Monday, May 28, 2007

Growing Up Azian

Dear Mom and Dad,

Remember that day you came home after golfing and you were both so happy because it had been so long since the last time you had gone, I think like at least 12 hours or something crazy like that, and you saw me crying in the kitchen and you asked what was wrong and I opened my heart to you to tell you that I didn’t get into Harvard? Do you remember how Dad yelled and said he knew I would fail if I didn’t go to private High School and how Mom, you yelled at Dad for not making enough money to pay for the SAT tutor in 3rd grade instead of waiting till 8th grade and Dad do you remember yelling at me why I couldn’t study harder like Soo-Yun and Ha-Sook and Grace and Grace Lee and Grace Park or Grace Min or Grace Kim or Grace J. Kim or Grace Lee or Little Grace Pak or Grace Hong or Big Grace? I felt so horrible. So when Mom tried to sooth you by saying Yale wasn’t so bad I had to lie and say Yale didn’t have KBS club so you would feel OK about me not going there because the truth is I didn’t get into Yale either. I didn’t get into Brown or Princeton or MIT or Duke or Columbia either. But I couldn’t stand it anymore and I blurted out that I got into Stanford. I remember how you muttered how lucky I was to get into a backup school like Standford and Mom clucked her tongue and said it doesn’t matter as long as I met a good boy to marry. I felt so bad but what else could I do. It’s your entire fault anyway. Do you know how hard it is to study when growing up as hard as I had it? You both put pressure on me to study. To study! You think studying is easy? Just because Dad you grew up during the Korean war and had to eat snow and pine tree roots with your cousin going from farm to farm to do day labor and collect firewood with only the memory of your dead parents to warm your heart as you tried not to cry every day because the tears would freeze your eyelids shut and keep you from finding bugs to eat doesn’t mean you know how hard it is these days. You didn’t grow up here in America. Studying is HARD and you and Mom put pressure on me. Just because Mom had to work as a seamstress for 16 hours a day without a break and being yelled at by her boss for getting up to go to the bathroom and not eating lunch for 9 years until Dad and you scraped up enough money to open a tiny liquor store where Mom you could work for 17 hours a day and have a gun pointed in your face 5 times and got beat up twice, doesn’t mean you can make me feel like you only love me for studying and nothing else. I had to lie because you think studying is so easy. Remember when you bought me the Civic? I was so embarrassed driving to school in it. Everyone stared at me and I had to pretend it was a rental while the Lexus was in the auto shop for two years. I even made a little Hertz rental sticker for the bumper. I told my friends that my new Lexus was in the shop for two years because the stereo system being installed was very very very custom. And remember when you wouldn’t let me stay overnight for the prom? I was so mortified I had to tell my friends that I had to go to the airport to catch a trip to Paris to go to a Prom there too. Remember when you didn’t let me change my name because you said I should be proud of being Korean? Guess what I changed it as soon as I turned 18. Its now Azia with a Z as in lazy. You both think I’m lazy but I tried my best and you always said that’s all that mattered as long as it ended in ultimate success. What I really wanted to say is that I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lie, but it only takes a few minutes which turn into days which turn into weeks which turn into months before you realized that you’re trapped. I was trapped and I’m sorry and all I want more than anything is to just go back and start all over. I just wanted to make you proud. Really that’s all I wanted. Please send money, Stanford is expensive.

Your Little Cardinal


InstantYang said...

I don't buy that this is quite the same thing, but here's another "Asian = Bizarre Uni Squatter" story.

See, white kids, when they've got nothing better to do, they head to the mall. We, on the other hand, head to the quad.

Gloria Yang said...

This is so classic

kim said...

I am obviously waaay out of my element here, but What the Hell was that? Hopefully, extreme satire, yes?

Wow. Stressful.

Henri said...

Google "Azia Kim" for the backstory