You know your Chinese friend feels comfortable with you when she changes into her “house” clothes (pajamas) at 5:00. In addition, my friend offered that if I wanted to, I could also change into some of her “house” clothes. I declined, and said that I don’t have that habit and felt perfectly comfortable in my “outside” clothes.
After changing, my friend started to prepare the dishes for the evening meal. She did a fantastic job. I’m always amazed how my Chinese friends make cooking a full meal seem so easy. If it were me, the kitchen would be a mess, there would be smoke filtering out into the apartment, and I would be frazzled. But my friend, just plugged away in the kitchen and insisted that I sit and look through her wedding album and pictures from her travel to Harbin two years ago.
I asked my friend to tell me some more details about her marriage. She said there marriage was okay; it works basically. She also shared that she has no romantic feelings whatsoever toward her husband. I tried to get some more information about how they started dating and how they fell in love (I’m a little bit of a romantic.) The story went like this…a friend of a friend introduced them to each other. They had good feelings toward each other and were both about 30 years old. To a traditional Chinese person, 30 years old is basically the cut-off line for getting married. It either happens by 30, or there isn’t much hope of it happening. So, my friend and her husband decided they should get married. I asked my friend, “Didn’t you ask him to tell you why he wanted to marry you?” She said she didn’t, and she said there wasn’t even a proposal. She also said that Chinese people generally don’t have a proposal. I’ve heard a few other stories similar to this one. I’m going to try and research some more about Chinese dating and marriage relationships.