This is the FATES, of traditional Asian women, despite how the times had, already, advanced into, the modern day, where the emphasis is more on gender equality, but a lot of us women, are still, bound by these, traditional, gender stereotypes of how the female roles should be played out, and we get, trapped by it! Translated…
After I’d started living on my own, the most annoying thing in my life is, the, leftovers. This, seemingly nitty-gritty item, but needed to sort through by the meals “business”, often taxed up my mind, although, this is no huge thing like the philosophers are contemplating on, just the traces that remained of my three square meals per day, but it’d, gotten really deep inside, and annoyed, the hell out of, me. The timelines of life, there must be, close to half of the total time, spending, on how to resolve the matters of, the, leftovers, do we, reheat them up for the meals later, do we, “mask” them up as the lunches of love packed by us to serve to our significant, others? Or do we, bring them to the office, to SHOW off how we are, cared for? Or, should we just, toss them away? Reminding ourselves, to separate the leftovers, to take them out by the curbside on trash collection day, to NOT allow it to start stanching up our, ordinary, days.
Leftover, the remains of our, lives, but it’d, deeply, affected the aesthetic of our lives.
When I was young, I’d not needed to worry about this problem. Served onto the tables, were all the items that gave us that incredible appetite, the heated up food. There were, too many choices, given to our chopsticks, raising up in midair, and, in time, we are, still, considering what we wanted to eat, the difficulties on our tongues, that was, patented to our, childhood, years.
During the time, I’d not remember the exact time when my mother served us our, meals, for the kids who’d, stolen out after they were fed to play, they’d not even, considered what the leftovers, looked, like? Could the “leftovers” became a pronoun for our, mothers? My oldest cousin said he’d hated the stir-fried cabbages, too simple; my youngest female cousin hated the seaweed soup, that it was too tasteless. And so, what was favored by all, the more popular dishes, the pork, the chicken, the shrimps, the steamed eggs, were cleaned off the plates in a jiffy, as for those unfavored steamed, less flavored items, had become, frozen, into, a sort of, an animosity, while my mother became the sin bearer of these, and as everybody goes off, she’d, sat, under the dimmed lights, and, started, eating, those, leftovers.
illustration from UDN.com
I’d gotten a call from my mother at night, toward the adult children, there are, always, the silence that got lost in time in these calls, on the other end of the world, came the asking of how the weather was, and I’d always, slurred to answer her. After a while, I’d remembered, finally, that my aging mother, toward the cold sounds of the echoes of my responses, must be like, how she used to, eat those, leftovers that we didn’t, finish in our, younger, years too?
On the other end of the world, she’d reminded me, “just toss out the leftover, and don’t eat it, it’s not good to eat them reheated up over, over, and over again.”
But, how much left do we, thrown out? And, it’d become, hard for me, to weigh and measure this.
Perhaps, half a bowl, that already, mixed to, nothing but chaos inside that served bowl of, rice? Or, the too savory, too spicy sauce that still had, a-third portion remaining, with the leftover chopped up stems leafy greens; or, must we, finish the plates up, only left the traces of the, pork flosses? These three meals a day, before we pour them out, as we’re about to, push them into the refrigerators, I’d always, thought again, and gain, and, my mind goes back and forth, back and forth, trapped in tossing them away, or saving them, don’t know how much that’s leftover, that’s, worthy for the world to, keep? And, how much of what’s remained, should get tossed out, matter-of-factly? I’d had to, consider this, many times a day, and, felt confused for my mother, who’d been, trapped inside the, vicious cycle, how did she, get along, well with all the leftovers we’d given to her? In the long road of life, with nothing but the leftovers, taking up her life, the time for recycling the foods, the reheating up the dishes, constantly, back and forth, thinking about, time, and life rushed by her, side as moments like these came and, went.
Leftover became a sort of a fate, teaching the older generations of women, to wait on, endlessly. When she was younger, she’d lived for her parents; after she was married, she’d lived for her children. As she aged to elderly, that richness of her life already, gotten, taken out of hers, she’d become, nothing more, than the leftover of who she had been, that’s, remained, as she’d become, the leftovers of fate, in between heating and throwing out, she’d already, forgotten, her original, flavors already.
and unfortunately, they’re not the least, “neatly plated” like, these…photo from online
And this is actually not about the leftovers the family had for their meals, but the fate of traditional Asian women, and although, the traditions are slowly, less and less imposing on the younger generations but, there are still, the gender expectations that imposes themselves onto us, women, how we should give up everything we want, for the sake of our, families, this is still, the primary values that’s rooted too deep in the Asian cultures, which is why, women in these parts of the world, are fated to take on the, leftovers of everybody else’s, life.
You must be logged in to post a comment.