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  • How To Make Grandma Nun Too Happy

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Love/Romance, Top

    (I am Asian. I work as a cashier at a supermarket. Today I get one of my great-aunts in line. We chat as I am checking out her groceries.)

    Aunt: “So have you found anyone yet, [Name]?”

    Me: “Not yet, Auntie.”

    Aunt: “Well, [My Grandma] is getting anxious, you know. She wants great-grandchildren.”

    Me: “She already has great-grandchildren, Auntie. My cousins have kids, remember?”

    Aunt: “Then, your parents! They want to see you married and settled with grandchildren!”

    (My parents have never made any such demands of me, nor made any indication of such being expected. I remain calm and polite, as I am still at work and my great-aunt is a paying customer.)

    Me: *changing the subject slightly* “I think my sister would have something to say about that!”

    (My sister is both older than me and already married.)

    Aunt: “Oh, yes, that’s right! She did the right thing, you know; marrying properly.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Aunt: “She married that nice [regional Chinese] boy. Not just [other Chinese], but [regional Chinese], like us. Proper. Your grandma said so.”

    (I am appalled, all the more so because she’s utterly sincere.)

    Me: “…I thought she was joking?”

    Aunt: “Oh no! Very serious. She was quite upset when [My Cousin] married that Vietnamese boy. And all these others, gwailo (white people) and…”

    (She goes on a tirade about not marrying outside the group. I am speechless.)

    Me: “Your total is [amount], Auntie.”

    Aunt: “Oh, I bought too much again! Ah, the boys will eat it. See you soon, [My Name]!”

    (I automatically wave goodbye, still dumbfounded. Finally, she’s bagged her things and gone.)

    Me: *thinking out loud* “Screw this. I might as well join a convent.”

    Next Customer: “I don’t think that’d work for a bright young girl like you, sweetheart.”

    (It is at this point I realize both my new customers are wearing habits and veils.)

    Me: “Oh, crap! Sorry, Sisters.”

    Nun #1: “Don’t be!”

    Nun #2: “We heard what she said. You love who want, when you want, in your own good time.”

    Nun #1: “Besides, running off to a convent doesn’t work like that these days. You need a vocation.”

    (She leans forward to take my hand.)

    Nun #1: “And convent life isn’t all that cracked up to be! You’re a good girl, and a lovely person. We always look for you when we stop by, you know. Take your time to figure out your path.”

    Nun #2: “And if it does lead to us, at least you’ll be prepared! Either way, have faith. Bless you, dear!”

    (I finish ringing them up, and they go on their way. My supervisor walks over.)

    Supervisor: “You all right?”

    (I shrug, dazed.)

    Supervisor: “Go take your break. You’re due for one, anyway.”

    (One of the weirdest and most heartwarming shifts I ever had!)