You’ve probably heard stories about Asian dad. Though exaggerated, it does have some grain of truth. Tell me about it, because I am living with one, and I bet you know some of the past troubles if you’ve been reading my blog. Sure, he’s not the worst and he’s doing his best. But what drives me absolutely crazy is that…there’s no “communication.” He says it’s conversation/communication. Well, not really. It’s more like him lecturing.
Tomorrow’s my big day. So I prepared everything and planned what I will to today before going to sleep. My parents know it is my big day. I will be fu*king anxious and touchy for all day (and, readers, it will be easy to infer that I will go nuts if something doesn’t go like my plan. We all do, no?) It will be a long day tomorrow, meaning I will need a nice snack. There’s a particular bread that I know which would be a good snack for a day like tomorrow, so I bought one and came back home.
What if my dad eats it away, like he always does?
The thought has occurred, but I soon thought, naaah. He knows it’s my big day tomorrow. He really wouldn’t think it is coincidence that there is a single loaf of small chubby bread with potato fillings on the table, from a store that is not near from our home. He knows better. Besides, after doing the same thing over and over, he developed a habit of asking “okay to eat this?” Yeah, it will be alright.
As I was preparing my early dinner, my dad came. So we ate together. He didn’t ask for more food. Usually, he goes to his room or watch TV after dinner. That’s what I expected.
I dropped by my room to check my materials for tomorrow. I came out, and could not believe my eyes. The bread bag opened, my dad munching a good half of the bread away in one bite, saying “this is greasy. Ew.” You can imagine how I got really flipped. Or how my face would have been turned white.
“Why would you eat that!? It’s my meal for tomorrow! You know what’s coming up!”
My dad looked like a bit startled, and said he will get another one, but I really did not care. He can’t tell the difference between bread shops nor where’s the place. Or what kind. I was pissed, and all I could do was wishing that the bread store is still open, and the bread I got is still there (it’s Saturday and breads are sold out quickly on Friday and Saturday). I just slammed the door and ran out.
Fortunately, I was able to get the breads. While I was angry because of his thoughtlessness, I knew it would be better to not to make a big deal about it (it’s hard to stay calm and relaxed before big day, and that was my primary aim for today – to stay calm and go to bed in a relatively good mood). Alright, if he’s there, I’ll just joke about it or keep myself quiet.’
He was in his room, so I thought “right, no big deal, I’ll just play some game and watch TV and go to bed.” He came out from his room, as if he is going somewhere. All of sudden, he said to me, “don’t you think you have something to say?”
Oh no. You got to be kidding.
According to the Asian rules of indirect communication, that is roughly translated as “you did something bad and you’d better apologize for it.” But hey, here’s my question. One, though I was pissed and it affected my mood control before big day, is it really that much of a big deal? Two, if this really is a something to decide guilt and innocence, is it my bad? For both questions, my answer is no. In addition, it is my big big day tomorrow. And he’s picking on a fight. Fuc* me.
I simply said (speaking in honorifics), “look, I got the breads again, so it’s all sorted out.”
Guess what his response was: “Oh, so it’s just that simple, huh?”
I was like OMFG LEAVE ME ALREADY ALONE YOU ALREADY SCREWED MY MOOD CONTROL BEFORE MY BIG DAY but of course, instead of saying it, I said, “Yes, indeed.” He left.
I mean, is it really a big deal though I’m not too happy about the incidence? Does he want to set his “authority” that badly? Even before his daughter’s big day, in a situation like Eminem’s Lose Yourself lyric? (“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow”). So as you can see, I ended up blogging because I needed a release.
Honestly, it’s not just my problem. A Korean-American friend of mine once told me: her parents would just break into her room without knocking. That part is understandable. Well, but whenever she’s startled by this sudden break-in, somehow, SHE has to apologize for nothing. She’s not on drug or sneaking some boys in. It’s not a big deal, but if someone has to apologize for this situation, it really should be her parents. But somehow, she ends up apologizing. It drives her nuts.
Another Korean-American friend of mine has a lot of similar stories with me regarding his dad. He understands his dad isn’t the bad guy and he is doing what he can. BUT still, it irritates him whenever his dad goes “we need to talk,” but really he means “I will give you a long lecture and you don’t dare to speak back to me.” So, my friend found a nice solution, just like mine: whenever his dad says something , he just shuts and say “oh, yes, you are right, I’m sorry. All good?”
Dad might get some authority and keeping of his face and no-talking kids, but not a communication. So Asian dads, don’t ever complain about how your kids are shutting you away and you feel isolated from the family as time goes by.