Entry #16: We all need something to be proud of. 


I've been home with a stomach flu for the past few days and that means throwing up, which I have to say is one of my all time least favorite things to do. God! I hate that feeling of sweaty dizziness and being out of control. Just thinking about it makes me feel like throwing up.

Anyway, since I've been sick my mom has been super nice. She really can be so sweet when she wants to. Bringing me trays of all of my favorite teas with neat little slices of toasted bread on pretty china plates. And she gives me two choices of jam (strawberry or blackberry) and apricot nectar in a blue glass (which always reminds me of sitting on the floor with my rice cakes and juice and watching Sesame Street when I was 5). And she folds the napkin in this special way that makes a pocket then she slips the silverware right into it. And there is always a fresh flower in a little crystal vase. You know, at times like this, when she comes into my room carrying the tray smiling and singing and asking how I'm feeling, I love her so much it's worth being sick.

Unfortunately, most of the time I don't feel like I love her. Okay I love her, but I definitely don't like her very much. Most of the time I get the feeling she's so concerned about what everyone thinks about the way she behaves that she forgets that it's okay to smile and relax. But while I've been sick there was no one around to judge her and that's when I like being with her, the best.

When she and I are alone together she tells me stories about growing up in Hong Kong and what that was like for her. How her father was a fisherman and what she remembers of the small house they lived in right by the water. And how she would get up very early very morning to help him with breakfast and to pack a lunch for him. How she longed to sail away with him on his junk (a type of Chinese boat). If she had been a boy, she would have been able to do just that, but as a girl, she was not allowed. She said that her father let her help repair the nets when they needed it, or to untangle them if they were put away in a rush because of a sudden change in the weather. She was very proud to tell me how fast and true her fingers were at untangling those nets. "This was not a job that ordinary daughters were asked to do," she said proudly. "But because my father had no sons and I was his eldest daughter, he trusted me with this very important task."

I like to hear my mother talk about her own accomplishments with pride. It makes me feel proud of her, or proud of the young girl she once was. She only talks about the old days when my father isn't around. As if she is not really allowed to have any source of pride when he's there. I don't understand it. How can anybody live like that? With one person in the relationship getting all of the power and responsibility and attention, while the other one just quietly stays in the background like a scared little shadow. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be talking this way. After all, they are my parents and they've been together for over 20 years... 23 to be exact. They don't scream at each other or act in any abusive ways. I know for sure they would never get a divorce. So maybe I shouldn't be judging their relationship. I mean, how do I really know what it is like for them to be married to each other? Just because it looks one-sided to me and the kind of relationship I would never get myself into, that doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't work for them. It obviously does work for them. Interesting how that is.

I haven't been at school for two days and I'm feeling really isolated from everybody I know. I was hoping the Chaz would call. But he hasn't. My mother said that JoAnn is the only one who called.

The nice thing is that I have gotten two really long emails from Elvin, the guy from London and I've written back twice. I've also met him on line at The InSite chat twice. I still haven't mentioned anything about him to Chaz.

Do you think I should tell Chaz?




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