most of the guys who love working out are not into girls. Maybe they're not into your girls. I'm not sure what to say about this either. But seriously... I have to keep telling my brain not to cramp up at reading your commentary. It's a nice challenge for a bored guy, in a boring job - I can tell you that much! Thanks for this evening's exercise.

Finally, I suppose, in reaction to your final comments, I must ask again... are you sure that your daughters feel lonely? Have they ever expressed this feeling? Must you project your own loneliness upon them? Why would you ever want to do such a thing, to someone who wasn't lonely? It's just terrifying.

I guess I should stop there.

Meanwhile, it sounds like your family is otherwise quite cohesive and happy, and if so, I hope it stays that way. Good luck!

Jerng.
A little background - I've spent the last three months on a very slow phase of a project, and have been entertaining myself variously with conversations about romance and what that means to different people, mostly people I know in the Klang Valley. I'll presume that June H L Wong, the columnist, isn't really expecting an answer to her seemingly rhetorical questions - suffice to say, I'm writing this up just to entertain myself. Tis the season for hauling online publishers off to the MCMC for sedition, so in advance, I apologise to all demographics who might find any of the content above offensive.

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