Despite living away from home for over 10 years now, I’ve never had the pleasure of giving my parents a surprise visit home. Just once, I’ve wanted to secretly fly home and call them from outside their front door and say, “Guess where I am?” And tonight — mission accomplished.
I was sitting in an Uber X car going down 280 and chatting away with my driver, who is talking about what assholes most cab drivers are and how Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t like that. He asks me what I’m here in San Francisco for, and I said, work and visiting my parents… But they don’t know I’m coming to their house now. He laughs and says, wow, you’re such a sweet daughter. And then he gets to listen to me call my mother when we are just two minutes away from their house.
“Guess where I am?” I said.
“Where? You’re still not home?” My mom said, sounding tired. I can hear Vietnamese music in the background.
“I’m coming home now!” I exclaimed.
My mom is clearly confused, and she isn’t sure what I mean. “What do you mean?”
“I’m coming off of 19th avenue and I’ll be at home in two minutes!” I said.
“WHAT? Are you CRAZY?” Now she sounds half excited, half exasperated. “Why didn’t you ask your dad to pick you up? What kind of crazy driver is taking you here?”
I told her an Uber driver picked me up and I’m almost at the house. She then says she has to tell my dad now and we hang up.
I rang the doorbell and they let me in. My mom has the biggest smile on her face, and my dad is laughing. “Yvonne, you know there’s this thing called ‘advance notice’?”
“Well, if I did that, then this wouldn’t be a surprise anymore, would it?” I said.
“I’m so happy that you’re here, but don’t you ever do this again!” My mom said while grabbing me to hug me. “How was I supposed to know who this strange male driver was and what he could have done to you or where he would have taken you?!”
Most things will never change.