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Thicker than blood: A young Chinese woman's coming of age - SupChina
Always careful about what I ate, she enforced an even stricter diet. Certain types of animal products must be avoided because they contained growth hormones. Some seeds and plants could only be consumed in small quantities because they stimulated the sexual organs, per traditional Chinese medicine. In addition to her belief that the flow of the womb drained the brain, my mother dreaded the approach of womanhood for her daughter, a perilous world filled with lurking eyes and wandering hands.

The only item my mother cleaned with a vengeance was our underwear. She rinsed them by hand, and she boiled them in water. The designated utensil was a large porcelain washbasin with a pair of mandarin ducks printed on the bottom next to the character for “double happiness.” The basin was a wedding gift for her and my father, typical of their time.

“Only boiling water can kill all the germs,” my mother explained her peculiar method. “That place must be kept clean, otherwise you will get diseases, and people will think you are a prostitute.”
body  female  growup  girl  story  mother  chinese  sex  food  tradition  family  education  marriage 
march 2019 by aries1988
农村人的生老病死
年前新京报书评周刊的编辑就问我,是否愿意写一篇过年回乡观感,我说行。初六凌晨写完,第二天编辑说,领导觉得调子太灰暗,不适合在春节发出来。呵呵,过你个欢乐祥和年。 - - - - - - - 回老家得知,春节...
countryside  china  marriage  money 
november 2018 by aries1988
What Can We Learn from Utopians of the Past?
Adam Gopnik writes about four nineteenth-century authors who offered blueprints for a better world—but their progressive visions had a dark side.

The sensible lesson one might draw from this is that the human condition is one in which the distribution of bad and good is forever in flux, and so any blueprint of perfection is doomed to failure.

Robertson assumes that if we can just add to the utopian visions of 1918 the progressive pieties of 2018—if we reform their gender essentialism and their implicit hierarchism and several other nasty isms—then we will at last arrive at the right utopia. This gives his book something of the exhausted cheerfulness of a father on a nine-hour car trip. “We’re almost there!” he keeps saying, as the kids in the back seat fret, and peer at license plates.

Liberalism is a perpetual program of reform, intended to alleviate the cruelty we see around us. The result will be not a utopia but merely another society, with its own unanticipated defects to correct, though with some of the worst injustices—tearing the limbs from people or keeping them as perpetual chattel or depriving half the population of the right to speak to their own future—gone, we hope for good. That is as close as liberalism gets to a utopia: a future society that is flawed, like our own, but less cruel as time goes on.

We remake interior lives to make exterior improvements, because the real current of social change lies inside minds and therefore inside people’s actual existence. We always want to get past the room we’re in in order to break out and change the universe. The lesson that life tends to teach is that change begins at home, and that we can’t escape rooms on our way to worlds. The world is made of rooms.
utopia  writer  book  society  politics  sex  marriage  love  philosophy  19C  liberalism 
august 2018 by aries1988
印尼炒饭

一个西裔女人招待他,拿过来一份菜单。他没有翻开,只问她,Nasi Goreng 有没有。女侍点头。他就说,好吧,就来一份Nasi Goreng, 一罐啤酒。

印尼炒饭,三年前他吃了整整两个月。那是个一月份,他上了一个雅加达的项目,印尼的一个客户寻求国际并购的机会。印尼是穆斯林社会,风气保守,晚上十一点,肚子饿,唯一开着的餐饮是路边大排档。大排档都一式一样,Chicken Satay, Gado Gado, Nasi Goreng. 所以他每个夜晚就吃这三样,烤鸡肉串,加多加多色拉, 印尼炒饭,配一瓶啤酒。他坐在大排档的塑料棚下面,雨点打在棚面响声如雷。店主在一口大锅前不停翻炒,脸上不停滴下水,不知是汗还是雨。老板娘收钱、擦桌子,扫地,兜里的钱票子都是湿的。大排档粗陋,盐不是放多就是放少,还要不就是没调开, 一口淡一口咸,镬气倒是十足,火候好。他就坐在那条塑料板凳上,这三样吃了两个月。

现在他老婆短发,他的发迹线有点太高。第一只猫头鹰已经被女儿睡得太脏。他知道第二个孩子降生时,老婆会兴高采烈地给他拿出第二只猫头鹰,那一只也会无可挽回地变脏、掉毛。那家做猫头鹰的玩具厂已经倒闭,这种玩具再也买不到了;因为Bill Murray而走红世界的日本威士忌,很多牌子已经卖脱销,十几年内不会有新货。想起这两件事情,他有点伤感。

除了加班和带孩子,他们剩下的可怜的空闲时间都用来看新房和谈房贷,孩子越来越大,必须搬到好学区住才行。对于婚姻,他常常想起Before Midnight,那么烦躁,零碎,温吞吞,缓慢地死去,“也许就和化疗一样”,他有一次这么想到。他疲惫不堪,他老婆恐怕更累,却无法不去爱这一切:毕竟,他们用Lost in Translation里猫头鹰的名字命名了两个孩子:Louise 和Luis。

他还记得自己做过一个春梦,什么情节都没有,只有这个暗恋对象,在洗手台面前,一遍一遍缓慢地拧毛巾。
story  douban  love  sex  memory  nostalgia  melancholy  life  marriage  family  man  youth  middle-age  indonesia  food  work  california 
december 2017 by aries1988
Why are we so hard on the cheats between the sheets?
For a sense of the neuralgic hold that cheating still has over us, see the Pew Research Center’s survey of moral attitudes from 2014. The US numbers obey the global pattern. Only 7 per cent of Americans find contraception morally unacceptable. The figure is 22 per cent for divorce, 30 for premarital sex and 84 per cent for infidelity. Of 40 surveyed countries, as varied as Canada and Egypt, only in France did less than half of respondents say infidelity was unacceptable. Most countries scored in the 70s and 80s. Nothing else — gambling, abortion, alcohol — aroused this near-unanimity of opprobrium. It bonds east and west, octogenarian and millennial.
marriage  numbers  mentality  love  fidelity  cheat  future  taboo 
october 2017 by aries1988
Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? - The Atlantic
De Beers proved to be the most successful cartel arrangement in the annals of modern commerce. While other commodities, such as gold, silver, copper, rubber, and grains, fluctuated wildly in response to economic conditions, diamonds have continued, with few exceptions, to advance upward in price every year since the Depression. Indeed, the cartel seemed so superbly in control of prices -- and unassailable -- that, in the late 1970s, even speculators began buying diamonds as a guard against the vagaries of inflation and recession.

To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever -- "forever" in the sense that they should never be resold.

Specifically, the Ayer study stressed the need to strengthen the association in the public's mind of diamonds with romance. Since "young men buy over 90% of all engagement rings" it would be crucial to inculcate in them the idea that diamonds were a gift of love: the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. Similarly, young women had to be encouraged to view diamonds as an integral part of any romantic courtship.

"We spread the word of diamonds worn by stars of screen and stage, by wives and daughters of political leaders, by any woman who can make the grocer's wife and the mechanic's sweetheart say 'I wish I had what she has.'"

N. W. Ayer proposed to apply to the diamond market Thorstein Veblen's idea, stated in The Theory of the Leisure Class, that Americans were motivated in their purchases not by utility but by "conspicuous consumption."

The message was clear: diamonds represent a sharp break with the Oriental past and a sign of entry into modern life.

DeBeers devised the "eternity ring," made up of as many as twenty-five tiny Soviet diamonds, which could be sold to an entirely new market of older married women. The advertising campaign was based on the theme of recaptured love. Again, sentiments were born out of necessity: older American women received a ring of miniature diamonds because of the needs of a South African corporation to accommodate the Soviet Union.
business  advertising  jewelry  diamond  marriage  tv  marketing  usa  japan  mentality  psychology  story  success 
october 2017 by aries1988
Joe DiMaggio Babysat My Daughter at the Airport | Reader's Digest
She was very, very upset. She said, “I can’t believe you’ve let this family come apart. I can’t believe this child will grow up without a father.” (Which was never true and has never been true since.)
story  luck  destiny  airport  parents  children  career  research  university  couple  marriage 
october 2017 by aries1988
À quoi rêvent les femmes américaines

il est difficile d'entretenir un climat d'intimité avec une femme outre-Atlantique, tant elle ponctue systématiquement la conversation et cela avec la sonorité d'un klaxon par des expressions peu confidentielles du genre : «It's absolutely crazy !» (C'est vraiment dingue), «Unbelievable !» (Incroyable !) ou «This dinner was amazing ! The best dinner in my whole life !» (Ce dîner était étonnant. Le meilleur que j'aie eu dans ma vie entière). Tout cela pour dire : «OK, c'était sympa !»
anecdote  usa  american  female  wife  marriage  français 
september 2017 by aries1988
Why the Word ‘Fiancé’ Is Falling Out of Fashion - The New York Times
Why I hate it: It sounds silly, feels pompous and even precious. It’s the verbal equivalent of wearing a monocle, or using an encyclopedia when Wikipedia is at your fingertips. During my yearlong engagement, I never managed to say the word without feeling, somehow, like a jerk.

“I think this generation as a whole is less concerned with labels,” she said. “Millennials are getting married later in life, and many are cohabitating before saying ‘I do.’ As a result, I think the change from boyfriend or girlfriend to fiancé doesn’t feel like a huge shift, despite the intended commitment.”
usa  english  marriage  couple  fun 
october 2016 by aries1988
13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married
13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married - The New York Times Help FAQ Contact Us Type Size Edit Profile New! Use your left and right arrow keys to browse…
love  tips  question  marriage 
march 2016 by aries1988
The mystery of China’s missing brides - FT.com
“According to Chen Wuqing, a specialist in gender studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, men like Li are “just the tip of the wave”. Currently, he says, the ratio of marriage-age men to women nationwide shows no real extremes; 105 men per 100 women is actually remarkably close to the world average. Even the ratio of men to women in the 20-24 age bracket was 109 nationwide in 2013, which is not excessive. But the statistics for younger children are truly disturbing: between 117-118 males per 100 females for all age categories under 14.”

““Living here, I see that the husbands do almost everything,” she said. “They have to work and the women at home just play mahjong. In Vietnam women aren’t supposed to spend all day playing cards.”
story  vietnam  chinese  money  family  youth  rural  marriage 
december 2015 by aries1988
How to Pick Your Life Partner - Part 2 - Wait But Why
Marriage isn’t the honeymoon in Thailand—it’s day four of vacation #56 that you take together. Marriage is not celebrating the closing of the deal on the first house—it’s having dinner in that house for the 4,386th time. And it’s certainly not Valentine’s Day. Marriage is Forgettable Wednesday. Together.

This isn’t to say people shouldn’t work on self-improvement, but when it comes to a life partnership, the healthy attitude is, “Every person comes with a set of flaws, these are my partner’s, and they’re part of the package I knowingly chose to spend my life with.”

In a time when humans in most parts of the world can enjoy freedom and carve their own path in life, it usually doesn’t sit that well to suddenly become half of something and compromise on a bunch of things you grew up being selfish about.

According to John Gottman, 69% of a typical couple’s fights are perpetual, based on core differences, and cannot be resolved—and a skilled couple understands this and refrains from engaging in these brawls again and again.
advice  choice  opinion  fun  humor  love  marriage 
august 2015 by aries1988
In a Changing China, New Matchmaking Markets
The firm subjected the finalists to another round of interviews and psychological evaluations. Barely two months after the search began, Mr. Big received thick dossiers on each of the eight, with detailed information about their families and finances, habits and hobbies, and physical and mental conditions.
children  china  today  youth  money  marriage  parents 
april 2015 by aries1988
为什么很多美国人保持单身生活?「读书马上」
在以往单身生活被认为是失意落魄之人才会过的,可是在21世纪,这一生活模式已经成为普遍现象,其中的原因与真正的追求,众说纷纭。
usa  today  life  marriage 
august 2012 by aries1988
The Startling Plight of China's Leftover Ladies - By Christina Larson | Foreign Policy
A generation ago, when Chinese society was simpler, there were fewer choices. But today, with colossal economic upheaval -- and a yawning chasm between China's winners and losers -- your spouse may be the largest single factor determining whether, in the words of one infamous female contestant on Fei Cheng Wu Rao, you ride home on the back of a bicycle or in a BMW. And that just crystallizes the problem: China's educated women increasingly know what they want out of life. But it's getting harder and harder to find Mr. Right.
china  female  marriage 
august 2012 by aries1988
关于贞操之我见
前些日子,因为上海一个相亲节目里面某个妇女委员说了一句“女孩的贞操是给婆家最好的礼物”而引起舆论哗然,于是全国上下争相讨论。正方反方各执一词,谁也说不服对方,而以趋势而论,反方或有后来居上之感。
http://www.instapaper.com/read/312418342
marriage  china  debate  female 
march 2011 by aries1988

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