Sunday, April 30, 2006

Biting the Hand that Feeds You

---Warning: Self-righteous post ahead. If you have no qualms letting your retired parents pay your bills while you are gainfully employed, stop reading now----

Usually I leave Packrat to comment on news as recorded in our local paper. He's usually a whole lot more snarky than I am. But he's a tad busy at the moment, what with the elections coming up and all the sueing that has ensued, pre-election.

So, I'm the only snarky one free at the moment, since I've declared a moratorium on political blogging on my blog and therefore have more blog space and time than he does.

Anyhow, this morning, my blood boiled as it usually does as a self-righteous, holier than thou young-ish adult, who is in contact with younger adults all day long. The headline read "All grown up... and still getting handouts from mum and dad..."

The child in me would go, "hmmmm, how nice". The adult in me goes "how dare they....?"
Who wins? This round, the adult in me.

I talk a lot about being a tai tai and in class yesterday we discussed the idea of wives not working. The half joking, but unanimous conclusion of that discussion was that sure we didn't mind not working, as long as our husbands could afford the lifestyles we have carved out for ourselves. Of course, after all the laughing and jibing of the husbands had died down, there was also the sentiment that we still needed to be our own person and it feels good being able to go shopping with the money that we have earned.

And I look at today's article, where 24-25 year old who have jobs, rather respectable well paying ones still live on their parents' dole. They claim that if they didn't, they can't support their current lifestyle. Excuse me, but doesn't that just show that you're living well beyond your means? How wonderful it is, to have suits from DKNY, shoes from Prada and Ferragamo, season parking at the Fullerton Hotel, all paid for by Mummy and Daddy. "I can't support my current lifestyle on my pay. If they're willing to give, I'm willing to take". Seriously, have these people no conscience?

And parents, need a little slapping around as well. "Not wanting her to suffer", "help her with her self-esteem". Parents, are you raising a plant in a hothouse? Not wanting her to suffer? If she's working, she's already living in the real world and sheltering her isn't going to do her much good. She's got to pay taxes, suck it up and take those loans and try to make that wage last for the month. And seriously speaking, a starting salary of $2500 is no where near suffering. And if everyone else can survive on that, it will do nothing to the child's self-esteem if you cut the purse strings.

Some people would say that I'm jealous, that my parents have never doled out cash to me like that so I'm jealous that there are parents that do. Now, that would be a juvenile argument if I ever saw one. My parents never over indulged on me, even when I was in school. I had an allowance, that was enough to cover transport, food and basic stationery- I say basic because buying colourful lumi pens were not budgeted. And if I wanted anything else, that Esprit wallet or that pair of Guess? shorts, I had to save up for it or something. I did the or something. I gave tuition from the time I was in Junior College. It wasn't very much, but it gave me a little bit more to buy that CD that I wanted. And my parents always worked on that system, as did many of my friends' parents. Of course, we were filled with admiration and sometimes envy with the friend whose wallet always had a $50 note.

If anything, that made me want to start work as soon as I could. When I first got a job and had an income that I could call my own, I went beserk and bought stuff that even today, I would consider exorbitant. I would not, in my right mind now, spend $100 on a pair of tiny denim shorts. So much money for so little material is just not right.

And I think, if my parents continued to give me an allowance when I started getting regular wages, I would never have realised that spending that much on a pair of shorts was way ridiculous. In the mis-quoted words of Tym, buying something that cost so much money, it better come with a plane ticket and some spare change.

By supporting and by extension of that, condoning the extravagant lifestyles of these young adults, the parents are not doing anything for them except putting a glass bowl over their pretty heads. What happens when they start getting older and need the money to pay for that dialysis treatment or that diabetic treatment? Or worse still, that heart bypass? Are they still going to opt out of it because their child needs to buy that to die for pair of $700 jeans from Citizens for Humanity?

And children, how dare you? If you're 24-25 years old, your parents are at least in their mid 50s. What that means is they are going to stop working soon and their income is going to stagnate and dribble out from under them as they pay for your spa packages. Are you going to use your platinum card to pay for a nurse maid to clean up their dribble when the time comes?

Perhaps it's the Confucian upbringing that we have all been indirectly indoctrinated with. Perhaps, I'm really just being holier than thou. Perhaps, I am just green with envy and secretly hate my dad for never buying me that little Merc that I've always dreamed about. Or perhaps, I'm right and you're wrong.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:34

1 thoughts...

1 thoughts...

At 12:03 pm Blogger vandice said...

Let me play the devil's advocate here. Could it not be possible that parents are trying to compensate for their poverty of time spent with their kids by stuffing them full of dole?

Then again, people get used to any situation, prosperity included. It is a sign of the times that we can afford to sustain such "hand outstretched" syndroms.

P.S.: Not that I'm so lucky (?). I'll submit that supporting aged parents with no savings while trying the hardest to save up for a new HDB on a single paycheck is a challenge.


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