comments 35

Happy Mother’s Day

All the girls in the family.
I don’t have much from my family in terms photos or stories. My mother’s side of the family lost everything during the Cultural Revolution. They left China with almost nothing and made it to the United States in stages.

My grandmother, my mom, and her sisters were the first. Followed almost twenty years later by the boys, my two uncles. This photo is one of the few images that I have of my grandmother and her daughters together.

I think this was taken in Hong Kong in 1964.

We’re kind of a strange family on my mother’s side, bucking almost every Asian stereotype and defying just about every cultural tradition. Everyone in my family is bad at math. No one is lactose-intolerant and those of us who drink, can drink like fishes. Most bizarrely for an Asian family? Girls are favored more than boys — much to the consternation of my uncles, brothers, and male cousins who complain that they received zero attention growing up.

My grandmother was a athlete, the star-player on her high school basketball team. She was strong-willed, cultured, and always smelled like Chanel No. 5.

My mom is equally as awesome. She listens to Chinese opera at deafening volumes in the car, proudly has Priscilla Presley’s autobiography on her bookshelf next to Shakespeare’s tragedies, has never missed an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, and makes no apologies.

The woman can sass the heck out of you.

I love her so much.

Happy Mother’s Day to my dearest mom and also to all you mothers out there!

(Can you guess who my mom is in the photo? I’ll give you a hint: we both have a penchant for cat’s eye glasses)

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Eater. Drinker. Academic Thinker.

35 Comments

  1. brie

    I loved getting a glimpse into your family history and memories for you….I would have known that was your mother without even a hint…you look exactly like her!
    Happy mother’s day to all!

  2. A happy Mother’s Day to your Mum, Daisy! We don’t celebrate Mother’s Day in Poland today, we have it in two weeks, on May 26.

  3. Dearest Daisy
    The Dandy salutes your mother – she sounds like one heck of a lady!!
    I send her a suitably robust set of tulips from across the Atlantic.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • Dearest M. Dandy,

      Thank you for the robust tulips and for the kind salute! I will be sure to pass your kindness along to my mother. She is amazing!

  4. poodle

    Your family sounds fabulous. I love sassy women like that. Happy Mother’s Day!
    Cat’s eye glasses are the best.

    • Thank you, John! That is kind of the goal this summer. Since I will be unemployed in exactly a week and a half, I plan on sitting down with my grandfather first and starting a family history. The man turns 90 in July! What stories her must have.

  5. I enjoyed reading your family history, In my opinion, real life stories are far more interesting than any fictional story. Best wishes to the women in your family!

    • Thank you, dear Scroungelady! Sometimes real life is very much more dramatic, emotional, tragic, happy, and unbelievable that what can be dreamt up. This summer I plan on getting a start on recording my family’s history. No one has done it yet, and time is running out!

      Many warm wishes to you too!

      • Great project for you! Do it now while people can tell you stories. Wish I had 10 years ago. Try ancestry.com to help you trace family members.

  6. What a wonderful post. I loved reading about your family and the part about the men grumbling that they were second-class citizens made me laugh. Your mother sounds fabulous, here and in past stories about her. (Her reaction to the British woman with the unusual name who went to study Chinese cookery still makes me laugh whenever I think about it.) I would say that you two have far more than your love for cat-eye glasses in common: you got her wonderful, dry, slightly sardonic, witty sense of humour. 🙂 xoxo

    • Thank you, dear Kafka! My mother is fabulous. I spoke with her today and she said that she had watched a movie with Kim Kardashian — which to my filthy mind could only mean *that* movie with Kim Kardashian. My mom assured me that she was not watching porn and then started snickering for about 20 seconds. Love my mom 🙂

      • ROFL. I’m going to demand many more posts about your mother from here on out. I’m quite serious. PLEASE have one post dedicated just to her various quips and comments. 🙂

        • That’s a very good idea 🙂

          Did I tell you this one? For years, she forbade me to go to China (I have never been) because she was convinced that because of the girl shortage I would be abducted and married to a short, mentally-challenged man in a rural mountain village. Then, one day after my 30th birthday, she looked at me and said, “Yeah, you can go to China now.”

      • “Yeah, you can go to China now.” — That’s it. We seriously need a post about your mother’s quips! When I come to NY for a visit, I’m going to be hard-pressed just to want to meet you and not her as well! BTW, as someone who spent almost a month in China, I can tell you that there doesn’t seem to be any obvious girl shortage any more. No need for “a short, mentally-challenged man in a rural mountain village” … oh my God, I’m laughing all over again!

  7. Nice little history of the women in your family. My mum comes from a family of 5 girls and 2 boys so the women by far out number the men in family affairs and decision making. They went on to mostly have daughters too. Because we live so far away, I forget about all this strong female connection. But when we’re all together, it’s this wonderful, warm feeling when you are in a room with people you don’t know all that well, but love you to bits because you are blood. It always weirds me out a bit because they all look so alike too. I guess it would be like if my little sister had babies but moved far, far away. I would love them fiercely no matter who they turned out to be.

    • Thanks, Genie! My mom and her sisters used to be super close, but have drifted apart since my grandmother passed. Whenever we get together though, the number of girls is about equal the number of boys, but it’s definitely a girls party!

      My grandmother did well training my grandpa 🙂

  8. Hi Daisy! It’s me Heather in Maine. I just couldn’t stay away from WP so I got a new email and a new WP blog. Oh what a precious family photo! I love it! Thanks for sharing. I still think you should write a whole book about China and your family. A TV mini series perhaps?

    • Thanks, Heather! I’m so happy to see you hear and see you back! Guinea pig photos are so cute on your blog. Looking forward to seeing what adventure Steve and Squaeky get up to.

      A whole book about China? That would be tough. Never been. But my family would be a good start!

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