Thursday, May 6, 2010

Like Apollo's Failure to Launch?

At first glance on the title, I'm immediately reminded of space shuttles that, after all the preparation and hardships, the rigorous trainings and special suits - everything - it is a fiasco! Instead of applause and shouts of joy and congratulatory cries, what we hear is the opposite, all summed up in the words, "failure to launch."

Not to take out the excitement from the written article itself, do read on...


Failure to launch
How do singles who live with their parents do it and mature at the same time?

by Tabitha Wang
My parents have come to Hong Kong for a fortnight. They've been here only two days and I've regressed by as many decades.

At this rate, I'd be babbling like a Teletubby by the weekend.

Budget Tai tai parental supervision
That is because, despite the fact that I haven't lived with them for 20-odd years, they still treat me as if I've never left home.

"Have you taken your cough mixture?"

"Are you going out with your hair wet like that?"

"Stop watching TV and eat your meal."

And that's only in the first hour they've been at my place.

I half-expect them to trot out curfew times and ask whom I've been going out with.

On the plus side, it means hot meals the moment I get home, not having to feed the cat before I go to work and putting the plates into the sink knowing that they will be washed by the next morning.

It's great having everyday decisions taken away from me - like what to have for dinner, whether to run the washing machine, when to go grocery shopping …

Toxic In-Laws: Loving Strategies for Protecting Your MarriageLeaving me free to make the important decisions - like what channel to watch on television.

"I could get used to this," I told my husband yesterday.

"I don't think it's healthy. Look how childish you have become," he said, drawing my attention to what I was wearing.

He was right. Without realising it, I had dressed in anticipation of the "what do you think you're wearing, young woman" question: A grotty big T-shirt instead of my usual skimpy nightgowns.

And mentally, I had gone back to my old ways of delegating responsibility to my parents. Somehow, being a kid again and settling the bills just didn't seem to go together.

Ah well, it's only for two weeks. Then I'd go back to being a lean, mean fully-functioning adult again.

This is just a hiatus.

Dealing with IN-LAWS (Volume 1)But this started me thinking about my single friends who were still living with their parents and wonder how they do it without it stunting their maturity in some way or other.

Imagine being a high-flying boss whom everyone fears in the office, then going home to Mum telling you: "I've washed your underpants and packed your lunch in your favourite Hello Kitty container." Surely, that does cramp your style?

I once visited a 40-something single friend who lived with her parents.

Her Mum kept nagging her to get married but, at the same time, told her she had to be home by 10pm while her Dad vetoed her clothes if they were too revealing.

So my friend goes around in long-sleeved shirts and ankle-skimming skirts and without makeup all the time.

She could have done a lot more with herself if only she could get past the style dragons at the gate.

Many singles say they live with their parents not out of choice but necessity. They can't move out until they're 35 and can afford their own HDB flat.

Life as a Mother-in-Law: Roles, Challenges, SolutionsMaybe they should be allowed out earlier. We make housing allowances for the elderly so why not the singles?

Some may say growing old is not a matter of choice but being single is. But really, when you're living at home with your parents, with a curfew (even unspoken), what chances do you have to go out, meet people and make your choice?

The number of singles in Singapore is increasing.

The census showed that more people aged 30 to 34 were single in 2008 (40.8 per cent for men and 29.4 per cent for women) compared to 1998 (33.3 per cent and 21.6 per cent).

The proportion of singles aged 45 to 49 also rose (13.6 per cent and 12.8 per cent in 2008 compared to 9.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent in 1998).

To cater to the rising numbers, maybe the HDB should convert flats in unpopular areas into studios and turn them into a singles block - much like a hostel for working singles instead of students.

A Wife's Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His ParentsAt my university hostel, many hooked up - boosted by the huge concentration of singles in one place and the lack of parental supervision.

I think that magic formula could work in the singles block too.

As long as parents are banned from visiting.

Tabitha Wang gets her own back when her parents treat her like a child, by treating her husband like a baby.

I Heart My In-Laws: Falling in Love with His Family--One Passive-Aggressive, Over-Indulgent, Grandkid-Craving, Streisand-Loving, Bible-Thumping In-Law at a TimeTaken from TODAY, Voices - Budget Tai tai column; source article is below
Failure to Launch

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