Embarrassing Parents

As some might have noticed, I haven’t blogged in a little more than two months. No, I am not dead or lying comatose on some under-funded state hospital bed. I’ve just been a little preoccupied lately, and with this being my graduating year (woot!) I really can’t afford to write as often as I used to (apologies).

That said, I have been wanting to write about this particular topic for a while now because the subject matter is something that most youngsters of my generation can easily relate to. Simply put, growing up in the 21st century isn’t easy when your parents are still stuck somewhere in the dark ages.

The difficulty is further compounded by the fact that I have grown accustomed to the indigenous ways while my parents are still very much the pair of Orientals from the Good Old Days™. So, I have made a list of the (embarrassing) things my (embarrassing) parents have done:

1. Talking loudly in public…in Chinese.

My mom’s natural voice is unusually loud and high pitched. (I reckon she’s probably a little deaf, so she has to project herself loudly so as to compensate for the hearing defect.) When she gets excited, angry, happy, paranoid, <insert other emotions>, her voice gradually escalates until she is almost shouting. Of course, when this happens in a public arena, there is not much to do apart from quickening my pace, walk ahead of her and silently hope that fellow shoppers won’t make the connection that I am, somehow, related to this crazy Asian lady strolling 5 meters behind me.

2. Talking to my (non-Chinese) friends…in Chinese.

I have never understood why my mom always spoke Chinese to my English friends. I mean, seriously, could she not see my friend’s blond hair and blue eyes? Does she not understand that my friends are not Chinese, ergo they do not speak the language?

3. Horrid fashion senses.

Mom: My mom cannot distinguish between long pants and the so-called “3/4” pants. One day, she came home with a pair of long pants that were manufactured for 13/14 year olds and were clearly 5 inches too short for her. Somehow, her fashion-challenged brain inferred that those “3/4” pants were “in vogue”, and now she wouldn’t stop wearing them.

Dad: My dad generally has an okay sense of fashion, in that he dresses conservatively…except that one time. We went to Boulder’s Beach to watch penguins, and my dad had left his board shorts in the car. He couldn’t go back to fetch it because we had already handed in our tickets, and he couldn’t wade into the water wearing his longs either. So, he stripped down to his cotton (checker) boxers and his wife-beater, and went in the water, just like that.

4. Non-compliance with social conventions.

There was a period of time (up until a short while ago) where my mom would go unshaved for years. Come summer, she would wear shorts and spaghetti tops and venture under the sun indifferent to people’s judging gazes. On the one hand, I admire her nonchalance; on the other hand, I cannot understand how anyone can parade her hair around like that. I realise that when she was growing up, she was probably too poor to afford shaving cream…but surely that poverty is behind her now?

At any rate, this is just a preliminary list of some of the (embarrassing) things my (embarrassing) parents have done. I shall be sure to append this at a later date.

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