Copyright © 2000 by Anne Clemmons
My parents have worried how I would turn out almost since I was born.
They are both immigrants to the U.S.. Dad could barely say, "Hello" when
he entered the country while Mom, bless her heart, still has her lovely Old Country accent
that has me going everywhere with her just so people can understand her.
They are just worried because I've always had this big curious streak and one of those overactive imaginations that tend to either get me in a heap of trouble, or make those boring, rainy afternoons a bunch of fun. The time I knocked over my dear Great Auntie in her urn is a prime example. It was all a misunderstanding. All I wanted to know was how she would look after being fit into an urn because I remembered her as being this big, husky woman with Paul Bunyan feet and a voice that made Dad sound like he was going through puberty.
One minute I'm smelling this god-awful smoky smell and reaching to plug my nose, when I
dropped the lid and sent dear Great Auntie crashing to the floor. Suddenly there she was,
clinging to the carpet hairs and hanging onto the dear after-life. Before I had time to
sneeze I received several hard swats to the backside and Auntie was scooped back into the
urn to continue eternity with only a few missing bits and pieces.
My parents vowed that with my curiosity, I would get myself killed before I turned eight. "It was a bad sign," my Grandmother told them. "Remember the time she ate my tube of chocolate-colored lipstick? We could have lost her."
For all their worrying I was a normal child, just not Chinese; I earned good grades, played the violin and piano like an angel during recitals, and was a generally all-around normal American kid. It's just that I want to write. I want the chance to go to college and learn all I can about writing as a profession.
I yearn to make words jump out at little kids and tickle them into laughing hilariously. I want to write stories that will make people cry. I dream of writing lyrics to songs that come alive with music and touch that special place in someone, always to be remembered. But most of all, I want a chance to prove to my parents that I can make this work, that I can do what Mom and Dad always did, their best.
They raised me in the traditional Chinese environment. With both my parents chattering away in broken English and raising me with chopsticks and rice, they wondered how in the world they ended up with a daughter who speaks with an almost perfect English accent after being around them so long and who has gotten the idea to be a writer instead of a surgeon like her favorite Uncle Chei.
I explained that nobody would want me to have any sharp objects near their internal organs because I could be quite clumsy. After the chicken delivery came in at our restaurant, they gave up the idea of my being a surgeon. Even my father admitted he'd rather have surgery done on him by Jack the Ripper than me.
But writing? "There's no money in writing!" my Dad said. "Your goal should be set on becoming a doctor or an engineer. Something with good solid pay. Something that people will need in the future. You're always going to need a doctor. A writer can't help you get better from a disease!"
His mind has always been slanted a little towards the green, but considering how he grew up in poverty, in a slum with eight brothers and sisters to clothe and feed, in a house with no running water and only two rooms, his obsession with making money is understandable.
Mom and Dad hoped that I would soon let go of the ridiculous idea of becoming a writer and settle for something a bit more to their liking. For encouragement, they left me to run our family restaurant for two weeks while they vacationed in Taiwan.
I realized they couldn't leave my brother because he's only twelve and my sister has Down's syndrome, so that left me. The idea of working while they got to vacation didn't sit too well with me andonly my Chinese upbringing kept me from rebelling.
"Maybe you'll discover that you have a head for business, like me, my Dad said with a hopeful grin on his face. "I'm going to retire soon, and I was hoping to leave this place to one of you three kids. How about it?"
I plastered a weak smile on my face and went off to sulk. but as their departure date drew near, the loathing turned into wild-eyed panic.
I fought it with all my strength. "Okay. No big deal. I mean, my Dad's had this restaurant for over twelve years and I've been here almost from day one, so I know all the ropes. Yeah, I can do this. No problem!"
Okay, so one of the employees bailed; I handled it. I cleaned tables, washed dishes with one hand and stacked them with the other, while smiling courteously to pushy, in-a-hurry customers.
Okay, so the electricity went out because some idiot bird decided to do his kamikaze move into the fuse box outside. No problem. All I had to do was call the electric power company, and after two hours of waiting and calling them back and begging and threatening, they finally got there and fixed the fuse box right up. They couldn't fix the bird, though. All that was left of it was a tuft of burnt feathers and half a beak.
Mom and Dad called about seven the next night, "So how is everything?" Before I answered her I looked back at the pile of broken saucers, wet towels, and dirty cooking pots . "Everything's great, Mom. Just fine. So how's Grandpa? Did he ever find his teeth?"
When Dad came back to find the place still standing, he was impressed, and more determined than ever to have me go into business. I, on the other hand, after handling bedlam for two weeks, didn't ever want to see another plate of sweet and sour chicken again as long as I lived. It wasn't for me. Yes, it gave me plenty of experience that I'm grateful to have under my belt, but it wasn't something that I wanted for a career. Give me a clean sheet of white paper!
I want to write and make money. Maybe I won't ever make as much money as digging through someone's insides, but I know I can make enough to live on. And I'll be happy doing what I've always wanted to do: to make a place where anyone can go to find his heart a little lighter and his laughter a little louder.
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Discover these great essays in the following folders
Family * Inspirational * Helpful * Social
War * Freedom * Money * Superb Essays from 1850
And then, we have these essays in the GENERAL ESSAYS category which don't seem to fit anywhere in particular:
By Reason Alone.. That Roosevelt can do no wrong is Burroughs’s opinion; and that Burroughs is always right is Roosevelt’s opinion. Both are agreed that animals do not reason. They assert that all animals below man are automatons and perform actions only of two sorts—mechanical and reflex—and that in such actions no reasoning enters at all. They believe that man is the only animal capable of reasoning and that ever does reason.
No man is an island, is an old saying that was meant to say that no man stood alone, but needed help from others, and gave strength to others. But, here is the story of an island that was a man. In the short history of time, there was one island that was a monument to a single man. It starts out like a fairy tale.. Once upon a time there was a barren island. This almost insignificant little man was sent off to this barren island and turned it into a mirror of his soul and the fulfillment of his vision. One stick at a time he turned his barren island into a work of lasting, world-renowned beauty and peace, an island where the nightingales sang songs of singular wonder ne'er found elsewhere since this little man set down roots on a barren island, and bloomed.
Most of man's dreams are based on false assumptions. We dream of loping free with the wolves, but really don't like fleas. We dream of the security that lambs must feel, but don't want to be sheared. We dream of being lions, but gag at eating raw meat. We dream of being loved, but can't see the way or take the time to make ourselves lovable.
Was There EVER A Man On The Moon? How far can reason alone take us from the beaten path of acknowledged history?
RIGHT CLICK on this one. LIVES ON THE LINE, Americans can be proud of today's soldiers.
A Definition Of History by Leo Tolstoy gives us yet another peg to hang our ratiocinations upon.
Charity never faileth, especially when our hearts fill to overflowing with charity.
Man, the Meanie of the Planet. This is a high resolution pdf document so you can print it out and hang it on the wall. Be sure to RIGHT Click the link, and save it to your computer.
Are we forever Doomed? An essayic poem by Rudyard Kipling
I see Grandpa. He's calling out for me.
God Does Not Fit -- by Lance Nalley
SOCIALISM, Slavery and Tyranny by R. J. Harris
Deliberate Fraud: Evolutionists resort to the lowest forms of fraud in order to gain more believers.
When Theories fail.. Petty science teachers can rage until doomsday that no two snowflakes are identical, but until every snowflake that has ever fallen or ever shall fall is matched against every other snowflake that has already fallen or ever shall try to fall -- the identical snowflake theory remains just a theory resting in lolly-gagging land.
A Break From Boredom -- by Lance Nalley
INVICTUS... Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit, from pole to pole
Staunch, steadfast, loyal and true. What better friend can a man have?
Friendship, by Ralph Waldo Emerson. A ruddy drop of manly blood The surging sea outweighs, The world uncertain comes and goes, The lover rooted stays. I fancied he was fled, And, after many a year, Glowed unexhausted kindliness Like daily sunrise there. My careful heart was free again, -- O friend, my bosom said, Through thee alone the sky is arched, Through thee the rose is red, All things through thee take nobler form, And look beyond the earth, And is the mill-round of our fate A sun-path in thy worth. Me too thy nobleness has taught To master my despair; The fountains of my hidden life Are through thy friendship fair.
A thing of beauty
is a joy forever:
The Moon on Six Pence Uncle Bob was an unforgettable character who traveled the world on bargain rates and golden smiles!
The Almost Good Housekeeping monograph is a good excuse for the harried homemaker to put off until tomorrow all those burdens of yesteryear, and quit trying so hard.
Sex before the Sax: The first thing I learned about Lois was she had a label for being froward. Kids at school said she had had sex with Alfred. Not long after I arrived, another boy came forward to admit he had made a score at her door.
Old Rattler, and the King Snake.
Down and Dirty with Darwin Evolutionists are now feeling so battered that university professors advise their students not to discuss this theory with non-believers. "Sounds like a religious cult to me," say some.
Pleasures of the open fire: The Fireplace Revisited.
Don't Make Us