John and I are back from our trip to Taiwan. I have to say, the family meetup went way better than expected. Then again, I am quite the pessimist, and my expectations were set very low…
So what exactly do I mean when I say better than expected?
1. No comments questioning our lifestyle (living in Shanghai)
2. No probes on my undefined “career path”
3. No comparisons with so-and-so’s kids
4. No pro-Bush comments
5. No baby pressures
Can you believe it? Save for one event (mom spasing out because we skipped breakfast), the whole week was non-confrontational. Definitely a milestone for the Gou household.
Eh, on second thought, maybe number 5 isn’t wholly accurate. You see, my parents refrained from harassing us, but my aunt and uncle were an entirely different story. Get this. My aunt, with the help of my billingual cousin, coaxed John into the family room for a “special meeting.” (I was busy washing dishes.) So Auntie opened the meeting explaining why she’s isolated John for a chat. Apparently, she knew there was no sense talking to me, because I’d just lose my temper (Come on, am I really that volatile?). Then, she urged him to keep their discussion confidential, that is, secret from me. Clearly, he violated that pact. So long story short, Auntie told John my father has only one wish and that wish is to have a grandchild. Everyone in my family knows I’m opposed to raising children, but Auntie suggested that I might change my mind with careful proddings from John. John then explained that he doesn’t want kids either. Auntie persevered. “Just think about it,” she advised. Then came the strategy. My poor cousin… she had to translate this. My aunt basically suggested that John “forget” to use protection in the future. How screwy is that? My poor hubby. He gets cornered and then is subjected to this kind of discomfort!
When he told me about the “talk” that night, I got so pissed off. I mean, first, it’s like they think a child can be some kind of object or gift you can have and give to someone else. Of course I want my parents to be happy, but is it responsible for me to have a child that I don’t want just to please them? Is it right for their happiness to depend on my producing a child? It’s fucked up. Yes, their mentality is traditional and conservative. They want a legacy or whatever. Still, that doesn’t justify having an unwanted baby. Second, who is my aunt to be devising this a plan? I’m offended not only because she disregards OUR right to decide, but she goes on to recommend manipulation as a means to achieve her desired end. I mean, maybe it was offered partly in jest, but to suggest that John deliberately impregnate me? The very notion gets my blood going… Understandly, under these extreme conditions, John caved. I think in an attempt to pacify them, he said we weren’t ready for kids now, but maybe we’d consider the future. Normally, I would totally disagree with this approach because from my experience, you’re better off setting the record straight from the get go. Give an inch, and you’ll lose a foot. My position is barren womb forever, man. But I understand he was in an awkward place, so fine…
The day we left, my aunt warned, “In case you’re not careful…” Knowing where she was headed on this one, I cut her off, “Would I ever be careless? Would I NOT be careful?” She continued, “In the event that something happens, please don’t have an abortion…” God. Then, uncle chimed in, “Let your father be happy one time.” Nice. Goodbye to you too. Some nerve, I tell you.