Archive: family

Bag Lady

I’m going to Germany this weekend to visit a friend. I tell my mother this and she asks, will you bring something back for me? And I’m like you mean, a gift? And she goes yeah, a gift for your own mommy. And I go uh…depends on what it is/how much I love you? She goes I want a purse. And I think, oh god, here we go, this can’t be good. I ask, what kind of purse? She says, Aramis. And I’m like…Aramis? As in the cologne from the 80s?


And she says, yes Aramis, they have nice scarves and wallets too. And then I realize she means HERMÉS. As in, HERMÉS. As in, HAHAHA three-year waiting list for a stupid purse that, at the end of the day, is just a stupid purse and not like, I dunno, an apartment or a car or a miniature pony you can ride to the grocery store because how cute would that be? I’m like ohhh, yeah, no, that’s not happening. She goes, well Hermés has this tote bag that’s reversible. And I go I’m sure it’s very nice, whatever, and I basically cool-story-bro her. But she continues, yes it’s got really nice leather and the colors are very pretty. She says, I want one of those.


And I do a quick Google to learn that this tote she wants is literally over $3800 USD. I go no way. No fucking WAY. So I ask, why would I get this? And she goes well it’s cheaper in Germany. I ask why would it be cheaper in Germany? She goes because it’s from there. And I go, Hermés is a French company, as in France, come on even I know that and I’m not even on the waiting list. She goes France? Oh really? Well anyway, it’s what I want. I say, I’m not buying you a $3800 purse, nor should you be carrying a $3800 purse. She goes well in Korea it’s $7000. So I say, you want me to buy you a $3800 purse because in Korea it’s $7000? That makes no sense. And she goes, but there are ladies at church who have it. And I say, and you’re not one of them. And she goes, but it’s saving money! I explain that the way to save money is to actually not spend $3800 on a purse, you crazy, crazy woman.

Then she says, so…does that mean you’re not getting me the purse?

Niagara Fails Was a Success

I survived my trip to Niagara Falls with my parents. So in this sense, it was a success. Another success: No one fell down the falls and died. However, my father kept looking over the edge and saying, “When I look down, I feel dizzy.” And my mother kept teling him to stop looking over the edge. Easy. And yet, not easy. Because this kept happening. My father would point to the waterfalls every time he saw them, which was basically all the time because we were at Niagara Falls. Then my father kept complaining about walking and my mother kept complaining about being hungry. The reason why I don’t have kids is because I have parents. Seriously. My friend’s kids sound EXACTLY like my parents. I’m hungry, I’m tired, why is it so far, are we there yet, I’m hungry again, I have to go to the bathroom, I’m sleepy, where are we?, I have to go to the bathroom right now, what’s for dinner, can we get coffee, is there a Starbucks, why can’t I use American money even though I’m in Canada?

My friend Madelynn tells this great story of a play she attended a while ago. It’s in this tiny theater, really intimate, meaning the audience members are basically sitting on the actors’ laps. Everything is dark and quiet. It’s a play. Shit is intense. Shit is real. Actors are acting. They are emoting, but not too much. They are transforming into another character, which I guess is what acting is. And at one point, there’s this lone voice that comes from the back: “Oh GOD, this is ENDLESS.” And one can only assume the actors hear this and just feel bad about themselves and perhaps question the whole acting thing and how it’s pointless and how if I haven’t made it now I’m probably never going to make it, and what am I doing with my life I have no backup plan, all I want to do is act. Anyway that basically sums up this trip. I am the voice from the back wailing in agony. But that’s what happens when you wake up at 4:15 am so you can take a 5:15 car to the airport and then fly to Buffalo, which–holy shit–is where Buffalo wings come from, how you never made that connection until now is a mystery, also you fucking hate Buffalo wings. They smell like fried urine and leads you to believe that the only thing that comes from Buffalo is bad news. Then you drive for forty minutes to the Canadian side of the falls while you’re sorely undercaffeinated and while your parents literally read EVERY SIGN OUT LOUD and then backseat drive as if they’ve EVER been to Buffalo before. Your father, of course, went to Niagara Falls in the seventies and is absolutely SHOCKED that the cute little hotel he stayed at is no longer there and has become a Sheraton tower with 1,000 rooms. He keeps bringing it up because…I don’t know why he just does. He’s obsessed with the hotel he stayed at before you were born. Meanwhile, your mom is walking like a champ–she’s in great shape and hits the elliptical machine every day. She is in better shape than you, maybe. Your father, however, is struggling behind and shuffling his feet on the pavement and complaining that his feet hurt and the shuffle sound is MAKING YOU CRAZY and more importantly and perhaps more entertainingly, making YOUR MOTHER crazy. She says “pick up your feet” so then your father marches and does a high step, which is funny but then two seconds later he’s shuffling again so that didn’t work out for anyone. And if you want to go to any of the sweet wax museums (like the one that promises a whole bunch of CRIMINALS!!!!) then sorry buddy, no fun for you. And don’t even think about the haunted house. Your parents do not like fun. They will ask you, repeatedly, what’s for lunch and what’s for dinner as if you’ve been to Niagara Falls before and have a whole slew of restaurant recommendations. So you use Yelp but the cell network in Canada costs, like, $1000 Canadian dollars which is the same as US dollars, but sometimes you can get AT&T but on the Edge network which is basically like a dial-up modem for your phone. Then you find a pizza place and your dad is impressed that he managed to eat two slices of pizza that has no meat because his daughter is a goddamn vegetarian still after, like, 20 years.

Then, you wake up the next day and go back to Buffalo and then back to NYC and walk around the streets of Greenwich Village because your parents like to pack it in and every minute they have to be doing something. You discover your mother has an excellent sense of direction and understands where Washington Square Park is in relation to your apartment but your father thinks you are close to the World Trade Center, which you are not. Nor are you close to Central Park, Times Square, or Rock Center, but since your dad visited in the nineties he believes he’s an expert on NYC geography. Then the next day they wake up at the crack of dawn again to head to your father’s high school reunion/golf trip.

All this to say, I had a great time. Great time meaning I survived. But above all, my parents had a good time, which I guess was the point. They want to go on another trip with me but I am TOFTS (That stands for Too Old For This Shit, keep up, people.) My parents should probably have their own reality show but the fame would go to their heads and they would truly be intolerable.

The End.


Niagara Fails

For the first time ever, my parents are visiting me in New York. Now I know what you’re thinking: Annie, how is it even possible that your parents have NEVER visited you in NYC? The short answer is that they don’t love me. The long answer is that they don’t love me. No, no that’s not true. They do love me. Just not enough to visit me. Ha ha ha SOB SOB SOB. Actually, it’s not about me. It’s more about them not wanting to visit NYC because they’ve been here before, in 1992. My parents do not like to visit the same place twice.

This brings me to Niagara Falls. My father has a high school reunion in Pennsylvania. I think it involves golfing and maybe looking at Amish things. And you are absolutely correct, my father did not go to high school in the States, but there’s still a reunion here because so many classmates ended up immigrating. Anyway my parents thought, well if we’re going to this reunion, why not swing by NYC and see Annie. But instead of spending time in NYC, which we have been to before, why not go somewhere else, like…Niagara Falls?

My mother has never been there and would like to go. My father has been there and is grumbling that he has to go again. I have never been there but I have access to Wikipedia and so yes, I have been there. I’m not sure why it has to be Niagara Falls. I’m sure they are majestic, but they are also waterfalls. It’s not like you can hike up them or go canoeing or rafting or do all sorts of outdoor activities that I despise. But OK, my mother wants to go, so we go. She is the commander of the ship. Note that Niagara Falls is, like, 7 hours away and my parents want to DRIVE because road trips are fun. Who doesn’t like fun! The answer is me. I shot the whole idea down because I have a life to lead, a life in which I do not drive through Buffalo, aka New York’s icy butthole. I rather fly because planes were invented just to prevent road trips with parents.

But instead of taking a trip where people relax in the Niagara Falls area and do whatever it is people do in the Niagara Falls area, my parents want to PACK IT IN. So we are flying out at the crack of dawn on Friday and coming back Saturday morning. Every minute is planned. This is going to be really painful, you guys.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that this is a good time to follow @annietown on Twitter. I will update my life so that my pain can become your enjoyment.

Texts from my Mother

My mother just got a new phone. It is what the people call a “smart phone.” It is so smart that you can text people on it and check email, only she doesn’t check her email because she forgot her address, the password, and doesn’t know anyone’s email address. But those are just minor details, right? Her phone is smart! But my mother does not need a smart phone. She only needs a regular phone that drops calls so she can blame it on MY phone, which, by the way, is smart. Honestly, she only got one because her friends kept on making fun of her. You know how you have that one friend with a flip phone and you are like, oh shit look at your stupid fucking phone, haha loser and dude, where are you, I emailed you the address to the place and they are like, my phone sucks and my contract is up in two years and don’t want to pay full price and you are like, dude, seriously? Now pretend your friend finally got a Samsung Galaxy but doesn’t know how to use it and asks you how to use it even though you have never seen a Samsung Galaxy outside of a commercial. Well that is my mother. Kind of.

My mother’s old phone could text, but only in bullshit English language. Who wants that? Her new phone can text in Korean. Baller time! So she is learning to text in Korean but she’s not particularly good at it. Basically this text says:
Annie call me

Final score:
Samsung, 373827
Mother, 1
Annie, 0


A Conversation that Just Happened between Mike and Me

Me: What do you want for your birthday?
Mike: Bitches, 40s, la chronica, and blow. What else?
Fuck it is hot as fucking balls.
Fuck this shit.
Me: But what do you really want because I can’t buy bitches on the internet.

Annnndddd scene.

(I realize one can buy bitches on the Internet but it seems like a hassle, and in addition, the bitches won’t arrive tomorrow which is his birthday.)

From Mom

I was cleaning out my apartment and I found a bunch of Really Old Shit (TM) from college. It was in a box labeled 2006, which is actually not when I graduated college, nor is it a year remotely near the time I graduated college. Nothing in the box was from 2006. And you know what? I don’t even remember 2006. Was there even a 2006? I think not.

Anyway, I found a note from my mother:

This is the loose translation:


When you get this, call me. When are you coming. Be careful of colds and study hard.



NOW, let us discuss this because at first glance, it seems cute. Like awww your mom sent you a letter! She cares about you! And it is cute.

I like that she says to call when I get this. She MAILED me this note. You know, like, original gangsta, throwback, classic, retro, pre-modern mail. It’s kind of like when someone emails you and then CALLS you and asks if you got the email, but this is on a MUCH slower scale.

But I’m mostly interested in this thing where I’m supposed to “be careful of colds.” You can’t actually be careful of colds, right? You can’t, like, see a cold hanging out on a corner and go OH SHIT I BETTER TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME. There aren’t signs everywhere that say BEWARE OF COLDS THEY ARE EVERYWHERE, CHRIS AND STEPHANIE BOTH HAVE IT SO SERIOUSLY BACK THE FUCK AWAY FROM THEM THEY’RE LIKE LARGE MUCUS MEMBRANES WITH GERMY ARMS WAITING TO HUG YOU AND LICK YOUR EYES.

Maybe at the time I actually DID have a cold, and she’s just saying hey be careful, you have a cold? As if it’s something I didn’t know? I guess I could see that. Like, hey you have a cold, be careful, take it easy!

But THEN she says, study hard.

Turns out the best cure for a cold is to study hard. It’s true. So instead of laying in bed and watching Downton Abbey, consider learning a new language, like Mandarin. You know, something easy. Maybe study some physics. But don’t just study it. Like study it hard. Really nail it. Really nail the physics.

Enter the Dragon

It’s New Year’s again! Again! It happens once a year.

I am still waiting for my lunar horoscope from Doretta, who gets them from some old Chinese lady who is apparently an authority on all things zodiac related. It is unclear how someone becomes an authority on these things, but I’m guessing you have to be an old Chinese lady? Last year, if you recall, I was told I was going to have a good year for money, but bad year for health, which would impede on having a good year for money. Turns out it was a perfectly acceptable year for money, in that I had it and did not lose my job, and it was a bad year for teeth, in that I had them and did not lose them, but they hurt. This is the year of the dragon, which probably means money will continue to exist, but only a little of it will be for me. I will have an acceptable year for health, meaning that someone will sneeze on me. I will spill water, on my pants and on other people’s pants. I will break a keyboard and a mouse (I already broke a keyboard, actually). Something important will happen in space and no one will care. We will depend on foreign oil. Giant pandas will look exceptionally adorable this year and insects will win. My brother will call someone a “douche-and-dick,” as in “dude, that guy is being a total douche-and-dick,” and in that sentence “that guy” is our father. Our mother will continue to assess the quality of my skin, particularly its dangerously low moisture level, and continue to critique the shade of my lipstick, which is “the color that streetwalkers wear.” That’s loosely translated from the Korean.

The year of the dragon is going to be acceptable for hookers with dry skin.


Ever since my mother’s gotten her fancy car with BUILT IN SPEAKERPHONE she has been ambushing me with spontaneous phone calls to relatives and rando friends and forcing me to talk to them whenever I’m in the car with her, which happens to be all the time. Half the time I have no idea who I’m talking to. “Say hi, this is Jay’s mom, the one with the bakery. You remember him? He went to Stanford. For LAW SCHOOL.” Then I have to remind my mother that like all of her friends’ kids went to Stanford for whatever how can I possibly keep all these highly successful and wealthy Korean sons and daughters straight? You know who I’d remember? The kid who ran away to NYC to pursue a successful career in costume design for drag queens. Yeah I’d totally remember him.
Anyway this is our number one mother-daughter activity: sitting in traffic and getting phonebushed. So I’ll be at the wheel because there’s no way in hell that lady is driving when my life is on the line, I mean seriously she is the world’s shittiest driver, and all of the sudden her bony freakishly long fingers are pushing some buttons and then oh hey there my uncle’s voice is coming through the stereo totally interrupting my groove to Crystal Blue Persuasion. It is SUPER annoying. Because now here I am in traffic talking to my uncle about not being married. “Don’t worry, Annie, next year you’ll have a boyfriend.” OK THANKS I’M NOT WORRIED BUT YOU APPEAR TO BE. So then my mom dials my father and he says, “Take care of you self, Anne.” I thought this was sweet and then he says, “Because you don’t have husband. Who take care of you? You so alone. No one care for you.”

My mom laughs because to her it’s one of those funny-because-it’s-true situations. I laugh because you know what else is there to do? I am in traffic.

Happy New Year, Please Don’t Starve

It’s been exactly one year from this day last year. Weird, right guys?

So today I eat lunch with my mom and dad because we didn’t have the usual New Year’s get-together-thing with all 100 of my cousins. Note that I avoid using the word “party” in this case because it would be totally misleading since parties have 1) alcohol and 2) fun. So really, it’s considered a “get-together-thing.”

Anyway my dad sits down to the table in his pajamas. It is 3 pm on a Sunday. He is wearing pajamas. Like the whole matching set. Maroon paisley, in case you are wondering. I ask, hey, did you just wake up? And he says no, I went to work this morning and came back. I should note that my mother, father, and I do this thing where we change right when we come home. Like we return from work or whatever, and immediately change into something comfortable. Like house clothes. In my mom’s case it’s sweats and shirts. In my case it is “leisure pants” because skinny jeans look cute but dude they are so fucking skinny I cannot be wearing that shit all the time, I’ll lose feeling in my feet. In my father’s case it is pajamas. So he sits down to eat in his pajamas. He is no stranger to comfort, my father.

As we are eating, he just stares at me, hey, he asks, are you STILL vegetarian?!? And he makes this face. It is what my friend Doretta would call “kidney face”. The face you make when you learn people are stealing kidneys from other people. EVERY SINGLE TIME I eat with my father, he asks me this. I went vegetarian in high school. I’m like dude, roughly half my life has been spent as a vegetarian, so yes, Dad, I am still vegetarian. What is wrong with you?

He says, Anne, vegetarian look not so healthy. Maybe on inside they healthy, but on outside they not healthy. Vegetarian have face that look like this: And he proceeds to make a V shape with his hands. People who eat meat have face that look like this: And he then makes an O shape with his hands. So I say, are you telling me my face looks like a V? And he just sorta stares at me as if to say well duh, you have the American Apparel super deep V of faces. And then I look at my mother, as if to say, hey you care to weigh in on this issue because this guy is either insane or a total asshole. And she says, why do you even talk to your father? I stopped talking to him years ago. Then the woman proceeds to ditch us and go into the living room to watch the rest of the Korean version of the Oscars. And throughout the afternoon I hear her commenting on dresses. Oh that is a tacky color, or ohhh is that Versace? For some reason it is hard for my mom to say “Versace” and it ends up coming out like “vuh-thah-chee”.

So then my father says, Anne, you will never find husband if you vegetarian. Who wants to live with a vegetarian? Then he looks at what we just ate, which is like the most ridiculous amount of food. There’s so much food that the dishes barely fit on the table. And he says to me “you didn’t eat anything.” And I’m like what are you talking about, all I’m doing right now is eating, I’m on my second bowl of rice LIKE A BOSS, and he says, there’s no nutrition. I’m like dude, look at this food. This is Korean food. An entire country is eating this same shit, this tasty, tasty shit. And he’s like no nutrition! He says this to me as if I’m starving. Only in our house can you be eating yourself into some insane kim chee coma and someone implies that you are starving. I think you guys should start a non-profit to save me right now because clearly I’m wasting away.

Right, so happy new year, everyone! I hope none of you starve in 2012.

In Addition

I forgot to point out that my mother called and told me they were going to Italy…FROM THE AIRPORT. From what I understand, parents tell their children about big trips WEEKS or at least a few DAYS before a trip like that, right? My friend’s parents would tell him oh hey we’re going on a trip to Holland in TWO MONTHS we’re so excited! Meaning that two months PRIOR TO GOING TO THE AIRPORT, they told their children. Like, hey, heads up big exciting fun trip! Shit, some parents tell their kids whenever they’re going to the grocery store. And I know parents who print out their itinerary and mail it to their children, and it’s got an entire schedule including what cities they plan on visiting, all the hotels, plus phone numbers, and even what train they’re going to be taking. My parents don’t do this because…because I don’t know. There’s a lot I don’t know, actually.

A few years ago I once called my parents’ place and my dad picked up and we’re chatting and I’m like ok put Mom on and he’s like oh she’s in Korea, and I’m like oh really for how long? THREE MONTHS. After she came back she called me, oh it was such a fun time and I’m like oh that’s great, mother, you didn’t tell me you were going and she’s like no no, I told you. In that scenario one person was lying. That person was not me.

So I’m going to Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City NEXT WEEK. I leave on Friday. It’s going to be EPICALLY AWESOME HOLY SHITSNACKS. I’m visiting Doretta, the Canadian Prime Minister of Annietown. Anyway, I thought, maybe I should call my parents on Friday, at the airport, and say, hey I’m going to Hong Kong and in addition, Vietnam where I will feel guilty about being American but feel lucky that I don’t actually look American on the outside so I can just feel totally horrible on the inside. But I decide that might be a dick move and instead she might freak out on me. So when we talked today I mentioned I was going to Hong Kong and she was totally nonplussed and said, buy me scarf but beware of knock-offs. Then I said, OK fine, I’ll get you a scarf, what kind, heavy, light, silk, wool, etc. And she said, remember that scarf you TOOK from me? Get me something like that!

NOW, here’s some information. I DID NOT take a scarf from her. She GAVE the scarf to ME, her daughter. It is a nice scarf, and no, it’s not some Hermes shit. It’s just a regular scarf probably from TJ Maxx where my mother often enjoys maxximum savings. I borrowed it one night and then she’s like, actually just take it. So I did. It’s a nice scarf. BUT NOW, she says I TOOK the scarf?

I say, dude, I did not TAKE that scarf. You GAVE me the scarf, as a GIFT and may I remind you the time you LOVED my hat and so I GAVE that to you? Remember that? And she goes, I don’t remember giving you the scarf, but you can have it. It’s a nice scarf. But get me one similar to that in Hong Kong.