Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kids are left to roam the streets unsupervised during the afternoon hours and dogs have to live in pet hotels costing a monthly bomb of a bill. Sumiko continues acting wistful, pining away for a family with kids of her own to assuage her boring single life. When we connect the dots in today's ST, we're looking at a picture of a people who are lonely even in the midst of company. Is that what life in S'pore is like these days?

While I have little affinity for kids, it does perturb me that of the kids surveyed there were so many left to fend for themselves while the adults were out at work. That they were gormless enough to receive a stranger's advances suggests that they are quite lonely for an adult's attention, especially if the adult treats them as equals and not talk down to them. Kids like being helpful, particularly if it seems to them as if they posess some knowledge the adult does not, like how to get to the MRT station for example. And with all the questions the reporter asked, the kids are quite happy to spill the beans on their personal lives. Who else is there to talk to? Who else has shown them such interest in a while?

On the other end of the spectrum, some people are spending a lot of money making sure their dogs are well taken care of. They can't help it. Our society isn't open enough to tolerate the idea of peaceful mutual coexistence between the species. So by legislation or public censure, we separate companions from each other, and make them pay a hefty penalty if they wish to continue the relationship. I shudder to think what happens to those who can't afford to make such payment, and I'm reasonably sure there are lots more who fall into the latter category than the first.

Even the free-wheeling single, living an independent life, accountable to no one, unencumbered by family responsibilities goes all misty-eyed longing to exchange all that for domestic bliss and its attendant shackles and chains and the promise of a lifetime of hard labour that follows. At least she won't have so much time on her hands that she's "bored out of her mind" over the weekend.

Isn't that the problem? We only want a family on the weekend to keep us occupied and busy. Family isn't so important on weekdays because we already have our hands full with our occupations and businesses. It's fine to let the kids roam the playgrounds on weekdays, we'll make it up to them on the weekends when we pack them off to tuition and ballet class and check on their homework when they come home at night. Oh, by the way, remember to drop in on Fido at the pet hotel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We have to hug him and let him know we love him, or he'll have separation anxiety, you know?

Geez. Even I think there's something wrong there.

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