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Reply #136 and #137
She: "i think we should get married this year. What do you think?"|
He: "i don't know; it doesn't mean i don't love you if i don't answer that question now. You know my situation. What MarkWu wrote is quite true. I don't know why i hadn't thought of that before. Will you wait for me?"
She: "How long? i am already reaching 30. You may not know women after all. When we reach a certain age, we feel the need to belong. Belonging provides us comfort, security and a deep sense of settlement."
He: "Ah, in that case, i am already finished. Right now i cannot provide you even one ounce of comfort,security or deep sense of settlement. I know, i know, i should try harder and strong effort will break down the wall of bad luck. Always they say, silver lining adorns dark cloud. But these few years, not only dark clouds but also thunderclaps of broken dreams."
She: " Pooh-pooh; how can you lose hope when you have me?! Even if you cannot get up, let me be the one to support both of us. And also our sweet baby in ten months time."
He: "The situation may change. They talk about nuclear families nowadays. Both parents live apart because their places of work are far from each other. They may even live in different cities. When the baby arrives, s/he will not be able to see the father for months. How different is that from being divorced with child?"
She: "You are just being theoretical and unreasonable. Why not just take the plunge?! Millions have done so; why not us? Have i not proven the womanly steadfastness of my love and devotion to you?!"
He: "Yes, you have, and i do not doubt you one bit. But right now, and for the past so many anguishing years, since my business collapsed, i have been feeling very guilty. What kind of a man am i who cannot even provide simple acts of giving to the woman i love? Just as woman wants comfort, security and settlement, man wants to give and care and protect. Walking together holding hands in Wangfujing or standing close together looking at each other's eyes in a crowded train is fine but that's not all that love is about. Love is also trench-warfare with bills to be paid, plans to be made and tiredness from work to be overcome. Right now i feel so useless because i can't even do those things for you. Man needs to show love as much as woman needs to receive it. That is a law of nature."
She: "Humm, you never held my hand at Wangfujing! Do you know i sometimes worry you might be walking with someone else at Sanlitun?!"
He: "Now, now. What makes you think like that? I may sound kind of old-fashioned about this man-woman equation but that's because i think long-term. I am not interested just to marry you, and then someday both of us find that it's not working out because you become sad seeing me moody at home while you go out to work and come back late and tired."
She: "Look, it's impossible for you not to get up again. It's just a matter of time. And i want to tell you now that it's not important to me how much you make or what post you hold. Just so long as it's an honest job and you are happy again, so too will I. Without you, i may be able to go on, but you have become a part of me and without you, i will be incomplete forever. Can you understand that, you pumpkin head?!"
He: "I understand that deeply and i feel exactly the same way about you. Although i have not said as much, that is also how i feel about you. But i want to ask you this question and i hope you will not be angry. Is that feeling for me bigger than the pressure you may be exerting on yourself subconsciously to tie the knot because you fear the investment of six years will be lost?"
She: " It's not like that. This is not a task to be done within a certain deadline. Something inside just made me feel it's time."
He: "You're not pregnant, are you?!"
She: "Silly man, won't you be the first man to know if i am?!"
He: " Forgive me, i am just down and out. Not the same energetic self as before. OK, i have something else to say and i want your input. What if i say that marriage is not important because it's just an institution thing, like a tribal ceremony that society gets used to for so many centuries that no one comes up and question it. In other words, what's the difference between a man and woman getting married by usual means and starting a family from a man and woman cohabitating and adopting a baby orphaned or left behind? In the second case, it would be a good deed to be parents to someone young and fragile and in need of love and a home and the price for doing that good deed would of course be to not to have one's own flesh-and-blood. But what's the difference? From the normal marriage, the child grows up to have an independent personality and becomes a different person entirely, the difference that is no difference from the personality of the adopted child-turned-adult?"
She: "Humm, are you trying to convince me that it's alright for us to share the same bed but not be married?"
He: "It's not just about being nuptial with each other. Look at it this way, in their twenties, the normal couple tie the knot and feel heaven move. By their thirties, they discover the challenges of raising a family, the joy of holding the bundle of joy in their arms, the long nights of waking up to feed the baby while drained of energy. By their forties, they see the child become a teenager, whose character depends on how careful is their ability to upbring, train, coax, scold, reward, love, and so on. By then, the teenager starts anew the cycle of life on his or her own and develops an independent lifestyle. At that point, the parents also start to do their own thing; they may come together in the evenings for dinner, or go out together but each will have his and her own new circle of friends and new activities. Unless they're so attached to each other, they may even start to do more and more things one apart. from the other. The old sense of longing when young has abated and the new sense of familiarity has settled in. So you tell me, what's the difference between all this and a man and woman cohabitating unmarried in the technical sense defined by society?"
She: "Even if you can argue like that, the difference is i want you to be my husband and i want to be your wife. That is all i know."
He: "I cannot beat that kind of logic. I am going to line up again in the cold tomorrow morning and apply for jobs. I have been doing that every day for so long. Do you know what keeps me warm out there in the grey streets? Thinking of you, remembering your sweet voice, warmed by your smile coming out from deep within your eyes meant only for me, recalling your womanly fragrance. Yes, Emma, i miss you every fiber in me."
She: "Who's Emma?"