Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Family Compound

My sister Jenny and I were talking and I told her that my parents wanted to build out their house so that Peter and I could move in. When I told my mom that there is no way Peter would want to move into their house in New Jersey, my mom asked: 

"Is it because he doesn't want to move farther away from him mom? Because she can move in with us too."

I mean, isn't my mother the sweetest person on the face of the planet? Who else in the world would move in the most bitter 85-year-old on the planet? 

And Jenny said, "Well, you know she wants to build a compound so that we could all live together."

"That makes sense. That's how they do things in Taiwan. The ultimate desire in every family is to have everyone live together in a compound. Why do you think Akong has one?"

"Oh my gosh! Akong DOES have a compound! She gets it from HIM!"

My mother's father has a compound. He has several buildings flanking the main house. There are actual outdoor bathroom stalls for all the buildings peppered throughout his property. Jenny used to think it was fun when we used to chat while we pooped in adjacent stalls. Yeah, it didn't take much to amuse a four-year-old. 

"Remember the row of bus seats he had in his office that he used as a sofa?" Jenny asked. "I used to love sitting in them and thinking how funny it was that I was sitting in bus seats, but I WASN'T ON A BUS!"

"I guess since he was a mechanic, he always had stuff like that lying around. So instead of getting a sofa, he was all, 'Well, I already got THIS,'" I said. 

 I told Peter that my mom offered to move in his mom also and he also thought it was sweet. The other day, when he went to visit his mother, she burst into the guilt-tears and Peter shut her up by saying, "Ma. If you REALLY miss me so much, my wife's mother has offered to build out her house and we could all move in with her."

Peter's mom's reaction was so not,  Oh, that's sweet. It was more like, Why does that woman want to RUIN MY LIFE? Never in a million trillion years would I EVER want to live with them and you shouldn't either!

"But why would she look at a nice gesture like that in such a negative light?" I asked him.

And Peter said:

"Because she's awful."

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