K is for Kimchi

May 23

K is for Kimchi

For Mother’s Day I sent my mom a bouquet of flowers from the local florist in her area. She was so tickled and impressed that I used a local vendor instead of some big stupid Internet company and declared me the flower victor over my sister, whose bouquet from 1-800-Flowers “look like-a beat up!” (She did keep the plastic vase my sister’s flowers came in, naturally, because my mom is a hoarder and because she “didn’t have a green vase.”)

Another gift I sent Mom was a t-shirt that said “K is for Kimchi!” because I thought it would be a funny thing for my tiny Asian mom to wear. I ordered the t-shirt and had it shipped to her but didn’t tell her because I wanted it to be a surprise. Naturally, I received no mention of the shirt because Mom never tells me anything. Finally I caved and called her.

Me: “Hey, did you get a t-shirt in the mail?”

Mom: “Yeah. K for the kimchi?”

I chuckled. Close enough.

Me: “Uh, sure. When did you get it?”

Mom: “Saturday.” I called her on a Monday.

Me: “And you didn’t wonder where it came from?”

Mom: “Yeah, I wonder. I ask Kuht if he buy for me. He say no. I say, ‘Damn Kuht, you don’t spend money on this stuff! Save you money for better things.'”

I like how she thought, “Maybe my husband got this for me,” and once that trail led to a dead end she just gave up and assumed the shirt was standard-issue to all Koreans from the government or something. No questions asked.

Me: “I ordered it for you as a Mother’s Day gift.”

Mom: “How it send to me? No note or anything!”

Me: “I just put your address as the shipping address. I wanted it to be a surprise.”

Mom: “Wow, you send me gift card [for her birthday] to Costco, and-uh flowers, and-uh tee shirt. Is too much!”

Me: “Nah, it’s fine. You don’t think the shirt’s funny?”

Mom: “Yeah, funny. I wear it.”

Sure enough, a few days later my brother sent me this via text message:

She's 61 but looks like a little kid

She also promised, “I eat kimchi while wearing shuht.” Success!


  1. Mia Kelley /

    Okay dork–the flowers were from ProFlowers, and they sent her a replacement bouquet from a different florist that she liked much better, AND it came in a square glass vase. Pfffhhht, I won last year!

    I also bought her Clinique foundation for her birthday, which came with a free gift. I call victor on the b-day present. We all know how much mom loves expensive make-up, especially when it comes with a free gift bag!

    Love ya!


  2. LOL, thats fantastic!

  3. Thanks for the laugh. Someone shared this with me via Facebook! Glad I popped in to read your blog! Great story telling

  4. Gayoung /

    That’s hilarious! Where can I buy the shirt, if you don’t mind me asking? My mom, and grandma do the same kind of thing all the time, it’s nice to hear it’s not just me. (:

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