Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Debts to the Old Folks

Many children like me have heard about the debt they owe their parents. How we ruined their lives and yadda yadda yadda. We are groomed with the expectation that in the future, it will be us taking care of the old folks.

Much like the way my parents said "shit happens" about my childhood, I don't feel an obligation to save for or contribute to their retirement. And you know what? If I had children, I would certaintly not expect them to have to take care of me. It's one thing if y'all get along and have a good relationship, and even then I would not even think of encroaching upon their families future because I did not look out for myself.

Imagine, mostly to the S Donor, this has probably ended up being a shock that I won't be there. That's because we come from a huge Italian family, where it was made known that you would be in servitude to your parents. My grandmother loved her kids, but she hurt them a lot by this being a demand, and not something that was necessarily appreciated. She never understood that her kids had jobs for both parents, kids, et. Everyone was happy to give time to her, but it was unfathomable to her that my S Donor might be an important meeting when she called to put eggs on the list of groceries. I think they let the S Donor know early on in childhood that the reason they had him, was that he would be mostly responsible for them. Not a real excellent way to let someone know you love them, if you in fact do.

My grandparents showed me a lot of love. Not that there weren't those tough times, but all in all, I felt loved by my grandparents. I tend to think that their kids didn't feel that. Likewise, I don't think my grandmother felt very loved by her mother. But my Great Grandmother doted on us and her grandchildren.

Is this just the way it's been in Italian families like mine? I always wonder that non of my female cousins nor myself ever wanted or had children. Also, I am the only one of four of us to get married.
These thoughts were crossing my mind as I was watching news shows about approaching your parents about old age and finances. It occurred to me that my "parents" expected a debt repayment in so many ways for me being born. I have IMHO paid my debt to them.

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