While the westerners hate going to weddings and Christmas alone for fear of uncomfortable questions from the relatives, the Chinese person's worse nightmare is during Chinese New Year which is unfortunately round the corner! The Chinese extended family is also much larger than the westerners so imagine the potential minefield we face!
While we were growing up, the 'well-meaning relatives' would always state the obvious - "wow you have grown taller, thinner, fatter etc etc" or they would compare our exam results with that of their kids!
Then it would be, "No boyfriend or girlfriend yet ar?"
When you are seeing someone, the question inevitably turns, "So when getting married ar?"
And now that I'm married, the question for my season is "Still no children ar? When are you having children? You are not young anymore. So and so already have X number of children"
So in preparation for the inevitable, I have come up with several responses when faced with THE question this year :
1. Place my hand dramatically on my forehead and sigh loudly saying, "Don't ask anymore la! It's very hard for us!" Add a crocodile tear, sniffle or both!
2. Ask, "Aunty, got any tips for us ar since you have so many children? Any special positions we should try?"
3. Steer clear of the person and pretend to be busy.
4. Feign indifference and shrug it off.
5. Pretend I have a tummy ache and head to the loo.
6. Say, "Ask God la. When He gives, we will surely take. He don't give, there's nothing we can do right?"
7. Just grin and bear and shuffle quickly to the next set of relatives.
While I'd really like to try 1-5, chances are I'll probably stick to numbers 6 & 7 for fear of offending the relatives. If only they would leave me alone! :(
Oh well, Happy Chinese New Year everyone and wish me luck!