The Couple Who’d Been Married for Twenty Years are Now, Estranged

A marriage that’s, slowly, freezing up, oh wait, it’d become, frozen SOLID, and now you want to, thaw it out??? A Q&A, translated…

Q: He’d Kept Wearing that Soured Face Towards Me, is There Still a Chance, to Salvage What’s Left of My Marriage?

Mrs. H had, lived for twenty years in this freezing weather of her marriage, she’d originally thought that she’d become totally numbed out, but recently, she’d started, contemplating, how she can better the interactions with her husband.

Her husband never fought with her, but every time he was displeased, he’d started the cold wars with her; and, even sometimes, what’ had angered him had nothing to do with H, something with his own family of origin, or something at the office, he’d still pulled H into his own storms. Naturally, sometimes, it was the kids, or her who’d made him upset, but no matter what happened, H’s husband treated her as if she were invisible. And after some time, H can only, keep her distance, and, tried to spend as little time as she possibly could with him, even encouraged him to find someone else to love.

查看來源圖片where we’ll be, if things don’t change…not my photo…

Twenty years had, passed like this, from the beginning, when H had, walked of eggshells too carefully, to now, she’d learned, to completely, ignore her husband’s existence. It’s just, she’s not happy in this sort of an interaction with him in the marriage, and she wants to know, if there was something she can do, to change this.

A My Advice

This marriage had begun imbalanced, the husband didn’t fight, didn’t get loud, and, it’d, made his wife scared. If you two were in love before you were married, didn’t he use this before? If it’d started after you two were married, I think, that if communications work, it would’ve, worked, but H had stimulated him, by telling him to cheat on her, I really can’t tell what had happened between them from before. If H wanted to improve her relationship with her husband, she could lower herself and have a heart-to-heart with him, tell your husband that you weren’t happy, that you’d wanted to change, and if he’s willing to go to couple’s counseling, that’s, even better. And, I can only give these advices to you, based off of what I received. H, do open up your heart, and communicate with your husband.

And so, this probably still did NOT happen overnight, it must’ve been how they’d interacted with each other from the beginning, it’s just that from before, there were, things diverting this husband and wife’s attention, work, children, families, etc., etc., etc., that they’d, failed to notice, but now as they’re growing older, and it’s, just the two of them, things started becoming, obvious, and, the husband and wife really DO need to sit down and talk, otherwise, divorce will be the only VIABLE option.

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The Era Back When We Brought the Lunches from Home

Memories of our younger school days during the lunch hours, those, WERE the good ol’ days, that’s for sure!!! Translated…

Before the nutritious lunches were provided by the schools, bringing our lunches from home was the norm. Every morning, other than our heavy backpacks, we’d also needed to take that extra packed lunch box. And because what was packed in the lunches, were usually leftovers from the night before, there’s, naturally, that lack of expectation for us.

here’s a sample of what the lunches from home looked like, photo from online…

And, although we’d lacked that sense of expectation for lunch, but, if we’d forgotten to bring our boxed up lunches, we’d be in trouble. Because we’d wanted some extra time to sleep, we’d often forgotten, the important thing (our stomach’s needs) by the entry of our houses or just, left them on the dinner tables, and if we’d not asked our parents to bring it to us, then, we had to, wait until lunchtime, and go to the school shop to buy the breads and the milk. But, I had an alternative way: with a pair of chopsticks in hand, and, go from classmate to classmate to see what they have for lunch, “reviewing” over the foods that my classmates’ parents packed, and do a “gourmet review” at the same time. We’d all great friends, and my classmates never minded, and they’d enjoyed, sharing their lunches with me too.

On my last year of middle school, I’d had my growth spurt and had an increased appetite, and my originally just ONE lunch box became too, and, “In the bigger lunch box, rice, the small one, the vegetables and meats”, became how my classmates made fun of me then.

and now, here are the school lunches provided at school now…photo also from online…

So, there’s, a LOT of memories, from your younger years of packing those lunches you steamed in your classrooms, and, back then, the students were very connected, because they’re one another’s friends in class, that is why there’s this, sort of an intimacy, closeness that they’d shared with each other.

The Lunches My Father Made for Me

Savoring the memories, unforgettable taste of the foods prepared with her father’s love, translated…

In the era where there was NO nutritious meals provided by schools, my lunches were usually made by the cook, dad. He’d often spent Sundays, making the stewed foods, and told me, “the foods that were stewed aren’t afraid of getting steamed again, so long as the sauce is great, the more you’d steamed it, the better it smelled.”

My father was quite generous as he packed the meals for me, a huge piece of meat, the stewed egg with the sauces already marinated in, with the fluffy, soft kelp, the soft tofu, filling up the packed lunch box, opening it up, the aroma spread out! The way I pay my father back was eating until there’s NOTHING left in the lunches he’d packed for me.

查看來源圖片the homemade meals, with an added serving of love…not my photo…

The lunches with the stewed items helped me pass through my middle school and high school years, over two thousand lunches. Even as I’d started working, I’d had that craving of stewed items when I ate out, I’d especially enjoyed watching the owner of the shop, fishing out the items from the large pot, that reminded me of my dad, who’d hummed the Chinese opera tunes as he busied himself about the kitchen when I was younger, although he wasn’t so delicate with handling the foods, but, there’s, a lot of warmth, a lot of love that’s packed in what he’d prepared for us.

Many years later, my father died, and on the day he left us, don’t know who it was that handed me this lunch with stewed items told me, “Finish it all, your father will be happy.” At that very moment, I saw my father, working in the kitchens, it’s just, that I can’t see him clearly, through my tears then.查看來源圖片making his son’s school lunch…photo from online…

After my kids started school, the school provided the lunches, and, “looking up at the blackboard, lowering my head toward my packed lunches” became a private memory. From time to time, I’d stewed up a pot of foods, with the rice, to make that packed up stewed lunch come back through time to me again.

And so, you’d, loved how much heart went into your father’s packing your lunches, and, the food tasted so amazing, because of the amount of love that goes into preparing the lunches, that, is what made you savor those memories so very much, it’s not the foods that made you nostalgic, it’s the feelings of love, feeling of how you were, cared for by your father that’s made the foods unforgettable.

The Two Ends of the Roads

Filling up your time after you retired, translated…

There’s this saying, “Study, or working out, either the body or the soul needed to head out on the roads.” I’d loved to read, walking even more. I live on Yenping N. Road Sec. 6, walking forward from my house for twenty minutes was the public library, back, was the riverside park and the weekend floral markets. And I’d gone on both ways on the weekends and the holidays too.

I’d slung that backpack around me, with my water bottle, headed out toward the library, without any hurry, the shops, the cafés, the beauty salons on the way………not long ago, a traditional style cake shop opened, the scent of the cake baking floated out of the shop into the streets. There was a hotpot shop that had a post, that if a child in the customer’s house had three-times made the perfect grades, with the exams provided, the family can receive a serving of hotpot for free, the owner’s heart was commendable, but not long thereafter, the shop closed down, and became a couture shop. Walking down this long sidewalk, looking all around at the shops, the sights, every walk of life presented itself to me, and, I’d, wandered to the front of the library. I’d gotten used to climbing six floors to the reading room, and not taken the elevators, it’s another view here. I’d found a window seat, with a book, a bottle of water, spent my afternoon in peace here, and this, is my secret spot for escaping the noises of day-to-day life.

I loved how open the library is, the serene atmosphere, so peaceful and quiet. As I got bored reading, I’d walked over to the windows, and looked down at the river under the bridge, and shifted my gaze toward the distant connected skies, to the mountains far off. And when I got tired, I’d, put my head down on the desks and napped, and when I felt like it, I’d started, secretly, observing the people in the library too. There was an elderly man who’s really focused, I would see him every time I’d come here, I’m guessing, that he’d reported to the library every single day; there was a pair of young children, who were really focused on doing their review worksheets, without being distracted by everything else around them; there was also that older man who’d fallen asleep, and started snoring too…………… as I became really into observing the goings on around me, I’d felt, relaxed more.

On the weekends, I walked toward the both ends of the streets, to go read or to see the flowers or to exercise, life became more fulfilled because of this habit, like how the roads had, extended into the distances from both ends too.

So, this, is one way to spend your free time after the retirement, you’d gotten enough exercise by walking to all these places, and, you also have the opportunity to observe the goings-on around you, becoming even more aware of yourself, and your interactions with the external environments you are in too.

My Eldest Child

He was born, with that rebelliousness about him, and the parents were patient enough, and waited him out, and finally, this young man became settled, after he’d, tested his own limits, translated…

This was the first time that someone made a complaint!

The elderly neighbor said that my son kicked her grandson, ever since, I was very careful, feared, that I might get “pulled over” by another neighbor when I left my house.

In his first-grade year, the teacher called, my son had, “threatened” someone, told a classmate, that he will NOT see the sunrise tomorrow! And so, as you can imagine, making apologies on my son’s behalf became, normal.

What karma did I have, to have this naughty child as a son? As I was pregnant with him, so many things weren’t right, I’d had to take leaves of absence to stay at home; as I had him, I’d pushed so very hard, and he had, refused to come out, and so, the gynecologist “clamped” him out. Whoa, the long and large face and head, looking so odd, well, that’s my son.

A total killer my son had been, after I had him, I was so weakened I’d gone to see him in the nursery on a wheelchair, and yet, the doctor did the neonatal checks, said that there were noises in his heart, that his head was too big, that they’d suspected that his brain was swollen, skin troubles, and his lips don’t look right when he started crying…………holy! This was only my firstborn, you can torture me all you want to, but, do give my baby a break! My husband, I, and the nanny, took him to the major hospitals many times, and as we waited, we’d become panicky and even, started crying, waiting for the test results, and thankfully, there’s never been anything major.

No big troubles, then, my love for him made its appearance. He hated feeding, and in twenty, thirty minutes’ time, he’d only managed to drink a couple of milliliters, and would start panting as he suckled, and I was so fearful, that he couldn’t catch his breath while I fed him, that he may, stop drinking for once, and for all.

Finally, he’s fed, let’s rest. I’d put him down, he didn’t feel like sleeping; lying down, he’d become, completely awakened; he’d cried as I held him in my arms, and, screamed as I carried him on my back too; rocked him, he hated it; cooed with him, he’d not cared for me; paced indoors with him in my arms, he’d cried, took him outside, cried even louder………how many centuries of war had passed, and finally, the universe quieted, I’d tiptoed in and put him down in his crib, we’d become balloons, with the air let out, as we were about to lay down to rest with half of our spirts, came “Wahhhhhhhhh!!!”, then, we’d, both bounced right back up again, not again! Son, do give your parents a break, we won’t do it again, we swear.

If there’s something worth something, it would be how smart he is, as he started learning to talk, we’d recited the poetry to him, and soon enough, he’d, recited it bac, and as grandma taught him the Japanese nursery rhymes, he’d picked it up quickly. But he’d refused to sit still and write and study, he would tilt his body this way and then, and, wrote the character that even GHOST would shriek to see. And other than an A in physical education in his elementary years, getting a ZERO in his other classes became normal for him. Was I, not teaching him enough? Was I not a good example for him? Heaven only knows, but, I am an excellent teacher in school too!

He’d told me once seriously, “Mom, I wasn’t born to study.” And, he’d used the money I gave him for tutoring in the fifth grade and spent it in the net cafés, after I sent him to private middle school, his performances was, less than lacking, the assignment books were filled with the grievances from the instructors: he’d forgotten this and that, didn’t commit something to memory, not worked hard enough during the cleaning period, late to class, argumentative with the instructors………and, in this chaotic learning process, he can be at the top of the class, dropping down, to the lowest scorers, how he does in class, entirely dependent on his moods, as his mother, one will be going crazy, if not becoming a fool.

And afterwards, he’d almost gotten into his first-choice school on his calculus grades, he’s scored almost perfectly in every subject, only that on the last final test of social studies, his besties turned in the tests early, and he followed their leads, and, ran off. Ever since, he’d started commuting to Taipei for high school, and, everything is far away, what can the teachers do to him, and thus, he’d, become lost, in the kingdom of the dragons.

And now, he’d grown, because he’d wasted his time from before, he now realized the importance of working hard, I’d often asked him what he did during those days he’d fooled around? He’d told me that I might get shocked to death if he’d told me, then, let’s look forward, he’d planned to put his career first, his relationships second, and live a colorful life for himself.

My eldest, thankfully, you’re only in your twenties, and not in your thirties or forties. Knowing that you’re lost, you’d, found your way back, your dad and I will always hold our arms open, giving you that warmth of our hugs, so you know, how much we truly, really, love you.

So, this, is the coming of age of a young man, he’d had his crazy times in the past, and now, he’d become settled, because he’d tried everything (short of drugs, sex, and some illegal stuff I’m thinking), point is, these parents allowed their son to do whatever he wanted to, because they knew, that by telling him no, it would only drive him farther away, and so, they’d just, waited, for him, to settle himself back down, and to come back, from those wilder days of his younger years.

What If I Want to Be a QUEEN??? The Question that ALL Princesses Have, as They Ride Off into the Sunset

Life surely was, a HELL of a LOT simpler, back in the Medieval times, when men and women just settled in, their traditional gender roles, isn’t it???

What if I want to be a QUEEN??? The question that ALL princesses have, as they ride off into the sunset, and thus, second thoughts, doubts, started taking over, in the princesses minds. What if I want to be a QUEEN? I mean, I’d never needed a man before, I’d grown up, as an independent woman now. Why would I need a man, to care for me?

daddy’s princess, all grown up…not my art…

What if, I want to be a QUEEN??? What if, I’m just, not going to be satisfied, as someone’s princess, what if, I’m, destined to become a queen, and I’m just, settling, as a princess who’s, locked up in an ivory tower, with my one and only BEST friend, my PET DRAGON, who will get slaughtered by some LOSER who made his way up my ivory tower, to ROB me of my youth, huh???

What if, I want to be a QUEEN??? And, I’m just, settling down, as a PRINCESS, who can’t help herself (but, I’m actually, ABLE-BODIED here!!!)? That’s not the life I want, at A-L-L!!!

So yeah, the argument with me continues, until, I finally realize (oh wait, I’d always known it already!!!), that I’m NOT meant to be a “princess” (just like I’d told that elderly man from back in ’08???), that I don’t need anybody to “rescue” me, I’m more of a QUEEN………

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Graduation

Seeing her child come of age, the thoughts of a mother, translated…

It’s, as if in a daze, the roads turned bumpy, I’d focused my eyes, and, those originally familiar looking streets, became, so unfamiliar, and I’d raised up my left hand to ring the bell, with my right arm, slung my backpack on my shoulders, rushed off the bus, the bus sped off behind me, I’d focused, and, hollered aloud, “Ahhhhhhhhh, my temperature bag………”, leaving this defeated “hen” standing all alone, on the busy streets of Taipei.

I’d still had this sort of dreams every now and then.

That was the summer, many, many, many years ago, as I’d just become a mother. This feeling was like being late for a major exam I’d had when I was younger, and after I woke in cold sweat, I’d realized, that I was, already, out of school.

My son, in his infancy, as he heard my version of “Little Kitty Cat” for mealtime, “Mimi, darling/Mimi, my baby/come drink the milk, come drink the milk/here’s, that yummy milk for you………”, he’d wiggled his body with excitement, and get himself closer to my breasts, and worked hard to suckle. Being taken in with his motions, I was, enjoying being a mother then, without realizing, that more trials were coming my way.

這天,我憶起過往,細數這段上課「食光」,許多美好的回憶取代曾經的跌跌撞撞,耳畔迴...the trials this woman faced, raising her son up…illustrations from the papers online…

At first, my son didn’t quite understand how to suckle, and used his gums, and bit down hard, and, my loud “OUCH!” thrilled him, it’d made me start crying. The nurses’ care and concerns got turned into the barking dogs in the late of night, and I can, only run scatter into the dark streets. As my baby couldn’t get enough sustenance, and cried like hell, it’d, forced me to choose my mother-in-law’s breastmilk production recipes of: peanuts stewed with pork’s feet, the sea bass soups, the assortments of Chinese herbal remedies, along with the milking teas out there………

And as the neighbors discussed, “Is her son having enough to drink?” “Breastmilk only works for the first few weeks of life! Breastfeeding this long will only tax your energies!”, my mother said, “Before bedtime, he needs the formulas! He will get hungry fast, and you’d have to stay awake through the night, to feed him!” And, even though there’s care and concern hidden there, behind her words, it’d felt hurtful to me.

Many years ago, the breastfeeding places in public and in the offices aren’t that prevalent, I’d had to work in the daytime, and I’d needed to go and breastfeed my son in the smelly restrooms; as I’d gone on business trips, I’d had to send my bagged up breast milk home by service. I’d had a childrearing volume in my left, the tools in my right hand, worked hard at it, and finally, I’d become, good at it. But, how much of these earliest memories of feeding would my child ever actually recall? I really can’t tell, and still, this would be a special memory that’s shared by me and him alone.

On this day, I’d recalled the past, and, counted out the memories, and, the nursery rhyme “Kitty Cat” came accompanying the fast-beat graduation tunes.

So, this is, tracking the milestones of your child’s growth, as you’d become a mother, you’d gone through some hardships in life, and yet, now, your son is an adult now, and, it made you realize, that all the hardships in your life previously had been, more than worth it.