Mom Insists, ‘Let There Be Cake’

Jul 30

Mom Insists, ‘Let There Be Cake’

The wedding planning is underway, which means my opinionated, stubborn Korean mom has many angry directives about how the day should unfold. Her non-negotiable? Cake.

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Mom Catches Me Red-Shouldered

Dec 07

Mom Catches Me Red-Shouldered

In August I completed my second Ironman. The first time I raced that distance was in 2010. As you recall, that time Mom was unconvinced I’d finish in one piece but was relieved I had finished alive and well. She was once again worried that I had signed up to do another “Macho Man” race, but I assured her that I would be fine. The day before the race, I called Mom to remind her that I was racing. Me: “My race is tomorrow.” Mom: “Yeah?” Me: “Yeah, I’m doing another Ironman, remember?” Mom: “Really? Where?” This woman never remembers anything I tell her. Me: “The same place where I did my race two years ago.” Mom: “…Toronto?” Me: “No, Penticton.” Mom: “Oh. What kind of race? Swimming, same thing?” Me: “Yeah, swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles.” Mom: “Gahhhhhh. Better be careful. Really! Honestly.” Me: “Don’t worry, I will.” Mom: “Without break?” Me: “No, it’s all back-to-back.” Mom: “My gahhhh. Don’t forget to eat pasta…and beef…and chicken! Give you energy. If you were with me, I’d feed you good food.” Me, laughing: “Okay, I’ll be sure to fuel up before my race.” I did the race and posted an improvement over the last time I did it, but I also crashed early on in the bike leg and sustained some injuries (scrapes, bruised ribs, a concussion). Afterwards I put off calling my mom because I didn’t want to freak her out by telling her about my bike accident, so I kind of avoided the little Korean woman for about a week. Unfortunately, my brother John is a gigantic butthole and ratted me out. I had sent him this picture of my shoulder via text message: The day after I sent it, he met my mom for lunch and showed her the damage. Shortly after that, I noticed a missed call from my mom. It was Labor Day weekend and I was in Vancouver for the holiday to do some post-Ironman R&R, so I didn’t check my voicemail until I was back across the border. When I finally listened to my mom’s voice message, my reaction was a mixture of horror, fear, and great amusement. The following is a verbatim transcription of the message my mom left for me: Mom: “REBECCA!!!!!!!” She screeched my name so loud that I...

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Mom’s Inability to Send Text Messages

Jul 31

Mom’s Inability to Send Text Messages

Ever since I got the Korean food hook up from CJ, I’ve occasionally used their spicy Korean BBQ sauce to make chicken wings. Jas, like most red-blooded American men, loves chicken wings, and he’s a huge fan of using the Bibigo sauce on them despite the fact that anything remotely spicy makes him sweat buckets. Recently he had a hankering for wings so we whipped some up. Since my mom is now capable of receiving picture mail, I sent her a photo of our dinner in an effort to convince her I don’t mess up everything I try to cook: She left a voicemail shortly after that, which I’ve transcribed verbatim: Mom: “Rebeccaaaaa. We have big storm. I’m sitting here, dark. A little while ago, I see your, um, chicken. Gochujang chicken? That chicken. That’s a gochujang sauce. Chicken legs. Look good. So I re-ply, but I say ‘Justin’ ‘stead of ‘Jason.’ Oh my gahhh! I guess I’m getting old. So don’t tell him that, okay? Just say ‘Jason.’ I say ‘Justin,’ you know? So don’t tell him that!” Three things: Yes my mom said “re-ply” as if it were two words (“re” and “ply”). Jason and I have been dating for nearly eight years. Before that I dated a guy named Justin. I can understand initial confusion considering the two names are similar, but really, after eight years she’s still getting them confused? Speaking of “re-ply,” what’s this response she was talking about? I never got any sort of text message reply from her. I thought she didn’t even know how to send one. I returned her call to get the story straight. Mom: “You get my message?” Me: “Yeah.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhh, I say ‘Justin,’ not ‘Jason’! Don’t tell him I say that!” Me, laughing: “I can see how you’d get confused. We’ve only been dating for eight short years.” Mom: “…I say ‘Justin.'” Me: “Yeah, you’ve mentioned that. What’s this reply you were talking about? I never got a reply.” Mom, angry: “Mia say she don’t get my re-plies either! I don’t know what the deal is! Phone or something!” Me: “I’m not so sure it’s the phone that’s the problem here…” Mom: I send re-plies...

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Mom’s Important Meeting

Jul 11

It’s been a while, but that doesn’t mean my mom is any less amusing; I’ve just been busy with starting a new job and ramping up my Ironman training. Speaking of the Ironman, since Mom insisted she was too busy with her peppers to watch me race Ironman Canada, I’ve been pondering other locations for future races. Ironman Arizona has looked like a somewhat promising option since my mom’s mother-in-law lives in Phoenix and she and my stepdad visit often–I brought up that race to her and she cautiously agreed to watch. Recently, however, my boyfriend has been pestering me about signing up for Ironman Wisconsin 2013. It’d be in September instead of November like Arizona, and the course is more appealing (rolling hills instead of numerous flat loops). I brought up Wisconsin to my mom to see how’d she react. Me: “There’s another Ironman race in Wisconsin in September. I was thinking of doing that next year. Would you be able to come out and watch?” Mom: “Wisconson? Oh yeah, Kuht and I drive. Meel-wok-eee?” Me: “No, Madison.” Mom: “How far is Madison?” I pulled up Google Maps and mapped out a driving course. Me: “Looks about seven and a half hours.” Mom: “Yeah, okay. We can drive.” Me: “So you’d want to come out and watch the race? Which one would work better for you, Arizona or Wisconsin?” Mom: “Ummm, Wisconsin. Cuz we’d have our own car. Air-eee-jone-uh we have to rent car.” Me: “Okay, cool.” Mom: “We drive out and watch…WAIT!! Not September 9th!” Me: “What?” Mom: “Race September 9th? September 9th no good!” Me: “Well…” I pulled up the Ironman Wisconsin website. This year’s race was indeed on September 9th, but next year’s date wasn’t set yet. Me: “This year the race is September 9th, yeah, but I’m talking about doing the race next year. 2013. It’d be around the first weekend of September.” Mom: “Oh, good. I head of Korean-American Uh-So-She-A-Shun. We’re having meeting at my house September 9th. Very important! I serve vegetables from my garden and bulgogi. Next year good, this year I have meeting.” I couldn’t help but laugh. My mom has become quite the important little Korean over in Michigan....

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Mom’s Ridiculously Short Attention Span

May 22

Last weekend I did a long bike ride and developed what’s called a “saddle sore” (or a gigantic, mutated form of one) after riding 80 miles. I wrote about the whole awkward-yet-amusing ordeal on my athlete blog in case you’re interested in reading the backstory behind the grossest trip to the women’s health clinic ever. After I got back from the doctor, I had a chat with my mom and filled her in on what had happened. I didn’t know at the time that her attention was divided between our phone call and something else. Me: “Do you know what a cyst is?” Mom: “Yeah.” Me: “So I did a bike ride last weekend in Idaho and rode 80 miles, and I developed a cyst near my pubic bone so I had to go to the doctor.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhhhhh!! What they do?!” Me: “I went to the gynecologist and she drained it.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhh!!! What, the cyst? What they drain? Drain the wha, liquid?” Me: “Well yeah.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhhhh. It hurt!” Me: “Hell yeah it hurt, that’s what happens when a doctor uses a needle on your crotch!” Mom: “Be careful when you riding the bike!…I think bike ride have something to do with it!” I could hear her Eureka! moment over the phone, and I’d be proud of her deductive reasoning if I hadn’t just told her how I had gotten the cyst at the beginning of our conversation. Me: “I just told you it was from the bike ride!” Mom: “Well you better get rest! Don’t walk around…and stuff.” I don’t want to imagine what she meant by “and stuff.” Me: “Oh, it’s fine now. The doctor said I don’t need any recovery time or anything. I’m alright.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhh…crappy church.” Me: “What?” Where did this church come from? Was she driving? Mom: “I watching Uh-mer-ee-kun Idol. This black guy Joshua go to home town. His father’s a preacher. It’s really crappy church.” Me: “…oh.” Mom: “So crappy. Anyway, I call you in couple days see how you’re feeling. I talk to you later, honey.” And that’s how I found out a crappy church was more interesting to my mom...

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Mom’s Grasp of Technology Just Improved 500%

May 17

Mom’s Grasp of Technology Just Improved 500%

For Mom’s birthday I opted to get her something every midwestern older woman would love: a gift certificate to Lord & Taylor. I ordered it from Amazon and had it shipped to her house. Unfortunately, she never received the gift card so now I’m stuck dealing with the vendor through Amazon to try and figure out a solution. In the meantime, Mother’s Day rolled around and I felt bad because her birthday gift never arrived so I tried to smooth things over by sending her some flowers. I used the same local florist as last year since she liked them so much. On Monday she called and left a voicemail to gush about the flowers (message transcribed below): Mom: Hi Rebeccaaaaaaa. I just got the flower this evening. It’s beautiful! You don’t have to do that! I just don’t want you to, you know, uh, miss the gift certificate. Lose somewhere. I just want you to find it, that’s all. It’s beautiful, Rebecca. Maroon and red roses. Lavender. Little flowers. Let me take a picture, something, send to you, okay? Tomorrow I’m gonna pick the herbs. Gimme a call when you get a chance, okay? Beautiful flowers, thank you. I love you. Bye. I was happy she liked the flowers, but the “Let me take picture and send to you” part confused me. Was she going to take a picture and make my brother upload it for her and email it to me or something? She’s never offered to send me pictures before. Logistically I couldn’t figure out how she’d pull it off in fewer than five steps. I didn’t really think much of it after the call until my phone buzzed at 6:00 yesterday morning. I groggily rolled over and pawed at my phone, and with one eye cracked open I saw the following images: Holy shit, my mom sent me picture mail! Mom actually managed to successfully do something remotely technologically savvy! I couldn’t believe it. Never in a million years would I have expected to receive a picture mail from my mom. I had long given up on her interest in or ability to do anything technologically associated with the late 20th or early 21st century....

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