Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Single Child Syndrome

I have never really liked being the only child. As a kid, I used to terribly miss the company of a sibling and had my heart set on an elder brother for some reason. My mother would try her best to explain how this was biologically non-viable but to no avail. After a while, when I was old enough to realize that my parents had no plans of expanding our family, I resigned myself to the depressing fact that I will be the unhappy,solitary child forever.My mother fearing that I would fall prey to the much-dreaded single child syndrome made it a point to inculcate the virtues of sharing in me and was in fact a bit too successful. As a result, I have very generously donated away my expensive, foreign toys and rare set of play things made out of clay by artisans in some remote place in Tamil Nadu.The sole exception was my collection of golis (marbles) which I refused to part with.I started with 5 of them and went on to amass as many as 200 marbles which I won fair and square in the goli matches from boys of all ages and sizes.But I digress.So the only hitch was when it came to sharing people, especially those close to me. If some kid as much as held my parents’ hand, I would get jealous! My friends were not allowed to be friends with any other kid. They were my friends. Period.And this trait just stayed on.

I have always found it painfully difficult to compete for someone's affection.Simply because I am just not used to it.So when my best friend Mads,decided to become girlfriend-boyfriend with B who happened to a friend of ours,I just refused to accept the change in scenario.I hated B for taking Mads away from us.Mads had to now divide her time and attention between us and him which was just so unfair.How dare he!I am just lucky I have great friends because had it been anyone else,they would have promptly disowned me or worse,completely misunderstood my feelings and intentions.But for some bizzare reason,Mads and B were both very understanding and Mads would actually go out of her way to make sure that I wasn't feeling too left out!

I go through similar emotions with my in-laws.I feel I am constantly competing against my BIL's wife A , for my MIL's affection.And it is just so damn exhausting.For instance,everyone acknowledges openly that I am a better cook than A.Inspite of that, every single time we talk to my in-laws over the phone,I make it a point to instruct M that he has to rave about something that I cooked during that week.And I feel very let down if he doesn't. Well,you get the picture here,don't you.It is not like I am trying to prove that I am better.All I want is for my MIL to love me more.And this is the only way I know to compete for someone's affection;by proving that I am better than my competitor.See how I contradict myself here?!And the fact that both A and my MIL are very warm and affectionate and sensible just makes it all the more frustrating.As juvenile as it may all sound,it is something that I have to live with.And when I am in such situations,nothing about what I feel at that moment is juvenile.It is a constant tug-of-war of emotions and believe me when I say that it is very very hard to not let it get the better of me.

I blame it all on my parents.Sigh.If only I had an elder brother.....

15 comments:

Divya said...

Ah, luckily for me I am the elder of two sisters and that has it's own benifits, all the girl talk and stuff :) But I too wished for an elder bro (mainly because I thought all guys would be scared of me that way, which they anyways were :D). Btw, was reading your oldest posts, and found another similarity. I have forever wanted a dog and no one lets me get one:(

Madhu said...

Now I can relate and understand being the single child and feeling all possessive, but only when I am not on the receiving end ;-)

Renovatio said...

Wait, I thought the possessive came from the older sibling when the new one popped up...

Oh and I coupled help connect that lady to this new term I learned from Dreamcatcher. It's co-sister. :D

I love Lucy said...

@Divya : I miss girl talk!Hmmm so the dude is anti-dogs too huh :-)

@Maddy : You have always been my punching bag,girl and I don't think much has changed in that regard!

@Renovatio : There is so such word as co-sister in the English dictionary. :-P
Its origin can be traced back to India and the trail ends right there!Probably someone with a humongous extended family decided that it was getting way too confusing and hence originated the aforementioned word...
Oh, and I demand a new post!Its been way too long.. ;-)

Su said...

Can so totally relate to you. My bil is yet to get married and I'm super scared that my sis-in-law will look better than me. Yikes

just passing by said...

hmmm...competing for attention is it? Being an only child as well, can totally understand this trauma. Also the part about nagging parents about brothers/sisters to play with.Been there, done that, and got similar answers.
ps. i too wish i had a brother. Rakhi's just passed by and i don't get any rakhi gifts:(

M said...

Good post! and boy...Now I really feel we are soul-sisters...remember our conversaton on the Tahoe beach and at the cafe? Though I have an elder sister as good as an elder brother or perhaps better...I always wanted to have a real one for myself! sigh!

Renovatio said...

Done :)

I love Lucy said...

@Su : Welcome to the club :-D

@Just passing by : Yup,being the only child kinda sucks.I keep praying that M and I have twins;takes care of everything,na?!! :-D

I love Lucy said...

@Renovatio : Yay!!!

I love Lucy said...

@Mri : :-) You shouldn't be cribbing at all...you have a sibling!

Su said...

Where have you disappeared ???? o blog love for me.

CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONBjEEpKrH0&feature=channel

Here is a short video that captures the feelings/thoughts of EVERY 'only child'.

CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONBjEEpKrH0&feature=channel

Here is a short video that captures the feelings/thoughts of EVERY 'only child'.

CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONBjEEpKrH0&feature=channel

Here is a short video that captures the feelings/thoughts of EVERY 'only child'