As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what's deep inside,
Frightened of this thing that I've become"
The first time Bernard met my family, it was like a scene out of a Vietnam war movie, where the white guy swoops in on a hut filled with appehensive refuges. I had just moved into my uncle's separated spare room at the time, and my mom had stopped by to have dinner. I had hoped everyone would be gone by the time B arrived, but when I realized it wouldn't happen, I resolutely asked my mom if she would like to meet my boyfriend. Her eyes widened in surprise, and she placed a defiant hand on her hip before replying, "Of course!" Considering she had never formally met any of my previous boyfriends, compounded with the fact that I had never before even mentioned Bernard's existence, this was a big fucking deal. As he pulled up (thank GOD not on his bike; that would've nixed any chance of a good impression), I ran out and said, "You're going to have to meet my mom, grandma, schizophrenic uncle, and other uncle and his wife. Yeah, now. Close your mouth."
Well, in that scene, he totally saved the day and got a medal for bravery. Considering that three of the five didn't speak English, he made a pretty good impression. My grandma really liked him, and I loooove my grandma. (Now that I think about it, she's so wonderful she would love anyone I date. Except for women. And black men. Haha, kidding. Well, I'm pretty sure the women part would destroy her, but as for black guys, it's up in the air.) My mom gave him the third degree, and after hearing about his level of education and his job, scrutinizing his appearance and disposition, and then later probing me about whether or not he was good to me and paid for everything, gave her approval.
These days, Momma Ho is totally Team Bernard. She's constantly on my back not to lose him. When she happened to stop by before I was about to leave for Yosemite with Dre, Tim, and Jason, she lowered her voice and suspiciously inquired, "You're going with these good-looking guys? Does Bernard know about this? Is he ok with it?" When she comes to the apartment, she repeatedly lectures, "Clean up your room! Look at this mess! He's not going to marry you if he sees this! No man wants a messy wife!" And if I pout about it to B for some comfort, this is what I get from him: "Yeah! That's true! Clean up!" But the worst was the time Bernard and I went to the PV house to borrow some sleeping bags for Catalina and she was home. We sat around and chatted, and suddenly my mom began berating me for my faults and telling B to push me to fix them, while he earnestly replied that he was trying!
I just wanted this entry to be a collection of some hilarious things that my mom has said about B over the years, and I couldn't even do that without writing a plethora of backstory. Ugh, I need to be more concise, damnit. And even now, I can't just dive right in without explaining that my Mom is really superstitious. She's from central Vietnam, one of the poorest areas in the country, and she didn't leave her homeland until she was almost 35. So keep that in mind when reading these quotes!
"That guy, B-Buh--yeah, he seems nice, but why won't you date a Vietnamese man?"
"Why does he travel so much? What if he's seeing other women? Trust!? You can never fully trust a man! I'm telling you this now so that you won't get hurt later!"
"I can tell he's very tight with his money. You know why? It's the way that he talks. He mumbles with a very pinched mouth. That's how you can tell they're careful with their money."
"Both of you have the type of soul components that will be very successful with any job involving metals. So get him to help out at the salon more, and business will pick up!"
"Honey! Great news! I just consulted the fortune teller--you and Bernard are going to be rich! He's going to be really, really rich!"
But the next day...
"What year was he born again? Oh...hmm, nevermind then. Let me check with the fortune teller again and I'll call you back."
She never did call back about that. Hmmm...
"Grandma says that you need to hurry up and get married and have babies so that she's still around to raise them. Do it for grandma!"
And my favorite, after I showed her B's "underwear model" pictures and telling her he did it in college for money:
"What?! What else was he doing for money?!"
And what B said, when I told him that I showed her the pics:
"What is wrong with you?!"