We recently took a look at one Japanese father’s unorthodox way of delivering some sage wisdom. Today, the Japanese Internet is buzzing about yet another bit of parental advice, this time from a mother to her daughter.
Twitter user @kaaaaa010724 recently shared the following story, prefacing it with “This is something my mom told me. I totally get what she’s saying. Sometimes, she really knows what she’s talking about.”
So what did her mom have to say?
“Look, it’s all fine and good to be selfless sometimes. But think about why people tell women not to sell themselves short.”
“When you and a guy are still just boyfriend and girlfriend, it’s OK to be selfish. It’s OK to hang on to the mindset that you’re very special. If some guy leaves you just because of that, then the two of you weren’t going to get married anyway, and even if you did, you’d get divorced right away. You got that?”
“After she gets married, a woman has to put up with more and more things. Her husband goes drinking with his coworkers or works overtime. He doesn’t call home if he’s going to be late, and even on his day off he’s never around because of work, work, work.”
“But you know what? You can put up with his selfishness if you have happy memories from when you were boyfriend and girlfriend. ‘Ah, he waited for me for so long that day.’ ‘He was always worried about me getting home safe, so he walked me all the way back to my place.’ ‘He doesn’t like crowded places, but he still went to Disneyland with me.’”
“Because you have memories of him granting your selfish requests when you were dating, you can create a happy married life. So when you’re dating, ask for many selfish things. Then, after you get married, it’s your turn to grant his selfish requests. Remember that.”
The message struck a chord with Japanese Twitter users, who have since retweeted it more than 31,000 times, and Mom does make a couple of good points. All else equal, it’s best to be upfront with your partner about your desires, in order to judge if the relationship is going to provide you with the things you need to be happy. Taking advantage of the greater opportunities you have to be carefree when you’re young is also a great idea, and memories of happy times can help you keep a positive attitude when the going gets rough. And, of course, it’s important not to lose sight of your self-worth.
Thinking along those lines, much of the online reaction has been positive, with comments such as:
“What a wonderful mother.”
“Your mom is cool.”
“She’s totally awesome!”
“Her words moved me, too.”
“Such a deep message.”
However, certain critical thinkers took aim at what they felt were weak links in the chain of advice. Sure, there are indeed some men who draw so much of their satisfaction and identity from their work that they neglect other aspects of their life. Far more of them, though, stay late at the office or clock in on a Saturday out of necessity or pressure to secure financial stability for their family. It’s also not like every guy at a company drinking party actually wants to be there, either, all of which prompted comments such as these.
“I realize women have to put up with more things after getting married. But is it fair to call a husband selfish when he’s working to provide for his family?”
“Do you think he likes going drinking with his boss, working overtime, going to the office on his day off, and being so busy he doesn’t even have time to call?”
And that’s not even touching on the issue of whether a system of “You put up with all of my selfishness before marriage, and I’ll put up with all of yours after” is a recipe for wedded bliss or civil but resentful, barely tolerable cohabitation.
Hmm…now we can’t help wondering what Dad has to say about all this.
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