Two Short Stories and a New Holiday

5 Sep

When David was in college he worked at a tea shop. By the way, I can say, “Please, can I have a cup of pearl milk tea?” in Chinese. Just saying. Anyway, most places that sell pearl milk tea take requests on the desired pearl to milk ratio. The pearls are rice balls, and some people prefer tons while others prefer mostly the sweet milky part with just a sprinkling of rice balls. One day when David was working, a lady came in and asked for peas in her tea. (Yes, we’re talking about green peas here.) Then she added that she didn’t want any milk in it. David paused before saying, “This sounds like pea soup, is that what you mean?” The lady nodded, and he had to deliver the bad news, “Well… we don’t really sell any soup tea.”

About a month ago I went with a group of people to a restaurant that had a whole wall of used books. We were talking about them, and David said, “I bet they have a rich flavor”. He was referring to how used books have a certain smell and feel, making them more valuable in a sense than new books. Sometimes I’m unsure if someone’s interesting word choice can be accredited to the fact that the Chinese translation is common or to the fact that the person is clever. It’s often a combination of both of course. Sometimes David makes witty jokes in English, and my laugh is probably delayed and unconvincing because I’m too busy being surprised and jealous. I can’t really imagine being witty in another language. Mom, I blame you.

Why is it that moms, not dads, are blamed for most things? I know we have Mother’s Day, but perhaps we should also have a “Blame your Dad Day” just to even things out a bit. How about September 5. Dad, you should have taught me German, and don’t try to say that your German isn’t perfect. You could argue that if I knew German I’d be in Germany instead of Taiwan, but that is beside the point, and plus, I’m sure Germany is a delightful place. Dad, where are my ankles? Unrelated to the ankles, I still remember when I succeeded in getting you to buy me that chocolate bar one day when you dragged me along to the barber shop. You intruded on my blissful enjoyment of each creamy square with a warning, “You will become fat if you keep eating the way you do”. In case it wasn’t obvious, your admonishing gave me a complex that drove me to eat more chocolate bars. Good thing you also passed on your fast metabolism,  affinity for exercise, and O blood otherwise this paragraph would be longer.

One last thing, the following conglomeration of traits is definitely your fault: obsessive meticulous perfectionism about unimportant details that no one cares about. I bet you’re picking up a piece of lint from the carpet RIGHT now. I may or may not be arranging the hairs on my arm so that they are all going in the same direction. I really don’t do that much. I do blame the amount of hair on you though.

P.S. If you are at all hairy, you will feel about 2.5 times hairier in Asia. David’s friend has NO hair on his arms (not a single strand) and about 3 hairs on each leg. I feel like snuffalupagus.


7 Responses to “Two Short Stories and a New Holiday”

  1. Jeanne Koenig Clark September 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Your Sept. 5 “Blame Your Dad Day” sounds like an excellent idea to me. I’ll contact Hallmark and see if I can get an annual holiday started through the greeting card industry. Of course, I will now be expecting gifts every 5th of September.

    That’s all for now because I need to go pick up some lint.


    • Carrie Clark September 7, 2011 at 4:52 am #

      As a kid, your Dad blamed his dad for everything, never picked up lint, and always tried to talk me out of my chocolate. He said it would make me fat, but really, he just wanted to eat it himself!

      • Emily Clark September 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

        Ha! Thanks for sharing! If it weren’t for you, I’d only have my dad’s account of things which is BORing. Aunt Carrie, can you write some memoirs about your childhood? Or maybe I can send you some interview questions via email?

        To be fair, Dad, you’re stories aren’t boring, I just feel like there must be more of them out there.

  2. Erika September 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Man, I needed to laugh. Thanks, Em. I’m going to play Devil’s advocate here though because, Emily, your argument is somewhat flawed in the sense that it overlooks the extent to which it could apply. If there is to be a “Blame your Dad Day,” (and Dad, I would have to say I do blame you for my crazy eyebrows that even plucking cannot keep under control- but I digress), there should also be a “Blame your Grandparents Day,” AND “Blame your Sibling Day” On that note, I blame you Emily, for always making my friends in Jr. High ask me, “Why does your sister always have to hang around us?” lol. Now I realize, of course, that it’s because (obviously) you wanted to be just like me. However, at the time, it was like middle school social suicide. Anyway, my point is days of dedication have traditionally be about celebrating the good in people, and, dear sister, if we are going to change that, we need to change that fairly. “Blame your Pet day?” “Blame your Boss day?” I think we need to think this through a little more and spare Dad all of the burden. 🙂

    • Emily Clark September 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

      No, no, you missed a critical component in my progressive holiday idea. The only reason Blame Dad Day should exist is to counterbalance the fact that it seems Moms usually have to take the brunt of offspring complaints. This isn’t the case in all situations, but since many families do have the mom as the main caretaker, she’s often where whining and complaints are directed.

      However, I accept your Blame Siblings Day suggestion and I have this to add from my perspective:

      I blame you for… I really can’t think of anything because you were always so generous and fun. Remember how on long car trips you always let me put my head in your lap because there was only room for one of us to lay down. Oh, you did that last year too.

      And remember how you always set up the game orphanage in the backyard, telling us younger folk where to go and what to do. I distinctly recall the compost pile to the right side of the backyard being critical. The details escape me.

      Oh, wait I thought of something blame worthy. You made me tell mom and dad I ate things like hotdogs to hide that you really ate them, but since I’d already eaten some too, I had to say I ate five hotdogs in two hours. No wonder Dad thought I would get fat. (For those who don’t know, she couldn’t eat protein, so hotdogs were a major no, no).

      • Erika September 8, 2011 at 8:30 am #

        That is true, my dear. I wish I had not been quite so selfish about the “poor, poor me mentality that I can’t eat anything” long enough to realize the effect it had on you to have to cover for me. If you need therapy, I suggest getting a parrot. I’ve heard they are really good listeners and always give consistent advice (over and over until it finally sinks in.) Until you get the parrot though, sorry you had to carry that burden on your little shoulders. P.S. At least you DID get a good metabolism!!

  3. Emily Clark September 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    I hope that apology is a joke. I am in no way damaged; I just think it’s funny. Parrots, ha!

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