The first half of the story is here.
“I want Arju to work, of course, but you know Joa, it is not as simple as that. Life is more complicated. If Arju works, our family income will go to a higher tax bracket. I calculated that. You know I’m a financial analyst. We would end up with exactly the same after-tax money whether Arju works or not. So what’s the point? We talked about this? Arju, is that right? We talked about this. You totally agreed with me that it doesn’t make sense for you to work at all.” Moo says.
“That makes sense.” Joa says. “If Arju doesn’t work, you really need to be less stingy, Moo. Give her more money for cosmetics and clothes.”
“Arju, did you tell Joa that?” Moo asks.
“Yes, you were quite upset when you saw the balance of the bank account. Ever since then, I dare not use the bank card.” Arju says.
“That’s because you sent several thousand dollars to your sister and your mother overseas. And you didn’t tell me.” Moo says. “Also when did I object to you buying clothes?”
“You either pay no attention to my clothes or say something indifferent. You try to discourage me from buying clothes.” Arju says.
“That’s not true. However recently I do believe I was not in the best mood when you ask me clothing questions. It’s all because the quality of our dinner has decreased very much recently. Now I understand what’s going on. It’s because you work here every day. You use all your energy on waitressing and don’t focus on cooking the best dinner anymore. We used to have elaborate dinners with the best flavors, but now it is just barely eatable. And homemade tofu, rice wine, pickled radish, and soy yogurt have all but disappeared. Last week, we ate slow cooked stew for three consecutive days. That’s really an atrocity. You know I am not the best me whenever there’s no good food.” Moo says.
“Well, that’s negotiable.” Arju says, “certain conditions have to be met before I can be inspired to cook good food.
Arju and Moo smile at each other and they walk out of the restaurant together.
Here Joa talks with her husband Jinmu, “Goodness, when I heard Arju talk at first, I thought she’s dealing with a monster, but now I look at the two of them, Arju seems ok and she can handle him.”
“I really don’t understand women. How can Arju talk about her husband like that? I mean she’s portraying herself as a helpless victim under some terrible injustice.” Jinmu says.
“She is a victim. A lot of women are. Whenever a job has to be given up for the sake of the family, it is the woman’s job to be given up.” Joa says.
“Joa, let me tell you this. I will be very happy to give up my job here. I mean 12 hours a day, 364 days a year smelling the stir fry fume. It gets on my nerves. I would love to give up my job to stay home, letting my wife, you, work alone to support me.” Jinmu says.
“You are changing the topic. It’s a different issue here.” Joa says.
“How so?” Jinmu asks.
“Well, I don’t know. You somehow change the argument to something else. I don’t know how to answer your question, but you somehow change it to something else while making it looks like you haven’t changed it.” Joa says.
“I don’t understand what you are saying.” Jinmu says.
“Well, let’s just say somehow I feel that you and I have a better relationship than Moo and Arju. They are not straightforward with each other…” Joa says.