My mother is clearly on edge because she knows she will be meeting Chris’s parents tonight. I can tell she feels pressured to make a good impression… because she thinks that if she and my dad do anything to offend Chris’s parents, Chris’s parents will then inform Chris that they don’t think this is a good match and force him to end the engagement. That sounds a bit antiquated given that we are in the year 2015, but hey, that’s what my mother thinks. We have to let her think what she thinks.
When I called her after work yesterday, she asked me so many questions that I had to keep a straight face and try to answer all of them patiently so that she wouldn’t yell at me. It went something like this:
Mom: So… is there anything you want to tell me?
Me: No, not really. Everything is fine. Nothing’s new.
Mom: Oh, well, I mean about Chris’s parents.
Me: Oh. What do you want to know?
Mom: Um… who talks more, the mom or the dad?
Me: Dad definitely talks more, but that doesn’t really matter, does it? They both talk! He just talks a lot more than she does!
Mom: Well, I don’t know! That’s why I’m asking. What do they not eat?
Me: They eat pretty much everything. Tony doesn’t really like to eat with his hands, but he can be forced.
Mom: Does that mean he won’t eat crab or lobster?
Me: He’ll eat it if Chris is there.
Mom: What does that mean? Why will he eat it only if Chris is there?
Me: Ugh… He’s just like that! (Note to self: stop telling her things that are too complex and have too much of a silly story behind them).
Mom: I will invite them to come over to the house after dinner. Is that okay?
Me: That’s fine, but it might be a bit late after dinner, and they will be tired and will want to go back to their hotel. It’s out near the airport, remember?
Mom: Well, it’s rude if we don’t invite them to our house. You have to show respect and invite. They came all the way over here. We must at least ask.
Me: I never told you not to invite them! I just mean that if they decline, you shouldn’t be offended.
Mom (voice sounds shrill now): They told you they don’t want to come to our house?
Me: MOM! I never said that!
And so we begin a night of Cantonese dining on the edge of the Richmond district in the lovely City by the Bay tonight, without me.