Prejudiced Lines From My Mom

19 Feb

“We adopted you from Korea because it was cheap and we knew other people who did it.”

She paused, “And because we liked the food.”
In Japan, she’s returned from a trip with my Dad and we are putting suitcases into the Kyoto Hotel van. She’s been acting paranoid. She said, “We took a trip yesterday to…” some tourist spot where they push you around to go in one direction. I really didn’t give a damn.

“And we got lost.”

She said this as if it were a big event.

“So we went into this hotel and a Japanese man was there.”

I stared at her. This is a revelation? I mean a Japanese man at a Japanese hotel in Japan?

“And he spoke Japanese.”

I stared at her as if she was serious.

“The Japanese man spoke Japanese,” she added in a hurt voice.

I blinked at her. She’d gone to MIT and this was a revelation. A Japanese man, at a Japanese hotel, in Japan, who spoke Japanese.

I turned to her and said, “Be something if he spoke French.”

My Dad snickered, but then covered the laugh.
“I can’t be Asian.”

She expected me to be Jewish.
“Mom, did you get to grow eggplants?” Because I gave her some eggplant seeds after she said she liked growing eggplants before I left the house.

“No, because we had that trip to Scotland.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Yeah, Your dad hasn’t been good at watering the plants, you know how he is.”

Note that he later wrote me on AIM how he was proud he got a bunch of Fuchsias in Buffalo to winter over so they didn’t need to buy new ones in the spring.

“We like to travel.”

She really means herself.

“And you, know, we really like plants that take care of themselves.”

I swallowed my anger. That was a summary of my childhood.

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