Last night I choked up talking about how much I love my parents in a movie theater bar.
Karen and I have occasional shitty rom-com movie dates at River East. This time it was Julia Roberts’ Secrets in Their Eyes (rent it) which also stars Dean Norris (always great) and Chiwetel Ejiofor who’s starting to really grow on me after Z for Zacharaiah (illegally download it). In case you haven’t seen that one, the moral of that story is never turn a girl down when she wants sex. EVER!
Anyway, dates with Karen are good for my soul. We catch up about the old job, friends and life. Her positivity and great attitude toward life are one of the best traits about her and why, even when I’m tired, I make time to grab dinner and a movie with her.
She asked me about wedding planning–which I promise to blog more about later. I’m still very much in a stage where I’m planning thinking I genuinely want everyone to enjoy it. However, we’re mixing cultures, religions, generations, etc. and that makes me feel like no one will 100% enjoy every aspect of it. Eventually, I will stop giving a fuck, but for now it’s stressful.
Being honest with her, I admitted the people I want to please most are my parents. And that’s where all of the feelings came out.
I love my parents more than I can possibly tell them or show them. In the last year, they’ve helped Joe and I move into a new home, get settled and now they’re being really cool about wedding planning. No list of demands or attendees they want us to have. I’ve even gently killed their dream of a full Mexican band without any arguments involved.
The underlying layer to all of this is immigrant child guilt. If you’ve watched the “Parents” episode of Master of None, Aziz does a fantastic job of getting down to the nitty gritty of this feeling. I know some people will say, “everyone feels this way about their parents,” but I think it’s different when your parents are immigrants. Granted, there’s no award for who loves their parents more and it’s not about whose parents did more for them. This is about carrying a weight on your shoulders because of what they went through. It’s about a level of success you’re always trying to achieve to somehow match the tremendous amount of work and sacrifice they made for themselves and ultimately for you. You’ll always want to live up to them. You’ll never feel like you can repay them. You’ll wish you could.
The older I get, the more I appreciate that they were strict and wouldn’t let me go to school dances. The older I get, the more I appreciate them being at work even if it meant I wasn’t chauffeured to dance class or sports. The older I get, the more they show their love and support in ways that Karen reminded me not everyone knows. And that was a turning point in our conversation for me. She was right.
Instead of worrying so much, I’m gonna try telling my parents how much I love them and focus on gratitude instead.
Happy (early) Thanksgiving all!