Give me scars, give me pain, and then say to me…

[Fighter – Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder]

I grew up with my paternal grandparents from two until eight, because my parents were off studying in Thailand so that they could get a visa to study and work in Australia. I never really got to see them often. The times that I remember were either for end-of-year holidays if they had time, when they took me to Thailand with them for a few months when I was in kindergarten, and when my mom’s mom died.

I remember once, when my mom was taking me out, I was wearing mittens. I didn’t get to hang out with my own mother often, so I was seizing the opportunity – and reveling in this new concept of a mother-daughter bond. I would hold up one finger inside the mitten, and she had to guess which finger it was. She always got it right, but I don’t know how she did it (to this day). She told me that because she was my mother, she had to know such things; mothers can read their daughters’ minds.

Sometimes I think about when I stopped believing in that concept. Sometimes I wonder where the turning point was, that my mother went from being able to guess what her daughter had under a mitten, to not being able to be told who she has under her blanket. If my mother could read my mind, she would know how much I’d want her to know, and not only that, but to accept and be happy for it.


When we kiss, they’re perfectly aligned

[Such Great Heights – Iron and Wine cover]

My relationship with my mother has been improving lately. That is not to say that at times she inexplicably explodes at me, or something she’d do just make me lose faith in her completely – it’s a disheartening thing to think of your mother ‘ this is why I hate people’ (and I know it sounds harsh, but my mother’s view, for someone who’s meant to be a ‘minority’, is shockingly racist and narrow-minded).

But, apart from that, on a very basic level, things have gotten a bit better. She’s still strict on matters that confounds me, but she’s more lenient in letting me find my own way, and recently she’s been regaling me with stories of the awkward drama that’s been happening behind my back whilst I was young.

For example, it turned out that my mom’s family strictly opposed her marrying my dad – by technicality, they eloped.

It turned out my maternal grandmother, who passed away when I was 5 or 6 and who I thought loved me enough that she overlooked any shortcomings she saw in my dad, actually refused to see me for a whole year after I was born.

And then my mom told me about how my fraternal grandparents, who I know raised me until I was 8, offered to take me in because they saw how terrible the conditions were at my maternal grandparents’, and even though it was difficult for them they never complained. Originally my mother had told them they’d only need to care for me for 2 years, and 2 years became five and a half, and when she apologized, all they said was, “Taking care of your daughter has been nothing but fun, and it’s been a really good distraction from old age.”

I mean, I get that being their only grandchild, it’s an automatic doting kind of thing, and if my uncle had had a child – who would have definitely stayed behind in China – that child would definitely get more love than me, and that’s fine. But at the time they weren’t to know that I’d live overseas. It’s difficult to communicate with them because of the language and generation barrier, and there are a lot of things happening in my life that I just can’t explain nor expect them to get, but when I really think about it, I’m quite dreading the day we get a phone call with some gravely bad news.

But yes, back to my mother. I’m glad that she’s starting to take me as a mature and serious thinker. Recently a family friend of ours have been going through some weird stuff, where the mom of the family is just making plain bad choices, and my mom had been pretty worked up over it, but didn’t know what to say when the mom visited us, so I told her beforehand to just be diplomatic – don’t agree or disagree, because it would just make things difficult, and my mom’s health can’t deal with difficult. And the thing is she is actually taking all my advice, because she says I’m better at understanding social interactions.

We’ll see how this goes.

Also, the title of this post, for my own future references, has everything to do with a very important thing that happened. I don’t quite want to write it here yet, and it’s nothing personal against the person to whom it is concerned. We’ll see.

I’m damned happy.


Whenever I’m Alone With You

[Love Song – Anberlin] (They covered it, I think, so it’s not their original, but I don’t know whose it is…)

I just discovered (yes, just) and fell and in love with the site My Mom is a Fob.

Bad timing, seeing as my assignments are coming in soon.

Anyway, this encapsulates Asian parents:

I got this email from my mom right after Mother’s Day. Some stuff had happened that weekend that got to me, and I guess my mom could sense it. I think, this is more sentimental than anything, but wanted to share (even if was from a while back ago).

I like letting you know, every time when you have any problem or difficulty, your are not alone, you could call us any time or just come home and talk with us, some time life is up and down, happiness and sadness, we are always behind you, supporting you, that is what family value stand for…

Also, yesterday in Angie’s wedding I almost could not recognized you, because your make up. In Korean drama, they always have a saying ” Woman’ heavy make up made them fake”. So, try to learn natural make up matter, because that will show our truly faces, and men like that for sure, especially Asian men (you can ask Dad for that). The last thing I like to mention is Health- I change my life style, try to sleep early during the night, when you work whole day in front of computer, save your eye, and give your eye and liver a rest time. That will help your skin too. Next weekend if you like to have a hot pot together at home let me know I will prepare for it. Dad and I, we like you have a happy, healthy, and a strong faith life, always PRAY and THANK to GOD. Love MOM

Basically, “we love you, okay, now, you need to fix yourself”. It was like when Poh came 2nd on the 1st season of Masterchef Australia, and the judge asked her mom whether she’s proud of her daughter cooking so well in Malay cuisines, and her mom said, “yes, but she chopped and changed a lot of things”. Asian parents will NEVER stop at “yes we’re proud” there is ALWAYS a “but they screwed up”.


My mom recently learned “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to sing to my son.

“Tha itchy bitchy spider went up water spout…”

I was on my way to my internship via subway in Korea one summer and this 60-year old man decided he wanted to hit on me. He came over and told me he would give me his name card and after I rejected him I texted my mom to tell her what happened. Her reply: “psycho like that need to get their penis thin sliced. mommy good at cooking and chopping, i do it for you. take his name card.”

It snowed a ton in New York not too long ago, and my mom, who is from California had this to say on me making a snowman, via her new favorite form of communication, text message:

Mom: Exciting! Try to make a female snowman!
Me: Will do mom
Mom: Take a picture of it! Make sure the cup size is 40 DDD!

My mom just learned to text the day before:
Dear d Sure i wil meet you at time 7p square soon no 7p it is a tzphgg typing earror soppps Oh i give up

Be sure to wear lots of underwear, so if you get rape it’ll take them longer and you can escape.

So my mom is a VERY protective mother. This is what happened after she watched a 60 minutes special on Online Predators. I’m watching a Video Blog on Youtube…

Who is that guy?
Me: I don’t know
Mom: Why is he talking to you??
Me: It’s a video…

“My parents’ intent was to name me Stephanie.”

-Staphanie Tung

Dear Felicia:

How are you doing? Back to school always exited, right ? say hi to your lovely girl freinds and all those sticky boys for me lol ,ahhh, i like this word lol, it looks like somebody hands a ball to me. Capital LOL likes people are kicking a ball. Lol like a ball find a hole to slip away from cage (this is what i feel when i drove you to airport), lOl looks like I am squeezing Chang Yi’s cheeks. lOL Ahhh…….. I am leaning on a comfortable cushion…….ahhhhhhh…………………….


Mom: Why is Eminem controversial? Is it because he’s a white guy who acts black?
Me: I dunno. Some people think he’s misogynistic.
Mom: What? [looking really offended]
Me: It means that he hates women.
Mom: [still offended] Why would you say something like that to me?
Me: Misogynistic? I know it’s not a common word, but I explained what it meant.
Mom: Why would you say in front of your mother that he’s… [flustered] massaging his d*ck?!?!?

Okay that’s it for today. GO ON THE SITE!


Please, What Else Is On?

[Take A Bow – Glee Cast cover, original by Rhianna]

(Have I used this song already?)

Day 29 — The person that you want tell everything to, but too afraid to

Dear Mom,

Aren’t you feeling special that you got mentioned twice?

I do wish I could tell you everything. You used to watch Gilmore Girls and remark that the mother and daughter had such a close relationship they’d tell each other everything. You used to say you wish we had that.

But do you know why we can’t? Because you’re too narrow-minded. Anything that is different from how you were brought up, you reject. But you don’t seem to see that we’re living in a Western culture, and that is where I have been brought up. You don’t seem to see that I’m no longer that little Chinese girl, but I’m a grown woman with my own opinions, and they mostly all differ from yours.

You also make it incredibly difficult to trust you. In the past, every time that I had trusted to tell you the truth about something that I’d done wrong, you never failed to disappoint me in not taking my side. When I got a detention for a stupid uniform rule (I wore short socks instead of long), you told me off instead of saying, “Well that’s a silly rule.” I don’t even mind getting a detention; what the school thought of me meant nothing. When I was suspended for unfair reasons, you didn’t say, “I agree, the school is being a dickhead.” Instead you said that the school was right in their actions, and you never fail to bring it up every time I say I don’t want to attend a Uni lecture – despite the fact that lectures and high school classes are completely different matters.

Yes, I remember these little betrayals, because they hurt.

There are so many more major bridges that I have yet to cross, when it comes to telling you things about me, your own daughter. But I can’t cross those bridges when you’ve already sealed them off to your own views on what should happen. I know that it sucks for you that your only daughter doesn’t share the same wishes and wants as you’d envisioned her to have, but at the same time shouldn’t you be happy that she’s healthy, she’s got great friends, she’s not out on the streets every night shooting up drugs and having sex? Shouldn’t you be happy that she’s got a goal in life, and that she’s working towards being happy, even if that path is different to the one you want her to take?

I can’t even tell you about how my friendships have all changed, because you keep telling me that I’d lost my friends because of my own shortcomings in being able to keep them, and didn’t even consider the possibilities that it wasn’t my fault at all, that, hell, I’d fought tooth and nail to keep them.

So, no, I can’t tell you a single thing about me and, to save myself the pain, I don’t plan to.


Revisiting a few thoughts

(I haven’t written properly in a long time. So here goes something pretty impromptu.)

She tried to block the sounds out, but the words still formed meaning in her mind. She was bombarded with searing images of failure, of dissatisfaction and felt the unmistakable aftertaste of having brought great shame upon herself and those around her.

She studied her mug carefully. She traced the letters on the  mug for the twentieth time, willing herself not to say or do anything.

But she imagined it. She imagined the feeling in her arms as she smashed the mug down on her face. Skull. Whatever could break many bones. Then maybe the mug would shatter, and she’d have something sharp to play with.

And she could imagine the initial shock on her face. Shock that her own daughter could hurt her. And perhaps shock at finally realizing that she’d lost her daughter for a long time.

She continued studying her mug. The small bumps of Homer Simpson’s speech bubble barely registered under her fingertips. And still the bombardment of shame and guilt attacked her ears. She didn’t even need to listen to what her mother was saying; it was the old spiel, the familiar speech of failure.

She became aware of how close she was to completely changing her life. In one swift movement and moment, her mother could be unconscious and dying on the floor, and she would stand over the bleeding body. Would she smile at the much delayed release? Or would she feel horror at what she’d done? If it was horror, it wouldn’t be that she hurt her mother, but that there would be lawful consequences.

She started planning what she’d do. After mashing her mother’s head in (she’d use the tile floor if she had to) she’d run downstairs. Her dad wouldn’t be home yet, so she’d have to tap out some sort of message to her friends, to the people that actually matter to her. She’d detail in that message how sorry she was it had to be like this, and that no one should be put to blame but her. She’d detail that her actions were solely by the influence of her mother.

She’d say goodbye, because she wouldn’t want to remain to allow her mother the pleasure of media attention. And surely there will be; a daughter doesn’t kill a mother often, and the news will be all over it. She doesn’t want her mother to be able to plead with her simpering ugly face that her own flesh and blood and turned against her, and she didn’t want to be portrayed as the bad guy. She wasn’t the bad guy.

Then she’d run back upstairs. She has to be quick. If her mother’s still alive then she would dial OOO. So she has to be fast.

She’d open the top drawer in the kitchen. There was one in there that her dad always kept sharp for cutting meat. In fact, she’d recently been nagging her dad to keep it sharp.

She’d planned it. She’d even envisioned it in her mind a million times.

It would hurt yes, but the satisfaction would be anaesthetic enough.

And then she put down her mug, stood up, and walked away. She went downstairs, calmly opened a new email, and sat there and wrote all of the things that ran through her mind to her friend. She cried while doing it, but she didn’t stop typing until she was done. Then she hit send, and with it buried away the feeling of being utterly trapped. It will come back again, but until then she can just keep sending it out.