The downside of playing gooseberry
Ihave been playing gooseberry or the “chaperone” ever since my sister met her then boyfriend and now husband five years ago. My sister and I grew up together and are very close, so we went on many trips together. She took her husband on our most recent trip.
We had planned to go to Egypt, but it did not work out, and we decided to go to Fujian Province instead. Her husband had been busy at work, and it was a great opportunity for him to have a long holiday.
It was a bad decision to travel with a couple, even if they are my sister and brother-in-law.
It’s not because they are lovey-dovey. Unlike other couples, they don’t display affection in public places. It’s because of their fights. It was really embarrassing.
For the first two days in Xiamen, Fujian Province, everything was all right. On the third day, they began quarreling from time to time.
One night a big fight broke out on the way back to the hotel. We were staying at a homestay-style hotel located in a small hutong and lost our way. My sister had let her husband lead us with smartphone navigation, and he directed us to a dark lane, claiming that we should pass through it.
My sister disagreed, saying it might be dangerous because it was too dark inside. Then they had a big fight on the street, yelling at each other. I was embarrassed and didn’t know whose side to take.
In the end, my sister’s husband and I had to chase after my sister as she ran back to the hotel. She ran very fast and many times went the wrong way. I wasted a great night running on the street with an angry couple and was exhausted when we reached the hotel.
Within half an hour they made up. I was worrying about whether the trip would affect their relationship when I heard them laughing and chatting like they never fought. I breathed a sigh of relief, but the awkwardness never went away.
The good times didn’t last long. Two days later an even bigger fight broke out over a trivial matter. My sister’s husband was opening the window in the hotel room when his fingers got caught in the window frame.
He was furious and shouted at my sister, blaming her for pushing the window wrongly. My sister shouted back in a louder voice, and I was sure that the hotel manager, other people in the hotel, even people in the neighboring hotel all heard.
I kept silent. My sister kicked her husband out of the room and forced him to look for a room by himself, which he did.
The next morning was also wasted due to the fight. We spent the entire day in the hotel; they had a long conversation, and I played games on my phone. Although they made up again, I was too tired to witness another fight.
I will never let them take me on a trip in the future. I would rather stay home and play computer games alone, which is better than playing gooseberry.