"It's none of your business....."
(Note for those of you out there, I will be back in China for the next 3 weeks. I will not be posting during this timeframe. However, pls do continue to comment and I will respond. Sorry!!!!)
This past XMAS my parents gave out gift cards to the kids. Of course the China Inlaws gave a “little bit” as well. Long time readers will remember my horror at the gifts and cash the China Side bestowed upon their hunxue grandchildren. And you will equally recall my sheer horror and clear disdain at such.
The Chinese very much believe in a “spare the rod and spoil the child” approach. I find myself spending much of my energy trying to “undo” the lessons and perceived damage China Grandparents heap upon their grandkids.
However, this year my own parents were feeling particularly generous. Perhaps because they knew we would be visiting. No $20 this year. Uh oh. No way at all! My parents emptied their retirement funds this past Holiday Season.
Each of my girls got a $50 gift card!
I was beside myself with surprise and joy. $100!!
My nephew meanwhile groaned his dad only gave him a twenty.
We in the West all know and understand that quite frankly money and Christmas shouldn’t mix and we all know and understand why. Hypocritical perhaps we may be, it’s ok to spend money on gifts and gift cards and anything else, but we frown upon money itself being given as a present.
Cash and Christ just don’t mix, no?
With a straight face, we feel that well, giving money cheapens the spirit of Christmas. Kinda how Christ resented the money changers in the Temple.
Never mind the reason most of us go to China (get rich baby!)
Or how our lives, when married to China Girl, more than ever before simply revolves around money and materialism because what one has in society, what nice things a person can “See”, is really how
YOU are judged by the Chinese Cauldron we all now live in. Ones standing in Chinese society, especially younger society is judged by what one can SHOW others.
“Look at my new Ferrari!”
“See my beautiful girlfriend!”
We are instantly judged by who we are, or by what we have. Everyone will know as they see me get into my 13 year old Odyssey that I am a dad. People can frequently size us up by what we drive.(I like telling them I keep the Jaguar in the garage.)
Unfortunately, in China, the unseens are just as important, but not as gossip worthy, since it can’t be seen. The guy with the secondhand Ford in Ningbo may have a great sense of empathy towards others. Or be a fantastic judge of character. But as these qualities have no concrete value, there is no “value” one can put on them. Thus it is always the son of a rich man in China (or anywhere), with the Tesla that will get the attention.
Which brings me back to my China Inlaws.
They gave my kids $10,000 for Christmas.
The wife casually mentioned it while we were cleaning up after dinner, just before Christmas. And once again I wondered to myself how I can compete with this? I need to say first I appreciated China Wife telling me, though I’m sure she will never make that slip of the tongue again after what then transpired.
I’ve come to start thinking more appreciatively of China Wife’s hard earned (not) money.
She owns a house outright in Hangzhou approaching one million USD in value, and as I’ve mentioned before God only knows how much in cash. She’s worth roughly $2 million is my guess.
Her personal net worth is roughly double our own. And of course she sees “ours” as “hers” as well.
And of course she rues the day she married this incredibly charming and handsome laowai, because well what can $2 million get you in America? China Wife is unhappy and unsatisfied, and all about the wrong things. She will never reach fulfillment until she has been “seen” attaining something that costs more than what she possesses now. Simple.
This time around, it only took me a few moments to recover from the shock of the gift. But I had to ask the next question, which I felt was a fair one.
“So where is the money?”
I then mentioned something to the effect “I hope we are putting that in the kids’ college fund, and not blowing it on our upcoming trip.”
China Wife’s’ response was casual, but the words were not thought out. China Wife simply isn’t very good at thinking before she speaks. That’s because she doesn’t care what the effect is. And my response is 活该。 Serves you fucking right.
When I asked China Wife where this $10,000 was, she simply replied in the nonchalant and cool way many a well off person has mastered:
“None of your business.”
Well, I’m sure you all know me by now. But let’s be honest; how many of you would have simply moved on and kept silent? How many of you would’ve let it go? I mean, your kids got another nice gift, right? My only intention was to ensure this was going to a college fund. Nothing else. In my view it was an honest question.
But maybe you are thinking something else?
“Look, FFF, her parents gave her the money, not really your concern, let them handle it as such.
Back off dude.”
Well I would respect that. I would. But then I’d roll my eyes, hypocrite that I am.
Many a China Wife plays an emotional game. I’ve preached this belief in my posts many a time.
The goal of China Wife is to emotionally beat up her kids, and husband. To strip away their self worth, with a barrage of verbal abuse that many a Western Man would not even comprehend how to respond to. Only then can she control the family. This is how Tiger Mom works. And many a time I’ve criticized the role of Tiger Mom’s Chinese Husband.
“Where the fuck was China Dad when the kids were growing up?”
The role of Tiger Mom’s husband is NOT to squirm away. It is NOT to give Tiger Mom unchallenged control of most aspects of the family.
A local Chinese kid did good and went to Harvard. Well done! Then he got a Master’s in Education (huh?)
And now he’s apparently unemployed.
Where the fuck was dad?
“Uh Son, unless you are paying for that degree in Education yourself, which you are not, I am not paying for your Masters’ at Harvard unless it entails an immediate 6 figure job. I hope you understand.”
Many of our Chinese friends’ pay for their children’ college essays to be written by other Chinese kids. Really teaching ethics aren’t we? Where was China Dad? I’ll tell you where he was, he was in the fucking basement watching Japanese porn in order to remind himself what a vagina looks like as Tiger Mom taught her kids “real world” ethics.
Fast forward 7 years.
“Why did you get fired son?”
“I recommended we simply pay off our China supplier to steal the secrets we needed. I felt bribery was the most efficient way to get what we want. My White boss didn’t like that and fired me same day, Dad. I can’t figure it out.”
So China Mom walked away from me. And my readers can probably guess what I said,
“Every damn thing concerning my children is my business, and don’t you forget it.”
And just like that I can guarantee you China Wife will never again tell me about the money our kids receive from China Grandparents. She simply uttered in response with her head down the money was in China, and would stay there for the time being.
While not surprised any more with the “gifts” China Inlaws give, and their lack of appreciation about money as a gift giving the wrong signal, I was not at all happy with Tiger Wife’s flippant attitude. I’m sure many a laowai husband has absolutely no fucking clue what is really going on financially in their own household. You say you do, and my counter is simple enough: do you have access to your inlaws or China Wife’s Chinese bank accounts? Do you, Boy? I don’t. I have zero access, and I’ve never thought to ask for it.
But it happened again.
My high school daughter is preparing for her SAT. Once again, I find myself in the parking lot of the building where this prep is taking place, writing this. Her previous scores were “ok”. She had above 90 percentile. And she has time to further improve. But it has reached the point where a personal tutor is needed. An expensive tutor. 3 figures an hour. And that is something I’m just not mentally ready to pay. I may, but not now. Ok, maybe once a month. I really believe this tutor can help and possibly take her to the next level. But is the fee worth it? I’m no fool, so yeah it probably is. I just need TIME to absorb this.
It’s gotten to the point now where all of my high school daughters’ spare time is focused on the still 500 days away SAT.
So of course I complained, “We can’t pay for this. It’s ridiculous.”
And again, Tiger Mom uttered those words no man can ever fathom hearing from a wife, regarding decisions concerning their children’s’ future.
“It’s none of your business”.
And again, not a few weeks later, here I am uttering the same damn phrase I had before, wondering why the point hadn’t gotten through the first time. I was simply aghast at hearing that retort. After events transpired, I’m quite sure Tiger Mom gets my message loud and clear. And I’m even more certain Tiger Mom will simply make financial decisions behind my back again. And again. And again.
Like she did with this SAT Class I am sitting in my car waiting on to finish, this very moment.
This scorched earth policy Tiger Mom has towards education is brutal. It is authoritarian. It is one sided and yeah a tad more arrogant than I’d like to admit. But I find that Tiger Moms can nearly all be wrapped up within one social class of society, ie the rich. Tiger Mom simply does what she wants and never thinks to communicate the reasons “why” or the goal that will be accomplished.
And if you ask for details, you will get the “You don’t understand Chinese culture,” response. Never mind Tiger Mom is in America. It is these small things that at the end of the day really make a laowai not at all a good fit for China Girl.
Can you cook Chinese food really well?
Can you shut the fuck up and do what you’re told?
Can you keep your job regardless as to whether you like it or not?
Can you give up control of the family finances (my job white boy)?
Congratulations, you are qualified to be my Husband! Sign on the dotted line!
Oh yeah, don’t forget to give me a son, which is the only reason we will ever have sex, and once you’ve done that, send me a monthly (that’s once a month ok????)“Wanna have sex tonight” invite, alright?
So folks, are we still wondering why China Man is only as Faithful as his options?
You wanna call me a pussy? You wanna say I can’t control Tiger Wife so it’s all on me, Go ahead. Will giving China Wife a black eye to “teach her a lesson” quell your sense of justice? Willing to go to jail for me, as well by chance? Didn’t think so.
When it comes to Education and Money, Tiger Wife will be dictatorial and conniving in her actions. She will not change. Ever. All she will do is learn from her mistakes, along the way. What not to reveal, long since having calculated that losing the buy in of her husband isn’t all that bad really, because well, she decided a long time ago she doesn’t need it.