As a 23-year-old only child from a working-class family from Shanghai, I am in no rush to find a girlfriend. But marriage at a young age in China is considered the norm right now. My parents certainly think it should be. Since I got a job, they’ve now and then asked me euphemistically, “Do you have a direction?” By “direction,” they mean a girlfriend—one with whom I’m in a stable and serious relationship, and can bring home to visit at the Chinese New Year.
My mother didn’t force me to go to the matchup event. She just hinted that I should—every time we talked on the phone. “Nothing wrong with just having a look,” she told me. So here I was, dressed decently, and looking at a huge noticeboard, on which I saw my picture alongside hundreds of others, and below it the words:
Education: Master’s degree
Birthdate: july 1995
Yearly salary: …