Monday, December 11, 2006

Currently Reading: Man and Boy

I'm almost done with Man and Boy by Tony Parsons, which I bought for P30 a few weeks back from the flea market in Evangelista. I had no real reason for buying the book because I've never heard of it before. I just felt obligated to do so because I was panicking at the thought of running out of books to read.

At least I don't regret buying it. It is definitely an interesting book about a guy in London whose wife left him, leaving behind their five year old kid. It's a book about self-discovery through fatherhood, told in a funny but touching way. Think of Nick Hornby (High Fidelity and About a Boy) and Kramer vs. Kramer rolled into one. Just don't expect some high-brow literary masterpiece. It's butch lit, for Christ's sake.

I've thought more about parenthood because of the book though. And I'm not talking about me being a parent (god forbid!) but more about parents in general. One of the book's lines said that parenthood is fundamentally about intuition, nobody teaches you how to do it, you just progress along the way. As kids, we have very high expectations from our parents. We expect them to represent perfection in an otherwise unstable and totallyflawed world.

It was only several years back when I realized that my parents are people too. They make mistakes, they have their demons, and they are way too far from perfect (just like everyone else). Which makes parenthood one of the hardest roles anybody can assume in life.

I've long decided that I'll never be a parent. Well, aside from the very obvious reasons, parenthood is just daunting. I can't even take care of a fucking plant, much less another human being.


I can't help it. I had to post two excerpts from the boook that were quite striking.
"You should never underestimate the power of the nuclear family. These days coming from an unbroken home is like having independent means, or Paul Newman eyes, or a big cock. It's one of life's true blessings, given to just a lucky few. And difficult to resist."
"That's the worst thing about splitting up. It makes children hide their hearts. It teaches them how to move between two separate worlds. It turns them into little diplomats. The biggest tragedy of all. Divorce turns every kid into half a pint of Henry Kissinger."
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