Chapter 9: Unquestioning Filial Piety 9
Xu Xuexue remembered what her married older sister had told her long ago.
Whether a woman will have a good life after marrying depends on three points—first, your own mother’s attitude. Second, your ability and temperament. And the third point and also the most challenging point to achieve. That is your husband’s support.
For these three points, as long as they achieve one, a woman’s life in her husband’s family will not be too difficult.
It was just that Xu Xiuxiu’s life was so hard, and none of these three requirements was achieved by her.
Since she got married, her own family basically stopped contacting her. Even during the New Year, they were unwilling to visit Xu Xiuxiu. They always gave an excuse that they were tie-up due to the autumn harvest. How could she hope such a family would help her whenever others wronged her?
As for her own ability, Xu Xiuxiu is a hard-working person. But how many women in the country are not? Besides, her temper is also weak. She easily lets people flatten and push her around. Even though her husband’s family approved of her, it didn’t stop them from bullying her.
Speaking of her husband, that person was full of filial piety. He recklessly obeyed the words of his parents to work for the family. Even though he also knew that he had been wronged, he still insisted on fulfilling his filial piety. What’s more, he had also dragged Xu Xiuxiu into the mess. Such a husband, Xu Xiuxiu, could no longer count on him to support her.
But now everything is different. Her husband had wholly changed due to being brokenhearted. Not only was he no longer stupidly listening to her in-laws, but he was also getting more and more considerate of her.
Before Jiang Liu hit his head, Xu Xiuxiu could never imagine that she would be able to use the skin cream or apply the clam oil on her hand, or even wear this brand new scarf. She did not even dare imagine that this man would help her boil the water for cooking after working in the field all day.
During this time, she finally found her inner strength. She no longer needs to swallow her grievance when facing those people. She can also now express her ideas and make her stand.
Xu Xiuxiu thought that, finally, she started living like a person.
Unlike Xu Xiuxiu’s happiness, Wang Xuemei, who finally realized what Xu Xiuxiu had said, was completely blown up.
“What are you doing? Why do you want to smash that? We do not have enough things in this house for you to spoil indiscriminately.”
Miao Caifeng, who came out from the house and saw her second daughter-in-law smashing the pail, immediately reprimanded her for her action.
“Mom, you don’t know. Da jie dare to say-“
Wang Xuemei wanted to complain when she suddenly realized she had no position. She was younger than Xu Xiuxiu. Even if she wanted that scarf, it was not wrong if the other person did not want to give it to her. People will only say that she, Wang Xuemei, was petty, but others will never criticize Xu Xiuxiu for being stingy.
Since the separation of the family, the old lady’s attitude indicated that she no longer wanted to meddle with her eldest son. If she were to complain to the old lady this time, she was afraid it would attract the old lady’s reproach instead.
“What happened to you?”
Miao Caifeng asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Nothing, it’s just that, after big brother made money, he bought a new scarf for da jie. I just saw her outside showing it off. Big brother is, really. After earning money, he still did not give anything to his mother. You can see that his previous filial piety was not sincere at all.”
Wang Xuemei turned a blind eye as she tried to sow discord.
“We are already separated. If they wanted to buy anything, just let them be. But you still dare to provoke me with it.”
When she heard Wang Xuemei’s words, Miao Caifeng’s face suddenly turned sour. It was unknown whether it was due to Wang Xuemei’s provocation or her heart was angry that his eldest son had disregarded her as a mom.
“Even if the family is separated, you are still his mother.”
Wang Xuemei whispered to herself. It could not be that these two older people wish their husbands would take care of them forever.
“Hey, when the first and second houses separated, we had written it all in black and white. We already agree that you and Hai-zi will support us in the future. We also agree that this ancestry house will be given to you two. However, if you wish not to do so, let us know early. We do not need your sympathy. Even if both of us need to work, your father and I won’t starve without the two of you.”
The old lady’s eyes were wide open, glaring at the person in front of her. Although her words were like an open-minded person, obviously from her expression, she would tear this daughter-in-law’s mouth if she ever agreed to her statement.
However, because his own little son is still working under his father-in-law’s, Miao Caifeng did not say anything too ugly. She still needs to leave Wang Xuemei some face.
“Mom, what are you talking about? Do you think Hai-zi and I are those kinds of people? You can rest assured that Hai-zi and I will definitely support you and your father-in-law.”
Wang Xuemei immediately changed her word. Now, these two old ones can still work in the field. Her mother-in-law can also help her care for the two children and share the housework. She was not so stupid to say that she was unwilling to help them support the family, let alone go of the house’s deed.
Her family’s condition was excellent. However, all the family properties were left to her several brothers. As a married daughter, her family can only help her man get a job. Therefore Wang Xuemei values the house she lives in now. She already considered it as hers.
“It is good that you know it.”
Miao Caifeng raised her eyebrows and glanced at Wang Xuemei. She grabbed the bucket and turned toward the kitchen.
“That unscrupulous idiot, when he was born, I didn’t know if I had misplaced him with other kids. He didn’t want to pay off the debt and still bought his wife a new scarf.”
When she was alone, Miao Caifeng couldn’t help but hold the bucket and slap it. The strength on her hand was much heavier than usual.
These days, when she heard the news that her eldest son had made a little money, Miao Caifeng’s heart was very gratified. Although biased, she won’t curse her son because his life is getting better than theirs.
Miao Caifeng thought that if the other party could make money, they should pay off the debt as soon as possible. After everyone’s anger was subsidized, she was willing to reconcile and passed his second son’s child to her eldest son.
Last year, the government resumed the college entrance examination. The rural people who did not pay much attention to studying now saw the benefit of being literate. They usually sent their children to the commune primary school to study. However, they need to study for a higher grade to attend college. It will cost lots of money.
Miao Caifeng had considered this before. His younger son couldn’t earn enough money to support his two sons, let alone build a house for them and their wives.
She heard that in the city, the idea of giving three items dowry had been getting popular [T/N: From what I googled, they need to prepare these three items, bicycles, radio and a sewing machine or wristwatch]. Now the bride price is getting higher and higher. Every time she thought of the future of her grandsons and their granddaughter-in-law, this old lady got a headache. Since her eldest son had no possibility of having a child, she considered letting her eldest son adopts one of his nephews. In the future, this adopted son will be able to support his eldest son. It will also alleviate the burden of her second son. This is like killing two birds with one stone.
Of course, this was just Miao Caifeng’s wishful thinking. She knew in her heart that her eldest son had avoided them since the incident and may be unwilling to raise his nephew.
However, this does not prevent Miao Caifeng from expressing her views on her son’s money-spending activity. The conservative temper of the older generation was that they did not like debts. At this time, she did not hear anything about her eldest son paying off his debt with the hospital. To spend money to buy an unnecessary scarf for the wife was seen as purely a waste expense in Miao Caifeng’s view.
But who let them be separated now? This really made this old lady has no way to vent. She can only say a few words in the back. She can’t even reveal her dissatisfaction in the face of her younger son and daughter-in-law.
On the third day since Jiang Liu’s trip to the city, the team’s higher up, including Big Guan, finally came to a decision and broadcasted to the whole team early, asking them to gather at night. After dinner, everyone started to gather at the sundeck. Of course, those frail old ones and some working to feed the animal were excluded.
Those higher-up people couldn’t discuss this matter in a hush. Some people already knew about it before the meeting. It was just because there was no meeting, so they could not make a conclusive move. When they heard of the evening meeting, they finally had peace of mind concerning this big event.
During that night’s meeting, Big Guan briefly told the team that the department store in the city was willing to sign a contract with the team to provide them with the thatch handicraft. He then talked about Jiang Liu’s contribution towards this endeavour and his role as a leader for this project.
He continued to announce that the women and the elderly who can’t do heavy work will go to Jiang Liu to learn craftsmanship. Apart from the teaching fees they must pay for the first two years, the rest of the income will belong to them. For each complete work, it will be charged accordingly.
For the people on the team, this is an excellent money-making project. Compared with the money they will earn, they only need to separate one-tenth of it as a teaching fee.
However, Big Guan also reminded them that the raw materials needed for weaving, such as the thatched straw and bamboo shells, are classified as public. Everyone who wants to pick up the work has to spend money to buy materials from the team. The funds will be handed over to the country in the future.
Some villagers were dissatisfied with that. But Big Guan quickly explained that if they did not collect money for the raw material and sold the item made to the department store, the government might sue them for taking the capitalist road. After all, this is not a small project. After their team starts to earn money, there will be other people who will be eyeing them. Therefore, they need to cover everything from the base.
Fortunately, the price of the thatched grass was not high. As per their calculation, even though it will cost them around ten or twenty cents for the material, they should sell the finished product for at least forty cents each. If they minus the tuition fees, they can earn up to twenty to thirty cents per item. They will earn around two coins if they can make three items in one day. In one month, they might even be able to earn twenty to thirty yuan.
When did farmers ever have an opportunity to earn that much money?
Once everyone thinks about it, their heart cannot stop boiling.
“But I still need to remind you. The person responsible for working in the field should be there on time. I don’t care if you want to pitch any help to this project after returning home. I want to see if anyone dares to try to escape from working when they are supposed to. I also wanted to warn those who tried to be lazy by not attending the weaving lesson. In addition to the elderly who can’t work in the field, the women also need to do the farm work as usual. After you finish the work, no matter how much time you are willing to spend on the thatch, I don’t care.”
For farmers, fieldwork should be their priority. So most of them unanimously agreed with Big Guan. The members who were stunned by the ideal income began to wake up.
However, most of them know how to be satisfied. According to their current income, it is good that they can add several yuan each month.
“Liu-zi is truly open-minded.”
“That’s why we didn’t misread him. That child is frank.”
They started to rain Jiang Liu with praise. From now on, he is half of the team’s leader.
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