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Don't call me uncle yet

Published on Jul 29, 2014 11:55 AM

Kids truly say the darndest things. They'll blurt out at the family gathering that Aunt Lucy's hot pink dress is really, all things considered, extremely ugly. Other times, they'll point out that Grandpa Ted is looking even fatter, if that's even possible, than six months ago. Worst of all, they've recently developed the annoying habit of calling me "uncle".

But who can blame these innocent cherubs who don't know any better? It must be their ignorant parents who are at fault.

Just the other day, I gave up my MRT seat to a pregnant woman with her toddler in tow. "Say 'thank you' to uncle," she instructed her son, in what was no doubt a teachable moment to her mind. "You're welcome, auntie," I imagined my reply to the woman, who actually looked a few years older than me. The child, to his eternal credit, kept his mouth shut.

Yes, I resent that horrific honorific that I mercilessly use on men older than me. Nevertheless, I like to think that I resist the label not just out of personal vanity, but also because I am merely falling in line with my generation's aversion towards growing up.

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