On Wednesday, I'm picking up my mother from San Francisco Airport. She's been in Beijing for the past four months, and will be staying with me for a week.
I fear that after leaving the bustle of our relatives in Beijing, my mother's entire focus will be on me. How many of these conversations did we have last summer, driving down the freeway:
Me: My friend Jim just quit his corporate job to create a startup, and --
Mom: [interrupting] Does Jim have a girlfriend?
Me: [irritated] That's not the point.
Mom: Why don't you date Jim? You should start thinking about marriage, you know!
Me: I don't want to date Jim.
Mom: Why not?
Me: [trying to quiet her as fast as possible] I'm not attracted to him.
Mom: That's okay! Don't focus on looks. After you look at the same face every day, you'll get used to it.
Me: He doesn't make me laugh. I like guys who are funny.
Mom: That's okay! After a few years of marriage, you would get tired of the other person's jokes anyway.
Me: He might be gay.
Mom: That's okay! ...
After a lot of trial-and-error, I finally stumbled on the single reason that will immediately and unequivocably stop her. From now on, conversations will go like this:
Me: My friend Bob says San Francisco condos prices should fall in the next six months.
Mom: Hey, why don't you date --
Me: He never wants kids.
Mom: Forget it.