One Sunday afternoon in February, 2014, my husband and I sit in our living room drinking tea and chatting. My in-laws have gone to the market and we enjoy some alone time. When they come back, we are still sitting on pillows on the floor, drinking tea and talking about this and that.
The next day, my MIL confides to my husband: “When I saw you two sitting in the living room yesterday, drinking tea and talking with each other, I was a bit envious. This is something I never had. If only I could be young again today.”
In 1980, my father-in-law had just come back from the army, while my mother-in-law had come back to the city from the countryside where she had been sent to do hard work. 2 years before, in 1978, China had introduced its policy of reform and opening up. In the early 1980s, my in-laws were around the same age I am in now. They were working at the same company and a colleague offered to introduce them to each other. They agreed to be introduced to each other and tied the knot a little later. In 1981, my husband was born. My in-laws didn’t have tea and conversations on Sunday afternoons and their marriage surely had its ups-and-downs, but they were determined to go through hard times together. Or, as my father-in-law puts it today: “We were introduced to each other by a coworker, but it’s not like we couldn’t have said no to marrying the other person.”
Do you think it’s better to be young nowadays than a few decades ago? Why or why not?