In that day and age, when a woman got married, she would need three major items: a bike, a sewing machine, and a watch.
In the first few years, he was paid less than 10 yuan.
After joining The Party and became a squad leader, his salary gradually improved.
Now, the military academy did not need any tuition fees.
After graduation, his salary would definitely increase, but that would have to wait for him to graduate.
This was why Ah Jin refused to get married.
The marriage would drag Li Damai.
The cost of living of so many people pressed on him was unrealistic.
Jianyun was unable to persuade Ah Jin and went out in a huff.
He had to write to his second brother to complain.
After the second child received the letter, his heart was also helpless.
It was useless to complain to him.
The eldest sister wouldn't listen to him too.
The school was still one or two months away.
The second child applied for family leave.
For so many years as a soldier, he returned home once or twice only.
It was not that he did not want to go back, but the distance was too far.
He could not afford the cost.
He went to the city first to find Li Damai.
The two rode their bikes back to the county, and Ah Jin was delighted to see them.
They came back together, for sure, with the intention at hand.
During the meal, Ah Jin asked, "What is the purpose of you all coming back today? Don't mention the exams. I won't agree to it."
Counting the first campus task, Ah Jin had already taken the college entrance exam twice.
It was crazy to want to take it three times.
Jianfu saw that Ah Jin was so determined, so he stopped insisting.
”Okay, if you don't want to take the exam, then you don't have to. So let's talk about your marriage."
Li Damai was in high spirits.
"Yes, Zhaodi, it's time for us to get married."
Jianfu then said, "I have inquired, third brother's school and I are free of tuition fees, and do not have to pay for living expenses. They are paid by the school! The only thing you need to take care of now is fourth brother and yourself."
Ah Jin added, "The school at most gives you about 10 yuan a month. How could it be enough? You still have to get married and buy things, aren't these all money?"
Before Jianfu could say anything, Li Damai first said, "I have money. I’ll pay for them!"
Ah Jin looked at him.
"Shut up, we are not married yet. You have no say here."
Li Damai shrank back and lowered his head in resignation.
Jianyun looked at her and said, "I'll be assigned a job after I graduate. I can earn my own money. I don't need your money to get married!"
Jianfu also said, "After graduation, the school will also arrange a position for me. At that time of marriage, I have no need to spend money when I can live in the military compound."
The fourth child also looked at Ah Jin, "Eldest sister, go ahead and get married. I want a brother-in-law. I think Brother Damai is quite good."
Ah Jin looked at the group of united people and figured her task was almost over, so she agreed.
The next day Ah Jin asked Li Damai to take her on his bike to go shopping.
In the 70s, there were three essential items for the start of the school year, the "Red Double Happiness" enamel washbasin, the national bed sheet printed with peony flowers, and a handful of enamel tea jars.
Ah Jin also bought several pens and several new notebooks.
The second child did not need to take those to the military academy.
The school would issue a uniform. These were for the third child, Jianyun.
Two fountain pens were given to the second child at home, and the rest were put in a rainbow-colored net pocket for him.