|‘Saving Face’: the day i considered fake marriage|
|Articles - Coming Out|
|Written by AnJ|
|Tuesday, 02 March 2010 19:43|
I love Chinese New Year [CNY].
This year, i went home for 3 days. During the short stay, we went out for a Chinese movie ‘True Legend’ together... where i spent much of the 2 over hours shrieking [every time i think the protagonist was going to plummet to the ground from an enemy’s sword slash or iron fist punch], much to the annoyance of my little sister. The family outing was heart-warming, and a rare treat for a father who works seven days a week.
Outside of the immediate family is where a fresh set of challenges lies.
I have an older cousin who picks on my Mum and sister. Imagine a cousin who is almost a decade older calling my sister ‘stupid stupid’ every chance she gets; who called my mum ‘suckling pig’ [i really can’t see the resemblance] and displayed amazing rudeness to my mum. This cousin and her mother [i learned that almost every family does this regardless of race, language or religion] have an extremely competitive spirit. Think along the lines of calling me up every major exam [PSLE, ‘O’ levels, ‘A’ levels] about my results or asking my friends about me. I couldn’t forget how her mother threw a pencil at her forehead after she asked me about my school performance because her daughter and i had different class positions at primary one. We were compared on everything from academics to beauty continually. The year i fell, my mum took the blunt of it. As a home-maker, her children are her major accomplishments. If we did well, it was assumed that she wasn’t a bad mother; if we did badly, she was at fault.
Many years have come and gone. This cousin of mine got hitched and planned to tie the knot in a couple of years. Her boyfriend is the typical ‘good catch’ for a straight girl- tall, athletic, and possessing decent facial features. With a career in the financial sector, his future looks promising. They planned to purchase a condominium together. These represent what many see as the next life stage or achievement after tertiary education... as moving on... as maturing.
What a blow this was to my mum.
The only cousin she detests and who has been a pain in the neck for years is now ‘superseding’ her daughter.
When night fell that day, i couldn’t sleep.
I grieved that i couldn’t help her ‘save face’.
Amidst copious tears that night, i thought, ‘how about a fake marriage?’
But... what will next happen?
First we compare boyfriends/husbands, then we compare houses/cars... and eventually we compare the beauty and intelligence of our children/grandchildren? This the ‘life’ cycle my Mum went through [more like a death cycle really]. Why do i want to repeat this vicious spiral that has generated years of unhappiness?
I questioned how far i am willing to go to ‘save face’... and shortly after, dropped the idea altogether.
I don’t want to spend my life ‘saving face’ when all it does is perpetuate a meaningless cycle of comparison... a cycle i disdain. I don’t want to live a life devoid of openness and honesty about important areas of my life. I don’t want to spend my life lying... and then lying some more to keep my life stories straight [pun intended].
The year before, fuelled by my curiosity over fake marriages, i had set up a Chinese profile in a ‘fake marriage site’. Picture-less and with little details about myself. Over the period of CNY, i received many notifications from the ‘fake marriage site’. ‘So-and-so is interested in your profile’. It isn't a surprise that most LGBT feel the blunt most when they face persistent questions that endure year after year.
'So when are you getting married?'
|Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2011 20:59|