For the first time, Xinran didn’t show up to our weekly Downton Abbey night. Without her, we fell out of the teenage numbers: twelve mothers spread across the La-Z-Boy set at Liping’s. Xinran said she had joined the group to work on her English, but we spoke to each other in Mandarin, and besides, her English couldn’t be good enough to understand the show. She probably wanted an excuse to have company, like the rest of us. We would never shell out twenty dollars for a movie ticket and a gallon of popcorn in downtown Lexington, Kentucky; none of us were that American. But we enjoyed Liping’s every Sunday. Suits and dresses screamed and sobbed on surround sound—a soundtrack that allowed us to forget, if just for an hour, the tantrums of our own adolescent children.
Five minutes into the episode, Liping cleared her throat. Those of us she had already told pursed our lips. Liping splayed her long fingers out on her iPhone and read the magnified words in English. Michael had posted the article on his Facebook earlier that day. The headline: “To the Mother I Love.” Xinran’s son on the byline; date, today; Huffington Post, "Queer Voices"… Read more »