Tuesday, 17 April 2007

A trap on both sides

"I like it cooked this way, more delicious.”
“I know. I prefer this way as well. But your aunt will complain if I cook it this way”
“What’s the difference? It’s still cooked with black bean sauce (min si), it’s just the way it’s being cut!” (referring to a particular bitter-gourd dish)
“Now you know how difficult it is to be your mom, I have to satisfy everyone”

It’s really not easy to be in my mom’s position. I do have my complaints, but I will eat whatever that’s on the table. But my aunt will totally leave the food untouched, and then make passing remarks to my dad, who can also be quite a fussy eater, being a typical canton he is. Then there’s my sister who is quite a health freak. My brother is the best, not a word from him. He is always quick to make mom happy.

Of course, things are different now. There’s no qualified chef around to make everyone happy. Most of the time, the kitchen is left idle. And those few occasions when me or my sister cooked, there was absolutely no complaint from aunt nor dad. They will just eat whatever we can conjure up on the table, and they will even say it’s delicious. Perhaps it’s true. Or perhaps… they realised mom was no longer there to “serve” their individual needs.

One of the ugliest elements of being a human… we are so quick to take things for granted. It is something that we all openly declare that we will not do… is it true? If it is, for how long? How long will it be before we are back into our unappreciative ways?

My mom was kind enough to cook for everyone day in day out, but that’s not enough, we all just have to set our standards and make her life so ever difficult. Now that she is gone, look at us, scrambling our spoons at the pit of a tiny bowl just to have a spoonful of ajinomoto-filled soup, bought from a nearby store. When mom spent hours and hours boiling us love-filled healthy soup, did we even render a word of appreciation? No, we didn’t, we said it was not delicious enough.

Such ugly human scenes happen not only in families, it’s everywhere, be it our working place, our relationships, amongst friends and of course, our country.

Take work for example. Under normal circumstances, we slaves employees in this country seldom gets to leave our office “on time”. Most of us tend to stay for a while, perhaps to clear our work or just do our own research to further equip ourselves. Trying doing this on a regular basis and what do you get? Bosses will then “expect” you to stay back everyday. Yes, you will most certainly be taken for granted such as, work will land on your desk at 6pm and you’re expected to deliver the next morning. Bosses, please do not take your employees for granted. Employees, please do not pamper your boss on a regular basis. Else, you will only have yourself to blame.

In relationships, the word compromise is often abused. In my zewtpinion, there can never be compromise, or at least, there can never be a balanced compromise. One party will tend to give in more, and the other will take it for granted. Try observing the relationships of your friends and you will notice that there will always be a party that will always give in. That’s because one is willing to love unconditionally, and the other is willing to dictate all the conditions. The key is not compromise, it’s acceptance.

The same can be said of friendship. But of course, the scale may be smaller compared to friendships. But I have a friend, he is always the Mr-Nice-Guy, the one who is always willing to fetch every single soul from north, west, east and south just to meet at mid point. What does he get? Calls from everyone to give them a lift whenever there’s a gathering. Perhaps it’s not that apparent now, but I believe it can still happen.

Taking someone for granted and being taken for granted is a trap on both side, and we are all equally guilty in setting those traps. If you be too nice and give in once too often, you will most probably be taken for granted. If you always get your ways, you will most certainly take things for granted. Will we ever stop falling into those traps?

Well, take a knife and slice your hand… if you feel pain and bleed, then you will realise you’re flesh and blood… you’re human and thus, we will always fall into these traps.

Have a good day.


47 comments:

Diane said...

I always feel a balance is very important. When it time to give in, we could give in, but also there are times we should learn how to say no.

This is something I am still learning.

mistipurple said...

sometimes we allow ourselves to constantly walk back into the trap is because, we love the person.
but realisation is a good step to having the swing balanced.

angel said...

So, are you the Mr. Nice Guy? I'm looking for Mr. Bad Guy... why? Cos opposite attracts? ;)

Taking people for granted, I'd like to think that I try to make a conscious effor not to do that... and I do try very hard...

ps: Lei ok mou?

goodshithappens said...

it's hard but learn to be thankful :) there's always a reason to.

kyh said...

@angel: but me NICE NICE GUY wor... How???

back to topic. :P

yes, we do take things for granted, for almost anything, anytime, anywhere. SIGH!

i'm picky at food myself, and my mum got headaches with this picky son of hers whenever she wants to cook!

J.T. said...

Somehow finding that balance is not that easy. There will always be some point in time when one gives more than the other; one takes more than the other. It is like sitting on a see-saw. It takes effort on both sides to keep it levelled.

Winn said...

agree with misti. and bcoz that person loves me so she/he never will make complain and lemme fall into the trap, and hoping that one day ill be able to see....

but im too blinded with my own thoughts that i cant seee...or choose to see later...sigh.

Anonymous said...

i think being taken for granted and being the one to be taken for granted is a pain.....sigh.....reading this entry just reminded me of the pain...like u say human nature and we are only human....so....it will just happen without us noticing sometimes....as pain as it is....=(

Economist said...

hmmm interesting....not compromise but acceptance.....so which one are you zewt? the DICTATOR or the FOLLOWER?........

Huei said...

"yan sin bei yan hei"

if you're kind to people, people will use you like you owe it to them, well, at least that's what i've learnt since my dad's passing, so i've decided, not to be so kind

damn n yet i get conned so easily! >.<

Cirnelle said...

We are creatures of habit. Once we settle into a routine, we-the-habitual-creatures get bored. Boredom is expressed in the way we socialise with others around us, usually by complaining and/ or the lack of appreciative feedback.

So, the only solution I can think of is not to have a routine-filled life - be as spontaneous as you can with whoever is around you. Life will get more interesting and you'll realise that even the smallest things are wonderful because its one of your first times to experience it.

On cooking: try putting wasabi instead of cili padi (just for kicks at seeing the diner's reaction) - sorry if it turns out to be an awful prank, but at least you'll all have a laugh at it.

On work: try organising a Friday wine appreciation lunch in the office - you'll be too high to work after that.

On relationship: I honestly don't think there's a rational solution when lust-induced decisions were involved in the first place. Yes, Zewt is right. Its acceptance. You married her, now live with it.

On friendship: Mr-Nice-Guy is probably doing all the running around for girls - again, refer to statement on relationship.

Someone who is constantly craving said...

well wat to do..its always like that when u hav the privilege..same with food or car..why u cook the same chicken ar?..how come u cannot buy me nicer car ar?..but when you realise u no food to eat..instant noodles also taste like heaven and proton saga u also will learn to love..

you guys out there learn how to appreciate your mom's cooking more..you think they really can cook all those delicious food that i post in my blog meh..if they can they open restaurant d..wont b feeding u spoilt brats..

good lesson learnt..

Wennnn said...

Zewt.. life is lidat lor.. Ppl know there's a trap but they still wan to choose to fall into it.. And then oni regrets it?? Is just like a circle goin round and round!! Me too sometimes wonders when it will stop... Like Ah Huei says "Yan sin bei Yan hei".. Very true lor.. U treat ppl nice .. ppl climb on top of ur head rather than appreciates U... Take it easy .. U can do it la... HUgs hugs....

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

It's life. We take many things for granted. Even our own health! Right? We need to cherish and appreciate what our love ones gave us right now, so that there will be no regrets in the future! Thats what we all should do!

me said...

sighhhhhhh....!

gRaCe said...

like you said, Zewt..as humans we will always take things for granted. I for one, am guilty of that..most of the times i take my friends for granted..which is really bad, i know..i'm trying not to do that so often tho..it's hard but i'm trying..

a friend once told me that balance is very important..and i do agree with him. i always find it hard to have balance..which is why, right now i'm also finding that balance in whatever i do...

Life is tough...but it's the challenges that keeps us going. ;o)

Princess Eileen said...

Whenever we come to the words & phrases of "taking it for granted", "compromise", "acceptance", "balance" etc... Some of the situations happen to different walk of life....

1. Some let out a sigh and go on with life
2. Some of us go blank for a while and go on with life
3. Some break down and cry and get depress and go on with life
4. Some make a change and go on with life

My point is... whatever we do, life goes on... so we are what we want us to be, but we should take into consideration the feelings of people we cared & loved.

I believed in relationship we "accept" our partner and then "compromise" on certain things, because we are after all different individuals with different thinkings & habits. Then, we learn to "strike a balance" in our life in everything from work, family, relationship etc. We "take it for granted" the success, hardwork & effort we put our heart into it, coz "we are worth it".

My 2 cents worth.

Anonymous said...

its good that ur mum loves u all so much..but for me, its different thing. My mum shower me with a lot gifts but when my bro & i argued, she will stand at his side..no matter how wrong he is, my mum will just push the responsibility to me..Am i to be blamed for everything - b'cos im a gurl ?? isnt it to obvious that she onli pamper her son instead of me ?? i promise myself,when i finish my degree and work, whatever i owe my mum ( in terms of monetary ) i will pay her back and she will totally out of my list..i know i sound cruel but what's the point of being with her when she only know how to take care of her son but not her daughter..

erinalaw said...

It's understood that mom cook better than us mah. So, ppl will complaint..... but, ppl that are hoh mheng will not know one till they lost it. Then, only they will appreciate but it's too late liau.

For relationship, the word compromise is often used. Tolerate is also another one leh, u forget to put in also........

Btw, I think you are a good cook or someone who love cooking? I am also born cantonese so i think i can understand your dad. Cantonese are a little bit yim chim.

vegemaster said...

*walks to kitchen...Grabs a knife..
Slices hands*

FUCK!! I'm Human!!

TTL! said...

Well shits like the imbalance thing always happen to me in my relationships. Which is also the main reason for me to dump most of my ex. Guess we gotta be robots to have a perfect compromised relationship then

Anonymous said...

He who receives a good turn should not forget,but which none have a right to expect.
-Rousseau

QueenB said...

Nice people, and my bias tells me they are mostly mothers, almost always fall into the trap of being taken advantaged of or taken for granted.
I myself had to learn to be assertive with female friends, colleagues and family members; feel alright about saying NO, and SET LIMITS.

MissSHopaHolic said...

Ola...
I like the part where you whined about ur work and how you gotta stay back, do extra works la yada yada ,, lolz.. reminds me of my nephew who literally shrinks away every time I mention the phrase "homework time"... you soound like a small boy la.. kinda cute though.. and I agree with ur compromise part.. ur damn right... acceptance is the right word and my grandpa use 2 say never never test a relationship, you'll always end up losing... I never use to get wat he meant now I do.. chao..

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

The family example u use cannot be applied to work. Althought boss always say we r a family during stuff meeting. It is not applicable b'cos employee is expendable!!!I pay u RM10 u have to work back RM20. If u don't wan I will find other 'suc ker' who will.Friendship is a bit applicable but we must remember we r not totally dependable on friend. Got friend, good! No friend also can do, afterall I wouldn't died. Have a nice day.

Kenny Mah said...

Bro, I know exactly what you mean by being Mr. Nice Guy. I had a friend who kept calling me and a couple of other friends, inc. another girl, to fetch her NSEW (north, south, east, west).

Then one fine day, she realised we stopped answering her "taxi" calls, and then she finally bought a car of her own... See? Never take one's friends for granted. :D

baby sa said...

wondering if I have a chance to try what you'd cook???hehe:)

Acrelaine said...

hmm.. i dont know which side of the trap i fall into.. -_-

newayz, i dun wanna slice my hands.. exam is coming.. wtf

may said...

we knowingly walk into traps like that sometimes, don't we? because we can't help it. and when we do want to help ourselves, we feel guilty for letting the other party down, even though we know they should be the grateful ones to be on the receiving end.

same goes vice versa.

hope life would balance out... eventually.

bubbly soda said...

Most of the time we will only realise how lucky we are only when it is too late. However, we are so blinded by what we have and we forget how to appreciate. It is common as we are human. So at we should stop a little and look at how lucky we are. Then try to appreciate the people around us. God Bless You.

See! I told you that you'll see me!

nyonyapenang said...

we build the traps...we keep on going into it....hmmmm...must be some 'nice traps', huh?

zewt said...

Diane - strking balance is a very difficult thing to do. but never hurt to try.

mistipurple - balance is the holy grail, very difficult to achieve. you're right... becos of love, we give in.

angel - hahaha... so bad guy always win eh? well, at long as you're trying, then it's good... me ok... thanks.

goodshithappens - give thanks always... i once gave thanks when my car was broken into... felt good, really...

kyh - just eat whatever she cooks ler...you'll never know when those 'sucky' food will stop coming. touch wood... just tellin you to appreciate those in front of you.

J.T. - hey there! welcome to my blog. i think... it is about both sides making effort to pull each other out of the trap, dont you think so? thanks for reading, hope to hear your voice all the way from germany here again... :)

winn - like i said, it is the responsibility of both parties to ensure both are out of the trap. both should constantly pull each other out.


anonymous - hey there, take heart. i certainly dont intend to make you feel this way. as long as we are careful, we will always be able to pull ourselves out.

zewt said...

economist - a bit of both,which is good... balance!

huei - you're damn right...!! yan sin bei yan hei. but you ah... always kena conned.. sigh...

cirnelle - indeed, habit is another deadly trap... once we get intoa certain rhythm... we sort of set a precedent and expect things to be done in a particular manner, not thinking about the feeling of others. nope, mr-nice-guy is being abused by ppl of the same species and... i guess you accepted whatever MH has eh? hehe...

someone who is constantly craving - good lesson indeed, particularly on the car anology, i was one of them...

wenn - yeah, i have had ppl climb on top of my heads many times, just have to put my foot down and make a call on things.

purple mushroom - yup, even our own health... all the char siew and siew yok... we just whack... and when somethng happens to us... then all the i should have this i should have that will come in.

grace - again, balance is not an easy feat. but it's always good to keep trying... at least we are on our toes.

princess eileen - hmmm... that is a very good point.... life will go on indeed. acceptance and then compromise... hmm... never thought of that. good point! your 2 cents are worth it.

zewt said...

anonymous 2 - maybe you should talk to your mom properly and hear her side of the story. but then again, i know it's not easy, i know sometimes, parents are not always right too. oh well...

erinalaw - hey there, welcome here! my dad... i shall not mention about him, something he did 2 days ago that made me go absolutely bongkers!

vegemaster - yes, becos you're human, you can fuck... robot cant :P

TTL - hey bro... calm down, life is not that morbid. just have to keep going and be on your guard, you will find the right one someday.

anonymous 3 - nice quote

QueenB - hmmm... why assertive only with female friends? :P

MissSHopaHolic - Ola... never test a relationship, you'll always end up losing... that's really profound, i like it! you don understand? i do... :)

hor ny ang moh - haha, you seems to be very adamant about this paid 10 work 20 issue huh. are you suffering from it? haha...

kenny mah - hahahaha... i used have such a friend, she end up being the public enemy of people. i hope we are not talking about the same person here.

zewt said...

baby sa - hahaha... maybe, if i open a restaurant...

Acrelaine - do it... you might get to take your exam on a later date... oh, i am so evil...

may - yup, we sometimes knowingly walk into the trap willingly. like i said in some of my replies, it is the responsibilities of both parties to pull both parties out of the trap.

bubbly soda - welcome again... nicely written, to pause for a while and be thankful of things around us. we live in a fast world, we must pause once in a while. yeah yeah... glad to see you and i am honoured you left a comment!

nyonyapenang - nice? then you must enjoy being in it eh? wonder which trap though...

hcfoo said...

As I'm reading your blog, I'm thinking how little time I spent with my parents who are back in hometown. They are getting older each day and here I am so far away from home.

Gone are the days when I worked till late at night. The more time I spent time and effort on work, the more my ex boss will expect from me. So it's better to work on my on at my own pace.

angel said...

WAAA!!! Got birdies flying!! So free! So nice! So leng! ;)

Pssstt... ada komen sesat eh?

Economist said...

eh zewt your answer is so POLITICALLY CORRECT till its hard to believe la hahaha...you scared JULES spank you issit if you tell the truth :P

gRaCe said...

Zewt & Kenny,
i'm guilty of that too! asking my frens to pick me up.. =(

but of course not to the extend of NSEW la..i very "kuai" and understanding one..LOLzz...!!~

zewt said...

hcfoo - yeah, your second para is so true. in a way, we pamper our boss... and take advantage of us. well, some ppl are willing to sacrifice for better position. to each its own.

angel - memang sesat.. that's why my word verification was up temporarily.

economist - hahahaha... must be tactful mah. a man must always guard his tongue. so does a woman.

grace - good for u. else end up as public enemy haha.!

gRaCe said...

hahahha....Whew! Thank God i'm not! i'm in fact very 'loveable' one. Ask my friends! Heheh...=P

SuLee said...

gosh that mushroom dish started to make me really drool.....looks sooo good!

i agree with u, we shouldnt take ppls around us for granted. cherish what u have, friendships, ur love ones, but oooooouuuu, i dunno about slicing my hand man.

freelunch2020 a.k.a. jed yoong said...

true...your post on your mom really made me more appreciative of ppl around me like my family n friends...:D

Aput said...

are you trying to make people guilty for not caring about those around them...?

sarcastic question.

in any relationship, there can never be balance because we're talking about two separate people with 2 different lines of thought. One might argue that their duty to cook dinner is equivalent to the other's duty to do the housework, while the other sees cooking as one activity and cleaning the entire house as a number of activities which are separate.

Then you have friends.

One friend may be able to treat the other to drinks every night of the week because he earns more, but the other cannot do the equivalent because although he earns more, he has to spend more on his family.

zewt said...

grace - ok, i believe you :P ... until proven guilty...

SuLee - i have been posting so many dishes i cook and only that one made you drool? sigh....

slicing of hands... metaphorically speaking la...

freelunch2020 - i am glad... i know it's hard sometimes, but i am sure one day... we will regret if we dont.

aput - dont quite get your last para... basically, i am just talking about how taking ppl for granted and allowing people to you for granted... are both traps!

aSstHa said...

actually... i tink we sometimes take ppl for granted... i highly recommend anonymous to read Micth Albom's - For One More Day... something similiar to relate to.

it's a true story of one guy's accoung of life on how he favour his father to his mother even AFTER the father left the family, he blamed his mother thus, never really bonded with her until her death (it was already too late den).

it was through his attempt to take his own life, he actually got a second chance to "get to know" his mom and finally realised by not telling him the reason for his father leaving her, she was in fact protecting him (who held his father on a pedestal).

before i turn this into a mini-blog and let my tots run "amok". all i'm saying is there's always two sides to a story. find out the other side den only decide.

i was reading that very same book a few days leading up to my beloved grandma's demise and realised tat we humans DO take those who's s'posed to b dearest to us for granted and lose our temper easily with them because we know they can take wateve shyte we throw at them... ok i better stop here... my tots are overflowing again...

zewt said...

aSstHa - i dunno how to say this but someone actually recommended this book to me a few hours ago... it's about a guy who took his own life and met his mom in heaven or something. cant be a true story right?

let the juice overflow... i always appreciate intellectual sharing from the heart.