You know how you have love-hate relationships with some people? my parents are those people. I love them, and they’re probably the people I most care for (I remember the last time I cried was in a dream when my dad died), they mean a lot to me; but sometimes they just get on my nerves.
For one thing, they nag and bitch at me alot. For my mom, this usually means her annoying me with “Why don’t you clean this room? wash these dishes etc etc” For my dad it would be “Why can’t you do anything right? Why don’t you exercise more?”. Yeah.. it really gets annoying. And it’s also annoying how they would put in “If you don’t do things this way, how would you ever find a girlfriend?” Or “If I was your girlfriend I would be appalled blah blah” It’s really annoying how they presume my love life is somehow interconnected with the way I organize my stuff.
Another dispute we have is with my way of thinking, especially with regards to finances and my home country. You see, my parents have a very old-fashioned way of thinking. Hard work and education -> good job -> retire at 65. Don’t take any risks. Housing prices will always go up. That’s the way the thinking was a while ago, but I think in today’s day and age you have to have more innovative thinking. I said “I want to purchase a home with cash”. My parents laughed at me. I said “I made $X through the stock market”. My parents didn’t believe me. They thought the stock market was a way to scam money from you.
They’re very conservative on fiscal matters yet they just purchased a $375,000 condo. That’s so hypocritical. They said I’m being very fiscally irresponsible because I have $1000 owing on a credit card with interest 8%. “You are so stupid to let the credit card companies charge you interest. Why don’t you pay that back right away?” While at the same time they have about $300,000+ on a mortgage. “But the mortgage rate is only 2.5%, yours is 8%” Yeah, but 8% of $1000 is much less than 2.5% of $300k isn’t it? What’s the point? And on a condo whose value is going decrease once the interest rates goes up. My parents think that housing prices will never go down as long as you are in a prime location, which is also hypocritical advice because they always say to me “If it’s so easy to make money on the stock why doesn’t everyone do it?” and my response to that is “Because most people are like you and don’t like to take risks. If it was so easy to make money by buying condos and housing prices never go down (See: US housing crisis) then why doesn’t everyone do that?”.
They’re very cynical and untrusting of other people. They also forbid me from inviting over any strangers because “they might kill you”. I said I was willing to take the chance to make a business deal with them, if the possibility of him killing me is 1,000,000:1 then so be it. My parents were astounded and thought that my logic was flawed. They wanted to kick me out of the house for thinking differently. “There’s something wrong with the way you think, Tong” “You don’t think like a normal person does”. Ok well, why would I want to think like a normal person, I want to be above the average person. And how do they know that the average person thinks this way. They think their beliefs are above everyone else’s, that you have to think in the old ‘traditional’ style and any other way is too ‘radical’ for them.
And my home country, which is China. It’s strange because my parents are 100% Chinese yet they do not want to go back to China. Why? I don’t know, my mom comes up with a different excuse each time. Last time it was “I’m too lazy to get gifts for my relatives” (cause you have to get gifts for relatives when you go back apparently) and this time it’s “I don’t understand the way they think there. You will lose face if you go back there and you’re not rich and successful”. That sounds silly. If you are not rich and successful, then your relatives will think less of you? Maybe that’s how Chinese think? Has China really become that capitalist that people there are more arrogant than Americans are? I wondered why all the international students had alot of money, and according to my mom, “They have to send their money overseas to their children because they’ll be forced to spend it back home to get raises, promotions, etc”. Not really sure how true this is, but I don’t understand what vendetta my parents have against our home country. I’m very proud of my home country China and my hometown Shenyang. My dad went back for two weeks to visit his relatives, got sick of it and came back. My mom doesn’t want to go back at all and thinks all Chinese people are ‘tan guan’ which means greedy corrupt officials. I don’t agree with that… yes lots of Chinese people are corrupt but I don’t think that all of them are, or even a majority.
Well I disagree with my parents on a lot of things, but even so they did raise me and even if they don’t support me moving to the United States, I will thank them for giving me the opportunity to be so independent. I really can’t wait to start a new life. Graduation can’t come soon enough.