Just two years after our marriage, my husband brought up the idea of asking his Mother to move from the rural hometown and spend her remaining years with us. His father passed away while he was still very young. His mum endured much hardship and struggled all on her own to provide for him, see him through to the university. You could say that she suffered a great deal and did everything you could expect or imagine of a woman to bring hubby to where he is today. I immediately agreed and started preparing the spare room, which has a balcony facing the South to let her enjoy the sunshine and plant greenery. Hubby stood in the bright room, and suddenly, he lifted me up and started spinning round and round. As I begged him to put me down, he said: “Lets go fetch mother”.
Whenever we have an argument and one of us refuses to back out, he would lift me up and spin me over his head continuously until I surrender as I beg for mercy. I became addicted to this kind of panic-joy feeling.
Mother brought along her countryside habits and lifestyle with her. For example; I am so used to buying flowers to decorate the living room, she could not stand it and would comment: “I do not know how you young people spend your money, what do you buy flowers for? You also can’t eat flowers!” I will smile and say,: “Mum, with flowers in the house, our mood will also become better.” Mother will grumble away, and my husband will smile and tell her:
“Mum, this is how it is in the city and with time you will get use to it”. Mother will stop murmuring.
But thereafter, whenever I came home with flowers, she would ask me how much it costs. I will tell her the price and she would shake her head and express displeasure. Sometimes, when I come home with lots of shopping bags, she would demand to know the price for each and every item, I would tell her honestly and she would get even more upset about it.. Hubby playfully pinched my nose one day and said: “You little fool, just don’t tell her the full price of everything and that would would solve the problem.” This sparked the friction to our otherwise happy lifestyle and home.
Mother hates it most when hubby wakes up early to prepare the breakfast. In her view, how could the man of the house cook for the wife? At the breakfast table, mother’s facial expression is always like the dark clouds before a thunderstorm and I would pretend not to have noticed that. She would use her chopsticks or cutlery to make a lot of noise as her silent protest.
As a dance teacher in the Children’s Palace where i work, I come home exhausted from a long day of dancing around, and I do not wish to give up the luxury of that additional few minutes in the comfort of my bed and hence I turned a deaf ear to all the
protest mother makes.
From time to time, mother would help out with some housework, but soon her help created additional work for me. For example: she would keep all kinds of plastic bags with the aim of selling them later on, and at the end, the house is filled with all forms of trash bags; she would spill on the dishes, dish washing detergent when helping to wash the dishes and so, as not to hurt her feelings, I would quietly wash them again. One day, late at night, mother saw me washing the dishes, and “Bam” she slams her bedroom door and cried very loudly in her room. Hubby was placed in a difficult position as to whose side he should be on, and after that, he did not speak to me for that entire night. I pretended to be a spoilt child, tried acting cute, but he totally ignored me…. I got mad and asked him: “What did I do wrong?” He stared at me and said: “Can’t you just give in to her once? We couldn’t possibly die eating from a bowl however unclean it is, right?” After that incident, for a long period of time, mother did not speak with me and you can feel that there is a very awkward feeling hanging in the house.