It’s common knowledge that Asian parents express their love much differently than their Western counterparts. As far as we their offspring were concerned, there were several ways we knew our parentals loved us.
- True love was when you got a bowl haircut identical to your older and younger siblings for the sake of practicality.
- True love was when you were taught a new idiom in your native language for all life scenarios that have happened in the history of life.
- True love was when you asked for help with a math problem and received a full page of homemade practice problems.
My little sister Jamie had since a very young age tried to test the limits of this love by asking over and over again for a dog. Like all of her fellow pint-sized peers, she swore she would walk the dog, feed the dog, clean up after the dog, clean the dog itself, and so forth. It was a 16-year journey before Mama and Papa Kim cracked and got our current dog Soba, but the path to canine ownership was not an easy one.
The first time Jamie made a genuine effort to propose the idea of getting a dog, my parents decided to take a more academic route in pursuit of her dreams. This meant that instead of getting an actual dog at Christmas (as noted in caps and highlighted on her wish list), she received the next best thing; obviously, this was an encyclopedia of every type of dog as identified by the breeding community.
Some time passed before she decided to make another attempt. This time around, instead of coming home to a disappointed sibling, I came home to one of frustrated rage.
Me: Ooh. You’re upset. What’s wrong?
My sister: I asked Dad for a dog again!
Me: And he said no again?
My sister: Yes! He said I had to “demonstrate responsibility” so he took me to Home Depot and LOOK WHAT HE GOT ME!
Me: Um, what is that?
My sister: It’s a CACTUS! He wants me to take care of a cactus! I DON’T EVEN NEED TO WATER IT!