Tuesday, January 02, 2007

so inappropriate, but so funny

I ate lunch with 22 relatives from my dad's side yesterday. To my right sat my cousin, a woman in her mid-thirties with a ten-year-old son.

She told me the story of her husband.

After ten years of marriage, he began to see another woman outside their marriage. My cousin found out and asked him for a divorce. He insisted on making the marriage work. During their negotiation, a mutual friend rebuked the husband, "Your wife has been with you when you had nothing. Now your money situation is finally getting better, and you do this kind of thing?"

The husband broke down in tears and ended things with the mistress. He convinced my cousin to give the marriage another go.

Six months later (around two years ago), he traveled to Hangzhou on a business trip. After arriving at the hotel, he didn't answer his wife's phone calls for a day and a night. She grew increasingly worried, and finally convinced a friend to go to his hotel. When the friend kicked down the door, the husband laid on the ground in a comatose state.

The friend called an ambulance and took him to the hospital, where the doctors diagnosed him with a brain hemorraghe. My cousin flew out, and was told by the doctor, "If your husband goes home alive, count yourself lucky."

The husband survived, but is now paralyzed on one side. He can move one arm, but the other side has no sensory ability. He said to my cousin, "If you ask for a divorce now, I'll sign it right away. You're still young. You can find someone else."

She said, "I come from a line of people who do not abandon others in their time of need."

"If the situation were reversed," he said, "and you were the one who fell ill, I don't think I could take care of you the way you're doing for me."

"That's the difference between men and women," she said.

He earns medical disability now, and she works a job selling a sketchy genome mapping kit.

She said to her husband, "If I can make good money, then you can 跟我吃香的,喝辣的 (eat fragrant food and drink spices, which translates to "live the good life"). If I have trouble earning money, then we'll eat 榨菜 (cheap pickled vegetables)."

Tears rolled from his eyes as he looked up at her from his wheelchair. "I haven't done right by you," he said.


I was very touched by this story. I told it to my brother, who said, "Tears only rolled out of one of his eyes, right?"


Anonymous said...

Aww this made me cry.

Anonymous said...

But you get to cry from both eyes.

Anonymous said...

Remember he's half paralyzed, which accounts for Tom's wit comment ;-)

Anonymous said...

Some people get confort and pleasure from being the martyr.

They usually are lesser educated, have fewer options and cling to one small thing that makes them feel righteous.

Anonymous said...

Some people get confort and pleasure from being the martyr.

They usually are lesser educated, have fewer options and cling to one small thing that makes them feel righteous.

They do it for others not for themself.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of people who "do it for others" because it makes them feel good about themselves.

Aakash Mandhar said...

Asian people by nature are very adjusting. They can go to extremes to make a relationship work, and usually (not in all cases) have strong moral fundamentals.

We put ourselves in the other persons shoes and see "What kind of behaviour would be acceptable to me if I was on the other side" and then do the same thing.

Probably your cousin thought the same. She would have expected her husband to stick by her is she was paralyzed and hence wants to stick by him. Also note she has forgiven him already for the extra marital affair he had, so she would not leave him now.

Anonymous said...

niniane, your brother is way too logical

Anonymous said...

@aakash mandhar

If Asian people go to extremes to make relationships work why the extra marital affair?

If you put yourself in the other persons shoes (and you say that Asians do) you will never have an extra marital affair!!

RC, The Netherlands

Anonymous said...



Thanks...I needed that!

Aakash Mandhar said...

@ RC, The Netherlands

May be I should have clarified. Asian women go to any level to keep the relationship alive. A divorce is probably the last thing on their mind. In India atleast till few years back, a divorced woman was considered to be very low in the social hierarchy. Also there is a question of honor and pride. Divorce is a big No No..

I see what your point is. maybe if people always put themselves in other's shoes nothing bad will ever happen. But putting yourselves in other's shoes seems to happen more frequently in asian socities. :)

Unknown said...

That it!! I am resoving to get married to a woman.

Anonymous said...

aakash: I like how when your stupid stereotype (excuse me, were you covering everyone from Sri Lanka to Siberia in one sweeping statement?) was called down (because in this very story, if you hadn't noticed, we're observing two very different people in the same country), you backpedal only the tiniest amount to say: oh, it's not all Asians who are self-effacing and self-sacrificing, it's just all Asian women.

(The men, of course, are selfish pigs, just like anywhere else?)

What ever.

Anonymous said...

hi just funn.....
but you get to cry from both eyes.

Tamil Actor vijay

Kevin Chiu said...

@Aakash Mandhar

I don't think you can really lump all of Asia into one big stereotype. There are at least some major divisions: China / Russia / India + "Middle East"

Mike M said...

And no one said that if he hadn't previously had an affair and made the wife suspicious, that he would have been dead?

Kirk said...

Personally I think he was having another affair in the hotel and either extreme guilt, pleasure or both caused the the hemorrhage.

His offer of immediate divorce indicates his guilt to me.

Maybe it is because I am Asian that I am so suspicious?? lol