A Lively Personality Beats Looks
Iknow two twin sisters who are not very physically attractive. The first sister has been married to a photographer for eight years and he is infatuated with her. He often posts photos of his wife on social media. Each picture is full of affection.
Conversely, the second sister has been divorced twice, either for domestic abuse, or her ex-husband’s affairs. The strangest thing is that even her parents think it was her fault and felt deeply for his sonsin-law. Had the second sister done something terrible? No. She is just negative about life and a complete pessimist. She is good at finding faults in everything and seeing the repulsive rather than the beauty. She always has something to complain about.
I will give two simple examples.
The first concerns driving. The first sister’s husband has no sense of direction. Every time he drives, he is in a complete mess. He cannot even remember somewhere he has passed a million times and is often forced to make a detour. The kind first sister does not seem to mind, saying, “Just take your time, I like being in the car.” She then talks happily with the other passengers and gossips about this and that. If there is no one to talk to, she looks out the window at the trees beside the road and seems perfectly happy, telling her husband jokes such as, “One guy’s dad is really superstitious. He thinks his son is lacking in the
1 wood element, so he made him
accept a tree as his godfather.” One day, after her husband had taken an accidental detour into the country side, turning a journey that should only have taken less than an hour into a three-hour trip, the sister said happily, “This is the way better. We get to have an outing at the same time. I haven’t seen cows for a long time.”
The second sister’s ex-husband had no sense of direction either, and would make detours too, but he would pay for it. The sister would keep criticizing him from the time they set off till they reached their destination. She would say things like, “You idiot, we clearly should have just exited the highway.” “Are you blind? Did you not see the one-way sign?” “That fool just tried to overtake us. Hurry up and overtake him! Are you a man?” She also did not approve of her husband using GPS because she thought it was too noisy. At one point, her husband was on the verge of severe depression.
The second concerns traveling. The second sister had just married her first husband and they were still in the honeymoon. They went traveling in east China with her elder sister and her sister’s husband, just the four of them. Having finished traveling around Shanghai, they were resting at a train station getting ready to go to Hangzhou and the men had gone to buy tickets. Back then, there was a train to Hangzhou every half an hour. They chose the 4 o’clock train, which turned out to be running late, and the later three trains all departed before it. All of a sudden, the second sister threw a fit and spent the hour-anda-half wait constantly criticizing her husband for choosing that train. She called him an “idiot, with water on the brain who had never gotten a thing right in his life.” She basically said his whole life he had been a waste of oxygen and that he should just throw himself on the tracks and die.
The first sister tried to persuade the other that it was pointless to complain and that she was better off doing a crossword puzzle with her husband. The two of them had a good time and exclaimed how the time flew by while they were waiting for the train.
They both had to wait for an hour and a half, but for the unhappy sister, seconds seemed like a year, whereas for the other sister, the time flew by.
Many people would ask the happy sister’s husband, “In your job you must meet all kinds of beautiful women, why do you love just your wife?” He would say, “Because only with her do I feel happy all the time.” Once, he went to Paris to do a fashion shoot, accompanied by some beautiful and sexy models. He missed his wife more than anything when the models all started complaining that the Wi-Fi signal in Paris was rubbish, that the train stations were dirty, that Parisians were inefficient, and that there were lots of liars and thieves about.
Author Eileen Chang once said, “What did Emperor Xuanzong (685– 762) of the Tang Dynasty love about
Yang Guifei? It was not her beauty, but her lively nature.” Not all women can live out their days in fun. The differences between women are not just about their education and talent. Sometimes what determines fate is just a small difference in the way of thinking.
(From Modern Women, May 2015. Translation: Trans)
1. In Chinese philosophy, wood, sometimes translated as Tree, is the first phase of the Five elements, a fivefold conceptual scheme that many traditional Chinese fields used to explain a wide array of phenomena. Among the Five elements, Wood ( 木mù), Fire ( 火 huǒ), Earth ( 土 tǔ), Metal ( 金 jīn), and Water ( 水 shuǐ), wood stands for springtime, the east, the planet Jupiter, the color green, windy weather, and the Azure Dragon (Qing Long) in Four Symbols. 2. Yang Yuhuan, often known as Yang Guifei, literally: “Imperial Consort Yang,” (with Guifei being the highest rank for imperial consorts during her time), was known as one of the Four Beauties of ancient China. She was the beloved consort of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang during his later years.