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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Failure to Launch

What is a single person—who is over thirty, financially secured—called when he/she still lives with his/her parents? A SINGLE PARASITE. This is what Ayu Utami said about herself in her book entitled SI PARASIT LAJANG; she only quoted from her Japanese feminist friend. These are some reasons why this kind of person is called a single parasite  living with the parents, no need to pay the bills, mother who does the household chores, father who is always willing to help, having fun in the morning, working in the afternoon, writing in the evening, no need to think of feeding the pets or cleaning the car.

This is partly illustrated in the movie entitled FAILURE TO LAUNCH. Matthew McConoughey played as Tripp, a thirty-five –year old bachelor, a quite spoilt guy who enjoys living together with his parents; a loving mother who always does his laundry, cooks for him, and does other household chores, and a father who makes the house livelier. The joy living with his parents makes him avoid getting a steady relationship with a girl. The father who wants to see the only son an independent adult by living all alone and separated from the parents makes him hire an expert to “teach Tripp to be more mature and independent”. This expert—Paula—is played by Sarah Jessica Parker. The mother in fact is not really ready to live without her only son. It is revealed when by the end of the movie, Tripp leaves the home. She says that she is already accustomed to Tripp’s presence there so that she is not sure whether she is ready to live without him. She is worried if her husband no longer loves her. Meanwhile, in another scene, it illustrates the mother’s joy to spoil Tripp by preparing him breakfast, milk, some refreshment to bring to his office, etc. The father seems jealous to see it. I am of opinion that he thinks it is time for his wife to spoil him (again) now that the son is already thirty-five years old. It is time for both of them to enjoy each other’s company again.

In Indonesia, these past two decades, nuclear families have been getting more and more preferred rather than extended family. However, it is still a common thing to find single people who are around thirty live together with their parents. For guys, probably they can still enjoy their life as bachelor, without any responsibility to take care of their own family. The mother still does the laundry and cooks for him, (two chores that are usually exclusively related to women) and no complaint from the father so that he does not need to feel necessary to hire an expert “to get rid of the child’s presence at home”.  For girls, of course it is not a big deal, she even can help do the household chores.

Going back to the movie, by the end of the movie it is illustrated that in fact, Tripp is not sure to be ready to have a serious relationship with a girl because he is still traumatic with his ex girlfriend who died six years ago when they planned to get married. Paula herself once failed with her relationship because her ex boyfriend chose to live with her parents. This failure even encouraged her to “cure” other guys who “suffer from less self-confidence” to start a new life.

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