Wednesday, February 12, 2003


although i grew up in america, i was still raised in a korean family with more and more western influence by the year. it's been a life of kimchi and big macs. my mom came to america first and lived here by herself for a year before the rest of the fam moved here. she didn't speak a lick of english yet somehow, a hospital that was involved in an exchange program with one of the hospitals in korea hired her as a nurse. crazy, huh?

my dad is semi-retired. he was a typical korean small businessman--first grocery store, then dry cleaners. years ago in our city, there were 700 dry cleaners and half were owned by koreans. most of the other half were owned by indians. i guess stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason. he plays golf 3 days a week and watches korean videos and plays go/baduk on the internet. that's his life.

my mom goes to work at night (on the night shift that is, not as a prostitute or anything) and basically watches korean videos all day. but she watches them upstairs and not with my dad. it's hard to coordinate which video you're on to watch them together, you know, with the different schedules and all. it's very complex. like all old people, they keep the house freakin' freezing in the winter and hot as a mother in the summer. it saves money. they walk around with jackets in the winter and in the summer...well, for some medical mystery, old people don't seem to get hot so they actually feel comfortable when the temperature is 100 inside (remember that seinfeld episode?).

my sister was probably the least academically inclined one of the kids but she probably is the one who turned out most normal. she works in film/tv, doing alright for herself. she has one kid, madison (quite possibly the cutest 2 year old on the planet), with another on the way. my brother is also married. he and his wife had a kid 4 months after my sister. now they're also trying for #2. he's also a doctor (anesthesiologist). he drinks too much (not all the time, just a lot when he does). kinda typical for doctors, i guess.

that leaves me the only non-married, childless member of the family. at least i don't think i have any kids anywhere. i'm also the only one in a "cross-cultural" relationship. (how p.c. is that?) she's white. (if you're reading this karen, i love you!) i like people of all backgrounds but i guess just by statistics, since i grew up around more whites, i've dated more white girls than others. as you can imagine, that was a huge issue for the iron fist of my dad. initially he threatened to kick me out of the family but over the years he's mellowed out some. karen and i are actually going out to dinner with my folks this weekend. that will be an interesting evening. my dad actually wanted this because he wanted to get to know her--what her parents do, where she went to school, if she's healthy. koreans are really into family and money and health. karen joked that she would bring her resume for them. hilarious. well, tacos are calling so until next time.

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