農曆新年的花生劇 – Lunar New Year drama

4 more Burrito Wednesdays and I’m free. My first post in the year of Monkey, about my Monkey. And no – that’s not racist, Momzilla was born in the year of monkey. Now imagine a monkey riding a tiger and and pulling hair of little, fluffy, innocent sheep that’s married to that tiger. That’s basically last few months of my life.

To be fair, it’s not as bad as you may think it is, but it’s not easy. Where’s Momzilla, there’s drama. Lunar New Year celebration won’t change it. It will even make matters worse. I try to be as honest as possible with you – I  love my mother in law but I’m sometimes really tired. I swear to you, I will nominate myself to Nobel Peace Prize. What I expected to be a fun time that will make us all closer, ended up as 4 act drama.

Act 1 : Food drama.

Living in Ireland makes food shopping for Sing much more difficult. A lot of products are either unavailable or extremely overpriced. After finally convincing Momzilla that we should make a big deal out of this New Year celebration, we went on the food hunt. image (3)Never again. We went to 5 different oriental supermarkets in 3 different cities. She studied each of the product very carefully, always comparing the price to Hong Kong, China or other two cities. Each time we spent around 1 or 1.5 in a store collecting only one or two things and complaining on the way back home about prices in Europe.
Later on she found that one of the malls sells fake glass noodles – you know, those that look exactly the same, but there’s one more/less stroke in the sign. She later on went on a quest to find them all. No, Momzilla – this is not RPG, nor Pokemon, you don’t need to catch them all and make us beg God for mercy. Of course each time complain about price/size/color/font on price tag.
After this I’m not even visiting Lidl or Dunnes Store with her in case she will want to drive an hour to Cork because lettuce there is half price.

Act 2: Decorating drama

You won’t see that in our latest vlog, because by that time we had it all sorted out. But if you think such a nice thing like decorating can be drama-free then guess what, you’re wrong. image (4)
Aside of the fact that we had to lie to her about prices of the decoration (‘That fake fire-cracker? Only 69 New Taiwan Dollars, see? 10 euro? I don’t know where you’ve seen that but it’s definitely not the price we paid!’), she decided that if we want to do it ‘the proper way’ we do it ‘her way’. Because her way is always the proper one. All of the sudden she became feng shui expert. She would move stuff around the house in order to make sure Fortune God brings us the biggest fortune and that those two monkeys will be twins that I will bare for her (yes, not for us or myself – for her). I was only waiting when she starts doing tai chi in the middle of the room.
Luckily for everyone, we agreed on the fake firecrackers and lanterns so no mother in law was harmed during decorating. Because it’s our house and not our rules.

Act 3: Family relationship drama

I thought the worst is gone, but then THIS happened. Momzilla’s family. If you think she’s *insert appropriate adjective*, her family is twice as bad. I kid you not. I visited them once in 2012 and until 2022 I’m not going back there. FBI and tax revenue could learn from those people.
When I forced Momzilla and Sing to call the shanghainese part of the family, I didn’t know how much trouble it will bring. During Christmas my family exchanges wishes with other family members and that’s it. 5 minutes, done deal.
NOT FOR THEM. They pick up the phone and interrogation starts:

Sing: Nabu, happy new year. Sing speaking.
Grandma: Oh, oh, oh. Sing. How are you in Ireland?How much do you earn? How much Na does earn?image (2)
Sing: XX,XXX and YY,YYY.
Grandma: Why so little?
Sing: I earn more than most of Irish people.
Grandma: You’re Chinese. When will you have a raise?
Sing: I don’t know.
Grandma: Can you afford a flat with that?
Sing: We’re buying one right now.
Grandma: How big is the mortgage? How many year you have to pay?
Sing: Maybe 5.
Grandma: Why your mom won’t buy flat for your sister?
Sing: I don’t know.
Grandma: Do you have a baby? 
Sing: Not yet.
Grandma: You’re married for almost 4 years, where’s the baby? You or Na cannot have one?
Sing: We just want to wait a while.
Grandma: Don’t wait, your cousin will be making second one soon. 

And it went on and on for an hour. In my mind I hoped my 25 year old non-married sister in law can save the day with her ‘expiration day’ but apparently my uterus was in the center of attention that night. I have to say, I like Wah Wah’s (my father’s in law) family more – you can shorten the whole conversation to ‘Mhm, mhm, thank you, bye’. I swear to you, I have no idea how those people are still married after more than 30 years. Guess it’s true, opposites attract.

Act 4: Infamous BB-drama

Of course, after grandma and grandpa talking about babies for almost an hour had to activate ‘Give me a grandchild’ mode on Momzilla. But this is funny, rather image (1)than annoying. For straight 3 hours she was saying things like ‘Don’t worry that I’m next door, I can’t hear you anyway‘ or ‘Monkeys are smart, good time to make a baby’. In the end she even got upset that her convincing doesn’t make us any more hornier she started threatening me with ‘Bad wives who don’t make babies will be dumped‘ and ‘Sing will get sick if he doesn’t make a baby‘.
I don’t know what she had in mind saying this, but guess what – didn’t work out too well. Still no grandbaby on the way.

The whole preparations and celebration were crazy. Momzilla is crazy. Her family is crazy. But Sing and I are also bit crazy.
I sometimes feel hopeless, sometimes I feel annoyed, but at the end of the day I will be happy to have them as my family and I’m glad we had a chance to celebrate the beginning of Lunar New Year together.
I’m actually looking forward to next year, hopefully with her, Wah Wah, Sing’s sister and maybe a little BB (so grandma can start asking ‘When you’re going to have another one?!’).

How was your Lunar New Year? Did you do anything special? Or maybe you had some crazy family members over, just like I did? Share your stories and experience! 

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43 thoughts on “農曆新年的花生劇 – Lunar New Year drama

  1. My family and friends LOVED it when I emailed them with stories of visiting my in-laws, or — even better — when my in-laws came to visit us in our new house. My misery was their entertainment. I didn’t quite understand how they felt until I started reading your Momzilla stories. And now I do.

    I feel guilty for laughing, especially over how much gas money you must have wasted trying to accommodate her bargain shopping, but I’m still laughing and reading. Thanks!

    And good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s like that with friends that fall down – first you check if they didn’t break any bone and then you laugh the crap out of yourself. Someone else’s pain is always the funnies.
      4 weeks and 1 day to go. 15th of March – I should call it my independence day 😀

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  2. Though I feel with you I still have to laugh and spilled my drink…
    I know it sounds terrible but somewhere deep down my dark heart I feel joy reading this. I mean, my MIL is a real pain in the ass but at least we didnt have to endure her (yet) during any big festivities. Okay, not entirely true. She actually planned our Chinese wedding and it was a total desaster and it went that far that my wife didnt even wanted to have that wedding in China anymore a day before the big thing! Oh oh, now I see something coming up for a possible new blog post of mine “How MIL nearly destroyed our Wedding!” or something like that 😀

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  3. I think there is always high and down with the Chinese New Year, as I felt quite sad during our reunion dinner where we need to be all together to eat our steam boat dinner yet my daughter need to go to her English mother-in-law house every Sunday and I have to go according to her wishes which made the whole atmosphere so bad that I felt that I might not doing this again for my next Chinese New Year. For a happy occasion to turn into sadness, felt so unlucky and would prefer not to do it rather than risk another set back.
    Glad you have good Chinese lunar new year and wish you and your family, A Prosperous Chinese New Year.

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  4. First, I don’t know where your MIL got the idea, but there is no way you can purchase those fake firecrackers for NT$69 – they are at least NT$150-200 in Taiwan.

    Honestly, I pity you. It may be funny to read about, but it is no laughing matter when you are experiencing it.

    I made my MIL’s CNY with the baby announcement on CNY’s Eve [I give myself a pat on the back for the way we shared the news] and it was probably the highlight of her year. It will probably go down in history as the best CNY’s Eve ever!! And we even recorded her reaction, so there is video evidence! 😉

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  5. Wow, you know you can easily turn this into TV drama or.may be reality show. I know older generations like to talk about having grandchildren, but going to that length was a bit extreme. Your MIL statements remind me of King Henry VIII who divorced and beheaded his wives for not being to bear a son for him.

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  6. Happy Lunar New Year 2016! Never let your emotions get affected by others. Always remember that you are in control of your emotions. Marriage was never easy even with the same race (there is a reason divorce rates in the West are so high) let alone getting married to another foreign culture. Take it easy! Don’t think so much. Two women together (女女) means argue in traditional Chinese. Women can’t get along since the dawn of time. It doesn’t surprise me at all. During my mom’s time, my grandma (her MIL) used to frame her for witchcraft sorcery to cause a rift between her relationship with my dad. Women in the past had tough life. In ancient Chinese dynasties, courtiers caught practicing witchcraft were punishable by death. If MIL wants to be in power, let her be. She just have this need to exert her power over you and Sing. Afterall, you took away the attention of her precious baby. Life is a game of power struggle.

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  7. Your Chinese New Year was filled with drama.

    Are you’re thinking of having a monkey? If he/she turns out like my oldest daughter, who is a monkey, I recommend it. My daughter is very smart, also sweet and tough at the same time. And she’s very loving and loyal to her family. She’s not a fire monkey, though. She’s an earth monkey.

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  8. LOL. Another excellent post. My parents compare the prices also, but not to that extreme. Of all the time and gas you spent to go to different places, I think it’s better to just pay for the more expensive ones. The baby thing, I feel you. My dad is the oldest son on his side, so I am pretty much the oldest grandson. The pressure was on since 10 years ago. My parents even suggested at one point for us to have baby before we got married! That’s unheard of in Asian society. LOL.

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  9. Współczuje Ci z tą teściową, ale bez tego jej ciągłego narzekania pewnie byłoby zbyt nudno i cicho, prawda? haha 😛
    Hmm a ubierasz na Chiński Nowy Rok qipao? Bardzo mi się podobają ale nie wiem czy miałabym odwagę pokazać się w niej przed rodziną mojego chłopaka hahaha Chociaż on się upiera żeby to nosiła, to jednak wydaje mi się, że białe dziewczyny wyglądają w tym raczej zabawnie niż tak ślicznie jak Chinki 😦
    Taniec Singa na tym filmiki jest naprawdę zabawny hahaha xdd
    Co do tych rozmów telefonicznych to znam Twój ból. Ile można się nagadać to jest aż niewyobrażalne haha 😀 Pamiętam jak raz tylko życzenia urodzinowe trwały 2 godziny! A jeśli o urodzinach mowa, rodzina Twojego męża również obchodzi wszystkie takie uroczystości o 24? Bo nie wiem właśnie czy jest to taki zwyczaj tylko rodziny mojego chłopaka czy ogólnie wszyscy tam tak robią hahaha Wszystkie życzenia i prezenty.. zawsze czekają do 24 kiedy owy wielki dzień się zaczyna o.o
    Post naprawdę świetny!
    Pozdrawiam 😛

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    1. mialam jedno slubne, ale zaginelo mi podczas przeprowadzki 😦 szczerze – moze jeszcze z babciami Singa bym ubrala ale tak tylko dla naszego grona to nie 😀 jakos figura nie tak – wygladam jakbym byla Pudzianem, bicek, tricek, a w weekend nogi i klata 😀 widzisz, jego rodzice sa tak dziwni, ze oni urodzin nie obchodza, bo ‘co to za okazja’ 😀 musialam Singa nauczyc, ze jak zapomni to bedzie kiepsko 😀

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  10. I really feel for you dear. It’s definitely a universal experience among us non-chinese when we are married to or dating someone who is Chinese. My girlfriend’s mom is also a “momzilla”. What your MIL seems to so easily forget is that even though Sing is Chinese, you are not. Why is it that you have to respect every aspect of her culture and traditions while she can ignore yours?

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  11. It seems that non-Chinese people also easily forget that most Chinese MIL never get to receive a proper education. How can anyone without a proper education (can’t even speak English) or a good family up-bringing have the awareness to be considerate of others? I felt bad that the both of you fell in love with Chinese people. Find someone more cultured in the future so that you don’t need to deal with this problem. My very educated Chinese aunt married an English man. When they moved back to England, she had to support him and the children financially. He relied on social benefit. On top of that, he physically abused her. After her children finished university, he stole her retirement pensions and eloped with another woman. Two years later, he died of STD. After he died, she undergone a major cardio thoracic surgery. The whole point of this story was that she never complain. Non-Chinese people always think that they make a huge contribution to human civilization when they have Chinese partners. *Note: this is not an angry comment just looking from a different perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I look at it from an equal perspective. You have to have respect for each other’s culture in order for a cross-cultural relationship to work. There are bound to be some misunderstands, but if you love each other and are patient everything should work out. The thing is that we are married to our spouses, not our spouse’s mothers. The constant negativity and criticism is not really necessary. In my case, I speak up because I am fluent in Cantonese, but it doesn’t always solve the problem. Sometimes, these people are just so cancerous that they need to be cut out from your life entirely. I know that’s an extreme and terrible thing to say, but it’s the truth. People can still learn things even at an old age. Saying that she had no education or she’s too old to learn is just an excuse. They have the ability to learn if they tried, they just don’t want to. Those Chinese who come to the US or UK and refuse to learn English are garbage. If you are not willing to learn the language and integrate into the society in which you live then you are just a terrible person.

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      1. Non-Chinese forget that marrying a Chinese means marrying the family. It’s our culture. In the future, I hope non-Chinese will do more background research especially on their spouses’ family members before marrying a Chinese. Sometimes, I do wonder what non-Chinese see in a Chinese. Do they think having a hapa kid is genetically superior hence provide more advantage as they will at least be bilingual and most likely fluent in Chinese to participate in the strong Chinese economy? Do they like Chinese because they assume Chinese are submissive? In the case of AMWF, do they marry Chinese men due to financial security? All in all, we need to be more responsible for the consequences of our choices.

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        1. I suppose that I am lucky in that my family is very supportive and doesn’t have any issue with who I marry, as long as I’m happy. I can’t say the same for many other people. Marrying anyone means that you need to interact with their family, that’s stupidly obvious. What SOME Chinese fail to realize is that when your son or daughter marries a non-Chinese, that means you have to respect their culture as well. It’s a two way street. I teach Cantonese, and the majority of my students are people who want to learn Cantonese so that they can communicate with their Chinese in laws. It’s funny because even though they live in the United States, their in laws don’t speak more than a few words of English.

          I can’t speak for everyone here, but in my Hong Kong born girlfriend I see someone that I love. I love her personality, her intelligence, her wit, her culture, and her smile. She makes my life complete. Both my girlfriend and I speak three languages fluently(English, Cantonese, and Mandarin); therefore, our children will be trilingual as well. My girlfriend is not submissive, she’s quite independent. I fell in love with her for her, not because she was “Chinese”.

          Marrying into a Chinese family is absolutely fine, but the constant negativity and criticism that comes along with it is not. With regard to AMWF I suppose that they think that no Western girl will ever be good enough for their “little Prince”.

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          1. I think those Chinese parents who are in the States but can’t speak decent English either have an attitude problem or they don’t approve of their kids choices. I’m sorry but not all Chinese parents are open-minded.

            Thank you so much for sharing the qualities you like in a Chinese woman. It cleared up some confusion for me.

            I’m afraid there is no easy way around the constant criticism and negativity part. Chinese is a very ancient civilization but it’s not polished according to the Western standard. Chinese people are very much influenced by Confucianism which emphasizes on respect for the elderly and the concept of filial piety. Hence, when negatively expressed, the elders think they are always right so they refuse to listen to younger generation’s opinion although it could be a very reasonable point. Western culture such as the French culture has a very sophisticated psycho-analytical approach based on Freudian method which addresses this type of behavioral issues since infant stage. Non-Chinese should marry French people because they are much more cultured. But then, you will need to deal with other issues like infidelity. No one is perfect!

            As for AMWF relationship, the never good enough for her “prince” applies to Chinese daughter-in-law as well. I know so because my mom married the only son in the family 😉

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  12. Listen, anybody with a proper brain in their head should know that a marriage is between 2 people, and families are not to interfere unless we all lie in bed together!! You just have to set your boundaries and as long as hubby is ok with it and most importantly, is supportive, then MIL will just have to play along or damage forever her relationship with her son. With regards to baby- making…here is something for the MIL to chew on….tell her the problem is with your husband! Of course in most Asian cultures, males are virile and ready to make babies! But imagine if she has to deal with imperfection! gasp

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