Mediocrity ...

In the vast, dark sea of human mediocrity and misery there are on occasions, brief moments of blinding light and hope. Actions that raise all 6.5 billion of us above and separate us from, the beast of burden and our wild forest brethren. This sadly is not one of those eventful moments in the history of humankind.

We have just taken delivery of a two month old baby boy. Before I get into that, it might be helpful to set the stage by providing some relevant background information. My wife has two younger siblings, a sister and a brother. A little more than nine years ago, as a teenager, the sister decided she was ready, willing and able to produce offspring with her high school boyfriend. 

One guess as to how that all worked out. The two kiddies who were performing the “most wonderful, natural and fulfilling act” in the life of a human being, (producing yet another miserable life to be lived) changed their minds and moved on to something else. As is typical in the village, Granny inherited the burden produced by her irresponsible offspring. For the last nine years Granny has done a good job of spoiling and producing a regular brat.

Being illiterate herself, she couldn’t have been expected to help much with schoolwork or life knowledge. We have paid the bills and made attempts at correcting behavioral problems. The birth mother has made appearances from time to time. We sent the mother to university for many years, allowing her to be the first graduate in the family. The only tangible result being that my wife felt better for having tried her best to “fix” her sister.

Now it is the brother’s turn. He has generally followed in the footsteps of his father. A mean drunk who morphs from a quiet shy guy into Mike Tyson. A womanizer who thinks with a particularly fickle part of his anatomy. He has been with the latest girl for two or three years but at the time of conception was sleeping with at least a couple of other girls. Now if I were the suspicious type, I might wonder it this child were an attempt to “keep her man.” Why she would want to, is anyones guess!

There were many tears and much anguish about leaving her baby with her mother in law. Her own mother, however, was already taxed by bringing up her other child from a previous relationship. I just love how people make horribly stupid decisions again and again, and then piss and moan about it. Asking “why me?” and asking for sympathy and help to solve the problem. Their problem is a clear lack of common sense and good planning. The time to solve the problem is before the act, not after. If your decisions are controlled by your glands, hormones, and emotions then it is sensible to expect difficulties.

People here seem know they will bear no responsibility and the family safety net will clean up their messes. The village as it is, consists primarily of grandparents and grandchildren. Not many of the present generation want to farm rice, going off to the city to find work better suited to their modern sensibilities. Some manage to build a new life in the city while others fail miserably and return to the village to live off the generosity of their extended families.

I suppose my wife being a baby sitter from time to time is still better than being a mother. Moving to our new house in a couple of weeks will provide a little distance and privacy, allowing my wife to choose, to some extent, how involved she wishes to be. Without us, I sometimes wonder how any of them would survive. We have discussed how my wife’s efforts to “fix” her family have perhaps had the opposite effect much of the time. Something like giving drugs to a drug addict. It relieves the immediate pain but perpetuates the problem.

Her biggest disappointment was her father and he had the gall to die before she could resolve her issues with him. I do my best to repair the damage done to her by her family but only time will tell how things play out. As caring and wonderful as my wife is, her family is equally dysfunctional. The more depressing thing is that we are seen as the strange or abnormal ones. Dysfunctional is normal. Thinking about consequences and being responsible is far too tedious. It is much better to breakout the local moonshine or white lightning and go for a high speed ride on the motorbike.