Today was a testing / city-wide evaluations day so nobody had classes. We still had to show up from 8:30 to 4:30 as standard though. My co-teacher wasn't around, so it was your average day of desk-warming. It was more boring than I thought...there's only so much Treme you can watch at work before you start to feel like a worthless piece of shit.
Welcome to the public sector. Here's you reclining office chair...
School lunch is still a very exciting time for me. This time I actually saw the principal take her meal. So she does eat from the same trough as us peons! Everyone that had arrived early enough to witness this glorious spectacle stood in deference to her. The first guy in line told the gym-teacher-bro to go first using body language but GTB insisted on waiting his turn.
We've had some interesting dishes, like mugwort soup (awful). The only meat in today's lunch was pork in a Mung Bean soup. My mom has made Mung Bean soup before, and despite her mediocre cooking skills the stuff wasn't bad.
Pork however, should stay the fuck away from mung beans. This soup was bland and the texture of the mung bean does not mix at all with bony grey meat. I shed a tear for the waste of perfectly good meat.
On Jogging the Life Nomadic
“You should move to San Francisco with your people.” - on my coming out.
“You get more and more ugly everyday.” - on my pierced ear
“You’ve gained some weight.” - seeing me for the first time since moving to South Korea
“I want a real daughter.” - on wanting to have another baby at 50 years old.
“I’m a bitch. That’s what my friends tell me. That’s what everyone says.” on being a bitch
“You are gay. You sleep with women. You are not a virgin, so don’t lie to people.” - suspecting I lie to people about my virginity
These are just a few memorable quotes from my dearest mother. It’s true, you don’t get to choose your parents. My parents have been married for nearly 30 years. To many folks this can be defined as being a great accomplishment especially in times when giving up solely because you’re unhappy is acceptable and even encouraged. I view my parents’ marriage as a mission impossible my father had been sent on and at some point committed treason by laying in bed with the devil. He has been in that bed ever since.
I was raised by a 100% pure bred Korean woman. She stands at about 5 feet, 120 pounds, and is as cute as a button. My mother gave birth to me at the age of 18, I imagine her English language skills were minimal and she lived in the US while her entire family resided in South Korea. Her husband, my father, was also 18, liked to hang out with his buddies or so I’m told and his backwoods family despised the very thought of my mother. Isolation was not just a feeling, it was the life my mother experienced as a first generation immigrant. This was a life she chose but never imagined it would leave her in Lubbock, Texas eating hotdogs and raising a country boy’s baby. My mother took charge and my father was soon stationed at an air force base in Tokyo, Japan. Here my mother could visit her parents and friends frequently, it was also where she could drop me off to have a little “me time.” While we were living overseas my brother was born.
For 18 years, I lived at home with an overly dramatic, hot tempered Korean mother. The over arching emotion felt during those years could be labeled as anxious. It’s not that my mother is or was ever unpredictable, it was that she was too predictable. I remember the first time ever hearing the saying, “don’t cry over spilled milk,” and all I could think was, “my mom screams over dribbled water... literally.” The moodiness she wore like a medal of honor had me walking on eggshells as a child, teenager, and an adult, all the way through my twenties.
My mother’s perception of life is encompassed in the perceived perception of how other people see us as a family, her as a mother, me as a daughter, etc. A reputation that only exists in her mind. For most my life I experienced by mothers unpleasantries but they came at me full throttle when I came out of the closet. Let me start off by saying, the closeness I have with my mother is unique. My mother genuinely likes me. She thinks I am funny, loves to visit with me, is proud of me, and holds concern for me when I am not well. She is welcoming to the partners I have had and expresses love for me. She holds my hand in public and even though she has openly called me a dyke, she still kisses me goodbye on my lips. She cooks my favorite meals when I visit, dog-sits, and gives me gas money for the ride home. She is my mom. However, at the beginning of this post you had the opportunity to read some of the daggers she as thrown my way. She is consistently inconsistent when it comes to showing affection and growing up I had always been confused by this. I would go from loving her to hating her. It was a day to day balancing act. Then I decided to love my mother. Just love her.
1. Get to know your mother and understand her. I am my own person but so is she. I stopped expecting her to change and learned to accept the person she is in hopes my modeling would rub off on her and she’d be able to return the favor. If not, oh well, I love her anyways.
2. Tell her you love her, especially when she’s being a bitch.
3. Show her physical affection. I hug my mom, lay on my mom, massage her hands and feet. I want to give her tangible closeness. I have found this keeps her soft and loving.
4. Run her errands, do the chores. My mother likes to receive love in ways that make her day to day life easier. She doesn’t like presents, she likes it when you water her plants, scrub the toilets, take out the trash, check the mail, and feed the dog.
5. See within yourself how much you are like her. Realizing I demonstrated similar behaviors brought more understanding to my relationship with my mom and myself as a person.
6. Go grocery shopping with your mother. It’s a simple task but it’s one they are used to doing alone. Anyone can appreciate good company in a busy super market.
All the characteristics I used to loath about my mom I can now appreciate.
A picture I took in Korea last year. Traditionally, couples, friends, or family write on a lock, lock it to the fence, then drop the key in the drop box.