Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It all comes down to one thing...

Since eavesdropping is now a hobby of mine (I excuse myself with the fact that it is a good way to practice my Chinese listening skills) I took a study break (from studying for Wednesday’s exam) yesterday at Starbucks by listening into a small, five-year-old Chinese girl talking to a male Starbuck’s clerk.

The Starbuck’s clerk was this young, quite good-looking guy who is always joking with customers (I know I know… I hang out at this Starbucks way too often, although let me defend myself –I don’t know his name!) and this time he was charming the little girl who was twirling with delight in front of him.

-So you are in kindergarten? He asked her.

-Yes! I am. Are you too?

-Yes, but you know… I am a bit older than you so I am in older people’s kindergarten!

-What is older people’s kindergarten like?

-It is fun! But a little bit hard at times.

-Are you smart?

-Yes I am smart.

-Are you married?

-No I am not married?

-Then you are not smart. You should be married. You are too old not to be married!

-You think I am old?!
The Starbuck’s clerk looked seriously hurt.

-Yes you are old! And you are in old people’s kindergarten! So you should be married! It is very important to get married!

I almost choked on my coffee... Wow…. They sure teach their kids the importance of life quite early over here?!


Mark's Blog said...

This kid is so cute!!!

these days, kids matures early
especially these

if this kid is 5-year old, it is post-2000

dunno what are we getting into now

this is future!

Diane said...

What a cute post! Kids do say the darnedest things. And how sweet of the clerk to pay attention to her! I agree with the little girl. It's a wonder he hasn't been 'caught' yet.

. said...

Funny. I agree with the little girl though. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ahaha, that's cute... in a way. They do the same thing here in Japan; ask any little girl her dream and she will tell you she wants to become a bride. Worse, most of them want to marry their dads...

Anonymous said...

this is the same for every kid today.. you would be surprised by how precocious they are by talking to them.

it is not the parents' faults, but of the society. The cruel societies made them that way.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Mark -they sure do.. when I was 5 I just discovered my love for My little ponies...

Diane -yeah kids are cute... and honest in their speech. Painfully honest sometime. I teach a Korean girl English and one day her 4-year old little sister crawled up to me and said: 'so biiiig!' Aooch!

Glorious -Uh, I don't know if I agree... he's prolly younger than me and I am not even close to getting married... what does that say about me?! :/

Kanmuri -hahahhahahhaa... I laughed when I read your comment. Marry their dads?!? Oh lord!

Incognito -Funny, the whole dream of marriage was never that big amongst me and my girlfriends when we were little. Maybe it's a culture thing as well.

mantse said...

Yeah!! a cute girl... this is like a little girl said they want to get married to her father when she was young.

i just wonder, why not married equals to not smart?? or this should be something wrong in this?

Anonymous said...

In fact, every chinese think everyone must get married, especially female, even you don't want to or you still can't find your Mr. right, you must get married before 30(in City)or 25(in countryside), or you will being accused by other people.
They think women won't happy if they don't get married(they think every women should find a men to rely on).So they teach evety little girl it's very important to find a men, then get married.
In many situation, get married is just a duty, or task for us.
Although i am tired of this way of thinking,and feel nauseous, but i must learn to face, cause they are so obstinate that not ome could change their mind.

Nancy said...

Out of the mouths of babes ...

Anonymous said...

To Kanmuri and Jonna:

Daughters wanting to marry their dads and sons wanting to marry their mothers are to be expected at such young age, this can be explained by Sigmund Freud:

In Freud's view, each stage focused on sexual activity and the pleasure received from a particular area of the body. In the oral phase, children are focused on the pleasures that they receive from sucking and biting with their mouth. In the Anal phase, this focus shifts to the anus as they begin toilet training and attempt to control their bowels. In the Phallic stage, the focus moves to genital stimulation and the sexual identification that comes with having or not having a penis. During this phase, Freud thought that children turn their interest and love toward their parent of the opposite sex and begin to strongly resent the parent of the same sex. He called this idea the Oedipus Complex as it closely mirrored the events of an ancient Greek tragic play in which a king named Oedipus manages to marry his mother and kill his father. The Phallic/Oedipus stage was thought to be followed by a period of Latency during which sexual urges and interest were temporarily nonexistent. Finally, children were thought to enter and remain in a final Genital stage in which adult sexual interests and activities come to dominate.


Dr Sofea J.Ann Tan said...

ha ha.. such cute lil kid..!!!


We girls are all so very bold and brave when we are small. We get bigger and older and are told to mind our manners. Guys who flirt with little girls always walk away with feeling the sting of a woman who knows what she wants. We are all born brutally honest, with no shame, and then...we become tame. Note to the ladies: claim your younger "Self" again!

Blank-Socrate said...

that means I am not smart too,
I am still single

The Candid Yank said...

kids are so awesome. Aren't they are just like old ladies in a way, in that they tell you exactly what they're thinking, and give unsolicited advice...? The great thing about kids though is that they're not nearly as judgmental--I'm sure the little girl forgave him pretty quickly for being old and stupid--and way more adorable.

i love eavesdropping too! haha

Diane said...

Kids learn about life and relationships primarily within their own families. Most of life is learned through imitation. A little girl's dad is her first love. There's nothing weird or sexual about it. Children that age don't and shouldn't understand mature relationships. What she understands is that dad is a man, she loves dad, marriage in her eyes equals happiness, order, structure and safety.

I remember when my now 18 yr old daughter was about 5 yrs old. One day she looked at me with sparkling eyes and said, "Mom, when I grow up I want to have a big butt just like you." Aside from the great big, belly laugh, she wasn't insulting me or telling me that I have a big butt. She was saying that she loves the real me, the person inside who cares for her and gives her life order and structure and she wants to grow up and be like me someday. (I was bending over, cleaning the bathroom floor when she said this) Within her limited ability to express herself, she said more than most of us are able to see in our everyday relationships. We are conditioned to see certain physical appearances as beautiful, but real beauty is who we are, not what we look like. And children start out fresh and see the truth more easily because they haven't yet been conditioned and deceived by the culture around them. In their minds appearances are not yet good or bad, desirable or not.That's why a child might announce, "You have a really big nose" or in your case, Jonna,
"you are so big." It's not to insult or hurt one. It's just incidental the way one looks. Beauty really does come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

I think this little girl was giving the clerk a great compliment. I think in her own way she was saying that she thought he should be married because he is a great catch.

Jonna Wibelius said...

konichiwa, bitches, Diane, everyone else -yeah I know... kids don't mean anything bad when they say things :) They r just adorable! Actually, I wasn't that much of a kid's person before, but now I am all 'aoooowww' and 'awwwwhhhh!' every time I see a kid... Gosh, better not tell my bf this, he's gonna make a run! :) hahaha!

Anonymous said...

Cute story. I'd love to listen in on the conversations going on around me, but my Chinese it not what it should be.

moonrat said...

awesome post. phew.

m--e said...

I think it's a bit sad that is seems a woman's self-worth is tied to being married. My 27 year old co-worker is under extreme pressure to get married (and she doesn't have a boyfriend.)

I wonder if these parents really want their child to marry any guy, no matter how unhappy they may be together, just so they can say they are married?

The Candid Yank said...

@ Diane - a little girl I knew while I was living in Honduras once said to me, during a moment of admiration, "when I grow up I'm gonna be fat just like you." She seemed to look forward to it with pride!! LOL!!

Diane said...

Konichiwa, bitches - How lucky you are to receive (and recognize) such praise from a child! Wish I had kept notes while raising my kids because I'd have the material for a hilarious book.

胡崧 said...

The problem is despite the shortage of women in China, single males are still hot commodities in urban China. So if a girl cannot find find a great guy to settle down with before 25, the chances of them finding a good husband dramatically decrease. If she STILL cant find a nice man before turning 30, boy she is in BIG trouble.

When I went back to visit my Mom in Beijing, some of her co-workers were actually trying to introduce their daughters to me through my mom, and I am still in university!

The sense of urgency is simply incredible.

Suiiki said...

Kids are adorable.

I was the oldest of four daughters growing up, and the youngest is almost 10 years younger than me. I remember announcing to them one day that I had lost some weight, and the little one shouted "yeah, I noticed you were a lot smaller here!" and grabbed her chest.

I was about 16 at the time and didn't realize that she was trying to give me a compliment, but now that I'm older I realize that she was just expressing that she was proud of me and pleased that I was happy with the progress I'd made.