December 06, 2018

My coworker Addwittey (Addy), who is Indian, was eating lunch the other day. It smelled great. Everyone knows the guy can barely make a sandwich, so, there had to be some kind of story. New girlfriend, maybe?

"My mom made it for me", he said, smiling like a five-year old boy. His parents were in town, and as he tells it, his mom just couldn't help herself from taking care of her son. Nevermind the fact Addy is in his late 20s/early 30s, and does does PhD-level trajectory planning all day; he's still her son.

I overheard a different discussion at Farley's coffee yesterday: "If I asked my mom for a down payment on a house, she'd be laughing so hard, I could hear her all the way from Missouri." (I live in California.)

I'm not sure why we Americans have such an obsession with being "self-made". We have to "make our own way", and invent this sort of fiction that we can manage things ourselves, without help from others.

We all pretend this whole "city" thing, with water grids, roads, and hospitals, you know, it really could end at any moment. We could all go back to nature, till our own fields, chop our own firewood, and draw our own water, from the well.

My Indian and Chinese coworkers don't get it; they're happy to live with their parents rather than "wasting money" paying rent on a small place of their own. Gotta save money, after all.

They sit there, laughing as they watch us "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps", sipping their masala chais, and oolong teas.