Monday, November 28, 2005

thanksgiving at the fortress

The formerly titled Fortress Nightingale goes all out on Thanksgiving. Sometimes there is kimchi. Sometimes there is not. But otherwise, it gets all american what with a green bean casserole where all the ingredients come from a can, and cranberry sauce, which sploops out from a can, and you'd almost expect sweaters and scotch glasses and golden retrievers and people who work here instead of pink-faced Korean ladies uproariously laughing about something or other and their children of all ages loyally making fun of them.

Then there's the question gauntlet portion of the evening. "So, are you having fun at work?" Fun? Do I ask them if they had fun bringing up their children? No. I am eating my corn. Are you having fun? What a weird question. I'm envisioning a line like at an amusement park to get in the fun elevator to get in the fun door with my fun security magnetic card thingy and sit in front of my fun computer to deal with my fun spam e-mail and then answer questions from fun old people. It's pretty freaking exhilerating. They should make it the new ride at Great Adventure.

Following quickly is the question of, when am I going to school again? I dug out my 'stonewall-janet' act of icy "I don't know's" and moved on to my yams. Or were they sweet potatoes? Go soon, they urged, while you are young. And you can catch a man. Fortunately, I was spared any further man talk.

My middle-aged cousin who is getting her masters is some sort of education thingy came a little late. She asked me the same questions. Then her mom started nagging her too and she got the same routine. And then I realized, my heart mashed as my potatoes, oh.my.god.it.never.stops.

My other cousin, mother of two herself, reminded me because I wouldn't know this, that this is how Korean mothers are.

A couple of days later, I read over some college essays for the son of a family friend. His mother had implored me to advise him on choosing a major. She seemed, very dramatically, at the end of her parenting rope. He seemed to have leanings towards politics and law. So driven, these young! He explained his mother's sighs of woe and terror. She wanted him to be a doctor. I then said a bit too loudly, okay well, maybe I shouted a bit too crazily, "Don't let them get you!!!!!" He hunkered down and looked for escape routes as I shook my fist.

1 comment:

walter said...

you're one of them!!!