This is the second part of the story. The first part of the story is here.
Taimu unexpectedly shows up at the Ivy Training Center.
“Why did you come? I told you I would come to pick up the kid. You know you never listen to me. That’s your problem.” Dana says.
“Sorry, my mind must be somewhere else when you talked with me. I am a little too busy recently. You know with the award ceremony and everything, I am quite beside myself.” Taimu says, making sure he emphasizes “award ceremony” so that people will hear it clearly.
Taimu doesn’t fit in the prevalent idea of a handsome man, but he’s very handsome in his own ways. He is not tall but very sturdy and broad shouldered; he has a healthy glow which is enhanced by his faint good-natured smile; he is very intelligent but not the fastidious type that annoys everybody. He is a perfect combination of the hardy Steppe Mongolians, the worldly Arabians from the Silk Road, the mixture of the outward agreement and the inner defiance of the Han Chinese, and the fierce blend of spirituality and shrewdness of the Tibetans. He is a hybrid, physically and mentally, of all the above.
Taimu’s humbleness has always endeared him to women in general, but it has also provoked them to tease and scold him.
“Taimu, your wife really sacrificed for you. Don’t forget that.” Pammy lectures him.
“Taimu, spend some money on your wife. Buy some gifts for her.” Ivy says.
“Taimu, your wife wastes all her artistic talent working as a waitress in a restaurant and a servant to you…” Lulan says.
Taimu is stunned by the bombardment and he says, “Oh, come on, Dana. I don’t think you have so many grievances. Our life is fine. I know what this is all about. You just need to get used to the idea of moving away from here. You are settled in here and doesn’t want to move, but you need to get used to my promotion. Now you are going to be a director’s wife.”
“Oh, goodness you are so clueless. You just don’t understand me, do you?” Dana says.
Just then, a class is over and a dozen or so students rush to the waiting room to meet their parents. Pammy leaves with Sam, while Ivy goes to hold the door for people to stream out. When the dust is settled and Lulan has the attention for Dana and Taimu, she finds that the two are still quarreling.
“Give me a break. You didn’t sacrifice your dancing career for me since you never had a dancing career to begin with. You can’t sacrifice something you don’t have. Your mother literally begged me to marry you so you would not end up in that shit hole that you call a professional troupe. All these entertainment industries. They are controlled by predatory big brothers. It’s like in South Korea, Taiwan, or Hong Kong.” Taimu says.
“Every profession has its dark side. You only see the bright side in your own profession. Anyway, being a performer is infinitely more desirable than being a slave like me, who can’t even buy a pretty hairpin.” Dana says.
“Oh, it’s your hairpin story again, isn’t it? How many times are you going to mention this hairpin? I’ve been breathing under the tyranny of your hairpin for years. I told you to go get it, but you won’t because you want to use it as a symbol. ‘I am so mistreated that I can’t even buy a hairpin.’ or ‘I am so good at managing the household and exercising self control that I don’t even buy a hairpin.'” Taimu fumes.
The two argues and argues until their son finishes his class.
“I argue so much with you that I forget about an important thing. I want to ask Lulan to edit my speech in the award ceremony next week.” Taimu says and pulls out a piece of paper, on which he has written his thoughts all over.
Dana has to go home to cook. So Dana leaves with the son first, while Taimu is left behind to talk with Lulan.
The last part of the story is here.