Phonecalls from distant in-laws typically mean trouble.
Festivals are a good reason for family to get in touch and today is the Mid Autumn Festival which meant double-trouble. YY's immediate family are great, but her more distant family have a tendency to call when they want something. Typically favours are small or easily dismissed (requests for loans, or help getting a friend's daughter into Cambridge university) but occasionally they're much more interesting.
Today, a cousin (表姐) called. She is about 7 months pregnant, the same as YY but she already has a daughter. She has presumably heard that we are (probably) going to have a son. She honestly and plainly put forward the following proposal.
If she has another daughter and we do have a son, she wanted to know if we would swap.
Apparently this sort of thing isn't entirely uncommon in the countryside, although YY has educated her in the fact that this isn't common or, indeed, acceptable to us city folk.
Another cousin (表妹) also called. She surprised us a few weeks ago by ringing to say that she was married to some fellow that she'd met 4 weeks earlier. At the time, she said she didn't like him particularly but felt that as she was heading into her mid-20s it was time to get married. Oddly enough she'd rung to say that they'd got into a fight, that she hated him, and she wanted a divorce.
Clearly arranged marriages might have been a thing of the past, in a time when husbands could do pretty much anything they wanted and wives sullenly accepted their lot. Clearly an awful lot of women in China today are (given the increase in divorces) stuck in the middle of two competing imperatives. They still feel they should get married before they're 25, quickly have children, etc. on the one hand, but they also are better educated and have higher expectations than previous generations. This is probably going to result in ever increasing divorce and indeed murder rates...