Welcome to the exclusive inner workings of the life of an ABC (or CBA) child.
Let me catch you up for a bit. I’ve had 22 ½ long and very memorable experiences as a proud, Chinese born American. Don’t let anything in this blog fool you. I love my culture, my parents, and everything that comes with it. But being brought up in the United States by parents who grew up in China provides an extensive list of funny stories that I will be sure to tell my children and grandchildren. Because no matter how much I say I will not be like my parents, it’s only avoiding the inevitable.
So I’m 22 ½. Graduated last May with a BA in Economics and now I’m blissfully back in my hometown with a very stable job earning a nice hefty bit a year. Most of my graduated friends have either gone off to grad school or are in the same position as me. Either way, we’re all doing very well for ourselves. However none of them, I repeat, none of them are still living with their parents. I suppose it’s one of those “I already left the nest, I can’t go back” type of thing. Even the ones who returned to their hometowns were with their parents, two, three months top, before getting their own place. And where am I? Home, with the ‘rents and the sister in high school.
Now, this didn’t happen because I don’t have a job or can’t afford my own place. It’s a stigma with Asian parents. In China, when a child graduates from college and gets a job in his/her hometown, that child will move back in with his/her parents. Until marriage. That’s right, I said it. Marriage. What. The. Fuck.
It’s the culture, the way of life. So unheard of for the children to be out on their own. I had never given much thought as to why my cousins all lived with my aunts and uncles until this past summer when I went to visit right after graduation. This is why my parents are so adamant to me living with them. Because it’s how they grew up and how everyone they know is raising their kids. Despite living in America for nearly 17 years, this custom has not been transferred to their minds.
Financially speaking, it’s stupid for me to leave the place that’s 25 minutes away from work, free of rent, food, and utilities. Sanity speaking, I need to get the hell out of here. I feel like I’m in limbo, half adult, half not. I have a real, honest, desk, cubicle job. However, I have absolutely no responsibilities whatsoever. Many would read this and say I’m lucky and should milk it for as long as I can. Those do not have Asian parents. As much as I love them, there is only so much a girl can take.
So why not just move out? You have the money, just get your own place and quit bitching about it!
HA! As if it’s that easy. You see, family is bigger and more important than anything. Now I know this is true for most cultures, but in China, it’s also the biggest thing to never defy your elders. AKA your parents are and always will be the boss of you, no matter what your age is. If I stated right now that I was planning on moving out by the end of the month, shit would hit the ceiling. There would be yelling, and crying, but mostly yelling and in the end, I would be moved out with very pissed off parents. You can’t live with pissed off Asian parents, you just can’t.
I want this to be explained. I want people to understand this culture. This Chinese born, but raised in America, child who knows and acts like she’s white. But that’s the thing, she’s not. And trust me, living with Asian parents after graduation is only a small dosage of what’s to come. I’ll spill more in time. I promise.