Membaca artikel Ethan, saya mengingat dan membayangkan hubungan platonik dgn lawan jenis lebih mungkin terjadi jika salah satu atau keduanya pernah memiliki ketertarikan secara romantis maupun seksual, dan telah beranjak dari fase tersebut. Bagaimana menurutmu, Dri?

Tidak setuju.

Pria dan wanita bisa punya hubungan yang murni platonik tanpa harus “beranjak” dari fase lain. Anyone who says otherwise probably never had close friends of the opposite sex.

Or only objectifies them as a.) “bisa neh”, or b.) “ogah ah.”

Dri, boleh tau knp your brother memilih menjadi muslim? What it’s like to the rest of the family?

Well, I can’t speak for him. I think he needed direction and arahan. Some people find purpose and jati diri from within, some people need it.. well, handed down to them by old men long dead.

What’s it like for the rest of the family? Perfectly fine. Whatever makes you happy or gives you pegangan, man. My parents believed that we should choose whatever gives us peace of mind. It’s our own lives to live, after all. Do I personally understand how some people find comfort in this regional/cultural myth over that regional/cultural myth? Nope. But hey.. why should anyone justify what makes them happy?

I’m sure the majority of you probably uttered some grateful phrase in Arabic upon my brother choosing (not “born into”, not “converted”, but “chose”) Islam. But if he was located in Bangladesh at the time, he could have easily chosen Hindu. And hey, we’d be fine with that too. One man’s deity is another man’s four-armed talking elephant.

Let me give you a bit of context. My parents where born in in the 1930s. That would make them *grandparents* for most of you. Yet, they were open minded enough to raise us without any cultural brainwashing, and let us choose to how to live our own lives.

It’s easy to berkubang menggelora in our diversity and self-congratulate our liberal social media personas for befriending those of different beliefs. Fine. But just keep that in mind fifteen years from now; when your own children prefer to subscribe to the “kasih” or “mindfulness” of some other belief system. A belief system that was not inherited and chosen by the parents, and grandparents before them. Or when your son or daughter wishes to marry someone of a different ethnicity and religion. Or perhaps of the same gender. When that day comes, remember how proud you were of posting pics of your friends of different faiths.

I mean, it’s not like you were born in the 1930s, after all.

Hi Vipey, putri remajamu mulai main sosmed belum? Gimana pandangannya mengenai aktivitas virtualmu? Thank you.

Sudah. Kalau ngga salah sih dia sudah ada Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, dan Ask.FM. Sekarang sudah cukup umur untuk Facebook, tapi konon dia belum bikin karena.. she considers it too mainstream. 🙂

Do I follow her? No. I think she should have her privacy. Her mom and I occasionally skim through her social media, but we don’t check it everyday. I don’t think she follows me either, but her friends often Like or RT my ask.fm and Twitter, so of course she knows what I post here and there.

Is that an issue for me? Not at all. I personally consider my thoughts and views just as valid for my own daughter, as they are for anyone else.

Adrian, ada ngga anggota keluargamu yg a believer? Apa pernah diskusi/debat mengenai keyakinan dengannya?

Of course. Banyak kok anggota keluarga besar saya yang relijius; dari katolik, protestan, dan islam. Sejauh ini sih belum pernah diskusi atau debat mengenai agama. I guess there is no reason to, and none of them have ever given me a reason to argue either.

But honestly, the matter came up during the illness and eventual death of my father and sister. But I know they had good intentions, so sometimes you have to let things slide. There is always a time and place for such debates to take place. That wasn’t one of them.

Dear Vipey, Saya sudah baca tulisanmu di Magdalene tentang adopsi, my first tought is…… ada ya laki-laki sebaik kamu. Saya ingin adopsi anak ketika di masa depan tapi khawatir masy yg omong jelek2 ke anak saya nanti. We can’t control the society, right? :(

True, we can’t control what society says. But we can control how we react to it, and how our child will deals with it. Tapi beneran deh, rata2 orang ngga akan peduli kok. Never overestimate how much people think or talk about us.. they really don’t care that much. And the ones who do, will be people whose opinions mean nothing to you anyways.

Sorry ya, ini saya reply setelah lebih dari sebulan. In general, I never reply to any questions that contain compliments of any sort. But since the rest of your question was relevant enough, let me say it one more time: adoption has NOTHING to do with being “baik.” I do things because it personally feels right, and because I find it rewarding. So in the end, it’s a selfish reason like any other.

Dri, di usia saat ini, kegiatan sehari-hari ibu apa aja? Apa beliau masih aktif bekerja?

Ibu saya tidak bekerja, tapi cukup aktif. Saking aktifnya, saya saja susah ketemu kadang2. Selain sering reunian sama teman2 SMA (“Mumpung ada yang masih bisa bertemu, Dri..”), dan juga mengasuh English Conversation Club. Biasanya kumpul setiap minggu, dan presentasi topik dalam bahasa Inggris. Seringkali ibu minta saya riset sebuah topik untuk dipresentasikan dan dibuatkan naskah. It’s basically her Pecha Kucha, but for the Oma-Opa set.

We don’t celebrate Idul Fitri, but she always makes cookies and sends it to friends and family. She sent me her famous kastengels last week too. I had friends over, and I love seeing the wide-eyed expression on their faces when they try them. And it gets even better when I reveal that my mom made them.

I’m glad that she is busy and occupied, that way she doesn’t fuss and get stressed out by the little stuff in life, as most old people usually are. Anything to keep her mind off “Dri, lha mbok yo berkeluarga toh” is all good to me. 🙂

(2019 update: mom passed away in August 2016)

Hai adrian, saya perempuan 27 tahun, memang kalo saya mengejar karir itu salah ya? Saya trauma dgn laki-laki, karena bapak saya kurang bertanggung jawab, ada saran? Terima kasih :)

Sorry, apa hubungannya trauma urusan laki2, dan ngejar karir? Because if you are implying that women yang ngejar karir itu adalah sebagai KOMPENSASI urusan menikah/berkeluarga… that would *really* piss me off.

Terus terang, ada beberapa hal yang bikin kaget sih waktu pindah ke Indonesia. My sister was very successful in her career, and was mostly single until the end of her life. It took me a while to “ngeh” what people meant when they would comment “oh pantesan, karirnya bagus.” And when I realized what it meant, yes.. it made my blood boil.

Some of us live the way we want to live: by conscious choice, and by what makes us happy. Not because we are compensating for something else.

Dri, kangen cerita tentang Bapak Ibu. Mereka suka ngajak jalan-jalan kemana?

Sebetulnya jarang sekali sih, orangtua saya ngajak jalan2. The last serious trip we ever did as a family was keliling Amerika Serikat pakai mobil van (yang ada dapur, kamar mandi, tempat tidur) selama sebulan penuh. After that, mom and dad took yearly your berdua saja keluar negeri.. sementara kita anak2nya harus mengurus usaha keluarga while they are away. Biasanya kita ditinggal 3 sampai 4 minggu dalam setahun.

Anyways, on another note.. 2 weeks ago @manampiring and I sadly talked about how now that we can afford to take our parents places, they are just too old to travel anywhere. Well, tanpa bermaksud kedengeran seperti oom2 menggurui.. you younger people should keep that in mind.

Vipey, do you think the fact that you were born and grew up in Canada contributed a lot to your way of thinking and perspectives? Will you be another average java male with all that “panggil saya mas” if you were raised in Indonesia?

Nope. My parents are very progressive as it is, regardless of where I was born. Considering they were both born in the mid 30’s, that just shows how far ahead they were of the times. Put it this way… tanpa ada bahasan pendahuluan apapun, my dad said “Dri, kamu mau menikah sama si mbok-pun kalau memang cinta, ya silahkan.”

Now think about how all these current God-fearing church-going parents would react if some of you even brought home someone of a different race or social strata. All that teachings of “kasih sesama” would go down the toilet before I even click the “answer” button.

Funny how my parents gave me all the freedom to do something as *I* choose, and I simply have no intentions to do it. And just in case you are curious… no, I didn’t have anything going on with si mbok.