Gen Y… should I listen to you?
I am an ambitious and driven 40-year-old female and I would appreciate your insight. I have a 17-year-old niece, who I love very much. She is very bright and creative, but she continually frustrates me with not having any idea about what she wants to do with her life after high school. She wants to go to university, but she is unsure of what she wants to study. I find myself getting continually frustrated after each conversation with Cheyenne, because each time I offer her some ideas, she shoots them all down. It would appear that not only does she not know what she wants, she has no idea about what she does not want to do. Talking to her about her future goals is like an exercise in trying to decipher the conversation of two demented people on heroin. I don’t know how she can’t know what she likes or dislikes. If I say study medicine, she crinkles her nose. If I say study business, she grimaces. I suggest teaching, and she shrugs. So I find myself feeling frustrated, but fortunately, because I only see her every few weeks, I don’t express my irritation at her. I think that being so bright, she should live to her potential and achieve something useful – instead of being like her mum and staying at home. What are your thoughts Auntyji? What is your proposed solution for me? Obviously, I love my niece very much and want her to be happy. Can you please give me some ideas on the best options here?
Hmm. I can completely see your dilemma here. Say nothing and have Cheyenne meander through life, not knowing what direction to take, or say something and have Cheyenne think you’re an interfering aunt. First things first. As much as you are driven and ambitious and you only want a happy, fulfilling future for your niece, this is her life. You are living your life exactly how you want to, and you can provide guidance to Cheyenne, but you must not impose your expectations on her. If she wants to go to university and have a high-powered job, that’s a decision she needs to make. If she wants to stay at home and have babies and raise them without putting them in daycare, then that is her option as well. I suggest you start by changing your thinking. You are there to provide guidance to Cheyenne, if she asks for it. If she doesn’t, then leave it at that. Cheyenne’s crinkling of her nose and shrugging of her shoulders are signs that she is probably being polite and not wanting to say to you that really, she does not want to talk about her future career, she is currently stressed out about her HSC. So your job is to support her by saying that whether she wants to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer or housewife, you will be there to help her if she needs you. Then leave it at that. And please, don’t make sarcastic comments to her about how she will end up as a mere housewife, because that is doubly insulting. So, I suggest you re-orient your thinking, and leave Cheyenne alone. Talk to her about things that will decrease her anxiety, not increase it. So talk about fashion or TV shows. Leave it at that. If you want to be a hip aunt, you will need to step up your game, girly, and learn that your drive and ambitions are yours alone. There is no rule that says that this needs to be passed to the next generation.
One potato, two potato…
My sister-in-law makes the best mashed potatoes ever, and no matter how much I try to recreate it, I can’t seem to perfect the recipe. I have asked her for her recipe, but she makes excuses and does not give it to me. Do you have a good recipe that you would like to share with me please, Auntyji? I love mashed potatoes and mostly have it for special occasions only (because I am mindful of getting fat). So can you help?
Of course I can help you my little laccha paratha. I have a particularly good recipe that I am happy to share with you. But be mindful, this recipe is for those people who don’t eat mashed potatoes every day. If you eat this dish every day, very soon you too will become a golu matolu aloo yourself – all shapeless and jiggly with each step. To, pehle, take 4 medium unbrushed aloo. Now I am not fussed, but you will need to cook them till they are soft. You can cut them into chunks and boil them gently, or you can boil them whole, or steam them. Either way, the aloo must be cooked completely and drained well. Now, once cooked and while still hot, leave them in the pan, and add ½ cup of cream (the proper kind, not thickened) and about 75 grams of real butter (no margarine or any of that rubbish – get the best quality butter you can find). Then, mash it all up while on low heat. Turn off the heat and continue mashing until there are no lumps left. You can add a little more cream if the mixture appears a bit dry. The potatoes should be very fluffy and light. Once done, add a dollop of butter to the middle, and let it melt. Then serve. You will find this mashed potato so rich and tasty that you will want to eat it by itself. Which you should, but of course, with accompaniments, it is quite superb. Now remember, don’t do it that often, otherwise you will become a petu. Good luck with this recipe, I am sure you will love it very much. Write to me and tell me how it turned out for you.