Friday, July 4, 2008

wishin' and hopin': mothers and grandchildren

My mom has been egging on about grandkids (more specifically, grandsons) for awhile. And about marriage too, but I think she's given up on my boyfriend and I getting married anytime soon, and now she's all about how I need to have kids when I'm young. I'm 22! Biological what? Anyhow, so she periodically e-mails me and writes letters with "tips" and "advice" and I think this would probably be hysterical if she were someone else's mother and my friend was telling me this story. Okay, so my boyfriend gets a kick out of it once he gets over the whole being perturbed part. So here goes...

My lovely darling mother tells me that I need to take fish oil supplements to get my omega-3s or whatever, that eating meat is good for men, and that men are "more potent" in the morning. She also keeps telling me that I need to avoid lifting heavy objects, not drink alcohol, and make sure to get lots of bedrest. With my legs raised. Complete with stick figure illustration. Also advised was not to "part" immediately after sex and to keep my legs raised. Presumably so the sperm won't just drain out of me and possible grandsons go to waste. Fortunately there were not any illustrations for that little tip.

Oddly enough, what gets me is not her constant egging on about conceiving or giving me advice as if I were already pregnant (not planning on that anytime soon), but that it's always about me giving her grandsons. Nothing against boys but goddammit, if I believed in prayer I would pray for all girls.

It seems like in the past few years, she's become increasingly more traditional. (Granted, I don't think she ever entirely got over the fact that I wasn't a boy...) When I was younger, she was all about me doing well in school and being the best in...everything. She didn't think I should not do things or not learn how to do certain things just because I was a girl. But ever since I moved in with my boyfriend, it seems like she's always asking about what I'm making him for dinner. Now I'm not opposed to making dinner or any of that, but I resent that she asks me like it's my duty because I'm the woman. This is the same woman who told my dad he had to cook on Father's Day because it was the weekend, which is generally his turn to cook.

And then all this grandson business, oi vey. I remember asking her once, "What's wrong with having girls, huh?" and her response was, "Well, you can have a girl, too, if you want." I've never been super-feminist or rah-rah-girl-power, but I won't stand for being told that boys are worth more than girls. Especially not from someone who wouldn't stand hearing it from her own father. When my mom was young, my grandfather told her that girls don't need to go to high school (in Hong Kong in those days, there weren't free public secondary schools). My grandmother intervened on her behalf, saying, if she earns a scholarship, let her go. And so she did. High school, college.

My boyfriend points out that my mother is delusional, wanting me to give her grandchildren so badly that she already believes I am pregnant. But it still frustrates me to no end.