You Are My Sunshine

Despite our naturally olive-toned, yellow-based skin complexions, we Asians have always had an unusual fascination with Caucasian appearances and have used it as a benchmark for true beauty. Hence, the resulting products designed specifically for the Asian market:

  • Whitening face masks
  • Whitening face creams
  • Whitening face powder
  • Whitening night cream

…you get the idea. This obsession with staying “white,” however, goes beyond the aesthetic. The fear of sun exposure and disdain for bronzer is not just about¬†looking pale, but preventing skin damage.

In the Kim household, sun protection is a serious, SERIOUS business. Our cocktails of choice, Coppertone and Neutrogena, are available not just in the summer months, but year-round. Sunblock can be found on the shoe cabinet in the garage, on the bookshelves in the office, in the medicine cabinets in the bathroom – again, you get the idea.

I took the liberty of ensuring even our pet canine Soba is properly equipped for the hottest season of the year as well, especially because he is primarily an outdoor dog.

Soba is ready to go and prepared to face any heat wave coming his way

Soba is ready to go and prepared to face any heat wave coming his way

And as Soba is my mother’s son, it’s only natural that Mama Kim is just as on board about skincare as he is. In testing out a new product recently, it was important that sun exposure was minimized but my mother, being a fitness FANATIC, couldn’t bear the idea of not being able to go outdoors. So behold.

Hello there, June, July, and August - consider yourselves HANDLED

Hello there, June, July, and August – consider yourselves HANDLED


Give Them the Finger

My mother is not a woman of staunch religious conviction, but if there is anything she does believe in, it’s that professional medical assessments are a last resort and are to be relied upon only when all other options have ¬†been exhausted. We Kims avoid hospitals like the plague (no health-related pun intended) and scorn offers for aspirin and ibuprofen. As far as my mother is concerned, there is <almost> no medical malady that cannot be healed with the power of time. And for those that truly cannot, there is eastern medicine: gut-wrenching, gag-inducing, throat-burning herbal cocktails that…oh, it looks like they do work.

So when I came home from a weekend trip in my freshman year of high school with a very badly fractured finger after a poorly-timed catch in a game of kickball, my mother’s personal evaluation was that as I was still able to continue walking, eating, breathing, and sleeping, a visit to a doctor would not be necessary.

Several weeks later, the pain had subsided, but my finger remained deformed as a result of the injury. Mama Kim sighed as she reluctantly lugged me to the family doctor, who sternly advised that the only way to return my finger to the way God intended was by re-breaking it.

“Oh, no, sir. That is not happening. This fracture was on my right hand and I write with my right hand. If I have to wear a brace on my finger I won’t be able to hold up a pen. And if I can’t hold up a pen, I won’t be able to keep up with any of my schoolwork. And if I can’t keep up with any of my schoolwork, then my grades will slip. And if my grades slip, I won’t be able to get into a decent university. And if I can’t get into a decent university, I won’t be able to get a good job. And if I don’t get a good job, I won’t be able to pay my bills. And if I can’t pay my bills, I will die. Do you see why I cannot afford to have my finger re-broken?”

I usually just tell people I'm distinctly double-jointed in my middle finger

I usually just tell people I’m distinctly double-jointed in my middle finger as a result of right-clicking too much with my mouse. I know, it looks STUPID.

For a while, I harbored anger at how there was no sense of urgency in responding to my finger injury, though now it no longer bothers me and I don’t even notice it unless somebody else does. The first time I brought it up to my mother, however, she did apologize briefly and made an effort to cheer me up as she chirped,

“Look at it this way. At least your future boyfriend will propose on the left hand, and not the right!”