It’s been no secret within the family that my little brother doesn’t like le Boyfriend.
For one, they are two different people.
My brother is one of the most polite, indirect people I know. Ask him to decide between A or B, and he cannot help but list down the benefits and pitfalls with both, while leaving you scratching your head as to which option he would prefer.
Boyfriend on the other hand is brutally honest. If it’s good, he’ll say it. If it’s ugly, he will too. I honestly believe that boyfriend’s directness goes against my brother’s very nature.
Both as well have a lot of pride.
Which is a problem if they’re in the same industry.
My brother for example wants his employees to kowtow to him. Even with me, he wants me to submit a very comprehensive proposal for his approval. He doesn’t want you to submit it to him on email. He wants you to email the proposal to him, print him a copy and place it on his desk, set an appointment with him, launch on a presentation as to why your proposal is great, and then to give him time to mull it over before he comes up with a decision.
This is all well and good — until you realize that our company is around 10 people strong, and seriously, there’s really no need for that much red-tape.
Boyfriend on the other hand, is very hands-on. He hates discussing things to death because he realizes that time is of the essence, and there’s no point over-analyzing things when times a ticking. Hence, he would discuss it a bit and see if he can act on it. If it works, great. If not, there’s still time to shift gears and do Plan B.
Consequently, Brother is the dark cloud over our heads.
Since my mom is the universal peace-keeper in the family, it also puts her in a difficult position. At one side, she likes my boyfriend and finds him both amusing and endearing at the same time. On the other, her loyalty is to her son, who is becoming quite unreasonable.
For example, case in point, our company was going to do an office outing this weekend because it’s my brother’s birthday.
My little brother two weeks prior made it clear that he is uncomfortable with my boyfriend joining the weekend vacation. And that we have to respect his decision.
I was okay with it: there is no point to really push a guy to do anything he doesn’t want. I told my boyfriend of the weekend plans, and he was quite nonchalant about it and made other work-related plans.
However, since my boyfriend is a constant presence in our office (since he does pick me up every day and helps me in marketing), of course, other people have asked if my boyfriend was joining us this weekend.
“No, he’s not going,” is my only answer, not really willing to give the real reason as to why he is not invited.
Last night however, little brother has a change of heart. He asked my uncle to ask me to invite Boyfriend for the overnight weekend.
“See? Your little brother’s already making an effort to invite Boyfriend,” my mom said.
“Well, the invitation is appreciated of course. But I don’t know just how sincere an invitation is if it was given the very last minute,” I explained. Though it’s not confirmed, I think it bothered my brother on how it looked when he has invited everyone, but has visibly neglected to invite my boyfriend to go.
“It’s a very very last minute invitation,” my boyfriend said. “If I was thinking any differently, I’d think he purposely made it last minute to reduce my chance of going.”
“I am sure he was simply conflicted with the decision,” I said. “End all and be all, you are formally invited. Just wanted to make sure you know.”
“Yes I know,” he acknowledged. “But why do I have a feeling he’s just doing this to save face?”
Face is a very Chinese term. Read more about it here.
In relation to this particular situation, to save face meant that though the gesture was deceptively sincere, in actuality, my brother didn’t really want my boyfriend to be there. If he did, he would have sent the invitation way earlier, and followed up. He would have also invited my boyfriend himself instead of channeling the invitation to via my uncle, my mom and myself. If we’re really being honest about it, my brother didn’t really want him there.
But in order for other people not to say anything bad, or to gossip about their state of relationship, he invited the boyfriend. But it was still an empty gesture.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I love my brother with all my heart, and it pains me as to how two of the guys I love the most are not really in the best of terms.
Anyway, no worries. Just a dark cloud over my head la which am sharing with you guys.
Not to be too worried though, boyfriend is relatively unfazed. And given that he’ll soon to be family, these things have a way of working themselves out.
Happy weekend, everyone!