Mom, Tea

Apr. 10th, 2009 11:27 pm
sunmoonandspoon: (Default)
[personal profile] sunmoonandspoon
Title: Mom, Tea
Authors: [ profile] speaky_bean
Characters: Sachiko, Light, Misa. The rest of the Yagami family gets a few brief mentions.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 961
Notes: For this prompt I decided to expand on the idea I brought up in the announcement post. This is an excerpt from Sachiko’s diary, about Light’s rude request for tea, and how she feels about it, as well as how his behavior reflects on her as a mother.

/because a woman isn’t just for cooking meals/
/scrubbing floors/
/making babies/

~Grandmother Song by Vienna Teng

Dear Diary,

Hello, Sachiko here again! This is a bit silly, and I’m a little embarrassed about it, but I suppose it’s better to get these things out than to just let them fester in your head.

Late last night, we had a visit from a girl who Light says he’s dating. She’s Misa Amane, a beautiful but slightly trashy model who surprisingly, I’ve actually heard of. She was sweet, though I can’t see this lasting very long, and I’m a bit surprised by Light’s choice. I’m not saying Miss Amane is unintelligent, there’s no way I could possibly know that, but she certainly isn’t as smart as he is. I’m a bit concerned that his hormones, rather than his head, are controlling his decision to date her. I’d like to think that that’s the case, anyway. I’d like to think that he wouldn’t have been so rude to me if he weren’t struggling under testosterone’s grip.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my family, and I’d do anything for my family. I’d take a bullet for my children; I would starve so they could eat. I’m not trying to say that they aren’t important to me, or that Light’s small request that I make tea is unreasonable. Making tea takes a grand total of five minutes if I use the microwave, and fifteen if I use the kettle. It’s certainly no hardship, but that, I suppose, is not the point. The point is that I don’t like the way he asked for it.

It isn’t hard to say please, and it isn’t hard to treat the person you’re talking to like they’re a person and not just a means to an end. What Light said was “mom, tea,” and then he stopped looking at me, stormed into his bedroom with Misa trailing close behind him. Once again I’d like to think he was so caught up in lust that he wasn’t thinking clearly, but I don’t think that I saw lust in my son’s eyes. Not that I know, exactly, how lust manifests itself on his features, but if he’s anything like his father, I can guess. He was irritated, snappish, and it seemed like he wanted Misa to leave as quickly as possible. Which is fine. I don’t want him getting serious about her. But he wasn’t polite to her, and he wasn’t polite to me, and if my carefully raised son doesn’t know how to respect women, then somewhere down the line, I failed.

When I was a little girl, I was expected to wait on my father and brother like a slave. Every morning, I had to wake them up at 6:30, even though I myself didn’t have to leave until eight. I had to make their breakfast, make their beds, and make sure they remembered their about upcoming exams or business meetings. At night, my mother took over so that I could do my homework. No one ever said thank you, no one ever thought that maybe we had more important things to do than their bidding. I hated every moment of it, and it made me hate them. Now, my brother expects the same treatment from his wife and his daughter, but for my part, I hoped not to do things in quite the same way. Yes, I’m a stay-at-home mother, yes, I do most of the housework, and yes, I’d do almost anything in the world for my kids. But I expect them to thank me. I expect them to say please.

Light didn’t thank me and he didn’t say please. Light said, “mom, tea”, as if he couldn’t believe it hadn’t already occurred to me to make it. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but his tone of voice and the expression on his face showed a level of callousness and disrespect that I found shocking. I think of Light as flawless, but the way he spoke to me last night proved that he wasn’t. This is probably my fault. Growing up with a mother who does most of the housework, with a father who does a very important job for a very important paycheck, maybe it warps a boy’s vision a little bit. But I always made him do the same chores Sayu did. Maybe I was a little more lenient with him than with Sayu, and maybe I put more effort into teaching her how to cook, but I always tried. I taught him manners, I taught him respect, but I also taught him he was a brilliant prince who could do no wrong, and this, perhaps, is where I failed.

One day, my son is going to get married, and my son is going to have children. He might even have daughters. Suppose he grows up to be like my brother, suppose he sets himself up as a patriarch and orders his family around like worker bees? Women in this country are getting a lot more progressive, and Light will be hard pressed to find an intelligent girl who is worthy of him, who will also put up with that kind of behavior. She’ll leave him, and he’ll be devastated, and it’ll be my fault for not raising him properly. And in this hypothetical situation, I wouldn’t be able to blame his hypothetical wife. In fact, I would hypothetically cheer her on.

In the end, I didn’t make the tea. It wouldn’t have been difficult, and if he’d asked for it politely I would have fixed it up without a second thought, but he didn’t. This morning, to his credit, he didn’t say one word about last night’s lack of tea.
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