Category Archives: Family

When It Comes To Marriage, We’ve Forgotten All About Teaching

When I was little, I used to think the world of my teachers. They knew all sorts of cool stuff about subjects like math, geography, grammar, etc., and the best part was that they were always eager to tell us all about it. It took a lot of patience and hard work, but for the most part, they always got through to us- or at least through to me. Their guidance was so essential to my growth as an individual that it was impossible not to think of them as flawless individuals. Continue reading


We’re Separating

How to begin without ending? Though I love knowing where I’m going this coming fall, I must admit it sucks a bit to be stuck where I am now. Next week I’ll start my second-to-last round of finals. Then one more quarter and I will be done.

After that, the Mrs. and I will be separating. Unfortunately, we decided against one of us commuting. So instead, we will go back to having two places. With Irvine being the primary one. This is really weird to think about. I can’t even begin to picture how lonely I’m going to feel. I know we’ll be too busy to think about it, but who are we kidding? This will be a big sacrifice. But at least we’ll be doing it together.

I am now in this place of in-betweenness. Wanting it to be fall, but dreading it with all my heart. You can’t win them all, right?

-Mrs. This One


Love for Xmas

So it is Christmas Eve. Although, not quite “eve” yet. There is some sort of Christmas music playing in the background. A CD that my MIL must have found in some weird store. The music has just been interrupted by my FIL who wants to put a football game on. I rejoice quietly in the back as I type this. I am also sipping a perfectly crafted cup of coffee (kona, creamer, and pumpkin syrup).

I spoke to my grandmother yesterday. I was told she burned herself badly with boiling water making something for my grandfather. It hurts not being able to rush over to where she is and take care of her. The best I could do for now was a phone call.

She assured me that she was fine. Such a grandma thing to do- she would try anything to make sure I’m not worried or stressed. She tells me the burns are better now and that she’s using some sort of ointment that gives her some relief. I decided to ask her if my grandpa has been helping her, maybe putting the ointment for her.

You should know that it is not like me to ask this. I have grown to hate my grandfather for several reasons, one of which you will learn about soon. So I never really mention him. In fact, I only do when I need to. During his birthdays, I actually need to prepare myself to call him. I can’t just quite pick up the phone and do so. I have to work up to it.

As soon as my question was over, my grandma laughed. It was a “why-on-earth-do-you-think-he’d-do-something-like-that” kind of laugh. At this point I didn’t know what was worse, that she was in pain because of the burns, or that she’s been numb her whole life because she’s never known love. I added a meager “okay” to the conversation before changing the subject.

This made me realize that I couldn’t care less about the gifts I could get tonight or tomorrow. If I could wish for any gift in the world, it’d be for my grandma to know love. No one should ever die without knowing what that feels like.

-MTO


No Regrets

“No more talk about law school!” Chimed in my wife at about 1:30am. She was not feeling well, and I was keeping us up yet again with another law school conversation. I just can’t stop talking about it. In fact, talking about it makes me feel better because then I don’t have all of these thoughts messing up with my brain. But in making an effort not to talk about law school, allow me to change the topic:

We took our little cousin (well, he’s my wife’s cousin, but I’m pretty attached) to a movie last night, Sherlock Holmes 2. Let me tell you a little bit about him. He was the cutest little kid when I met him. Always wanting to play around with a ball. Which worked just fine with me, since I love to play soccer.

But then, some years later, he completely changed. He was no longer the soccer player, but now rather a grim teenager. He decided to go “emo.” Now he wears all black, always wears jeans, he straightens his hair, and he dies it black with streaks of different colors. Getting used to this change wasn’t easy for us (let alone for his parents). So when this trip around we find out that he’s a vegetarian, I cannot help but wonder what’s next. Since when do thirteen-year-olds become vegetarians?

We picked him up from school, and we tried to make conversation with him as we headed to the movies. He is no longer the kid full of life that he used to be. He always had a million questions, or some weird story to share. Now he just remains as quiet as possible. His demeanor made me think about what I was like at his age.

Well, not very different. Minus the “emo” part, I just didn’t spend a lot of time with my family. In fact, I was always sick when there were family reunions happening. Now that I’m so far apart from my family, I regret not taking advantage of my time better. I know everyone says we ought to live a life of no regrets, but what happens when you’re too young to know that you’re doing something you will regret?

My cousin is a bit taller than my wife, and part of the reason why he doesn’t want to each much, if at all, is because he wants to stay at that height. He wants to kill his growth. His parents can try all they want, but if this is what he wants, he will get around it somehow. What if at 25 he realizes he hates being shorter than he could have been? Will he regret what he’s doing now?

-Mrs. This One


Tree Trimming Party

I started the day with a compliment on my writing. That seriously made my day, so thank you allisongolan!

Today my fall grades are due. Three professors have not activated their gradebook, so it is very unlikely that they will actually follow the deadline this time. They really never do- but I never lose hope. God forbid we are late turning in a paper or that we take an exam on a different date. I wish students could hold professors with the same accountability. Yes, yes, I know they’ve done all these things and they deserve it and so on and on. This is why I don’t write a letter to the dean about it. Like he/she would do anything about it anyway.

Anyhow, my wife and her sister are on their way to the doctor. They’re getting checked out for the cancer gene. In case you missed it, my MIL is a breast cancer survivor, so chances are that my love and her sister may have to go through the same at some point. The appointment was only for my SIL. But at the last minute, my MIL suggested my wife go too. She looked at me for confirmation and I saw the pain in her eyes. It broke my heart. She was probably thinking that we’re supposed to be having a vacation, free from stress. But if this is what’s best for her, then we just have to go through it. I stayed at home because I’m supposed to be working on my law school applications. Once I get through with this post, I’ll get on that- I think. The Mrs. has already submitted her graduate school applications. I’m jealous, I wish I could say the same.

Tonight we are having a tree trimming party. Which I understand to be a gathering in which we all decorate the tree. Well, this is what the tree looks like now:

To be decorated...

My hope is that tonight, I can follow up with a stunningly decorated tree. Keyword: “my hope.”

The only issue I’ll have is that the Steelers are playing tonight. Maybe I’ll be able to find a way to balance the game and the party. Oh, and did I mention we are only allowed to wear pajamas to this party?

-Mrs. This One


On Steady Ground

We made it here safely. The drive seemed to drag forever, but it could have been tiredness playing tricks with my mind. The caffeine didn’t help either. But it was better to have some of it than nothing at all.

Chinese takeout was a great treat. We split some Mongolian Beef with Lettuce Wraps. I was lucky to find a diet Mountain Dew in my in-laws fridge. They’re not really the soda type. And I guess I’m not either, but water gets tiring from time to time. Besides, I could use yet more caffeine to stay awake. My MIL (mother-in-law) is working, so we have to stay up at least until she gets home. I’m about ready to take a shower. That should give me some sense of renewal.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in earlier was the Christmas tree. It has the perfect shape. I love Christmas trees. I grew up with fake ones my whole life, so it was nice to marry into a family that used real ones. Though I probable would have broken my family tradition at some point. I guess I will soon enough. Which reminds me- my FIL asked over dinner when we were planning to have kids. It was and will forever be an awkward conversation… specially since we need help to make babies appear. But that’s alright, I’ve never minded the shortcomings of being a lesbian.

If there’s something I look forward to when I’m on a school break is reading. You’d think I’d get tired of doing so because I have to read so much for school, but this is different. There’s nothing like reading for pleasure- without overanalyzing every single word you read. I brought three books with me: “The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters (fiction), “The Return” by Daniel Treisman (Non-fiction, and he’s a UCLA professor!), and “Global Community” by W.M. Spellman (Non-fiction). Of course I probably won’t read all of them, but sometimes I like to spice it up a bit with some variety. My MIL also rented several movies for us to watch through the weeks. And! We might go to ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo. I’m actually excited about the last one. We went there three Christmases and it was really fun- I’ve been wanting to do it again ever since. Besides these, my weeks will be filled with applications and essays. Fun, I know. Though, I’m gonna be watching the Packers-Chiefs game tomorrow with my FIL. That should be nice…

Okay, I really should go shower now.

-Mrs. This One

 


The F Word

We went to the Glendon Bar & Kitchen this morning to grab some brunch- courtesy of my wife’s aunt. Summer hasn’t been the best financially, and having an opportunity to get a free brunch is something we treasure greatly. I always tell my wife she’s been really lucky to have relatives who care deeply about her (us, really) the way they do.

This was our first time going there, even though it’s within walking distance. The place was getting crowded when we arrived… around noon. And for some reason it was hotter inside than outside. We were seated right away (we did have a reservation), and it didn’t take us long to get drinks either.

There were four students to our right, and the table to our left was taken after a few minutes of us being there. Perhaps at the same time the college boys left. A man, a woman (Both mid thirties), and older woman sat there. For the longest time I though the man and woman were a couple, taking grandma out to brunch- but my wife says that they may have been brother and sister. Whatever their relation, I envied them.

I live very far from my own family, and I don’t get to see them as often as I would like to. I ran away from their judgement, and that’s on me- but now that the judgement is somewhat gone, I wish I could have more contact with them. I certainly wish we could take my grandma out for brunch sometime.

She would smile all the time, happy to see us. And she would probably tell very embarrassing stories about me as I choke on my cup of coffee (my wife and grandma have not met so these stories have not been shared yet). She’d probably say how proud she is of us, and I would have to keep myself from wanting to hug her all the time. My grandma raised me… so she’s more than just a grandma to me. We hope we can see her for graduation- that would complete my day then.

As we got our food, I tried to push the sad thoughts away from my mind. I had the Steak & Eggs- which were to die for. Sourdough at the bottom, Ribeye steak, then sunny side up eggs on top. There was a “salsa” on the side, which was more like just roma tomatoes… but taking a bite of all four things combined made this dish worth every penny (even if I were actually paying for it myself!) The Mrs. had the Curry Waldorf sandwich- which was also pretty good (and this is a lot coming from me because I’m not crazy about curry. This one had chicken, yellow curry, granny smith apples, roasted cashews and dried cranberries on raisin pecan bread- and a side of garlic fries. Though I had been thinking I wouldn’t come back to the place because of how hot it was… the food was too good to ignore.

We will come back for sure. Perhaps I can take grandma there for brunch after commencement is over. A dreamer can dream, right?

-MTO


Happy Father’s Day- To Yours, Not Mine

Freshly pressed reminded that tomorrow is Father’s Day. Of course I didn’t need any more reminding of it… the occasion is everywhere.

I’ve met good fathers throughout my life- but certainly not mine, or his, or my mother’s. Or my cousins, or my step-siblings. This is really starting to sound like a family thing. Perhaps I should be thankful that I wasn’t born a boy into my family.

My dad took us (my brother and I) to the beach. We played soccer in the park every other week. He brought me corn in the cob from that place I really liked. These memories seem nice but that’s all I have, and they didn’t last past the day I turned 6 or 7.

I didn’t grow up seeing my parents together. He cheated and my mom was brave and smart enough to leave him when we were really little. He was somewhat around until he found more women and had more children. He didn’t help my mom with our caring- financially or emotionally.

Then he heard I was gay. He said he was disappointed.

I really wish I had an actual father to celebrate tomorrow. But if I don’t call him tomorrow, he’ll have more children that might do so still. His odds aren’t bad. Can’t say the same for mine.

-Mrs. This One


The C Word

When my mother-in-law informed us that she was recently tested to see if she carries the “cancer gene,” my eyes filled up with tears before I could even fully comprehend the extend of the situation.

Sure, my wife and I have talked about this. A lot. Her mom had and survived breast cancer a few years back and there is a big likelihood that my wife could get breast cancer as well. The first time we talked about this, I cried. The second time I thought about it, I cried. And even as I write this, I cry. Sure, she might not ever have to deal with it, but the odds are pretty much against us.

My mother-in-law mentioned that my wife should get other things looked at and asked if she were going to bear children in the future. We had agreed in the past that the child-bearing would be my department, but if for some reason, I am unable to have children, then my wife would pick up the slack. But thinking of how we could pass on a gene to others makes our prior discussion incomplete at best.

As soon as my wife’s mom gets the results back, we will decide on whether my wife needs to get tested or not. Needless to say, I am not looking forward to such results.

-Mrs. This One


Blogging From the South

So we’ve arrived! I think we slept less than 2 hours last night as we were headed to Atlanta, Georgia in an AirTran red eye. There were three seats per row which meant we had to share our row with someone else. Luckily for us, the lady sitting by the window was quiet and minding her own business.

I’m not sure what we were hoping for that flight but nothing good (other than being safe on the ground) came out of it. We arrived at the LAX airport minutes before 8pm for a very early check in (our flight didn’t depart until 11:59pm). We had to drop off my friend who was flying to Colorado to see her family so we figured it was better to just stay at the airport. Thanks to the lack of readily-available friends to drive us to the airport, we decided to park at LAX…

To our surprise the AirTran service counter was closed. They wouldn’t open for another half hour and we decided to simply wait in line. Something curious happened the made that waiting time go faster though… Ever heard of Kate Beckinsale? Yes, she was the actress in Underworld but if you don’t know her, you’re probably not the only one.

Right next to us there were two guys wearing black sunglasses and looking awfully suspicious. After a while I realized that they were paparazzis- the big hint being the gigantic cameras they were each holding. “Who is it?” everyone kept asking. When they got ready for the action, I finally saw these two ladies coming. Then Kate walked by my side, I looked at her smile and I recognized her (I’m a big Underworld fan… and a fan of her accent as well). The people next to us were still trying to figure out who it was. My wife didn’t recognized her either- although she was wearing pretty big sunglasses.

After the drama, the counter opened, and because people had started a second line, we didn’t get to check in when we should have- people that got there even after the counter opened were seen before us. We didn’t check in until about 9:30pm.

Justice was made when we were in the long line prior to the security check when a lady had us go a different way and we cut about 40 people in front us. I won’t lie, it was pretty sweet after waiting to check in for so long.

The waiting area for our gate was so packed that there wasn’t one seat available. So we decided to go to this seafood restaurant for dinner. This was probably one of the good parts of our flying experience. I had a filet mignon and the Mrs. had a swordfish sandwich. Pretty delicious stuff.

Then we went back out to wait, sitting on the floor, reading the Wall Street Journal (since the LA Times was all gone at the stand). Our flight was delayed 30 minutes (of course). Once in the plane, I sat down and the person behind me kicked my seat twice. I already knew that I was in for a treat.

We slept as much as we could, but woke up several times also. Once we arrived, I discovered that someone in the row before us spilled orange juice on my backpack… getting to at least one of my textbooks…

Then the long drive to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We originally flew to Atlanta because we thought we were going to be able to go about the city. Little did we know. We could barely keep our eyes open.

My parents seem to really like my wife and she seems to like them. So I’m pretty content for now. My mom keeps saying that I need to be good to my wife and I keep telling her that she’s supposed to tell my wife to be good to me.

Tired still so I think I’m gonna stop here.

-Mrs. This One


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