Sugar-Coated Haws and Hibiscus Cake

Ma'ertai Ruoxi (Cecilia Liu / Liu Shishi) in 2011 Chinese Drama Scarlet Heart / Startling by Each Step / Bubu Jingxin

Ruoxi: I loved to eat sugar-coated haws when I was young, finding them crisp, sweet and tangy. It was a refreshing experience to taste them once in a while. Later on, my father thought them unhygienic and refused to buy them for me, but that only made their taste even more unforgettable in my mind. I always thought that they were the most delectable food under the sun. Although I also liked the hibiscus cake I usually had, I felt that sugar-coated haws were superior. One day, I finally got to eat sugar-coated haws again. What do you think I felt, Your Highness?

Yin’e (a prince forced to marry another woman instead of Ruoxi years ago): You must be over the moon.

Ruoxi: Wrong, I felt disappointed, greatly disappointed. At that instant, I wondered, this snack is not unpalatable, but it definitely cannot hold a candle to hibiscus cakes, so why did I think that it is more delicious than hibiscus cakes? I then tried not eating hibiscus cakes for three months and found myself missing them terribly. Only then did I realize that what I loved most was the hibiscus cake. Your Highness, I am the sugar-coated haws, and Her Highness is the hibiscus cake. The hibiscus cake is always within reach, so you do not find it special as time passes. Sugar-coated haws, in contrast, have become tastier in your memory because you cannot have them. If, however, you were to lose your hibiscus cake one day, you would discover that it is what you love most dearly.

Season of Waiting                         The Drama

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Prince Yinzhen (4th Prince) Imagining Princess Minmin as Ruoxi in the Farewell Dance Ruoxi choreographed for Prince Yinxiang (13th Prince) and Princess Minmin in Scarlet Heart (Bu Bu Jing Xin)

Happiness, it is said, is the ultimate object of love. A person in love experiences or tries to bring himself and/or the other party pleasure, whether this is achieved through care-taking, physical gestures, moral support or imbuing life with additional hues of meaning. What if, however, the same or even greater happiness can be obtained in situations devoid of love?

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