Hu Jun, a 50-year-old woman, has never been married and still lives with her parents.
At 9 o’clock in the morning, Hu Jun wakes up in a 150-square-meter duplex in Shanghai. The first thing she does is open her computer and check her clients’ emails. If she doesn’t have too many tasks for the day, she will take the comforter to the balcony to air it out and then make herself a cup of coffee while listening to podcasts. After a while, her septuagenarian parents will call her downstairs on time for a meal.
Twenty-five years ago, Hu Jun came from a small town in southern China to Shanghai and became one of the early computer graphic designers in the country. In the 1990s, when even being a millionaire was worth mentioning, she bought a house in Shanghai within two years for a total price of 1.35 million yuan and brought her parents to live with her.
Even now, this elderly couple still cooks, does laundry, and takes care of household chores for Hu Jun, just as they always have.
Hu Jun enjoys this single life. Sometimes, her hobby of handicrafts can occupy her entire afternoon as she processes pieces of fabric into exquisite handbags, wallets, and pencil cases. She showcases and sells them in her social circle, finding joy and contentment in doing so.
In earlier years, Hu Jun had another hobby—mountain climbing. Every two or three months, she would gather a few friends, equipped with professional gear, and go climbing. She left her footprints on mountains such as Mount Baima, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Everest. However, later on, these friends who climbed together got married or went abroad, and as she saw her companions one by one returning to their families, she rarely went climbing anymore.
Now, Hu Jun’s regular activity each week is to have tea and a meal with her best friend. Her best friend is one year older and is also unmarried and childless. In 2018, they began seeking a place for their old age.
The two of them visited a top-level elderly care institution in Hangzhou and saw the young and professional rehabilitation team there. Hu Jun thought to herself that when it comes to elderly care, it should be entrusted to professionals. She turned to the manager and asked, “How much does it cost to live here if someone becomes completely paralyzed?” The manager replied, “It’s approximately 30,000 yuan per month.” They both considered their assets and then smiled at each other, saying, “Okay, no problem.”
However, in the second year, Hu Jun suddenly felt confused and fearful about her unmarried and childless life. That year, her best friend was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and she and her best friend’s husband went to the hospital together to provide care. The surgery lasted from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and Hu Jun didn’t leave until her friend regained consciousness from anesthesia. When she returned home, she couldn’t help but burst into tears in front of her parents, saying, “What would I do if this happened to me?”