Rated R for Language. Or maybe more like Q.

April 19, 2016

i’m feeling nostalgic today my friends.

I walked through target today and they had a table of gift ideas for mothers for Mother’s Day. I know I need to get on the ball and look for something nice to send to my mom so that it actually gets to her by Mother’s Day. But I’m a slacker and going to the post office is a feat that I am not always prepared to accomplish. So. we’ll see what happens.

My mom and I have a great relationship. It’s not ideal, but it works for us. When I lived in Korea before I got married, I took some Korean language classes to appease my parents. They were pretty mad that I 1. grew up in their Korean home and my Korean sucked 2. that I lived in Korea for over 2 years and my Korean still sucked. So I signed up for these classes, and I ended up being in the ‘advanced class’ (see? I didn’t suck that badly!) with a bunch of Chinese ladies who were married to Korean men. Admittedly- all of them had a better grasp of the Korean language than I did. Ugh. My parents were right to be mad. My Korean did really suck, And as a kid, I went to Korean language classes every Saturday morning, and often times on Monday evenings too. I am something of a resistant learner when I want to be.

Anyhoo, back to my Korean classes as an adult: I was in this class with these Chinese ladies, and they would talk about how they had trouble communicating with their husbands- because they didn’t have the same native language. As if it isn’t hard enough already when you are trying to communicate with your spouse in the same language! But then one of the women talked about how her kids didn’t really want to learn Chinese, they just wanted to speak Korean, because it was easier for them. And then it made me so sad for this mom who couldn’t even properly, fully, and freely communicate with her own children because there was a language barrier there. AND THEN I REALIZED THAT WAS MY OWN MOTHER’S PLIGHT FOR THE LAST 24 YEARS WITH ME! And it broke my heart.

When I was a kid, I didn’t like eating Korean food as often as my mom cooked it (pretty much 3 times a day, every day.) And I did not want to learn Korean. Cause I didn’t see any value in learning this foreign language. I am so embarrassed for the kid that I was, and so very much wish I had paid more attention during all those classes that my parents paid money for! I wish I could talk to my mom on the phone for longer periods of time, and joke around with her and explain to her in detail the things that I am going through and need her advice on. But we do the best that we can. And often times my sister needs to translate things for the both of us. Like the time when my mom thought that Chris spent $30,000 on my engagement ring… cause apparently that’s what I told her. Korean is hard people!

But apparently so is English. Even though I am feeling nostalgic and even a little sad right now, I leave you with one of my favorite moments with my mom from about 15 years ago:

I was driving us to the mall one lovely Sunday afternoon. There was a lot of traffic on our way there due to an insane number of people who were trying to enjoy the great outdoors at a park near the mall.

I let out a giant: “Oh Crap!” Because I try not to swear in front of my mother.
But then my mom said as loudly as all get out: “Octopussy!”
*** What the?!?!?!
Me: “Mom! What did you just say???”
Me: “Why would you say that?!?!?!!!”
*** now mind you- my mom is a giant James Bond fan. And in 1983, there was a movie that came out that was in fact called Octopussy. So I was frantically looking around to see if there was some giant billboard of this movie. But no. No such billboard could be found. Probably since the movie had been released over a decade earlier.
Mom: “You say CRAB, I say OCTOPUSSY!”
Me: “Mom! I said CRAP. Not crab. And I think the word you are looking for is just ‘OCTOPUS.’ “
Mom: “Oh. Not octopussy?”
Me: “No. Please stop saying that.”

I have to admit that this post was prompted by me telling a bunch of friends at dinner tonight a story about the only time I have ever heard my dad swear in English. It involved ice, our giant van, my dad driving me to the subway station, and us sliding through an intersection and my dad letting out a giant: “Oh Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!”

Magical times. Riding in cars with old immigrants aka my parents.


Rated R for Language. Or maybe more like Q.


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