Thursday, July 29, 2004

      ( 7:55 AM ) teahouse
Fish and Vegetables

This lovely girl recently told a tale of woe about how her parents were driving her crazy.  It brings to mind a conversation I had with my dad the other day.  In fact, every conversation I have with him nowadays. 

It usually goes something like this:

Dad:  What did you eat today?

Me:    I had to work late.  A handful of M&Ms for lunch, and I'm about to have dinner.

Dad:  That's all you've eaten?  So unhealthy.  Can't you make a salad?

Me:    Ok (appeasing).  I'll make a salad.  I'm going out to dinner with some summer associates from the firm.  We're going to Aquavit.  It's a famous restaurant.

Dad:  (suspiciously) Do they serve a balanced meal there?

Me:    Yes, dad.  They serve very good food there.  It's a really nice restaurant in New York.

Dad:  You should eat more fish and vegetables.  They're healthy.

Me:    Ok, dad, more fish and vegetables.

Dad:  Have you cleaned your apartment?  It's a mess.

Me:    No, I haven't had time.

Dad:  If you don't clean your apartment, no boy will ever marry you.  It's shameful.  We didn't raise you to be like this.  How's work?

Me:    It's good.  It's busy.

Dad:  Well, that's good!  Don't complain about being busy!  Busy means you have job security!  Nobody has job security in the United States nowadays.  Aren't you glad you listened to me and went to law school and now have such a good job?  You didn't even want to be a lawyer!  It was all my idea, remember?  

Me:   Yes, dad.  All of my successes have been your idea.

Dad: What does the partner have you doing?

Me:   I don't really want to get into it, Dad.  It's boring and complicated.  And I wasn't complaining.  You asked how was work.  I said busy.

Dad:  Well, there's nothing wrong with being busy.

Me:   I didn't say there was anything wrong with being busy.  I love being busy!  I adore being busy!  I'm so happy at work!

Dad:  Well, busy means job security.

Me:    Ok, dad, could you say that again?  I didn't catch it the first 4 times.

Dad:  Busy means job security.  And eat more fish and vegetables.  And save more money.  You've been working for several years now; you should have enough saved up to buy an apartment.  You make so much money.

Me:    Taxes are high, dad.  And I have student loans.

Dad:  How much do you have in the bank?

Me:    It's none of your business, dad.  In the United States, it's not polite to ask your adult children how much money they have.

Dad:  If you won't tell me, that means it's not enough.  You can save more.  Don't go out to eat too much; it's not healthy.  If you buy fish and vegetables and cook them at home, it should be very cheap.  When I first started working, I made $100 a week and still managed to save up $500,000 in 6 months to buy a house.  Your mother and I are good at saving money; I don't know how we got a daughter like you.  I guess we didn't teach you right.

Me:   Ok, dad.  I've brought dishonor upon my family.

Dad: Have you been running lately?

Me:   Yes, dad.

Dad:  Good.  Running is good exercise.  But don't overdo it.  Remember when I used to go running, and you used to say, "Euuww..running is boring!"  Well, I was right all along, wasn't I?  Now you understand!

Me:  Dad, I was 6 years old when I said that.

Dad:  Well, now you know that I'm right!  Just like I'm the one who told you to go to law school; I'm the one who got you into running!  Be a good girl and listen to your parents!  Eat more fish and vegetables!

Me:   Aaaarrrggghhh!!!  (stabs self in head)

My dad and I are, in fact, quite close.  I know he cares.  He's just turning into an irritating old woman.




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THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

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