A few days ago was my father’s birthday. He’s 53 this year. Initially, we planned to celebrate his birthday together overÂ home-cooked dinner, but unfortunately, it has to be called off as my father had to attend his company annual dinner.
Naturally, us daughters are upset, because we don’t get to celebrate his birthday together. You see, my family appreciate each other very much. We don’t forget birthdays and important dates like anniversaries, and more often than not, we try to make time for each other on those special dates.
Sure, a lot of people will say that everyday is your birthday if you’re happy, but what harm is there when you make extra effort to make your loved ones feels more appreciated? I don’t see any harm in that. I see that as a token of love. If you love someone, you’ll make an effort to make him or her feels much happier on special days like birthdays and anniversaries.
I suppose, this is a sentiment that none of my in laws shared. 9 years being together with my husband, and I can only remember him celebrating his birthday with his father twice. Or was it once? I’m not quite sure, but he celebrated with his father during those years is because I made an effort to arrange a birthday dinner for my husband. *ROLL EYES*
Okay… I suppose the very typical Chinese do not make an effort to celebrate life, and I’ll just leave it like that because it is better if the in laws do not remember any of our birthdays. That means we get to celebrate privately without stress, and I am definitely NOT COMPLAINING (strange enough though, my father in law remembers his favourite sons birthday. Geez… favouritism much?)
Tsk… I’m straying… back to my daddy dearest. My father informed my sister and I that the birthday dinner had to be canceled cuz his boss wanted him to attend company dinner on his behalf. And he had no choice but to comply.
And so, after his dinner a few days later, I called him up to wish him happy birthday again and yak with him.
He told me that he’s so glad that I called. He told me that my call had made his day, and I was amused, as I thought that he was enjoying himself at his company annual dinner.
I thought wrong, apparently, and so, I asked him why he didn’t enjoy the dinner.
This is why: Recently, one of my father’s friend, who happens to be promoted to a higher post was there. This friend is his childhood friend. A friend who grew up with him; a guy who copied his homework and gets away with cheating, etc etc, but always outshine my father because he’s much more outspoken and not as scrawny as my father. My father walks up to congratulate this friend. Naturally, that’s what you do, right? I mean, that’s the polite thing to do. Besides, if the one who was promoted is one of your best friend, you’d be happy for them, right?
Guess what was that bastard’s response? Well, as soon as my father approached this friend of his, the friend started to feel uncomfortable and started to avoid my father, and attempt to ignore him. My father was very shocked with his behavior because all he did was say hi and congratulate his friend.
My father was upset, but being a mild mannered guy he is, he said nothing when this friend of his says he’ll talk to my father later and simply walks off to mingle around with a bunch of CEOs and VIPs of the company. This so-called friend of his behaves as if my father is a low class person and it’s embarrassing for him to be seen with my father during a high profile event, and apparently, it is a waste of time too to even say hello to my father during such events, and he’s better off doing some apple polishing elsewhere.
Funny enough, the jackass have the nerve to called up my father for a favour a few days later. That is just plain disgusting. It is clear to me, my sister and my mother that all these while, this friend is merely using and manipulating my father for his own benefits and does not value their friendship at all.
I sighed then. I did not know how to comfort my father because I knew how he felt. After all, I am acquainted to this friend of his as well. This friend of his watched me and my sister grew up. He came from a poor family, and my father once lend his car to this friend of his when his wife was in labour. Imagine that sort of friendship…he was much closer to my father than any of my uncles (my father’s brother), and yet, with fame, money, glamour, he has forgotten his root.
My father never expected anything in return but polite friendship from this friend, and yet… even that sort of thing is unreachable. What is this world coming to? I have no answer to that, but sometimes, I can see that I am becoming more and more like my father in regards of social standing. People tend to trample us in public because we’re probably insignificant and unimportant in the eyes of the high profile society.
At the end of the call… I can only tell my father that he’s not alone, and I can feel him as I’ve experienced such thing countless times before to the point I feel numb. He was surprised to hear my bitter words and was concern for me, but I told him, I’m lucky enough to experience all these nonsense when I’m not even in my 30s yet. At least I know who merely using me for their own benefit, and who is not.
Cleffairy: I’m unfazed with glamour and authorities. They mean nothing to me. I do not idolize people who are of high stature or glamour, because as far as I’m concerned they are just human with faults and skeletons in their closets! Work with that sort of people for a couple of years, and you’ll get what I mean.