Rachel Chu. What she underwent with Nick Young’s mother (and grandmother) sounded a lot like mine, too. Rachel was not accepted by Nick’s mother and grandmother. Nick’s grandmother, Su Yi, even told them that Nick was not allowed to marry her because “she does not come from a “proper” family.” Even though her love for Nick was sincere, without having any interest in Nick’s family’s fortune at all. It became clear that she was not accepted.
I have been with my boyfriend, AF for almost 3 years now. He is such a sweetheart to me, my family, to his parents, and his sister.
But the deal is, his mom does not like me. She is the typical traditional Chinese mom who wants only the best for her son and, is choosy when it comes to his son’s relationships. It doesn’t help that she won’t be the number one woman in his life anymore. May kahati na.
The first hint I got was on February last year. It was Valentine’s Day, I was having a fantastic Korean lunch with my family, then in the middle of me devouring that glorious, lettuce-wrapped, samgyupsal, my phone rang and her name appeared.
I answered the phone, and from the other end, in her Chinese accent: “Nasaan si AF???”, “Ikaw ‘wag mo tago sa’kin si AF ha!”. Worries about my boyfriend’s whereabouts arose, we were not exchanging messages during that time.
“Ayaw ko mag deposit ka para sa pera ah!”, meaning she didn’t want me to get pregnant so I could ask money from them. I don’t even want to have a baby until I get married!
She went on. “Alam mo ayaw ko sayo ah, ako nanay, babae ka lang”. A tear fell down on my eye. My cousin, sitting beside me, asked who was I on the phone with and why the tears. I told her that I had just put too much chili, that’s all. I’m such a bad liar, I think.
I wanted to feel like it was just my imagination, but those words were real and it came from my boyfriend’s mom. I called my boyfriend and asked, “Where are you? And where is your mom?”
He answered “Andito siya sa bahay kasama namin.”
“Huh? She just called me now to ask where you are. And she said so many things…” I then narrated what had happened.
My boyfriend called me up 20 minutes after, apologizing in behalf of his mom. He told me that he’d make sure it won’t ever happen again and that he’ll just see me that night for dinner.
When he picked me up at home, he said sorry again for how his mom behaved. It was uncalled for. He said that she probably “just had a bad day.”
“Tinanong ko siya bakit niya sinabi mga yun sayo and ano problema niya sayo. Sinabihan ko siya na wag ka na niyang guluhin, ewan ko lang talaga kung gagawin niya.” he furthered.
He asked for my phone, searched his mom’s name, and clicked block caller.
“This way, she can never reach you again.”
Since then, I tried to avoid his mom as much as I can. I didn’t want the incident to happen again. I asked my boyfriend if he could be extra nice to his mom, make pa-lambing and pa-cute. You know, what bunsoys and only boys normally do to their moms to win her affection.
There were times that I get invited to join their family dinner, but I passed instead. I didn’t want his mom to confront me the way she did before. I felt that I wasn’t welcome in their lives. But it’s not like that with my boyfriend’s older sister, she treats me so well that I feel like she’s my older sister too.
It’s now been a year. I was invited by my boyfriend’s sister to her celebratory party. I couldn’t say no, I’m not sure why. Although, I was sure his mom was going to be present. I dressed very appropriately, pa-demure talaga, and imagined scenarios meeting his mom and what she’d say once she sees me.
Will she ask me “Oh, bakit cannot be reached na telepono mo?”, “Ngayon lang ulit kita nakita ah, tago ka ba sakin?”, “Parang tumaba ka ah, kain ba kayo ng kain ni AF sa labas?” Trust me when I say every scenario.
When my boyfriend and I arrived, all of his cousins, aunts, and uncles greeted me with so much warmth. They were all “Uy, ngayon lang ulit tayo nagkita!”, “Blooming ka ah!” Somehow, I felt that I was missed.
After half an hour, I started to get nervous. No smiles, no frowns, just a straight face. My boyfriend’s cousin noticed the nerves finally kicking in me. She approached me, and asked “Kinakabahan ka ba?”
“Huh? No, no. Wala naman dapat ikakaba,” I lied. I’m such a bad liar. Again.
“’Wag ka mag-alala, andito naman ako, andito kami lahat. Kami bahala sa’yo,” smiling with her beautiful red lips. She seemed very sincere about her words, too.
In my head, “WHAT??? ALL OF YOU KNOW THAT INCIDENT THAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR??”
My boyfriend’s mother entered the restaurant and suddenly all the aunts, uncles, and cousins looked at me! ALL EYES ON ME! It made clear that they knew of the event that happened 15 months ago. I wonder what else she had told the rest of the family about me. *sobs*
The moment she saw me and my boyfriend, she said to him: “Ikaw ah, iwan mo ko sa bahay para sundo mo si F. Sabi mo pa sa’kin gua ze Uber (I’ll take an Uber). Ako yun nanay, ako ze (means ‘sit’, but in this context it’s ‘take’) Uber”. MY HEART DROPPED. I didn’t know that had happened earlier.
She then went on to tell her whole family that story as if I was the one to blame. I am quite unsure if she was also telling everyone, indirectly, that I was trying to steal her golden boy from her. But really, I’m not. I was so embarrassed. I never wanted anything like that to happen. It was worse than what I imagined.
There was a change of atmosphere after the fifth plate of food. She came to our table and called my boyfriend to call me to introduce to her kumares: “her son’s girlfriend who cooks”.
My boyfriend whispered to my ear, “Oh, bati na kayo?” And flashed his killer smile. My heart melted.
After the celebration, there were several paper bags full of takeout. His mom shared some of them with me: “Ito para sa’yo.” It was really nice of her.
My boyfriend flashed his trademark killer smile at me, with smugness implied of course. His sister’s boyfriend also gave me a smug look insinuating: “Ayiii, bati na sila.”
She may be nice to me now, but will it be like that from now on? I wanted to put my hopes up.
After that, I decided to unblock her from my contact list.
But then again, the feeling of unacceptance still haunts me. Even if the whole family adores me, but just thinking about the first incident, well, I’m torn.
I can’t seem to fully understand the cause. My mom isn’t like that at all. She welcomes my boyfriend to our house as if he’s no stranger, and sometimes invites him to have dinner with us, too. But of course, not all moms are like mine, or like his. To each one’s own, as they say.
I’m just worried that if it’s him who I’ll have my happily ever after with, will it always be like this with his mom? What if she’ll live with us? What if she scolds me endlessly and one day, I just can’t take it anymore? Will it result to a breakup? What about my children, will they be loved equally?
Nick still pursued Rachel nonetheless, and even went on to ask her to marry him. Consequently, Nick cut off all communications with his mom and grandmother. In spite of this, their union was happily accepted by Rachel’s family.
Is that how my life is going to be? A Crazy Rich Asians-esque drama? I hope not.