Today is Chinese New Year, so, for anyone reading this who is Chinese, Happy New Year.
The greatest thing about Chinese New Year is that we get two days off work -- the first and the second day of Chinese New Year are public holidays. The downside is, most of the Chinese businesses are usually closed around the first two days at least. So, the coffee shop where I usually get my caffeine fix is closed, and I have to rely on Starbucks or Spinelli. I usually pick Spinelli's, because they seem to be the only cafe around town with a lunch menu that makes some consideration for the vegetarian.
This being the festive season, I should be happy, right? Okay, I love the long weekend - Thursday to Sunday - no work. But if you know anything about Chinese families, you may understand how annoying it can be to be an unmarried and unattached Chinese female during family gatherings.
There is little sense of propriety among my aunts. They somehow feel entitled to ask any personal questions that come to mind - like, "Why are you still not married? You're not that young anymore. You'll have complications when you want to have children later. You may end up having retarded children." (Oh god.) Yes, they say things like that.
Or, they would tell me things like, "Your upper forearms are thick, so you will be fat when you're forty." This particular nugget of information was conveyed to me at my aunt's funeral. I kid you not. Some decorum, please, Auntie.
One year my uncles suddenly cornered me and demanded I should do my sisterly duties and introduce a girlfriend to my similarly unmarried older brother. I was horrified, but they were dead serious. "Call your girl friends. Introduce them to your brother," they instructed me. I'm not going to set my friends up with my brother. That's gross, my friends dating my brother - especially since some of my friends actually give me a little too much information about their love/sex lives.
One time, an aunt actually blamed - yes, blamed my mom for my brother and I not being married. How dare my mother not put her feet down and do something about it, she exclaimed in outrage.
"It's up to them," says my mom mildly. "It's their lives." Thank you, mom.
I love the holidays, same as anyone else. It's my relatives that I can't deal. Can they just stay away from my love life?