This is a letter I just got from my mom. She’s not pleased. Dear Julian [Vegan Jules -Ed.], I hope that this message finds you in good spirits and in good health. Now that more than $50,000 since September has been spent in your pursuit of an Art degree
This is a letter I just got from my mom. She’s not pleased.
I hope that this message finds you in good spirits and in good health. Now that more than $50,000 since September has been spent in your pursuit of an Art degree, what are your employment prospects? Please forgive me for asking but as an investor in your education, I need to know about the returns. There’s a credit crunch in the World at this time and I can no longer borrow money just for you to burn! I will start repaying my share of the Sallie Mae loan in December but that is about all that I can and am willing to do for you. I will not sell my houses for you and I am no longer willing to listen to any of your promises.
I don’t want to harp on the past. Let’s focus on the present! I left Vietnam more than 36 years ago and have not had to return. What are you going to do to find employment in Europe and stay there? With gas prices over 3 dollars and no money to maintain a car nor insurance, how will you move around in L.A? A potential landlord will also ask for rent and a security deposit and competition for wages will be stiff, with more than 10% unemployment, cheap immigrant labor and teen-agers out of school. If you ever had creativity and backbone, now is the time to show it.
As mentioned many times before, I don’t feel that I have the duty to support you at this advanced age. I have done more than enough without receiving much help from you. You never asked if I was tired, if work was hard for me, if there was anything you could do to make my life brighter and less worrisome. Aggression, spite and procrastination can only last that long. Hey, I may not have been lucky: my father and my husband have disappointed me. I was very surprised with my father’s crude manners when I started living with him at age 12. More than forty years later, the wound would open anew, almost every time I meet him and yesterday (Father’s Day) was no exception. However, I have found it more productive to channel my hatred into positive actions. Instead of clinging to him, like you do to me, I would try to find work so that I can build a protective shield around me. If I can pay for my own food and my own home, I need not live under violence, mental nor physical.
I have not asked much from you, except that you stand on your own two feet. In this era when each human being is being judged on his or her own merit, I don’t know of any worthy woman who is willing to cope with a man without direction, who is antagonistic, mouthy, violent and resentful. Although short term, anybody can put on a show, how do you disguise bad habits in day to day existence? At this point, your salvation will come from a woman other than me. I have brought you this far, you need to start the next episode of your life on your own.
If I were you, I will take any job just to stay away. There’s no shame in manual labor while your head sorts out what you need to do next. Pouring coffee is a better alternative to picking up the phone and beg from someone who doesn’t want to hear your excuses. America is changing and for the first time since I have lived here, it’s going my way. Obama is placing minorities in positions of authority, he is enacting one of the toughest tobacco law ever (not that I have ever smoked or drunk or taken opiates), he is working toward a mandatory health care system and is asking each American to be more thoughtful, less selfish and wasteful. The white man is going through one of the most trying times in recent history. After having dominated and exploited the majority of humanity, he is being stripped naked and his ugly greed, arrogance, self-righteousness and selfishness make the world recoil. It’s about time for you to show some grace and humility. You should be thankful for the Asian blood that is in you (it makes you a little more interesting). It will be foolish of you to mock the Phan family, especially when they have achieved some recognition from society and you have not (Dxxx was featured on 6/25/09 as the Commencement Speaker at Loomis Chaffee and Aimee received a commendation signed by Obama for her school performance). Following this message, I will e-mail you the text of Dxxx’s speech. It was apparently very well received by a crowd of over 1,000. Do you want to continue to be the ugly American? ignorant and coarse, sick but in denial, guilty but blaming his failings on everybody else?
Of course, as your Mother, I want you to be safe, healthy and happy. However, we need time away from each other. I no longer want to feel embarrassed when well-meaning people ask me what my son is up to. I want my son to have a backbone, to improve his character, to have the courage of working and suffering for what he believes in. I don’t want short-term solutions. I am frankly tired of starting multiple projects and getting no where with them and after so many skirmishes, I no longer want you in my home. I don’t want my walls destroyed (I will have my bedroom repainted this Thursday), I don’t want stuff to be thrown at me, I don’t want insincere apologies. I deserve better and I will not take your abuse any longer.
It took me a very long time to realize that if I wanted to have a better partner in life, I should start with myself. Otherwise, any relationship that I may stumble upon will be a temporary crutch. I wish you more luck than I have had. I wish that you will find a giving, generous woman who will nurse you back to health and to good habits. Since you are still young and hopefully good looking, you need to locate that woman pretty soon. She will help you stay in Europe, introduce you to her family, organize your finance, inspire you and instill in you that enthusiasm which will help you spring forward into a fullfilling career.
Remember, your Dad and I wanted to be in Europe. We couldn’t do it because times were different. European society is more stratified, people were less accepting, there were much fewer opportunities. However, since you do not have the Asian work ethich and you now are too cultured for the average American, why won’t you make your home over there?
If you need to, please e-mail Dxxx Phan firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for help in finding a job. There’s simply is no other way. You have exhausted all my good will and there’s no further financial help that could ever come from me.
I am sure you will understand. Be brave!