Complaining about Socrates

“I hate your father.”

“It makes sense.”

“I don’t know, I just feel like, there’s no way that I can possibly communicate with him.”

“It’s because you guys have conflicting personalities: he needs someone to rely on and still wants to be the one in power, while the inner you actually doesn’t really give a damn and just wants to be happy.”

“…What do you mean?”

“It’s…just the way people think based on their experiences. He grew up poor in the stubborn countryside blaming all of his misery upon his poverty, while you grew up in the fluctuating middle class with a worldly knowledge in different walks of life. You have a more practical understanding of the world that he does not and probably never will have since he’s too proud and stubborn to learn.”

“I still don’t think I understand.”

“I don’t know either. I am not the one to judge anyway.”

“How can you understand him?”

“I just like reading people and guessing how they think. I just analyze them and think in their weird mindsets.”

“I guess I do that too, except I am just so sick and tired with pretending that I am fine. He makes me panic. I just don’t know how to deal with him. Is this my fault?”

“No, not really. Remember what you always tell me? ‘A relationship is like a bank account: if you don’t deposit and only withdraw, it will be empty one day.’ There’s just no balance in you guys’ relationship.”

“I just hate it so much when people just complain and complain and don’t do anything about it.”

“I know.”

“How do you manage to be so fake with him all the time?”

“I just do.”

“That’s not an answer.”

“I don’t know. I guess I just don’t have any emotional attachments to him anymore, so then it’s basically like how you would talk very sweetly when you answered phones even though you were just pissed at me and sis seconds before. It’s common courtesy.”

“But that’s too sad, you are still young.”

“Yes, I am young, but I am not exactly a child.”

“…Are you being fake with me all the time as well?”

“No, why do you even doubt that?”

“Well, I am just scared.”

“Well, don’t be, because I love you.”

“I love you, too.”


“It’s so annoying. I just had this one little item wrong and then they literally force me to resubmit the form days before the sale take place. The advisor is no help either since he never really replied to my emails even when I asked him which forms I had to redo, which means I can’t be sure what to do until Monday now that the weekends is starting…”

“You made a mistake? What mistake?”

“Oh, it’s a typo in small scripts at the bottom indicating the type of meeting the sale was approved in…”

“You need to work on your attention on details.”


“You always miss those details. You are already 16 and still sloppy about little details. You can’t just rely on logic and large concepts that you invented yourself.”

“I know, but it’s just a word in fi—”

“—when I was working in processing documents and requests, I would have to push those documents back despite how small those mistakes are.”


“You need to stop complaining. Are you feeling stressed? Why are you stressed?”

“I don’t know, maybe because I have to run a bunch of clubs, take a bunch of classes, make a bunch of friends, and keep a bunch of promises as the Bible say? Life is just a plethora of things to achieve at the same time.”

“…I don’t know what I can say, but what do you mean by ‘make a bunch of friends?’ Why is that hard? If you are not giving up your personality to accommodate your friends, it shouldn’t be hard at all.”

“I don’t know, I don’t know. Talking to people is exhausting.”

“If you find filling out forms and socializing to be exhausting, then maybe you are just not cut out for it. If even these things can stress you, then you should just stop doing them.”


“Also, how much time do you need to read a small portion of the Bible?”

“Very little.”

“Just say a number.”

“Ten minutes?”

“Ten minutes. You can spend hours planning your English essay and you can’t spare ten minutes for reading the Bible. That’s why I said repeatedly that it’s so important to plan your time wisely. It’s because that you didn’t plan your time wisely that you wasted your entire summer even though you stayed in the U.S. for the entire two months: without distraction you still didn’t study enough. You always complain that you are not good at math and science, even though you don’t see that you don’t spend half as much time on those subjects as you do with your beloved history and English.”

“I spent an entire afternoon to Calculus just three days ago, don’t you remember? I even skipped history homework for that…”

“So, how are you struggling?”

“I don’t know.”

“What can I say? Just lower your standards then. Maybe it’s okay to lower your standards to be more realistic.”

“But, I am placed in this spot with all the responsibilities for a reason. I have to do all these things to the best of my abilities since they are given to me. I can’t just lower my standard.”


“I don’t know, I just said…”

“But, maybe you just can’t do it.”


“I know, you all think that I am not compassionate. I am too strict and not capable of comforting others.”


“Why are you tearing up? Are you misunderstood?”

“No, I am not tearing up.”

“Yes, you are.”


“…I know for a fact that your life is falling apart again when you started all those complaints. Not just the one about the forms this time. When you meet someone you don’t like, you just can’t take your eyes off him or her and you just chew on them and hurt yourself. I know that your life is starting to lead astray. I know.”


“Why don’t you ever organize your table? It’s a horrific mess.”


“Don’t do it now, it just seems that you are trying to pretend that you are being good…What is this credit card doing here?”

“I forgot to put it back to my wallet since I took it out last time we went traveling. I didn’t want to bring such a large sum with me.”

“It’s these details, Mei, it’s always these little details and basic organization. You need to be organized to the basic extent that you can find things when I am not here anymore.”

“I know. I will put it away.”


“Did you wrap up your hair?”


“But, how did you do that even though you forgot to take your towel?”

“I got a towel after I got out of the bathroom.”

“Maybe this is a sign that God wants you to see. You are so focused on the wrong things that you are dumb now. You study so much that you are just the same as your sister when she’s in her junior year even though you used to say that what her habits were bad…”

“…Except she does better at school.”

“And your attitude! I never compared you two, and you are always stubbornly pessimistic and always self decimate. I thought I gave you a lot of freedom when you grow up.”

“You did.”

“Then why do you still think like this?”


“Your father complains about everything. Every time his forms are rejected by the health organization he just complains and complains…”

“I am sorry that I am upset when I my forms are rejected for the first time ever in my life because of one word in fine print.”

“I know, you are already better for recognizing that you are in the wrong when you filled out the forms. But, you still complained.”

…maybe I am just not cut out for life? There’s nothing wrong with answering a question with a question.


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