Asian mothers have the ability to change kernels of guilt into full-blown stalks of blame and penitence. When Asian mothers are in this mode, it’s best to lay supine on the floor and act dead. Hold your breath for as long as you can and stay still because if she detects you survived the initial blow of guilt, she will go after the jugular.
Seven out of ten. That is what I would give you.œ That was how I was rated based on my looks by a close friend. My attractiveness quantified in a lonely number. The scale ranged from one to ten “ one having a face that would grace Elm Street while ten could launch a thousand ships. I was initially shocked at my rating but then it quickly evolved into curiosity. How did I get a seven out of ten? Who determines this numerical ranking? And more importantly, is there an appeal system?
Powerless to stop it, my mother and the rest of the family stood on the perimeter clutching each other for comfort. She watched in anger and disbelief at his defilement. He didn’t cry out or lash back. He knelt in complete silence accepting the fate delivered to him.
I find it ironic that probably the most translated words in any language are cuss words. I don’t know how many times I have been asked at small get-togethers or informal dinners how to say, how shall I put it, less than dignified words. It got to point that I just started to expect it:
Excuse me, can you pass the salt and, by the way, how do you say asshole in Vietnamese?
He’s going to die. They are going to kill him. He lamented. He began trembling again. Fear is a cold no blanket or fire can ever warm. He surrendered to his bedroom and requested solace. My mother emerged from his room to the hungry stares of the crowd. Taking on the role of an understudy, she tried to address the crowd but not having fully digested the news herself, she found herself stammering underneath the spotlight.