In Toronto, every now and then, Wanting would comment that we (i.e. she, Melissa & me) were quite ‘auntie’. Once, when Jing Jing and I went to West Mall’s Shop n Save, she commented that what we were doing was so ‘auntie’. Today, upon grocery shopping and buying herbs and sharing soup recipes with Yinwei, she also commented that we were so ‘auntie’.
What exactly is ‘auntiehood’? Shopping where other aunties shop? Buying groceries? Having your life revolve around cooking and cleaning and caring for husband and family? Paying less attention to your appearance? Growing older? I for one, have actually never been the one to say to anyone that they or I have entered ‘auntiehood’. Maybe because I never really understood what the fuss was about.
Maybe I don’t notice ‘auntie-hood’ because I’ve always been an auntie in some ways… especially after going to Toronto. I’ve never been fashionable, and I’ve always made it a priority to make sure my home was well-stocked with food and kept comfortably clean. When there are other inhabitants in my home, I’ve always had the habit of ‘mothering’ them a bit.
I suppose I can understand some women’s aversion to becoming an ‘auntie’. For women who wish to stay fashionable and young-looking, the idea of becoming a domestic and possibly frumpy older woman must be quite horrible. But me? I have no qualms! Cos I don’t feel like I’ve anything to lose.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling young. In many ways I’ve definitely grown older and I’m very grateful for aging because I’ve learned so many valuable things through life experience. But, no matter how I’ve aged, there’s always a part of me that’s like Peter Pan – never growing up!
More importantly, I have to say that there isn’t anything associated with ‘auntiehood’ that I find bad per se. In fact, I think it’s actually very good to be able to take responsibility for one’s own well-being and that of others. To become more skilled in buying produce and cooking healthy and tasty cuisine for one’s family and to make a comfortable home – these are things I’ve always aspired to. I think they’re natural things when you want the best for your loved ones.
What about career? That’s a means, not an end, and I don’t ever intend to let it eclipse my responsibilities at home. As for looking good… ha ha… I try to be neat and presentable and as pleasant-looking as I can be without spending too much time or money on it. There are just too many other things more important to me than going all out for appearance’s sake. (Special occasions are exceptions of course and in those instances I really do enjoy dolling up!)
I’m indifferent to whether I’m becoming an ‘auntie’ or not because I think that’s really unimportant. What’s important to me is that I strive to love God and the people in my life, and for me to be faithful. That’s all I really desire. That’s all I need. That’s all I wish to want. :)
Hee, like I told you, I love being an auntie lah :) I’m glad I have another auntie to go grocery shopping with :) It’s so much fun lor :)
Hmm. I think I started being an auntie at the age of 15, when one of my students came up to me and said: Laoshi, can I call you “Auntie”?