Disagreement between a mother and a daughter

Throughout my childhood, my maternal grandmother often visited our house to spend several days with us. Since we lived far away from each other, I was always delighted whenever my mother announced my grandmother’s visit.

I absolutely loved spending time with my grandmother, but there was another thing that I always secretly looked forward to – seeing my own mother, who looked indomitable in our house, being scolded by her mother.

Although my grandmother was overall very supportive of my mother, there were certain things she couldn’t help making comments about. Sometimes it was the way my mother dressed herself, and sometimes, it was the way she arranged things in the house. My grandmother would be most upset whenever she found out that my mother had failed to utilize the vegetables and her handmade food items that she had regularly sent to my mother in a package. “Why do you wasted these things like this?” she would scold my mother, and I would hide a secret grin upon seeing the one person who never got scolded in the house being scolded by her own mother.

One evening, my grandmother, my mother and I were having supper. It was a busy day, and my mother had prepared a rice bowl for each of us for a quick supper. My grandmother looked uncomfortable seeing only one dish in front of her. In a traditional Japanese cuisine, there are usually several different dishes, each carrying a different function. Raised in a modern era and being fond of a rice bowl, I was very happy with the content of the supper, but my grandmother was not.

Soon after we started eating, my grandmother said she wished she had a few more dishes, especially a miso soup. My mother looked at her and said in a firm voice,

“You have to eat what is offered to you, Mother. This is absolutely a fine meal.”

My grandmother resumed eating and made a few more remarks about how she wished the dinner had been while my mother’s irritation grew bigger. Just when I thought this could develop into a nasty battle, my grandmother neatly placed her chopsticks on her bowl and sipped her tea.

“Aren’t you eating anymore?”

My mother said half suspiciously, half concerned.

In a traditional Japanese cuisine, one of the side dishes is called “the resting place for the chopsticks.” It is the dish you eat whenever you want to have a break from the main dishes to clear your taste bud. My grandmother was startled upon hearing my mother’s voice, and said,

“So, because there’s no resting place for the chopsticks in this meal, I suppose my chopsticks decided to take a real rest! “

Then my mother and my grandmother burst into laughter. I didn’t get what was so funny about the comment, and looked curiously at the two grown-up women laughing hard in front of me. In any case, the tension was gone, and the mother and the daughter seemed to have reached a silent agreement about the dinner.