Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Elephant in the Room

Last week, my daughter asked me what "Nobody talks about the elephant in the room." means.
Is there a real elephant?
Are there real people?
Is there really a room that can hold people and an elephant together?

This made me laugh, it reminded me of myriads of things I have been discovering as overseas born Chinese.

- Match Making
Love does not equal marriage, nor does the other way around.  You marry when she ticks all your boxes and she marries when you tick all her boxes, too.  Match maker gets paid, everyone leaves happy.
Love = something you have with mistresses
Marriage = boring old wife that once ticked all the boxes (nah, that's fixed with Korean face filling/lifting nowadays, so wife will always tick all the boxes, just gets a bit boring after a while.  We don't eat the same thing everyday three times a day, do we?  Huh?  Huh?)

- Mistress
Didn't the emperors from the Song Dynasty have a lot of concubines?  And two or three favourites because they would've bore sons for the emperor?
So should the men of today.  See, the first point of "match making", will eventually lead to this point of "mistress".
Since it is in woman's fate to either have a husband, or be a mistress, then the men will always thrive in this kind of tradition.
Give me a son, or else, I take in a "sister wife".
Give me a son, or else, I'll only make you as my mistress.
Give me a son, or else, don't call me again.
Then he says: "Sorry, you have a mistress fate, so I can never marry you.  But I will live close-by so we can stay friends and I can always fix your laptop even when your son in law is a computer whiz.   Because I love you, my mistress.".

- Calculating
If all of the above doesn't give away this third category, then I think you just never going to notice the elephant in the room.
You see, the one child policy (male heir) has proven to be burdensome to society now.  But back in the day, it was a much proven proud policy (discounting the endless case of female fetus found in soups or gutter).
See, if you have a female child, you'd feed her from child to adulthood, only to find her leaving to follow the husband's family.  In accounting, that's a big imbalance to the financial statement.  All these expenses, yet you lose the capital in the end.  That's why you need a son, then you'll gain another capital through the woman he brings in.
Don't forget the monthly installments to the parents for all the things they've done for you when you were young, jobless, wondering if you exists at all since you get praised for not speaking and smacked for telling them what's in your mind.

I pondered these points for a while now, since my parents had always been independent from my grandparents but yet they insisted on installing almost all points on me.
Did it skip a generation?  Because unconsciously their parents tried to force those upon them but failed as they got down to daughter/kid number 10?

So did anyone ever talked about the elephant in the room?
I did, I said, "Hey y'all, didn't you notice this thing in the room is huge?  Like maybe it's an elephant?  Let's talk about it!".

I tell you what happened next.  My mom shuts down (physically and mentally), my dad storms out of the room (almost all the time, even when I shut the door, it brought the Thor in him, out!).
Me, I took one look at this elephant, made it pink, and usher it out with me.


  1. yeah, there will always be a mistress, the name just changed in our society now but the idea is still there. and i read somewhere that they got rid of the 1 child policy in china 6 months ago- now it's 2? because well everyone wants a son and they found the population is decreasing and no one is left to take care of the elders. not sure if that is true!

  2. haha they do have sweets during Diwali.. but the sweets are really really sweet, like they hurt your teeth sweet. I guess thats india, everything to the extremes- extremely spicy or sweet, extremely good smelling things and bad smelling roads!