Eat Pride, Love
“Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.”
–Augustine of Hippo
I received a phone call some years back about flying to Singapore to celebrate my father's 60th birthday. At the time, I had not spoken to him for five years. Irreconcilable differences; you know what that's like.
Sixty years old. That shit is real. Nobody's getting any younger, and by that I mean it's starting to feel like a race to the grave, and either one of us is gonna cark it sooner or later. Sure, I know that people live for 100 years these days, but some of us like to be dramatic.
Convinced that the next time someone from my hometown rings, I would be forced to discuss hospitals (as well as the price of silk satins for coffin interiors) I made a decision to "fly home" once each year.
Five years of silence was broken by the sobering thought that the old man might vanish into thin air, and the worry that I didn't try hard enough to mend things. To be fair, neither of us did anything to mend things. Resentment doesn't require your active participation. The reversal of it, however, takes a strong, strong bitch.
I did miss the birthday do, but was able to make the first annual Singapore visit soon after. "I'll turn up when I damn well please." Get it?
Flash-forward to the winter of 2013, and I've done four of those annual trips now. You'll be glad to read that no cringey Disney/Oprah moment happened, no tearful re-neg' of wills and testaments occurred, and nobody's told nobody they've made mistakes and nobody's begged for forgiveness - Asian style. There was no kneeling on polished marble floors, and definitely no slamming of foreheads on matching marble columns for a grand performance of remorse.
I do, however, keep going back. With each trip, we have one meal together, with his wife and young children. The meals seem to go on longer every year. We talk through the kids. I ask about school and the parents interject every now and again. I try to show that I no longer want to fight, but we don't talk about it. That's how Singaporeans do it.