So this is Christmas eve/day, whatever. I am not complaining or anything, but of all people, I am the one who came empty handed and with no presents. Of course, I do not need such presents but I just find it funny and amusing that despite the fact that I am the one who has been of the most help to my wife’s family and my wife herself, I am the one who is not shown any kind of appreciation whatsoever. It is because maybe they know me as the “asshole” who speaks his mind and says uncomfortable truths they don’t want to hear.
I came into my wife’s life when she was burdened financially because of bad decisions. She came from a family that was quite dysfunctional. Of course, my family is far from perfect but we have somehow kept it together. I come from a Filipino-Chinese family who carry on a mixture of Filipino, Chinese and Western culture. We have retained the best of 3 worlds. Filipino sense of family, Chinese work ethic and Western thought. My wife is Hispanic.
When we got married, my financial contribution to our household enabled us to have a roof over our head in a highly sought after community with good schools, parks and amenities. It also enabled us to have luxury cars, top of the line items and a pretty good lifestyle plus investments. She had a daughter from a previous marriage who I was able to give work opportunities to. I also provided jobs to her brother, two sisters in law, nephews, mom and their extended family/circle of friends.
My wife and I had disagreements on how to raise our child, now 6 years old. My emphasis is on his academic development. He first learned to read at 1 year and 9 months old and now at 6 is in multiplication. He goes to Kumon and Chinese school as well. I work very hard and when I get home I am just happy to relax, help my kid in his homework and play with him. My kid likes to draw, play with legos and do creative things with his toys and he does it in our living room floor. My wife would keep complaining calling it “a mess” and ordering him to cease playing, “clean it up” and all he will end up is watching TV shows or on the tablet.
Their way of raising kids is kind of lazy. They sit them in front of the TV or tablet and have them watch any show they want or play video games all day. Her mom, who is in charge of taking care of my kid gets paid $1,000 USD by me just so she could have him watch movies and play video games all day. I’d rather have my kid “messy” in the living room drawing on his sketch pad or scrap paper or building railroad tracks for his Thomas trains or build legos than do that. A home is not a showroom. It is meant to be enjoyed and people, especially children, should be free to recreate themselves unencumbered.
My child is doing well in school, reaping top awards and praises from his teachers. I am a top producer in our office and I also reap awards due to my extremely hard working nature. After working hard all day, I don’t want to be nagged about every inconsequential matter like putting away my child’s toys even though he is still in the middle of creating things. I also am critical of my wife’s family’s way they bring up their children. For me, their emphasis is more on fun and following the latest trends than on academics. To them though, I am “pushing my child” too much.
In the end though, my kid appreciated my efforts for him once he received his awards from school and the simple pleasure of being able to solve math equations in his head without using his fingers. I couldn’t help but compare the outcome of the children of my side of the family (who graduate from prestigious universities on time with honors and get great jobs) and her side of the family whose kids get pregnant in their teens and linger in community colleges having light school loads and just dilly dally in life.
These have caused them to consider me an “asshole”. In fact, a lot of people use that word on me. I am thankful though that I am called that. Without assholes in this world, how would there be any great things? Behind every empire, kingdom, successful corporation or grand scheme is an “asshole” who speaks based on mathematical terms.
They would give presents to other people merely because they changed a light bulb in their house or that they only say things they want to hear. I don’t get a preset from that same person even though through the opportunities I gave her family, they made $50,000 in half a year.
I have come to the conclusion though, that a lot of people appreciate others based on their perceived value and not their actual value. Am I correct?
Even though I did not get any gift from them, that’s OK. I treasure the most important gift that God has given me. He has given me the gift of being an asshole.
-Alvin M Diesta