TL;DR – “What have I done in my previous life to deserve a shameful mother!”
Bringing your significant other to meet your parents is a big deal. Especially when you are younger. For whatever the reasons, it’s taken to be a symbol of how committed you are to the relationship. So if a young man refuses to introduce a young lady to his mother even after they’ve dated for a while, the young lady would naturally question the young man’s commitment to the relationship.
But could there be any other reasons a young man would feel reluctant to introduce his mum to the girlfriend?
Yes. Because the young man is ashamed of his mother. The young man went to expressed his shame on NUS Whispers:
I can’t imagine how tough a childhood this young man must have had because of the nasty remarks that people have made about his mother. It’s amazing that this young man rose above all of that and overcame whatever challenges in his path to get into a prestigious course in NUS. But to this:
“What have I done in my previous life to deserve a shameful mother!”
There are three issues here.
Why does society look down on some jobs?
Yes. Being a “beer aunty” isn’t the most glamorous of jobs. It’s a job that brings you in contact with some, errm… interesting patrons. Some of these patrons could be quite colourful. Some could be quite unreasonable. Some of these patrons may well be what some people may describe as “low class, old and despo drunkard”. (But hey, everyone’s got a story we don’t know about.)
But that’s them. Why should the behaviour of those patrons reflect on this young man’s mother? Why is it that some people in society feel that they have the right to make nasty remarks about this young man’s mother? Or to judge another when they know zilch about the woman? Just because of her job?
This mother has worked hard to earn a living. An honest living. She has done so to bring her son up. What right does anyone have to make nasty remarks? Shouldn’t we respect everyone who’s willing to work hard to earn an honest living?
How is one job superior or inferior to another? Who decides? You? But, who are you to judge?
If a girl doesn’t respect your mother, she’s not worth it
It doesn’t matter how amazing the girl is. If she doesn’t respect your mother, someone who is willing to bear all that hardship to bring you up, someone who loves you unconditionally, then that girl probably isn’t worth your time.
That sort of attitude speaks volumes about her character. Or rather, the lack thereof. Such a girl won’t stay by your side in tough times. Better cut losses as early as possible and break up with her now.
Academic education doesn’t necessarily make you a better person
Yes. To get into a “prestigious course” (wonder what course it is) in NUS probably means that the young man did well in school and scored good grades. So? The ‘A’ levels is but one exam. Getting into a prestigious course in a good uni may just mean someone got lucky in one exam, you know? That doesn’t make him more precious or more important than the next person. But for him to ask what he did in his previous life to deserve a “shameful mother”?
And it shows that our education system has failed him. Or hasn’t been teaching him the values of a good person.
Beyond good grades, beyond being able to do well in exams, it seems that this young man has completely missed the most important parts of an education. By calling his mother “shameful”, it suggests that this young man’s character is probably flawed.
All is not lost
While it’s disheartening to read an NUS student say something like that, all is not lost. There’s a glimmer of hope in the comments.
A certain Eric Hu said this in the comments:
“I understand the origins of shame for you with regards to your mother’s occupation in relation to perceived occupational status in society but have you place yourself in your mom’s position and think about it? Imagine yourself in your mother’s position; the social stigma that your mother have to endure is much greater than what you are anticipating as a son now.
We can’t choose our parents but most parents gave their love to their children unconditionally. Your mother had the choice of taking the ‘easy’ alternative of abandoning you when faced with financial issues but she didn’t. She had to bear the social stigma and the ‘old men’ (as you mentioned in your post) everyday at work in order to make sure that you have food to eat, study in NUS.
It is not easy but she did it for you. Would you be able to bear the stigma for your son if you were your mom? Be honest to yourself, if you find it hard to make yourself do it, imagine how courageous your mom is to make the choice.
Of course you may argue that there are other choices but you are not your mom; given the circumstances back then, the occupation perhaps was the best option for her to make sure that there is food on the table.
As for your girlfriend, you lied and there is no going back unless you are truthful. You can’t change your family and one day, she will find out. The main issue which I am suggesting that you should address, if you are willing to, is to first learn to appreciate your mother, the hardships that your mother went through to bring you up. It may be difficult for you now but start to love your mother not to be ashamed of her.
Once you love your mother as your mother has loved you, you will find the answer to the problem of your girlfriend finding out.
Hope this suggestion is of use to you.
May all be well and happy”
Hopefully more of us Singaporeans can be like this Eric Hu. And we’re hopeful.