#PsychoParents: Sacrificing My Stomach Health For A Sleepover
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#PsychoParents: Sacrificing My Stomach Health For A Sleepover

The things I do for my friends...

As any Asian-American young adult knows, our parents take crazy to a whole new level and you don't want to test them. You would never dream of talking back, sneaking out of the house or bringing a boy home if you wanted to live to see the next sunrise. As a particularly stubborn child I tried to resist what was common knowledge by seeing what I could get away with. It usually wasn't much and I've had many a rice spatula hit against my palm in response -- and my mom was still more lenient than others!

The town I grew up in had a particularly large Asian-American population so my best friend also had an Asian mother. The only difference between our parents was that they were from different countries and her mother was even more strict than my own.

When we were younger, about 8 or 9 I'd say, I wanted my friend to sleepover. My mother had no issues with it, but my friend's mother insisted that she had to go home.

Now, her mother loved to feed us healthy food, which ordinarily would be fine, but the things she tried to feed us weren't particularly... delicious. At the time I was able to weasel out of it because I had no reason to be healthy, but my friend was constantly training for tennis: aka, she actually had to look after her body. In a last-ditch attempt to get her to "okay" the sleepover I decided to make a deal, and wound up sacrificing my stomach in the process.

One of the dishes my friend's mother tried to feed us was bitter melon soup and yes, it's as horrible as it sounds. She insisted it was good for us but the dish was what I suspect is served in hell... as punishment.

I told her mother I would eat a tub of bitter melon soup if we could have the sleepover. I'm not sure if she doubted I'd be able to do it, or if she just wanted to see me eat something healthy, but she agreed to the arrangement.

I ate every last drop of that horrid soup and my friend was able to stay the night. Of course, I wasn't able to enjoy it because my stomach -- and tastebuds -- were in horrible pain.

Oh well, sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do to get a #win.

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How Breaking Girl Code Got Me Punched In the Face

...by my Best Friend

I did some questionable things following a break-up with the first boy I ever loved. I drank too much, slept too little, and consorted with all the wrong rebound boys. My friends and I always used to say that the best way to get over someone was to get under someone else. It's the easy way out. Rather than crying in your room and eating copious amounts of food, you numb yourself to the pain by hooking up with people. In retrospect, this is a terrible idea and only a very temporary fix. I found this out the hard way.

When I started making bad choices after my first breakup in high school, one of the many terrible things I did was make out with my best friend's ex. I think of myself as an incredibly loyal friend. I've had the same five best friends for my entire life. I would literally take a bullet for anyone of them, which makes what I did even worse. I knew what I was doing would hurt my friend, and for some reason that I still can't explain, I did it anyway.

On Halloween night, only a few weeks after my breakup, I got more drunk than any normal person should. I was dressed as a slutty cat, and I was on the prowl. Before I knew it, I was making out with my best friend's ex; he was the first boy she had ever loved and will probably always love. Every girl knows that the first rule of girl code is ex-boyfriends are OFF LIMITS, and being drunk is no excuse. I truly don't know what came over me. I don't know if I did it because I was sad about my own breakup or resentful that my friend was currently in a relationship of her own, but regardless I instantly knew I fucked up big time.

I ran after my friend, begging her to talk to me. Being drunk didn't help, as I stumbled up the stairs and jumbled my words. Finally I caught up to my friend right as she was slamming the door shut to the bathroom. I pleaded with her to open the door and talk to me. After a few minutes, she finally opened the door and before I could say anything, her fist connected with my face... hard. I fell to the floor, stunned that my best friend had actually just punched me.

Looking back on this moment now, my friend and I laugh about how ridiculous it all was, how I definitely deserved to be punched in the face, how it is absolutely hilarious that after being punched I still tried chasing after her to apologize, and most importantly that no boy is ever worth ruining a friendship over. I made a really big mistake by hooking up with my best friend's ex - even though we only made out - and I will probably never forgive myself for it. I'm just lucky that eventually she forgave me, even if she had to give me a black eye in the process.

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Health |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

Books For People Tired Of Reading Old Dead White Male Authors

The classics are cool and all, but let's hear some different voices.

Let's face it: sometimes you just don't want to read books by old dead white guys.

Are some of their works classics? Sure. Are the classics classics for a reason? Yes, they're usually good. However, sometimes you just really need some fresh perspective, a different voice.

There's such a drastic difference between a white man writing about minority oppression versus actual minorities writing about it--the white guy will never fully understand oppression.

As an English major, I spent most of my school career dredging through the works of, you guessed it, old dead white guys. However, I was lucky enough to be able to take a class called "Voices of America", which focused specifically on American authors that weren't just white males.

I hadn't put much thought into who was writing the stories that I was reading, and after taking this class, I have become much more aware of the voices that are creating what I read.

It certainly doesn't stop me from reading a story by white guys that I'm interested in reading, but I put more thought into the creation of the work itself now.

Anyways, not all of these authors are still alive, but most are. If you're interested in reading different voices besides the old dead white guy, here's a great list of works to check out:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


source: wikipedia.org

Based partially on Alexie's own experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, the book follows Arnold Spirit Jr., a fourteen-year old Native American coming of age as he transfers to an all-white public school.

Hilarious, but also poignantly raw, Alexie tells Arnold's story not only with words, but in comic illustrations, too.

This is a great read if you aren't a huge reader, or even if you are and just want something that's still raw and real, but less dense than other books. There's still absolutely those gut-punching moments, and sometimes they came through the drawings. I've been making it a point to try to read Alexie's other works after reading this one.

Drown by Junot Diaz


source: amazon.com

Junot Diaz, a Dominican American author, tells the semi-autobiographical story of Yunior, whose family immigrates to America to pursue the American dream, and the story of the pitfalls and struggles that accompany chasing that dream.

Drown is a collection of short stories that are not chronological, and it's honestly that ambiguity of time that makes it so powerful. This has been my personal favorite read. Junot Diaz has a way of capturing emotion that hits you right in the chest, and his other works are excellent, too. However, Drown stands atop them all.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


source: amazon.com

I know that some high schools required reading this book, which is how I first stumbled across it many years ago, but if you haven't read it already, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is the autobiography of Maya Angelou (RIP), a black woman growing up in Arkansas.

Angelou tells the story of the racism she experienced as a black woman, and how she transformed from only a victim to somebody who can respond to the prejudice.

Angelou tells a story we, as white people, try our best to avoid engaging with: the racism of our grandparents, parents and their societies, and of even our peers and society today. Her prose is beautiful, and she does not mince her words nor sugarcoat anything that happened to her, and her words echo in you long after you've finished the book.

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri


source: amazon.com

Jhumpa Lahiri, an Indian American author, tells a series of short stories about different Indian and Indian American people, all struggling between their roots in India and the world they face in America.

Lahiri's succession of stories that follow different characters sounds like it would be difficult to care for a rotating cast, but she develops them so fully that you cannot help but care for each one. You wonder what will happen to each one, and whether the problems that are presented will be solved or fall further apart.

Sula by Toni Morrison


source: amazon.com

Sula by Toni Morrison tells the story of the predominantly black neighborhood of The Bottom in Ohio, and follows the narrator, Nel Wright, and her best friend, Sula Peace, as they grow up in The Bottom. This is the story of their friendship and their relationship to the world around them.

Morrison creates a vibrant world that fights back against the girls, who aren't quite strict of moral, either. The complexity of the novel, as well as the numerous parallels that run through it, leave you as a reader with so much to mull over at the end, and it's almost impossible to not sit there and make connections between things in the text.

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan


source: amazon.com

Amy Tan tells the story of Ruth, a Chinese American, and her mother, an immigrant. Ruth's mother, Lu Ling, is developing dementia, and Ruth explores her frustrations and feelings towards her ailing mother. Lu Ling had written her life story in Chinese, and Ruth takes the documents for translation, learning her mother's story and truth of her life in China.

There's two stories being told: Ruth and Lu Ling's. Their relationship is not the best, but the realistic way it's portrayed hit me right in the feelings place. My own mother has been struggling with my grandma's dementia, and I have given her this book in hopes that reading the relationship between Ruth and Lu Ling will help her feel less guilty about the things she might be feeling towards her mother.

The way this book is written really makes you contemplate the relationships we share with our families, and how they can be made and broken.

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Florida Mom Gives Her 2-Year Old To Complete Strangers

Yes, you read that correctly.

Florida mom Amber Warner found herself completely fed up with life. Outside of a Vero Beach restaurant, she placed her two-year-old son in front of two total strangers, explaining, "I can't do it." She tried to get the couple to take the child, and after a while retreated to her black truck and drove away.

Once the incident had been reported to the police, they were able to discover her name and address through her vehicle. She was charged with unlawful desertion of a child and resisting arrest without violence. The boy has now been released into the safety of the Department of Children and Families.

If you ask me, Amber seems like she's really got her shit together. I mean, c'mon, we can't all look this stellar in our mug shots now, can we?

source: orlandosentinel.com

I couldn't imagine being in a place mentally that your best option was to give your child to complete strangers. That is a rock bottom I cannot even begin to fathom.

Honestly though, part of me is glad this happened, because hopefully that poor baby can find a home with a mother who has the capabilities to care for him the way he deserves.

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#MyFirstWax Drenched In Sweat

Evidentally, profusely sweating and hair removal don't mix.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who simply just wanted a nice Brazilian wax before going to a music festival, is that really too much to ask?

Apparently it is.

Allow me to explain. Sometimes, in a girl's life, you simply want to feel totally clean. The downstairs area is something that creates a tremendous amount of insecurity for girls, so I really began thinking that it was my time for a Brazilian.

I walk into my esthetician's office and smelled the scent of wax immediately. I was ready. However, she didn't seem to be on the same wavelength as me. She immediately told me that she didn't think the hair was long enough for the wax, but I insisted she tried. I had grown it out for ten days, that was plenty, right?

Wrong. So painfully, terribly, abysmally wrong.

This esthetician used hard wax which, for those of you who are not connoisseurs in the wonderful world of waxing, essentially means that it's wax that you let cool and pull off by itself. Rather than soft wax which requires putting a strip of cloth to use to rip off the wax.

She put the first spot of wax on and ripped.

I had never experienced pain at this level before. She continued to work on my wax and I felt my body's temperature rising exponentially.

My body was dripping in sweat. I couldn't relax. Every muscle was clenched so hard that I honestly believe it was one of the best workouts I've ever gotten.

She told me that the waxing wasn't working well because I was so nervous and sweaty that the wax never cooled, so when she tried to pull it off, it was never ready. Then she proceeded to tell me it was the worst Brazilian wax she'd ever experienced.

WORST ONE SHE'D EVER EXPERIENCED? HOW ABOUT ME? I'M THE ONE WHO HAS HOT WAX RIPPING HAIR OUT THAT ISN'T EVEN COMING OUT!

*Breathes*

I digress. It ended with me telling her that it simply was not worth it anymore, and that we should just quit while we're ahead. Needless to say, I didn't return to her. However, I did continue with Brazilians for some bizarre reason. And now I'm a mothafuqin pro.

#MyFirstWax

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Being Motherless in College

I feel your pain.

The other day, I was sitting in a coffee shop on campus trying to think of a topic for my next article. I was thinking up all of the usual stuff: college fashion, sex, drinking, etc. As I opened my laptop to start writing, I overheard the conversation of the girl sitting next to me. She was on the phone screaming at her mother about how she needed more money in her bank account so she could get her nails done.

I never really voice my opinion about this sort of thing, but seriously? I don't have a mother, which makes it incredibly difficult to be surrounded by people who talk like that to theirs. I don't really care what your reasoning is, but you should know how lucky you are to even be able to call your mom in the first place.
So, to the motherless in college, I feel your pain.
I feel your pain when you're surrounded by your friends who get to call their mothers every single day. It makes me mad when I hear people talking to their mothers with such disdain, but it makes me feel even worse when I hear them talking about their day or how much they love each other. There are some days when I come home and all I want to do is cry or scream and call my mom. But, I can't. I'm left alone with my thoughts, and that's all.
My mom never even got to know where I was going to school, because she passed away right before I made the choice.
I especially feel your pain as you look ahead to the future. I think about the only person I'd really care about seeing me graduate, and that's my mom. I want to see her smile knowing that I'm a real-life adult, doing really awesome things. I know she's always there, but it doesn't always feel that way. I miss her all the time, and thinking of a life without her terrifies me--and probably scares you, too.
The only good thing that I can get out of this is that it's a learning experience. It's made me a more independent, and strong-willed human being, something I definitely got from her. Not having her here sucks, and I constantly think about how my life would be different if she was here. But, I know I have to be strong and continue to try my best because that's exactly what she would want.
When you lose your mother, it doesn't really get easier. It just becomes a little more manageable each day. So, to the motherless in college or anywhere, really: You're dealing with a heavy load of shit each and every day; and I get how you feel. Just remember that you're never alone, and someone else out there is feeling the same way you are.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the death of a parent or loss, there are resources that can help.