Aunty D advises you on matters of life and love.
(WALKING) STICK IN THE MUD
Dear Aunty D,
My dear old Dad is at it again. After yet another nasty fall and another stern warning from our family doctor, he continues to refuse to use a cane or walker. Obstinate as always, he’s worried that a walking stick will make him
look old. He’s 89! A strong gust of wind could blow the poor chap down. How can I possibly convince the most stubborn man in the world that he needs to take better care of himself? If he’s not careful, he’s bound to break his hip or worse. And you know what they say comes after pride…
Dear (Walking) Stick in the Mud,
Son, please understand where the resistance is coming from. It’s less about ego, and more about his inherent desire to hold on to the last shred of dignity left after the wrinkles, poor eyesight and hearing, balding head, and stooped stature. Using a cane is akin to broadcasting his helplessness in being able to stand on his own two feet; especially if he was a self-made man. Put yourself in his shoes, and be compassionate and gentle, because theoretically, you are requesting him to concede on his idea of his own self-worth. Take him to shop for a fancy cane; one he can show-off as a fashion statement, rather than as an appendage of a feeble and frumpy ‘ol fart!
OH, MY STARS AND BARTERS!
Dear Aunty D,
My husband’s erratic approach to shopping and landing a bargain is driving me up the wall. When we go to our local produce market, he will go to extreme lengths to make sure he’s not ‘getting scammed’, to use his term of phrase. He will haggle over a THB 8 head of lettuce for 10 minutes to get it down to THB 5 – usually due to the vendor becoming exhausted and simply giving up. On the other hand, he won’t think twice about picking up the same lettuce for eight times the price at Villa! The sheer inconsistency of his behaviour is driving me insane.
Dear Oh, My Stars and Barters!
Whilst your husband enjoys honing his ol’ school bargaining skills, (something the youngsters of today snigger at), remind him that the mae kha (hawker) invests both time and money to go shop at the wholesale market at the crack of dawn. Though hesitant, she succumbs to the reductions because she wants to sell the maximum veggies in one day or risk them rotting and wilting. Your husband assumes that haggling saved him THB 10, which is the same paltry amount the mae kha lost. But if there are 10 other customers undercutting her by that same amount, by the day’s end she’s short by a whole 100 Baht. To her already meagre income, it’s by no means an insignificant amount.
Dear Aunty D,
I seem to have made a bit of a faux pas. At the latest meeting of the mothers’ support group I joined, I let slip that I don’t allow my son to play with girl’s dolls and that I don’t let my daughter play with robots and what have you. You should have seen the look they gave me! It was as if I broke wind in front of them. Then they started telling me that I was wrong and that I should let my children play with whatever they want. They are my children! They shall play with whatever I allow them to! After this, they banned me from themother’sgroup.Untilthatmorning,Ihadquiteenjoyedmytimethere.How should I go about regaining my membership?
Dear Play Off,
Holding onto outdated stereotypes of girls in pink and boys in blue is fine till the swaddling in the hospital. But today, there are few ceilings left to break – men are Michelin-starred chefs and househusbands, while women man spaceships and countries; why squeeze your kids into a tight box? So, widen your horizons and offer them support, stimuli, and total freedom to explore their dreams, however wild and far-fetched they might be; free from being judged, laughed at, or worse still, being discouraged from. Even Einstein’s mum must have often rolled her eyes at his unusual thought patterns! Give your children free rein to soar to wherever their capabilities and dreams can aspire to, and they’ll do you proud one day.