Saturday, May 07, 2005

43 days: Ma and Pa

Spent a bit of time thinking about what the fuck I'll be doing after school, and whether I should even be thinking about that.

Someone asked me about my birthday, and I told them that hey hell you know I'm not even 21 yet. I'll turn 21 in December.

Then i remembered.. No... I turned 21 last year. Unconscious self denial is so powerful sometimes. So I corrected myself.. I turn 22 in December.. way after my peers have had their birthdays and gotten over the customary "getting old where-did-the-time-go" whining.

It's something I've always enjoyed really, having a birthday so late in the year, because I feel like I've been given an extra year. I mean, sure they got a headstart on me in life, but during the first year when everything is nipples and baby poo it doesn't quite matter does it?

But yes, after I pointed out that I would turn 22 in December, it got me to thinking whose birthday would be coming up next.. just a mental reminder to myself.

And it suddenly hit me and I stopped breathing for a moment - that just two months after my birthday, a good friend of mine would turn 23.

I mean, that number has NEVER come up in conversation before.. especially with me (who was thinking for a long time that I was still 20). But to hear that number... she must be petrified. At least I still have more than a year to go to be there.

i don't think i've really freaked out over age before.. this is the first time that a number has taken me completely by surprise. I think i'm too used to my "youth" - that very distinctive thing that people thing here have chosen to impose on me.

So in an email to dad, I just asked if they were sending me too much money... how his new job was going after his retirement from the police force, and where it was all going... whether he was going to retire or try and work up the ranks for better pay and all that stuff.

I know too many of my peers who have already been giving this thought way before they should have to, and I always felt very lucky and blessed (by who, dunno also) to not be in that kind of position.

But I've great plans for my parents anyway, and i've had them for a long time. It's not that i feel more pressurized now.. but the goal seems clearer.

I should have learnt more from them about happiness. My mom gets happy when she can have a 15 km jog in peace, chat with her running kakis and maybe a bit of supper/lunch/breakfast... My dad.. maybe a nice meal outside (with no one getting pissed at each other) with everyone.

I don't even know what their idea of "a good time out" is. Especially my mom. If we ever wanted to hang out.. i really wouldn't know what to do. I gotta hang out with her more. She gets all excited when we go out.. I feel like a guy taking a girl out for a date sometimes.

I know for a fact, that these are the two things i will be saving for the moment I start working. i'll have two funds - one for each of them.

Fund #1 - Send Mom to the U.S. for the Boston Marathon
Fund #2 - Send Dad to Namibia/Zimbabwe for a Safari trip and to revisit the place he spent almost a year in.

Without them around, it becomes so obvious how similar i am to them. I see my mom in the way I do the dishes, or clean the room, my fastidiousness in collecting plastic bags and rubber bands, the way I tie up my biscuits so it won't lao hong, the way i cannot stand to have soap left on the sink after i'm done with the dishes, the way i look at price tags of EVERYTHING i buy before i even consider buying them, the way i absolutely need my clothes to have some sun before i consider them clean.

And my dad, in the way I can be such a judgemental bitch sometimes, and how much pride i take in being independent, the way i iron my clothes, and the way the sight of almost all animals perk me up, the weird store of random trivia i have accumulated from too much animalplanet/nationalgeographic/discovery channel, and the utter ease i feel at being outdoors.. too much stories from dad about kampong life made me feel as if i lived it myself.

Yeah, so all these similarities became very obvious. And it makes me happy when i see it.. because hell, they're not the most disagreeable traits to inherit, is it?

And my dad replied my worries, and just to quote a few lines:

"You don have to worry abt Pas retirement. Pa is as strong as ever. Just ran 15 k with mummy last saturday."

*wry smile* heh, well, whaddayaknow. I'm still so shamed that my 49-year-old mother can outrun me anytime, anyday.

Sweetheart, Cox Bazaar, Chittagong

Gorai Bridge, Kushtia