PostSecret is a weekly blog featuring homemade postcards portraying people’s secrets. The postcards are mailed anonymously, and the secrets range from cute and funny to pathetic and heartbreaking. I stumbled across PostSecret in 2005 and became hopelessly addicted. To commemorate my six-year anniversary of PostSecret addiction and because some secrets are too awesome, crazy, or stupid to be forgotten, I am going to pick my favorite secret from the blog each Sunday and share my thoughts on it.
This week’s favorite: Indiana Jones as Dad
When I was in high school, I wished that my piano teacher and his Japanese wife (also a piano teacher) were my parents. They were a low-key, classy, childless couple who lived in a gigantic three-story house with a Siberian husky and three grand pianos (a Steinway, a Yamaha, and a nine-and-a-half-foot Bosendorfer). I fantasized about being adopted by them and moving into their house, where I would study hard, practice on their pianos, get into Harvard, and, most importantly, be liberated from my parents’ constant stream of Chinese-style abuse.
Of course, this did not happen. However, when I was in college, I learned from my mother that my piano teacher and his wife had adopted a Chinese girl. She was 12 years old and had taken lessons from my piano teacher’s wife for years; her parents, who had to move back to China for professional reasons, wanted her to stay in the US for her education and asked my piano teacher and his wife to legally adopt their daughter so she wouldn’t have to move to China. Unburdened by any children of their own, they agreed to take financial and legal responsibility for her for the indefinite future.
Words could not express my jealousy at the time. To me, her adoption felt completely, disgustingly undeserved. Here was some stupid little girl who had accomplished nothing in life, who did not study as hard or practice piano nearly as much as I did at her age (or even imagine doing so), who was, through sheer luck, being delivered into the lap of comfort and freedom that she had not earned. And here I was, in my early 20s, lost in a flood of jealousy and resentment at having missed out on an opportunity I never had. This was yet another way in which life had cheated me, yet another splash of lye on the wound of unfavorable circumstance.
A couple years later, I heard that her parents re-adopted her and brought her to China because they missed her. Knowing that she no longer enjoyed the luxury of happiness that should rightfully have been mine made me feel better.