I went to visit my parents a couple weeks ago, and my mom decided to have the talk with me. One that extended past the “now you can have a baby” nugget of wisdom she told me over a decade ago when I got my first period. Yes, I am 26 or the same age she was when she got married, but I’m surprised this day came at all.
It started when she found out her friend’s 22-year-old daughter had fallen head over heels for a boy and lent him $600 to blow on gambling.
“And she is sleeping over at his house! Talk about losing face. She’s sacrificing everything for him, and when he gets bored of her he’s just going to throw her away and find someone taller.”
That’s how my mom’s mind works. Her main points of contention in order of importance:
1. He is almost a foot taller than her (and allegedly more attractive)
2. She gave up the goods before marriage
3. She lent him $600 dollars of her father’s money
As I expressed that everyone should chill and the only idiotic thing about this situation is that she’s lending money, you could see my mom’s gears turning.
“Does Mary do it with boys?” (my friend’s name changed to protect the promiscuous)
“Dating was grounds for expulsion when I was in college.”
“Smart girls would never let that happen.” (“That” seeming to mean everything this girl did which compromised her self-worth. It surprised me that my mom believed giving him money to waste and having sex with him all represented her loss of dignity.)
She knows that it’s different now. In China, 70% have had pre-marital sex. But she can accept the numbers much more easily than when they’re intangible, not applied to people she knows. It scares and saddens her, maybe like how polyamory (sorry, I had to take it there) kind of scares and saddens me. It’s jarring to have something you hold sacred be shred apart. As we sat in reverie, I could tell how badly she was struggling to ask me the ultimate question, “Have you had sex?” while I weighed all the possible scenarios. Would there be beauty in truth? Or should I lie and could I pull it off?
She didn’t end up asking, a clear sign that it would keep her up at night to know the truth. And now I’m fully prepped to take it to the grave in exchange for our peaceful coexistence.