This I Believe

Min - Arlington, Texas
Entered on June 13, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, legacy
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I’m scared to death of becoming exactly like my mother. This is not to say that she is a terrible person, because she’s quite lovely most of the time. For example, at my parents’ doughnut shop, my mom gives out a free bag of doughnut holes with each customer’s purchase. It’s not huge deal, but it’s a little treat she gives away to her regulars. Like a typical little Asian lady, she teeters around in orthopedic sandals with bright and colorful socks. She smiles and laughs profusely when talking to a stranger to cover up the fact that she has absolutely no idea of what the stranger is talking about. These are not the things I am afraid of becoming.

I’m afraid that having been around my mother for 18 years, non-stop, has made me a bit random and inappropriate like her. She periodically tells me to not to go to bed with boys and that there is an order of life for every decent, moral young lady: finish college, find a steady job, then date and marry someone. Sex is optional once one is married.

When I was away from home for school, oftentimes she would call me during the day to tell me to eat vegetables so I wouldn’t get constipated. She also reminded me to abstain from drinking alcohol because drinking makes girls fat. Hm, I shouldn’t worry about being sexually assaulted while inebriated; I’ll be a total porker in the near future if I keep up my nonexistent habit.

While we were still together, I told my ex to do me a favor and just tell me right away if he ever got interested in some other girl instead of cheating on me behind my back. I do not know why I said this. It’s pointless, right? Like our breakup would have hurt any less if he gave me a warning before he ushered in some new floozy to his life. He tried to convince me that we were soulmates, but there I was, worrying myself to death and nagging on him as Mom, Version 2.0.

No matter what I have told my ex, I knew life cannot always work the way I wanted it. In vain, my mother and I remind our loved ones how things ought to be but won’t be. I will get constipated sometimes and jump in a bed with a boy more than once in my lifetime. A young man will fall for another girl and hide it while in a relationship with a fantastic and fabulously gorgeous young woman. As wacky as it sounds, I can draw some parallels here.

I watch my mother become more like her mother everyday, and this makes me realize that the daughter-like-mother process is inevitable. Of course I’m my own person, but if I said I don’t see myself as a foul-mouthed, child-rearing foodie when I become older, I’d be lying.