home archive cast links
Strip for 6/23/2001  
The Strip
Mail This Strip


If you haven't read the last blurb regarding this whole being setup thing, please go there now.

If you're here for the rest of the story... you're in the right place.

So finally after lots of stalling, my mom gave in and we set up a meeting. It was decided that Auntie F and her husband and their youngest daughter would join my parents, my sister (and baby) and I for a Father's Day brunch at our country club.

Yeah, I said country club... don't worry. We're in it so my dad can play golf, not for any major snooty preppy connotations. Not that people at our club are like that anyway. Eh, I'm just digging in deeper and deeper here.

I wasn't really looking forward to this whole thing, for obvious reasons. First of all there were going to be all these parents there, doing their parent thing. I can't tell half of my interesting stories in front of my folks, so how could I possibly impress anyone in front of them? Second, the whole country club thing was definitely not neutral ground. And thirdly, well, let's just say it again. Parents there.

What happens next is poetic justice.

Auntie F. calls that morning early asking for directions to the club. I supply them through groggy brain, eyes and mouth. She calls back 10 minutes later saying that perhaps it would be better if they stopped by the house first. I couldn't really ask my mother for guidance on this issue as she was at church so I asked my sis (who is a new mother, so maybe the whole guidance thing rubs off). She said, "Why not?" So I said the same into the phone, gave clearer directions (this is my childhood home after all) and then told her to come at 12:45 (since lunch was at 1). Auntie F. was having none of that. She wanted to come at noon. After some freaking out on the part of my sis and I, we settled on 12:30 as a happy medium.

My mom takes the news that Auntie F. is coming with surprisingly little commotion. We mildly get the ground floor of the house in order and then get ourselves in order. And as the second tick onto 12:30, the guests roll onto our driveway.

Come in, come in! My mom takes the parents into the living room to talk in Chinese and that sort of thing and the girl and I are left in the foyer. I've got my niece in my arms so at least I've got something to do with my hands. She twists hers. I ask, "Is this awkward for you too?" and she nods. We exchange the conversation pills of school, major, year. I've still got a baby in my arms. Oh yes I do! Oh yes I do! My sister comes down and greases the wheels of small talk a bit more but then hurries off to continue getting presentable. I'm presentable already. Wiiiiiith a baby!

Then, as we're starting to tell our guests that we should be heading to the restaurant, Auntie F. glides from her chair and asks me most politely to do her a big favor... drop her daughter back home after lunch, would I? She and her husband hve to go attend a graduation. Her son's graduation.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the girl came into town to see her brother graduate and instead, she has been left to the hypothetical wolves (my family and I). On our home turf. Alone. Whee.

Stunned, we pack up the baby and drive to the club.

Brunch takes about enough time for us to tell the girl that she's a really great sport for going ahead with this increasingly ludicrous business. She informs us that this is completely par for the course as far as her life has gone.

Brunch ends. My dad has met us there in his car so I volunteer to ttake her back home in his car. It's a real hardship as my father just got a brand new Honda S2000. :-) The last time I drove it, it was still in break in period so my brother and I had to keep it below 5500 rpm. It is now out of break in period.

And so we go. There's some ice breaker time as I mess up the top downing procedure in the car. And we drive off. And now we can talk, a little. And it's cool. I tell her about the strip and other bouts of writing I do. She says she's working on similar projects... writing about life, thinly veiled.

It takes a while to drive out there and I'm really enjoying everything except that my left contact lens is drying up w/ the rushing air. So when we get to her house, I ask for some eyedrops so that I can make it home without crashing the new toy.

We go in and then have a really nice chat. We talk for about an hour about growing up Asian American, about crazy parental antics, about siblings. I apologize a bunch of times for making her miss her brother's graduation. I get to see her room, a "snapshot of teenage angst, circa late 90's." We continue to say that it's cool that we both can be cool about this whole embarassing situation. (How cool? Well, I'm sharing it with all of you, right?) Her parents call from the graduation to see how things went. She lets them know that things went fine and that I'm actually standing in their kitchen. I hear an "oooooo." I decide to jet out of there before they get back. I give her the URL to the Cool Asians #4 strip and then go (but not before dumping 1/2 of the eyedrops into my eye).

And as I leave, I wonder if she'll take the time to look it up.

I wonder if she'll read the rest of the stuff on the site.

I wonder if she's reading this now.

And I hate to admit it, because admitting is like saying that parents are right sometimes. Not that I want them to write up a marriage contract promising a quantity of pigs and chickens for dowry or anything. I just had a really good time talking to her and I wouldn't mind doing it again. Without all the shady forgotten graduation business. So I'll just say that I sort of hope that she is reading these words.

If so, Hi.