Dependency Sucks

Dependency Sucks

The other week my dear friend Sue told me she was pregnant. Of course, I congratulated her (despite my own aversion to bearing/raising children). Still, I was so surprised. Just the month before, she told me they were going to start trying… sure didn’t take long, eh? I guess for some people the body adjusts rather quickly even following years of birth control. Anyway, she’s due next May. So crazy– my first close friend to get pregnant.

Actually, most of my buddies are still living it up Sex in the City style! Ok, maybe not that flashy, but you know, they have that independent working woman thing going on. I have to say, being married is great but sometimes I feel so vulnerable from the dependency. Yes, love is a beautiful thing: you choose to love in spite of the vulnerability. But I still feel torn at times: dependency can really screw you. Family, friends, love, whatever… Too many things have fallen through because I mistook people for being reliable. I know, this is all a bit jumbled. Like I’m trying to talk about something without specifics. I apologize and offer some context.

John headed out to the States yesterday. You’d think after dating long distance for five years and putting up with years of his work travel, I’d have it down by now. Well, I don’t. I still cry when he leaves. Sure, I could go out with friends… but I’m rather elistist when it comes to friends. Plus, it’s tough to settle for an acquaintance’s company after hanging out nonstop with my best buddy, you know? Anyway, that was the first thing to tip all this off. I hate depending on Bubs, and I hate being a wuss.

The second thing was a call from my parents last week, asking me to re-connect with my estranged brother. Seems like a simple enough parental request: “Just call your brother and talk to him. He loves and respects you. Your call will make us all very happy.” Some of you may not know my history with Johnny. Long story short: I think he’s a funny and intelligent guy. But he’s also immature, irresponsible, and unreliable. I blame two parties for his lesser qualities: Johnny himself (he IS 30 now) and my family (myself excluded, of course). I used to think my parents were in a league of their own, because they baby him like he’s an imbecile or cripple. Since moving to Shanghai, however, I’ve realized Confucius and persisting Chinese traditions (including methods of parenting) are the culprits. In China, there are entire legions of “little emperors.” It’s just insane. Sometimes parents get lucky: their child loves and respects them for their lifetime of contributions. Other times, even sacrifices become expectations and nothing is too much. I’m done with this bullshit. I’ve wasted years trying to repair, but honestly, there’s no point in patching a leak when the bike’s riding through a construction site. I don’t lie, and I don’t feign concern. My parents will just have to find other sources of happiness.

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