Category : Family

11 posts

I never hesitate to admit that my dad frustrates me a lot and knows how to push me over the edge. As a grown man, I just can’t believe the things he does sometimes. It’s not something I’m proud of saying but I try to avoid conversation as much as possible, because if you know my dad, every day there’s something ridiculous he’ll say that will get me sighing exasperatedly.

My mom and dad don’t have the peachiest marriage, but even she said to me today, “Your poor dad though. He doesn’t have that much long to live anymore.” Which is a little hilarious in the exaggerated way she said it because it makes it sound like he’s 90 years old (he’s not even 60 yet). I’m a bit more of an optimist than my mom and I think he has more than that much (according to her tone and words) left to live, but in general, she’s definitely right. It’s weird to think about. He might have 10 years left, for all I know. Or less.

I don’t know how you people do it (I suppose it would help to not live in the same house as the person…for now I need some help before standing on my own), but I need to figure out how to not let my dad’s craziness get to me. I want to come out as a better person who doesn’t feel frustration welling up at the pit of their stomach when their crazy father says or does something ridiculous.

I guess for my situation it would be, think of all the years he supported you. Even if none of it was emotionally supportive or something as simple as asking me how I was feeling when I was sick, it was financially. (Even then, my mom is always the one who actually gives me money for things…but they share bank accounts…so I digress.) Maybe it was only financially because it’s one of the few things my dad ever knew how to actually provide. And providing financially means spending 1/4 or more of your time working for hard-earned cash. So although my dad never knew how to do simple dad things or even be considerate, he did provide in another way. It’s kind of easier to swallow when I realize that, as unfortunate as it is, my dad just doesn’t know how to be like a normal dad. And, there are so many worse or nonexistent dads out there. It’s all about perspective.

My dad’s cousin and cousin’s son stayed over a long while ago (more than a month now) and I never blogged about it, so I figured I might as well now (still trying to get back into blogging).

My dad is a little too super nice to his side of the family, so when my first cousin once removed(???) and his son (my second cousin???) informed my dad that they were going to stay at our house for a while, my dad never thought to ask how long. He never ended up asking either, until it was brought up by them during conversation. They stayed for a really long two weeks. The son was very sweet and kind, but his dad was…meh.

[Side note: I never friggen got family trees!!! I swear, I got through a lot of material during college but my brain explodes into millions of pieces every time I think about family trees. I was going to say I’d be willing to take a class if it explained family trees and relationships…but then again no matter how clear the professor might be, my brain might explode before I could begin to understand. Lol. For the sake of simplicity (aka to keep my sanity before my head explodes) I’m just going going to call him my uncle and his son my cousin.]

I liked my cousin because he was pretty upbeat and amiable. I would make some baked goods and he would down them all before they had a chance to sit for too long. So I ended up making baked goods almost every day, and he was super happy eating them all every day, lol. My mom said he would miss the fresh baked goods every day when he left us ^_^

Sleeping was a pain: For me it was long because every night and morning, I would have trouble sleeping. Every night and morning my uncle would hack his lungs out in such a deathly manner. If my dad ever coughed like that, I would be seriously concerned and make him go to the doctor. But for my uncle, I knew it was the norm for him (though I can’t say whether he’s actually healthy or not…the man rarely eats and only drinks alcohol) because he’s stayed over in the past and it was the same deathly cough every time. I’m an extremely light sleeper, and our guest room is only separated from my room by a thin wall. I’d wake up with my heart jumping out of my chest every time my uncle coughed his lungs out or when he’d talk really loudly on the phone with his family back in Vietnam (at 8am here of course since it’s night over there). Even earplugs didn’t help me there.

Communication was awkward: I’m not very fluent in Vietnamese. I can carry a basic conversation but beyond that I’m in trouble. It’s embarrassing, but it’s what happened after all I cared about was English and school for the last decade. So you can imagine my discomfort when they are speaking to me in their native tongue and I have to either ask them what they mean or stare at them blankly while my brain is trying to figure it out. It’s never translated very kindly right away, either. It’s more like, “You don’t know what that means???” first. Hey man, I don’t berate you when your English is poor… Needless to say, I prayed my uncle would speak to me as little as possible. His jokes were funny but I’d rather not hear them at all if I had to feel a little more stupid with every conversation. -.-

Kindness was pushed beyond boundaries: I felt very, very bad for my brother during my uncle’s two week stay. I understand they had no means of transportation, but as a guest staying for free for two weeks, you would think that they would at least make an effort to be as little of a burden as possible, right? It was the very opposite. My brother was at their every beck and call. It’s 8pm and my uncle decides he wants to buy an outlet adapter so they can use their Vietnamese chargers with our American outlets (different prongs) so he tells my brother to drive him. It’s dinner time and my uncle has a friend he wants to visit, so…yep, he tells my brother to take him. You can probably guess how the rest of the two weeks was like.

However, the worst situation that comes to mind was one day when my uncle had his friend come to our house to pick him up for lunch. Well, my guess is my uncle didn’t tell his friend he wanted his son to tag along…so his friend brought his two-seater convertible car. *facepalm* His friend offers to drive back home to get his other car so he can come back and seat both my uncle & cousin, but my uncle refuses the offer and instead tells him, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll just tell my cousin’s son to drive us and follow behind your car to drop us off at your house.”

This was when my brother had literally just come home from an early morning of constant physical labor (he was moving large machines that my dad was selling) and barely had time to make himself some food in the kitchen. After my uncle told that to his friend, he went over to my brother and told him to follow behind his friend’s car to drop them off. My brother could have been smarter about it (Like: “Sorry, I’m really tired right now. Maybe if you give me an hour to rest I can gladly take you” – and hopefully that would discourage them from wanting to use my brother like that), but he wasn’t. He complied, and ended up driving for half an hour to drop them off back at the friend’s house and then half an hour to go back home. You’ll notice by my italics that my uncle never once asked my brother in a polite way…when he wanted something, he commanded him to do it. I couldn’t believe the trouble my uncle would put my brother through, driving him an unbelievable # of miles in those two weeks.

He wasn’t the most classy guy: My uncle kept calling my brother “the fat boy.” If you’re a close family friend and that kind of name-calling is a tolerated joke, then it’s cool. But he wasn’t close to my brother at all and my brother’s weight is something my family tries to get him to take responsibility for, but we never ridicule him with names.

And my favorite story was when uncle had gone out to a friend’s house. He got dropped back at our house around midnight. I promised my brother I’d keep an eye out for the doorbell since my brother had to sleep early that night. When the doorbell rang, I rushed downstairs to open the door…and found nobody. It was the strangest thing. I stared out the door in confusion for a while, walked away from the door…and then went back to the door again awkwardly…When I took a look again, I found my uncle taking a long and loud piss at the side of our house, at one of our trees. UHHH OK. I swear I took about less than 10 seconds to open the door, and he could have used the restroom right away if he needed to take a leak so badly. But, no. He was peeing at the front of our house for some odd reason. “Bac?” I called out to him (respectful way to address an elder in Viet). I turned away and waited awkwardly…when he finished up, he said, “Just watering the plants.” LOL WTF. Sorry, but you have proven to me that you have zero manners when you piss in our front yard after ringing the doorbell for me to open the door.

In all honesty, there are worse people you could have stay over as guests in your house. My uncle isn’t the worst but he’s certainly not the best and he definitely took down my family’s level of comfort in our own house by a LOT. Honestly, if you’re gonna get free lodging at someone’s house for two weeks, you should at least show some manners and respect. Please, don’t let this become a regular and annual visit (he’s come 3 times in less than 3 years now).

I’m still alive. Just trying hard to study for my entrance exam & finally get it over with soon.

I’m not sure how my dad turned out to be such a goof. How do you grow to be almost of retirement age, and not know how to do anything for yourself?  How does he not know that you have to turn on the vent over the stove if you’re frying food? And that it’s common sense to fry the pan on the farthest side of the stove, nearest to the wall, so that the oil doesn’t splatter all over the floor? I caught him halfway through his cooking to turn on the vent for him and tell him to place the pan away from the edge, but by then the oil already was on the floor, our entire house smelled like burnt food, and the oily smoke was soaking up into the wooden cabinets nearby.

He’s learning to do his own laundry now (my mother always did it for him), but last week I heard him bossing my brother around and telling him to dry his laundry for him. *roll*

He’s really learning the silliest things at such a late stage in his life. My mother spoiled him too much his entire life by doing everything for him. I got him to wash his own dishes by doing my own and leaving his until it piled up – he got the picture and started washing them. But my mom (she totally didn’t heed my words) decided to do them one day when she felt like having a clean sink. The day after, he stopped washing his own dishes, probably assuming she was going to wash them again for him the next day. Despite the fact that he’s unemployed and just sits to watch TV instead of doing his own chores. Come on. I just wanna slap some sense into the man. I don’t know how I’d ever survive without venting about him.

My mom always wants me to be the middleman and tell him this and that about all the stuff he’s doing but god freaking damn it. I am not a middleman and I don’t want to be one! UGH! I love my dad just because he’s my dad but I really want as little interaction with him as possible. *sighs*

I keep mentioning the ages of my family members. I keep doing that because it really feels like my brother (age 30) and my dad (age 57) never got a chance to grow up in some aspects. My dad has no idea how to do laundry. Both of them have never cooked food before. And the list goes on and on. My boyfriend knows these things very well – I vent to him all the time in order to stay sane!

My mom has thrown in the white towel – or she is fighting back passive-aggressively. I’m not sure which…but either way, she’s just not going to do it anymore. And by “it” I mean doing household duties for them: cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. She has cooked a meal for almost every day of the week (besides vacation or abundant leftovers, etc) for as long as I can remember. Very recently was her last straw, I suppose.

Why now, and not 20 years ago? In the last year, my dad went into unemployment and it put my family in a really difficult position. My brother remains unemployed as well. What is the progress of things? Well, nothing has changed. They both remain unemployed, and my dad expects my mother – working as a hairstylist with minimal and sporadic pay – to pay the bills. And yet, it was still expected for her to cook and clean every day. Something is just not right, don’t you think?

At first my mom felt bad for my dad’s loss of a job & just let him do whatever he wanted as a mini-vacation and to get out of his mourning period (mourning for the loss of his job). He even started doing the dishes every day – something he never did in his life. But then month after month, he continued to stay at home playing around and relaxing. He didn’t even bother fixing little household things that would have been great since he has the time now. And eventually he even stopped doing his own dishes – he would leave them in a big pile on the table and then maybe after two days put them in the sink for someone else to wash. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s home all day with absolutely no intention to get a job, so I don’t get why he can’t help out around here.

In fact, my dad has gotten really strange in the head lately. I get that he wants to be healthier (he had high blood pressure :/ ), but he took it overboard. He rejected my mom’s cooking – which is very Asian & healthy compared to eating out in the first place – despite how hard she works and wanted to eat “better” food. So she stopped cooking for him entirely. He cooks for himself now…which is basically just some boiled vegetables with brown rice, and blended vegetable/fruit smoothies. He’s been meditating and going to meditation/”Oriental medicine” classes. It sounds dandy and all, until you look at the fact that we’re not in the best financial situation right now but he’s spending money on drinking up only fresh vegetables (he says you should never drink water, just drink vegetables) and doing weird shit. And yet, he also eats out with his friends often & comes home to “detox” with vegetables again. *sigh* Honestly, nobody would care what he does if he had a JOB. The fact that he’s at home all day doing nothing and then demanding for expensive things my mom has to pay for just really puts me in over the edge.

As I mentioned, my mom went on vacation for a week. In the meantime, I took care of all the cleaning and food – it drove me insane how dirty & unappreciative my brother and dad can be. When my mom came back, I told her my new policy: do not do anything for them and they will realize they have to do it themselves, no matter how long it takes. She actually listened to me, and stopped completely. In the past, I would tell her the same thing, but she would respond with, “If I don’t do it, nobody will.” But maybe now is the last straw and my words actually meant something to her. I feel like I was responsible for my mom’s “strike” but in the end, if it makes her life easier & happier, I don’t think I did a bad thing. I might even have set her free… and I might even have forced my dad and brother to be more independent.

I’ve been cooking for myself and my brother, but after much frustration, my mom & boyfriend have helped me come to terms with the fact that I should NOT feel responsible for my brother. He is extremely overweight and when I cook he eats 4 portions more than the average person. It’s frustrating for me because when I cook something and tell him to portion it out, it’s all immediately gone in his belly. But if I don’t cook, he will go out to eat fast food because he refuses to learn to cook. However, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s not my responsibility to take care of him (my brother even said that himself). I can cook when I feel like it, but if my brother goes hungry, then he has to fend for himself.

It can go two ways – he will get even unhealthier and more obese with regular fast food all the time, or he will finally learn to cook for himself. I’ve tried my best for like 10 years to motivate him to lose the weight and I’ve given him all kinds of suggestions but they always fall to deaf ears. The only person who can help him is himself. I do care for him, but this is probably the best way for him to grow as a person – he’s been babied for too long. I only hope that this will lead to good results.

Bad news and venting aside…at least I am excited for my own adventure in cooking. I’ve made some good dishes in the last 2 weeks to put under the “winner dinner” list, and I’ve got around 100 other recipes saved to try in the coming days. Once I get through them all, I can just cycle through the good recipes and make them in larger batches for more meals. I’m thinking typed & printed recipes in a note-binder. Then maybe I can convince my brother to try one of the recipes himself and realize cooking for yourself is definitely a life skill worth having & necessary. Feel free to send any of your favorite recipes my way ^_^

The men in our family (dad, brother) drive me crazy when it comes to common household things.

They do NOT know the concept of cleanliness. Wash hands after using the bathroom? Never. If it’s a good day, they might wash it with just water and no soap (what’s the point????). That’s true for a lot of people, but I live with these people, so it’s even worse knowing they’re in my own house. All the stuff they put their hands on….bluuugh. One time my dad took out the trash and when he came back, he used his unwashed hands to handpick ice out of the freezer. And grab onto the stairway railing – I avoid using it for that reason, and when I finally clean it with a disinfecting cloth, it comes out completely black.

My brother just cut up a watermelon and knowing his habits, I told him, “I hope you washed your hands before handling that.” And he said, “They’re clean enough.” Translation: “I didn’t wash them, but meh, they’re clean enough to me.”

He was being really thoughtless and cut up the watermelon on the counter that is less than a foot in space with the drawer open. And I told him that was a bad idea. And what do you know, it fell into the drawer. And on the floor. Then he used a dirty rag to wipe up the floor even when I told him it was dirty. Please note, my brother is a 30 year old man.

I always apologize to guests beforehand if they need to use the downstairs bathroom which doubles as the guest bathroom and THEIR (bro/dad) bathroom. It is usually filthy.

And smelly! Why are they so smelly???

I see now why my mom wears sandals in the downstairs area where we have only hard tiles. They drop stuff and it just gets dirty so that when you walk (we are Asian and do not wear shoes in the house) it sticks to your feet! You can sweep and mop the floor, and the same day it will be dirtied by them again. I am going to start wearing sandals now so I can feel less annoyed.

I do not have O.C.D. nor am I a germ freak. But I certainly FEEL like one when the men in our family have NO standards about being clean. I haven’t complained about my brother or dad on my blog in a long time, but now that my mom is on vacation for a week and I’m the only sane person in the house, I REALLY needed to vent.