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03 Until Death, or Some Irreconcilablity, Do Us Part

  An advice to a partnership, get out of it! Better still, run!

Being born as a girl in an oriental family was never an easy task. Since the first day, mother prepped me to be the most obedient, if not, marketable among other siblings I have—boys, nevertheless.

Growing up, mom reminded me without avail of how eventually I would be asked to marry by a gentleman. That no matter successful I am, I can never pass the level of a man’s achievement because I will end up giving birth to kids and being a housewife anyway, as oppose to men who can build their career to the highest level they want. That in the end, no matter how clever and invaluable a girl is, she has to give up her family name to her husband’s. That the girl has to follow her husband’s belief or religion. That having a boy in the family has more values than having a girl because boy will grow as a man—the breadwinner.

Not very encouraging, I must say. Having had thoughts that being born as a girl sucked, basically. I had to go for ballet classes instead of karate lessons—the ones my brothers did. I had to play with dolls meanwhile my brothers got those shiny racing cars that I had always wanted. I always had to help my mother clean, cook and wash dishes while the boys watched TV and fought over the video games.

Wouldn’t you say it was unfair to be raised as a girl? Then again, it was back when Pet Shop Boys were the it group. So, of course things have changed drastically, if not dramatically.

But there’s this advice that my mom would never ever fail to tell me over and over again as if I had had alzheimer disease. Have your eyes wide opened when it comes to finding a husband. If you’re Chinese or an Asian for that matter, you’ll know how tremendous of a pressure to find a husband before 30 years old and have children before 35. If you’re in your late twenties and you’re still single, the elderies, eg. uncles, aunts, grandmas, grandpas, mom’s friends, will keep asking you, or rather pressurizing, when you’re getting married. They might even start feeling sorry for you just because you’re not hitched. You might fall into a category of an old witch (no closer translation to the Chinese word).

Then you come to a big city like New York City, where thirty years old is the new twenty. Where it’s unheard of being married unless you’re in your forties. Where nobody talks about marriage but more about dating. Where nobody has time to sit down and discuss one’s status.

So it’s not entirely your fault when you forget to settle down, if you neglect the welfare of your status because in places like the City, this pettiness of an issue seems gone with the wind. Besides why would you trade off the heavenly lifestyle of being single? When you are single, you can see as many people as you can, day and night. In fact, one of the reasons why one of my buddies broke off his engagement (again—for the third time) was because he was afraid of not being able to try the million other girls available in this city alone.

But then, one day comes when the prince charming comes down from the white horse, hypothetically speaking, one tends to jump the gun and take that road. Is that so wrong, you ask? No, but it’s somewhat wrong when your friend comes to you and tells you he’s one of the statistics. That now he has to share a custody of his children with his ex-wife. What ex-wife? When did you guys even get married? A million and one questions were flying out while we were sipping Café Latté at that coffeeshop with the green awning.

“When the milk is spilt, you split,” he said.

“ have and to hold.
In sickness and health.
For richer, for poorer.
For better, for worse.
Until death do us part”