On some occasions, I have my parents pick me up from the airport on Thursday nights. It's rare because it's normally inconvenient for them. But the timing worked out, and I thought it'd be nice to spend some quality time and force them to leave the comforts of the South Bay - which, like most South Bay residents, they rarely do.
And like always, the very little time I spent with my parents led to a wealth of entertainment as our differences in generations, cultural beliefs, and personalities clashed like the Titans.
Dad: Where are we going to dinner?
Mom: She wants to take us to one of her favorite places.
Me: It's called Park's BBQ. It's good.
Mom: Oh, that place is popular.
Dad: Wow, because of our great daughter, we get to eat fancy dinners in the city!
Me: Man... I need to be nicer to you guys.
Me: Dad, what do you want for Father's Day?
Mom: He wants new shoes.
Me: Mom, I was asking Dad. I know you want him to get new shoes.
Mom: Get him new shoes.
Me: Mom, stop. Dad gets an opinion.
Dad: Just buy something for your mom instead.
Me: Dad, stop. You get your own present.
Dad: Making your mom happy is my present.
Me: What is happening? What is this?
Mom: Get him new shoes.
Dad: Let's pray for our food.
Dad: [Prays]... Amen.
Me: Huh? Oh, Amen.
Dad: Could you not hear me?
Me: Sorry, I closed my eyes and fell asleep for a second.
Mom: Do you do that often??
Me: I hope not.
Mom: You need to drink alcohol when you eat BBQ.
Dad: You don't have to, it's just a cultural thing.
Mom: No, you have it. It's a digestive agent.
Dad: I don't think that's true.
Mom: It's true. It also makes the food taste better.
Dad: Why are you looking at us like that?
Me: I feel like I'm looking into the future at a conversation I could potentially have...
Mom: See? She agrees.
Mom: Look at all these nice cars.
Me: Koreans always have nice cars.
Mom: I'd rather have a big house than a nice car or fancy clothes.
Me: I'd rather have all of it.
Mom: What if you had to choose?
Me: Why would I have to choose?
Mom: Because you were poor.
Me: Why would I be poor?
Mom: Because you have poor parents.
Me: What does that have anything to do with my being poor?
Dad: We're not poor.
Mom: She doesn't think she has to choose.
Dad: Do you think she works hard because she wants to make choices?
Me: Thanks, Dad.
Dad: So what car are you gonna buy for us?
Me: If I had to make a choice, I'd choose my family's health.
Mom: She only makes choices when she wants to.
Mom: Let Connie drive to her place. She has a better sense of direction.
Mom: Connie, which way is East?
Me: [pointing] That way.
Mom: Isn't that North?
Me: Mmm... I know that way is home and that way is Chicago.
Mom: Yea, so that's North.
Me: I just pointed at what I thought was Chicago.
Mom: Yea, North.
Mom: Oh, it's getting nicer in this neighborhood.
Me: We're in Downtown now.
Mom: Where were we before? It was terrible. So ugly. Dirty.
Me: That was Koreatown.
Mom: I don't like Koreatown.
Me: Whoa, whoa, whoa, don't jump to conclusions now.
Mom: What's so great about it?
Me: There's karaoke on every corner!
Mom: I've never been to karaoke.
Me: How... What? How... am I related to you... What? I'm so confused.
Dad: I haven't either.
Me: Guys. This is unacceptable.
Dad: How are you more Korean than we are? You're not even the first born.
Me: How have you never gone to karaoke?!?
Mom: Your place is so dusty.
Me: I haven't been here in a couple weeks.
Mom: You really need to clean.
Me: Mom, have you heard of outsourcing?
Dad: Oh, like getting Cindy to clean for you?
Me: That's terrible.
Dad: Didn't you say she folded your laundry and put it on your bed?
Me: Yea, but that's just because she's nice.
Mom: What's outsourcing?
Me: When you pay someone to do something for you.
Dad: How do you pay Cindy?
Me: I don't outsource to Cindy!
Mom: I think she buys her food sometimes.
Me: I'm gonna call a maid.
Dad: Don't call Cindy your maid.
Me: Cindy would move with me if I did buy a place.
Mom: You should be careful.
Me: Of what?
Mom: If you two get too dependent on each other, you might turn into lesbians.
Me: That's not how it works. And if it were, I would've made that decision a long time ago.
Dad: What's she saying?
Mom: I don't know.
Me: Do you know how to get home?
Dad: Yea, just turn right to the freeway.
Me: No, turn left. Then, right.
Dad: Got it. Right, left. Got it.
Mom: Wait, tell me. Your dad is terrible at directions.
Me: Turn left, then right
Mom: Okay, turn right.
Me: Call me when you guys get lost.
They never did call me, and I got so caught up looking for the right maid service to clean my apartment that I forget to check in on them. I'm 80% certain they made it home.