What can YOU say in six sentences?
"Fuck it, let's just go home," he said, visibly shaken from the tense car ride to the restaurant, a restaurant whose name is still unknown to me, having been written in scarlet Cantonese characters on the side of a stucco strip mall.
"I want them to love me," I said, referring to my partner's parents, who I was meeting for the first time; me, a white man, whose love for their only son will be trumped by the knowledge that carrying on their family name after thousands of years would be an impossibility.
"They're not going to love you," he said, no malice in his voice, only tender honesty.
His parents were sitting at their table, their usual table, which was directly in front of a giant tank filled with silvery fish, captured and waiting, staring at me with their golden-ringed, unblinking eyes, watching as I sat down at my own white linen covered chopping block.
I was grilled about my career (nursing, disapproved), my financial situation (not the best, disapproved), my family's status (umm they have none, disapproved) and by the time dessert came--a sugar glazed pastry stuffed to capacity with sticky fruit--the conversation was in loud Cantonese, the family arguing/discussing/joking about things I had no business weighing in on.
The dessert was delicious and I asked what kind of fruit was in it, pear, some kind of apple, to which the father, not attempting to hide his annoyance at the interruption, at my ignorance building yet another cultural wall between us, said,"No, it's jackfruit."