My parents’ not-so-secret plans for my future

I got this email last Friday, January 20, from my mom, who has listed down her and my dad’s plans for me after I wrote her inquiring about my future prospects.

When I read the email, I cried a bit because it’s scary knowing how my parents are trying to control my life.

In particular, the line, “Mom and dad will scout for a good husband for you if you cannot find one,” brought fear into my heart.

In one end, it’s a good surprise knowing that they want me married and not remain an old maid (a possibility since my dad is just so strict). The last I heard, they wanted me to have my “first” boyfriend at the age of 28.
Regardless, I take comfort in knowing that my parents love me and they only want me to be happy. Besides, I believe I’m strong enough to make my own choices and they cannot force me to do something I do not want to do. In the end, it’s still my life and my decision.

I’m just sharing this with you guys because I want to know how I feel at this crossroad of my life. At present, I am getting restless in Taiwan, not because of my job (which I have really nothing to complain about), but I am frustrated because I cannot find my anchor here. Personally, I don’t want to be aimlessly drifting for the rest of my life, and would love a sense of permanence.

I talked to a friend last Thursday about the feelings I’m having. He said, “You know what? Wherever you go, you’ll always have the same feeling. You will be a foreigner in your own country, and wherever you go. At the same time, you leave a bit of your heart wherever you stay. But your life has changed. You can never belong anywhere anymore.”

I don’t know if this is something I should be thankful or be unhappy for. I think it’s both a blessing in the curse.

I am glad I have my parent’s “safety net” to fall back on, but also a bit hesitant since the safety net is with conditions (only if I follow my dad) and nothing is ever guaranteed.

Anyway, that’s just my thoughts. If you have any comments or whatever, feel free to share them with me! Thanks!

So here I present, my mom’s email:

Dear Raven,

With dad’s assistance, you can go anywhere in the world if dad thinks your thought or idea is worth doing for. Remember, your free years is before you reach the age of 30. After 30, mom and dad will start scouting a good husband for you if you cannot find one yourself.

Honestly though, what dad and mom want is to let you enjoy your life for a few years before you settle down. We will definitely not let you become an old maid. What dad and mom want is that YOU ASSIST YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND in creating your own business empire TOGETHER. Remember this goal and work towards it.

You main concern when you are selecting your husband, aside from God’s will, is to have a husband who has vision of what he want to achieve in his life time and YOU WILL WORK HARD TOGETHER WITH HIM TO REACH THAT GOAL. All you are doing now is to prepare and satisfy yourself that you have lived a life of YOUR OWN SCHEDULES before you settled down.

EITHER US or SHANGHAI is not a problem. If fact, XXXXXX factory in Shanghai can easily absorb you in their factory. They have about 17 plants all over China, Guam and other places. Salary will also definitely be higher than in Taipei. Maybe you can have two years of working experience with them in China, learn the skill and make SOMETHING OF YOUR OWN IN THE PHILIPPINES.

Raven, life is too short. Dad and mom has maximum of 20 years to live and to be able to guide you along the way. Before we go, we would want to pass you on to the care of your husband and see to it that two of you can built up your empire together. For our remaining years, after your maybe two more years, we would want you to be with us, hopefully with your children to be.

Love you , miss you and really wanting you home after 4 years of letting you go. Maybe one more years, or tawad, two more years of being FREE…

I love the simplest things in life.

Last night, as I was going home, the smell of yilang-yilang (a type of white flower) was in the air. I searched for the source of the smell and found a man selling them for NT$30.

Buying some, I took a whiff and was temporarily in heaven.

I also had chilled out and had dinner with a friend, who has the potential to be a lifetime friend. That felt great as well.

Simple things like these please me and make me happy. 🙂

Can’t wait for tonight! One last time I can go wallclimbing before I go back home. Haha, also been addicted to Desperate Housewives! Been watching the first season for a few days now! It’s fun!

Life is good… till then!

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10 thoughts on “My parents’ not-so-secret plans for my future

  1. After reading your post, I feel very lucky to have parents who are strict yet have the flexibility to let me do my own thing. They encourage and coax but never force me to do anything.

    My thought on this is that you must forge your own path. I realize letting your parents select a husband for you is not unusual for a Chinese family but, let’s face it, it’s 2006 for Chrissakes! That just isn’t done anymore. They can recommend, but never select. Selection is your responsibility, and a big one it is.

    I hope you have the inner strength to do the right thing, both for yourself and your future children.


  2. MOW, lucky you to have more understanding parents! But as my mom said, “You can never choose your dad. Just do your best to understand him.” I don’t think they’ll ever force me to marry anyone, though they’ll do their darnest to encourage me to do so! 🙂

  3. Your parents may scout a prospect for you but in the end, it is still your choice whether to settle with that person or not. I don’t think your parents will force you to someone you do not like.

  4. reading you raven, i just wanted to call my mom immediately and give her a phone hug 😀 i have such GREAT parents!!!

    on second thought, you need a hug too!


  5. bon voyage raven, i think ur parents are so cute taking care of u like that 😀

    i dunno, one thing’s for sure though, i hate to go back to the philippines and do business.

  6. At some point in time you and your parents have to face up to the fact that you’re not a little girl anymore. For your sake, it is better sooner rather than later or never. It’s always difficult for parents to let go – they’ll always look at you as their little child. I guess you can learn from the experience of your sister. But your mom has a point that you are basically stuck with your father. I agree with the other readers and I’m glad that my parents are OK.

  7. gee… im sure your parents mean well but that letter did feel apocalyptic hehe
    my parents were the exact opposite i guess. we were always free to do whatever things we felt but they were always there so i never lost my way.
    i wouldn’t blame your parents’ way of being strict because the world isn’t the friendly happy place any longer. it just seems like that your debut day is when you turn 30…

  8. SimplyJessie, it’s not that bad. People do say that time runs fastest in your 20s. Am sure I’ll be 30 soon enough, and regret when I turn the big 3-0. 🙁

    Andy, haha, don’t get me wrong. I adore my parents. My dad especially has his faults (one being super strict) but I know he loves me and tries his best to be a good father, so am blessed in the same way.

    Chekwa, where are u based now?

    Ally, glad to know you told your parents “I love you!” You can never tell them enough. Tell them as much since they’re still here!

    Nero, I agree. 🙂

  9. hey raven, i’m in the bay area, california. i used to work in taiwan and like u, i speak mandarin better than fookien. my parents used to call me “hwa na gong” cuz i can’t speak jackshit of fookien.

  10. Hey Chekwa, cool! You live in the Bay Area! Do u use your Mandarin there at all? I know there’s a lot of ABCs (American-born Chinese) working there. Yes, like you, I was called “hwa na gong” cause I can’t speak Fookien. Now, I speak Mandarin and people still thinks I’m “hwa na gong” cause I can’t speak the Fookien dialect well. Sigh, can’t really win.

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