When her mother lives with her, the most embarrassing moment for Lulu is not that her mother throws her sexy underwear away. Nor is it when mum finds her adult video collections and black condoms in her drawer. It's the moment when Chen calls from the United States and her mother picks up the phone. Chen is Lulu's childhood friend from a small town in the South. At that time, Lulu was the best student in sports and academics. Because her father was a teacher, she was able to speak perfect Putonghua, which was considered a symbol of status. Thus, she was deemed a princess. Chen was her quiet admirer. By the time Lulu was admitted to the best university in Beijing, he failed his college entrance examination. But he studied hard. His sole motivation was to join Lulu in Beijing. A year later, he got into the English major programme in the same university with her. Since both of them were new to Beijing, Chen thought it would be a good chance to develop their relationship since they didn't have many friends. Lulu saw through him, but she had never thought of him in a romantic way. After all, she had bettered the man in virtually every area including height. One was too shy to claim his love and the other pretended she didn't know anything, so the two acted as normal friends. After graduation, Lulu became a magazine editor in Beijing and Chen was hired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They both became success stories for a small town. Six years later, Chen has become a promising diplomat working in the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC. Before leaving for DC, he was afraid of being a lonely celibate in America. So he selected a woman from many Chinese girls who dreamed of being the wife of a foreign diplomat in the United States. His wife is a traditional Chinese woman: that is to say, thin, shy, quiet, worshipful of her man, and not too smart. Lulu's star has lost some lustre after she lost her job because one of her colleagues got the position Lulu qualified for after sleeping with the owner of the company. She is a 30-something, still poor and single with a broken heart from several failed love affairs. To make things even worse, her mother has moved to Beijing to live with her. She now has no privacy whatsoever. When Chen calls Lulu from overseas, there is much to talk about. He wants to tell her about the beautiful cherry blossoms in Washington, the different ethnic foods along the embassy row, and the art galleries and museums. But Lulu isn't home. Her mother answers the phone. She has seen Chen grow up. Hearing his voice from the other side of the Earth, she bursts into tears. 'Chen, I knew that you were such a good boy from the very beginning,' she says. 'I knew that you'd be excellent some day. I always had the wish that you and Lulu would become a pair when you were young. But I didn't want to interfere because I thought kids should have their own choices. Before Lulu's father died, his biggest dream was to have Lulu bring him back a nice boy. Such a simple wish still hasn't come true yet. Chen, my good boy, tell me, what's wrong with our Lulu? Is it that she is not beautiful enough? Is she too independent? Is she too old?' As her mother is talking, Lulu returns home, overhearing everything. She can't hear Chen's answers, but it's clear that now all those cold shoulders she had given to Chen when they were young are being returned. Chen has his revenge now. She feels a deep sense of defeat. Her previous victories over him from grades to love are overthrown, and become just history with no current value. Henry Kissinger said that the ultimate aphrodisiac is power. Between them, two friends and two rivals, she is the failure who is betrayed by her own mother. It's a power game in reverse. Her mother hangs up as she rushes into the room. Lulu suppresses her rage, but her voice still trembles. 'Mother, even I'm in the lowest of the low. I thought that I still had my pride, but just then, my last pride and privacy was taken away! Game, set, match. I've just lost to Chen 40-love!' 'Totally submitting without pride is a winning strategy in Sun Tzu's The Art of War, ' her mother says. Lulu is confused. 'What do you mean?' Her mother smiles like a flower. 'Lulu, I just used fake weeping to test him,' she says soothingly. He still has feelings for you. Can you win him back? I want to be the mother-in-law of a diplomat and see cherry blossoms!'