If you have an Asian parent, you know that sometimes they can be a bit cray-cray.
Okay, that's an understatement. Sometimes they're fucking insane.
Unfortunately, I didn't get the memo when I was born. I had to learn that shit on my own.
One of those ways was by going to school.
When I was little, my dad had this motto: "You get all A's in school...or else."
I never really understood what the "or else" meant, but I wasn't dumb enough to want to find out. He said it with such a menacing glare, I could easily imagine five or one hundred things that it could mean.
For a few years, it worked. Kindergarten through fourth grade was easy as pie. I didn't even have to try that hard.
Fifth grade was the killer.
I'm not exactly sure why, but I struggled. Math and science and history all seemed a bit harder. No matter how long I studied, I just wasn't completely grasping the subjects at hand.
And then it came, my first B. I was beyond horrified. I took the graded quiz home to my dad, my head lowered in shame. The scene was awful. How could I be so "stupid"? What was "wrong" with me? Did I "care" about my studies? Was school a "joke" to me?
The next morning, I thought his wrath was over. I went to school, vowing to work harder.
I had just gotten back into class from orchestra rehearsal, when a friend of mine ran breathlessly into the classroom.
"Your dad is in the hallway screaming," she told me. I was confused. Surely, there must be some sort of mistake. My dad was at work.
But sure enough, five minutes later, my dad burst into my classroom as my teacher was telling us to open our books.
My dad marched over to the teacher's desk and threw my B quiz on the desk and barked, "What is she doing wrong? Why is she not understanding the material?"
All my classmates turned to stare at me, with their mouths open. My entire body felt like it was on fire. I wanted to die.
"TELL ME WHY MY DAUGHTER ISN'T UNDERSTANDING THE MATERIAL!" my dad screamed at my stunned teacher, who just stared at him, mouth open. "WHY IS SHE GETTING B'S NOW?"
My teacher eventually calmed him down and promised to schedule a meeting with him. Some kids gave me looks of sympathy. Some laughed in disbelief.
It was a moment I will never forget.
But his scene didn't suddenly make me smarter. I kept getting B's. No matter how hard I tried. So, I realized that unless I wanted to endure another humiliating scene at school, I needed to get rid of the evidence.
I decided to stash all my B tests and papers in the Fancy Room, which is the room in the front of my house where nobody is allowed to sit on the furniture, because it's expensive.
So, I started placing all my B's underneath the cushions to the ivory Victorian couch. When that got full, I did both matching chairs. It was a nice little system. I was pretty pleased with myself.
But then one day, my dad was walking past the room and saw something sticking out of the couch. Curiously, he went to go see what it was.
"NOOOooooOOOoooo!" I wailed, running in what felt like slow motion, to the scene.
It was too late. The minute he touched the paper, the cushion fell to the ground and white crisp papers with blood red B's were flying all over the room. He turned over the chairs. It was a sea! A sea of B's!
I had never seen my dad look so stunned, or angry. He was standing practically ankle-deep in graded papers. The screaming and the shouting at me were unbearable. I think the entire neighborhood heard what was going on.
I thought my life was over. I was shamed. My dad was so disgusted, he couldn't even look me in the eyes for weeks.
To this day, almost 20 years later, we still cannot talk about the subject.
It was that bad.
And that, my friends, was my childhood.
PS. I love my dad. :)