While writing this, I’m wary and cautious that I may get a lot of flake and backlash about our anti-social behaviours.
But the truth is, I love my family and our quirky ways. I grew up this way and never had an issue. If your family is like mine, embrace your family for who they are.
I enjoy writing fodder about my weird family so here it goes…
1. We are a large busy family.
I guess big Chinese families isn’t that common. There are four of us + my sister-in-law which makes it 5 young uns in the family! For the four of us, my Momster made each of us “pursue” a hobby because her logic is:
If you have a hobby, you’ll spend less time doing “rebellious” stuff.
#1 (My Other bro): Is a percussionist and can play all sorts of drums.
#2 (Yours truly): I dance, kind of.
#3 (Sister): Is an artist (the visual arts kind)
#4 (Fat bro): Fights for real: martial arts.
If you’re interested to know, Dadster picked up photography and Momster enjoys baking/cooking and going for fitness classes.
2. Techy family
My siblings and I grew up learning how to entertain ourselves. For example, when we do Chinese New Year visitations, it’s common that my parents will stay at their friend’s place for hours. We attend a few dinners (the Chinese corporate kind with 10-course meals that go on for 3 hours) a year. After a while, you learn to pack your bag with entertainment.
When we were young, it meant books, games and comics.
When we are older, it means tech toys like tablets and phones. Which explains why I ferry so many gadgets around a day.
Dadster on The Straits Times a while ago for his incessant technology addiction.
My Dad enjoys using the latest technology and has three mobile phones. My Dad’s infatuation with technology also means that our family dinners always end up in Harvey Norman, Best Denki, Challenger and/or IT Fairs.
We don’t have a habit of talking at family dinners too. Family dinners are fast affairs. We sit down, place our orders, play with our devices, eat and look for coffee after.
3. Birthday cakes: Tiramisu and more Tiramisu
On average, I eat eight slices of birthday cakes with my family. And… because my grandma has specific taste preferences, we usually get a mild chocolate or Tiramisu cake.
I don’t know how long has this Tiramisu cake tradition been going on for, at least 3-5 years I recall. This is probably the reason why I don’t ever order Tiramisu cakes outside.
4. We see each other online more than in real life
Yep, that’s how our family dinners are arranged or we’re notified of family outings too.
Momster will usually send a text message (in formal English no less) that goes along the time of:
Ah Ma’s birthday dinner is on [DATE] at [LOCATION]. Everyone’s presence is required. The car will leave the home at [TIME].
Sometimes, I think Momster’s strategy of cultivating a hobby in each of us backfires on her. All of us have very different schedules as we’re busy with our hobbies.
Facebook check-ins are also a useful tool. I’ll see Dadster’s check in at the airport and know he’s away again. Where to? Keep a look out for his next check-in location.
5. We are okay being disconnected
If I told my parents about my day / work / dance – they’ll probably be clueless. If I tell them, did you see my dance picture on Facebook? They’ll probably know what event it is.
To quote my sister, my Dad will whine, “Why don’t you post anything on Facebook? I don’t know anything about your life.”
For example, if we had gone for brunch last week, Momster would go, “Didn’t you just see the family last week?”. Such is the irony.
Sometimes, I get quite a lot of flake about how disconnected my family is. To each his own honestly. If you grew up having Sunday family dinners with legit conversations, I’m glad for you.
I didn’t and I don’t resent this. I enjoy how quirky my family is.
I still grew up feeling loved and secured despite the shortcomings of my tech-loving and disconnected family.