html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: I used to sing <em><a href="http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/grossepointeblank/pressuredrop.htm">Pressure Drop</a></em> when his Mom called.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I used to sing Pressure Drop when his Mom called.

I took a year of Farsi in undergrad; one day the instructor assigned the following essay: explain to your parents that they will have to give you the freedom to choose whom you will date (or what you will study). She figured it was a topic that would resonate with a bunch of second generation students, but the teacher read the best essays back to us, astonished. The best essays were a couple beautiful letters to parents saying how much my classmates loved them, loved their home and culture, desperately wanted their parents’ blessings when they chose who they would be with. My classmates wrote they understood their parents wanted only comfort and love and happiness for their children, and believed their parents had wise advice about what type of partners would bring them that happiness. One letter closed by telling her father that she had so much of him in her; begging him to trust that and please never disapprove of her or turn against her.

My family is typically western, but I went to a math/science magnet and did a Korean martial art for all of my adolescence. All of my friends were Asian-Am* and a lot of that culture stuck with me. I believe in the importance of family and respect for my elders. I liked that family was central to my ex’s well-being; I wanted him to feel that strongly about a family that we created. I didn’t want to defy his mother; I wanted to show her that I could be a good wife to her son. I never could because her objections weren’t to anything I could (or was willing to) change. He sometimes chose me and he sometimes chose her, but the real problem was that he was forced to choose at all.

I won’t try that route again. My next boyfriend’s mom will have to like me from the first. But the fact that her voice is important to this hypothetical boyfriend and that his family is a big part of his life isn’t anything I would want to change.



*Really, all my friends were Asian-Am or Eastern European. When I got to Berkeley I thought I had never seen so many white people in my life. Twenty years later it seems like all my baby siblings' friends are black or Middle Eastern, which is only interesting for the demographic shift in my old neighborhood.

9 Comments:

Anonymous UnderwearNinja said...

Asians 4tw!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Megan, okay, I'm not smiling any more. I just want to apologise for my earlier flippant comment-I didn't realise how serious this was: sorry. I hope it was the Toots version you were singing to.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Naw, it was serious but I can laugh at it, too. I smiled at your comment, 'cause you are exactly right that that's what aunts *do*.

Sometimes I used to ask my ex whether he wanted me to be the rock or the hard place this time.

(Sorry - Specials version.)

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M, as ususal I'm dazzled by your good nature and though I'm only an imaginary person I tip my hat to your generosity of spirit-even if you do listen to the specials:)

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

For me, if Mama doesn't like her, or she doesn't like my mother, that's about the end of the road there. Things might go on for a bit just for fun, but any serious nature to it would be quashed right there. However, my mother has on very few occasions overtly made any statements indicating she didn't like women/girls I was dating before we parted ways. If a woman is so wrong and Mama sees it and says something directly and I don't see it, it's usually quite quickly enough of a shock for me to have to check and see what's wrong with me that I didn't see it in the first place.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

What's up with all the Momma's boys commenting here? Mom's not always right, sometimes you can grow a sack and tell her she doesn't lay out your underwear anymore, and she doesn't get to choose who you love.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shannon, er...they were being sarcastic weren't they? Anyway, got to rush ... Mamma told me not to talk to girls like Megan. Oh , why didn't I listen to you mammy
-I feel like breaking into an Al Johnson song here...:)

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A shamefaced imaginary person corrects himself: Al *jolson*

9:13 AM  
Anonymous shannon said...

Sadly, I don't think they were being sarcastic.

9:46 AM  

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