I have been saying that I want to stop swearing, and you know that I have been unsuccessful. Well I had a wake-up call just a couple of days back. I frequently rant a lot on Twitter about our increasingly errant transport system. Bad enough it was a Monday, but I waited for the bus in this stupid, humid weather for 38 minutes that caused me to be late for work. Of course Miss Grumps emerged.
So I tweeted a series of profanity-filled grumbles and went on about my day. My younger sister, R, who is very pure, innocent and nothing like me asked me why I was so full of rage. What she said next totally shocked me beyond words, she said “The way you speak makes it look like you do not have parents to teach you any manners”.
Honestly, I was speechless. It never occurred to me that that is the impression I am giving off. No doubt the only people who are following me are all quite close to me and therefore understand what I am like, but this coming from a 20-year old whose blood were given by the same factory. If she thinks that way, what more the others?
I admit that I have very thick skin, and one can throw insults at me all they want, but when my parents are involved it’s a different issue altogether. I do not want people to think my parents are incapable of teaching their children because that is the exact opposite. My parents are no Mother Teresas or Gandhis, but they are very big on manners and insist that their children behave and carry themselves well.
Some of the things that were drilled and instilled into us since young:
- Greet all elders whenever we go to someone’s house/when they arrive. We have to go up to them and call them. If they did not acknowledge, that means they probably did not hear us. Therefore, call them till they respond.
- No resting of elbows on tables when we are eating, no talking with mouths full, finish everything that is on our plate, not be served by others because we have a pair of capable hands.
- Be polite to relatives and friends no matter how much they annoy you. No rudeness allowed or death stares from the Father can be felt 5 miles away. Sit on hands if the urge to punch someone comes up.
- Say please when we need/want something, and always say thank you.
And the list goes on. So how is it possible that they did not teach us well when I follow by these rules strictly? I just am… more liberal with my vocabulary that’s all. Nonetheless, I think this is enough of a shocker. I WILL put in extra effort to be more lady-like. I MUST. This is no longer about me alone. If my actions (or rather words) bring shame to my parents (who are not aware of how vulgar I really am), then I have failed them. I might as well be disowned. But I’m sure they will not because I’m so lovely. Hurhurhur.
Dear Mother and Father, from this day on, if I fail to control my mouth, I will, for that moment of rage, pretend that I’m not related to you so that you will not have to bear the humiliation and wagging fingers and tongues from outsiders. Love, your daughter who needs to sign up for anger management classes.