Both in the past and present life, he had never experienced this kind of situation surrounded by busybody relatives working together to urge marriage. Tao Mu, who had never experienced this kind of plot even during filming, was completely dumbfounded.
This kind of being pulled by the hand by the elders of the family, while being all kinds of both directly and indirectly asked when were they going to get engaged, when were they going to get married, where and when will the wedding ceremony be held, whether they were going to wear a Western suit or traditional Chinese marriage clothing, whether they prefer a boy or a girl…..
If not for his good manners and high endurance, Tao Mu would really want to explode.
Why must he go through such a bizarre interrogation when he just wanted to order a suit and get his measurements done before the awards ceremony?!
The smile on Tao Mu’s face almost stiffened. Taking advantage of the brief moment that the elders of the Li family were not paying attention, he glared at Li Xiaoheng fiercely.
Li Xiaoheng, since the winter vacation after reaching 19 years old, having experienced a wave of marriage urges at every family gathering such that now he had become very calm and unperturbed to the point he could even ignore the words of the family elders as background sound, could only rub his nose sheepishly. In his heart he was already privately pondering which was better to use, a computer keyboard or a washboard.
Tao Mu spent more than an hour in the Li family house when the designer from Shanghai finally arrived.
The old gentleman, surnamed Wu, was over sixty years old but appeared to be very well maintained. He had a wrinkle free face, and his hands were slender and fair, even more beautiful than the hands of many girls. He wore a pair of reading glasses, arm sleeves, and a tape measure around his neck. When taking his measurements, the tape measure danced gracefully between his fingertips, the slow movements looking particularly soothing and leisurely. Moreover, when chatting with him while taking his measurements, he spoke with the kind of accent that was unique to the people of Shanghai, and it seemed that even time had become leisurely.
Tao Mu had just experienced a wave of marriage urges, so his anxiety was immediately comforted. He looked at Mr. Wu with some curiosity. He had lived in Shanghai for ten years in his last life, but he had never seen or even heard of this old gentleman before.
But this was normal, come to think about it. In his last life, when he was in the Shen family, the custom of the Shen family members was to fly to Italy to have famous designers design and customize their clothes. As for him and Shen Yu, because of their endorsements, they needed to wear clothing provided by the brand on every major occasion. So there was no chance to have any contact with domestic designers. Let alone know that the old-school designers in China chat with customers like this when they take their customers’ measurements.
It felt very comfortable. Unlike the designers and stylists in the fashion industry that Tao Mu had impressions of, always in a hurry and rushing each time they collaborate, as if they were preparing for a fight.
Seemingly noticing Tao Mu’s mood, Mr. Wu smiled slightly and said leisurely: “Making clothes should be a very happy thing. When I was young, domestic materials were still very scarce. At that time, it was not popular to buy ready-made clothes. During the New Year, people would go to the supply store to buy cloth with cloth tickets and then either make it yourself or ask a tailor to make it. If you ask a tailor to make it, you would give two yuan for the handwork. Later, the market got better. Some people would ask friends or relatives to bring back fashionable clothes from Hong Kong. The situation for us old tailors gradually became quite embarrassing. Fortunately, the elder Mr. Li has been taking care of my business.”
When Grandpa Li heard this, he smiled warmly: “It’s all because of your good craftsmanship. Our family likes to wear clothes made by you. I’m not used to wearing clothes bought from outside.”
Even big international brands were tailored according to the physique and body movement of Westerners. Grandpa Li had been wearing tailor-made clothes all his life, and he was not used to wearing the clothes bought outside. In any case he was getting old and didn’t want to chase fashion, so he didn’t bother to trouble himself. But he didn’t expect his family to do the same. In the end, it became a custom of the Li family to have Mr. Wu make clothes before family gatherings.
Now Tao Mu was also brought by Li Xiaoheng to take his measurements at the Li family house. The elders of the Li family were all tacitly aware and were just waiting for the day when the two made their relationship public and announced their marriage——
However, considering Tao Mu’s age and occupation, it was estimated that this day would have to wait.
After taking the measurements and choosing the fabric and style, the whole afternoon had passed. Seeing that it was dinner time, Father Li and Mother Li had Tao Mu stay for another meal. They also specially instructed the kitchen to cook some of Tao Mu’s favorite dishes. Fortunately, the Li family didn’t have the habit of persuading guests to eat more or adding more food to their guest’s plate. They just kept reminding Li Xiaoheng to serve Tao Mu’s vegetables and peel the shrimps for him.
Only then did Tao Mu notice that the men in the Li family at the dining table were all peeling shrimp for their wives and daughters, even the elderly grandfather Li was no exception.
Noticing Tao Mu’s scrutiny, Grandma Li explained with a kindly smile: “It is the pride of the Li family men to be able to peel shrimp for his wife. Only married men are qualified to peel shrimp for the other half. Single people can only eat by themselves.”
The currently single second brother Li, third brother Li and the other juniors of the Li family: “…..”
Just after the youngest aunt had finished urging Li Xiaoheng and Tao Mu, she turned her sights and started urging second brother Li: “…..You say, you arw not too young anymore, even if you don’t want to get married yet, shouldn’t you still find a girlfriend? If you ask me, marriage alliances are not so bad. At least through blind dates you can also meet people, right? You children reject blind dates, and you all want to have free love. But the key is that if you want free love, you should bring one back home, right…..”
Second brother Li couldn’t swallow the food in his mouth. As expected his biggest headache was family gatherings. Do these elders have misunderstandings about the children in the family? During high school, puppy love was not allowed, and during college, the children were told to complete their schoolwork well and never fail a course. After graduating from college, they then began to urge marriage.
Couldn’t you guys give him time to find someone to fall in love with in the first place!
Second brother Li peeled a shrimp for himself in a particularly depressed manner. And continue to shovel food into his mouth.
The third brother Li and the youngest sister Li exchanged looks with concern. And vowed to find someone right after entering college. Must definitely avoid being urged to marry by their youngest aunt at the age of twenty-two, and be tricked out for blind dates through all kinds of excuses!
This meal was probably the most difficult meal Tao Mu had ever eaten. He was embarrassed by the diligent kindly reminders of the Li elders, embarrassed by youngest aunt Li’s marriage urging, and embarrassed by the direct and indirect hints from father Li and mother Li. Anyway, by the end of i, when any Li family member even spoke up, Tao Mu would feel his heart tremble.
In this way, Li Xiaoheng managed to feed him three bowls of rice without his awareness! Now after going back this evening he had to exercise to lose weight! Depressed!
When he finally left the Li family house, it was already very late.
Li Xiaoheng drove Tao Mu home. On the way, he actively apologized: “…..I didn’t expect the whole family to come over. Did it scare you?”
“A bit.” Tao Mu admitted frankly. After a pause, he added: “But this feeling is quite novel.”
Although a little annoyed, he could feel the kindness and care of the elders. This atmosphere was completely different from the Shen family. When Tao Mu lived with the Shen family in his last life, the relatives of the Shen family were either polite and aloof, or flattering and ingratiating, or malicious and rejectful of him. Even if there was intentions to introduce him to potential boyfriends and girlfriends, it had various motives behind it. They were not at all like the youngest aunt of the Li family, just purely urging marriage and didn’t even care who it was. Just casting the net and sweeping thousands of troops, as long as the junior members of the Li family were over twenty-two years old, none would be spared.
Listening to Mother Li’s words, apparantly the youngest aunt of the Li family also acted the same way at her in-law’s house. Even at the family company, she very enthusiastically made matches for young and single employees. The Li family did not have the rule that female family members could not enter the family company. On the contrary, all the children of the Li family, male or female, have to enter the company for internship experience since high school. Start as an intern assistant, a tea boy, a post-it girl, and taking turns at each department. First familiarizing themselves with the company’s daily management process and department structure. After starting university, they would have to stay in the company to work during the winter and summer vacations every year to earn their own living expenses and tuition fees. If you really didn’t want to work in the family business, you could start your own business or apply to work at another company.
For example, Li Xiaoheng hated the family business as well as the step-by-step laid out path. Therefore, Xiaoheng Capital was established from the beginning of his freshman year. Later, it even became a powerful support for the family.
“Actually, the children of the Li family all hate working in the family business.” Li Xiaoheng recalled with a smile: “You can imagine it, for a child who had just graduated from junior high school, if some boys develop late, they may not even be as tall as the water dispenser yet they are pressured by the elders in the family to work in the company. Other children could travel abroad during the summer vacation, but not the children of the Li family. The fourteen- or fifteen-year-old children are already in the rebellious period of their youth. When I was first forced to work at the company by my dad, I even called the police, complaining that Fengxing Group employs child labor.”
Tao Mu’s eyes widened in astonishment. He didn’t expect that Li Xiaoheng looked so mature and calm, yet there was actually a time when he was such a brat: “What happened then?”
“Of course it turned out to be useless.” Li Xiaoheng recalled his childhood and couldn’t help laughing: “My dad took me home from the police station and asked me if I didn’t want to work in the family business, what do I want to do in the future?”
“I said I like to play. I want to just eat, drink, and play for the rest of my life.” Anyway, the Li family had money and could afford to support a hedonistic rich kid.
“I told my dad, I want to be like Luo Yang. The Luo family doesn’t even have as much money as our family does. So how come Luo Yang can have his father buy whatever he wants, and Luo Yang doesn’t even have to go to work in the family business. He can just play outside every day.”
Then Father Li asked Li Xiaoheng what he wanted to play.
“My dad made a plan, and put aside two months to fly with me around the world. Forcing me to play everything I wanted to play.”
Tao Mu chuckled and said, “Isn’t that good?”
Li Xiaoheng gave Tao Mu a resentful look with the pained expression of one who could not bear to look back, and explained, “I said I wanted to go to the amusement park. My dad forced me to go to Disneyland in America. From eight o’clock in the mornimg to ten o’clock in the evening, other than eating and going to the toilet every day, I just kept playing various amusement park rides. Each one playing 20 times, 30 times, 40 times, and after finished playing, I had to write a reflection paper. I said that I like car racing, so he took me to the F1 training ground, still every day from eight o’clock in the morning to ten o’clock in the evening. Even sleeping I had to spend it on the plane…..”
Tao Mu envisioned that scene and then couldn’t help feeling pity for the fourteen/fifteen year old Li Xiaoheng.
“I couldn’t hold on anymore after two months.” Li Xiaoheng also laughed: “I surrendered. I said I didn’t want to play anything anymore. So my dad took me back to the company and gave me a long stack of bills and told me to pay back the money. If I don’t pay back, he will cut off my pocket money and living expenses. Until all the money was paid back.”
Li Xiaoheng had no choice but to go to work and pay back the money. The children of the Li family have had their own pocket money since elementary school, allowing them to calculate how much money to spend each month. They could buy whatever they wanted to buy. But if they spent too much, then it would just be gone. Don’t expext to be given any more that month. Because of father Li’s requirement that Li Xiaoheng must split half of his pocket money to pay the debt, Li Xiaoheng lived a life of hardship at a young age. So from that time onwards, Li Xiaoheng developed the mindset of wanting to make a lot of money, making quick money and hating playing. This was also an important reason why even though the Li family business was clearly involved in industry, but their eldest son and grandson Li Xiaoheng chose international finance when he was in college, and founded Xiaoheng Capital as soon as he went to college, and resolutely refusing to go home to inherit the family business.
As a result, when it spread to the outside world, the rumor became that of a fierce infighting between the father and son of the Li family. Li Xiaoheng escaped to the US to establish Xiaoheng Capital with the intention of coming back and restraining the family business.
Tao Mu couldn’t help feeling amusement when he heard this, and laughed out loud unwittingly.
“At that time, I really hated the rules of the Li family. And I thought our family was very weird. After graduating from college, my youngest aunt woupd always persuade my mother to get me to go on a blind date every day, and even had my mother pretend to be sick in order to trick me to come back to China for a blind date.”
“At that time, I actually planned to focus my career in the US, and very likely wouldn’t come back in the future. Probably they all saw though my intention, and for fear that I really stayed in the US and wouldn’t come back, so they tossed about so much.”
After all, except for Li Xiaoheng, mother Li and youngest aunt Li did not resort to using such methods such as pretending to be sick to trick him to go on blind dates on other juniors in the family.
When Li Xiaoheng spoke up to here, he suddenly smiled and held Tao Mu’s hand while waiting for the red light: “Fortunately, I met you. I decided to shift the focus of my career back to China. Our family is also very relieved. Now they don’t toss about anymore.”
The youngest aunt and mother Li were indeed not tossing around anymore. However, father Li began to needle him in various ways, expressing disdain towards his son’s incompetence, and worrying that his son would be dumped by his future wife.
But such shameful things was better left unmentioned!
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
“Actually, thinking about it, although our family is a bit annoying, we are a family after all.” Li Xiaoheng stared into Tao Mu’s eyes and said warmly, “If you feel annoyance, please don’t be angry. You can punish me to kneel on a washing board or on a computer keyboard.”
Tao Mu: “…..” Why did the topic turn to here?!
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