Wednesday, 20 March 2013

So much for sisterhood

Recently, I seem to be under some quarrelsome star. I had an unhappy exchange with my sisters on watsapp a couple of days after my fight with my third and fifth sisters over my nephew.

It happened that my father had finally given his consent to have a scope done on his colon as he has been experiencing pains in that particular area for quite some time.

He was fed up with his experience at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and didn't want to go to ANY doctor anymore.

KTP Hospital had expressed uncertainty and ambiguity over the red spots and patches on his skin, even after drawing his blood a few times for examination.

He had to go to the hospital for his follow-up visits for his cataract operation, and following that, the perceived skin problem.

Each time, consultation fee was paid, but sometimes, the consultation was not conclusive, and he had to return a week or two later for a new consultation, which may or may not be conclusive.

Eventually, he got fed up. Even when the hospital was quite sure that he had Lupus, a condition that may or may not attack the immune system, he said he was not going back anymore as 'all doctors are cheats!'

He didn't want to have a scope performed on him either as his god-brother 'had died after doing a scope'.

I managed to find a private specialist who managed to convince him to have a scope done.

So, the bill came, right?

I asked my third sister who had paid the bill first to split it among the siblings who wanted to pay.

The reason I did this is because some of my siblings are not gainfully employed for one reason or another, and they should not feel obliged to chip in.

But my third sister preferred to have anyone to pay any amount they like since it was not a major amount.

I watsapped in jest,"Wah, this amount is not major to you ah? We will all be very happy if you can absorb the amount."

She replied,"You spent your money on TV. I want to see how much you want to pay."

I was shocked that she said this.

I had just paid for a 55-inch LCD TV to replace my 29-inch 7-year-old CRT.

I asked,"Why can't I use my own money to buy something for my pleasure?"

My fifth sister said,"55-inch is too big."

My elder sister said,"55-inch is a luxury."

I was so angry that I rebutted them:

I am the only one who have lived with a CRT for the past 7 or 8 years.
All of them bought LCD TVs for themselves.
At the time when 32-inch was more common, my elder sister bought 2 LCD TVs, with one measuring at 37-inch.
My youngest sister had also just made a 55-inch TV purchase for her four-room flat. Why didn't anyone tell her off?

They all knew how thrifty I had lived. The underlying message in that watsapp episode was:

You have so much money to spare and contribute so little to our household.

Perhaps I have been too naive. I had candidly shared with my sisters about my monthly paycheque, my bonuses. I shared the information out of a grateful heart and wanted them to be happy and relieved that the stupidest child in the family also has a 出头日, that they don't have to be worried that I am leading a downtrodden life anymore.

Please don't be misled into thinking that my pay and bonus are really very fat. I am someone who is not ambitious. When I first started working, I was earning $1,200 (gross). When I knew that my manager was earning $4,000, I told myself I would work round the clock just to have that kind of pay.

For someone who had been through zero pay during the years she studied for a degree and struggled for weeks just to think about whether she should spend $10 on a home necessity, and got so stressed out over the lack of money that she suffered an immunity condition, I am someone who is very grateful for what I have.

I am disappointed with how my sisters see me.

It makes me realise that perhaps all this while, I was the only one who thought that they would be happy for me. They probably thought I was showing off to them!

We are sisters. Didn't they claim that we are close-knitted? Is this what you would think of your sister if we really are close?

Then it occurred to me that they have never disclosed their salaries or bonuses to me.

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