On Father’s Day, I was reflecting on the many ways that I’m grateful for my dad. I was able to think about Papa Hu’s philosophy on life, and how incredibly intelligent, thrifty, sacrificial, and loving he is. But what I also realized, now being older, was that perhaps those traits of his are not always aligned with my own values. Mixed with his traditional southern Chinese background and attempts at adjusting to American culture, some of the things he believes has made me chuckle, and at times ask “WTF?” So I invite you to learn about these “Dad-isms,” specific to my own father, and laugh with me.
10 Dadisms from Jim Wang Hu:
#1 “Money can’t buy everything. But no money, can’t buy anything.”
So obvious, yet actually profound.
#2 “Everyone knows Chinese people are the smartest.”
Perhaps his wisdom is limiting…
#3 “Don’t sleep with your head by the window or your hair will fall out.”
I doubt he’s conducted a study on balding men/women and the correlation to where their beds are positioned, but it’s science, right?
#4 “My daughters will learn how to drink at a young age so they will not be fools at parties.”
Started with a can of Budweiser at the age of twelve. Everyone knows that alcohol is the solution to foolishness.
#5 “Why go out to eat when I can just make it at home?”
And he totally does. As awesome has his cooking abilities are, it’s kind of annoying when we don’t get to go out. Dad, sometimes I just want to pay for someone else to cook my food.
#6 “I buy snacks at Costco if it says ‘new’ on it.”
His English is limited, and the “new” strategy is a hit or miss with us. Sometimes it was awesome fruit snacks, and other times it was bran cereal.
#7 “I’m obviously the funny one in this family.”
No one can keep up with the corniest man on Earth.
#8 “I can tell when anyone is lying.“
When I was a kid, I used to save up money to buy sweets and definitely had too much. My Dad noticed it, and would actually do regular “candy raids” in my room to see if I was lying about not having any. I really didn’t think he’d go into my underwear drawer. I guess the shame-based culture didn’t apply to finding your daughter’s bag of Buncha Crunch in her Target-brand undergarments.
#9 “Always find the best deal, and if it’s not there, you make it happen. There’s no shame in wanting to save money.”
I question this when I find myself at a car dealership and my dad, already getting a great discount on a vehicle, is pissing off the salesman by demanding two more free key chains. Why Father, why?
#10 “Never miss out on anything.”
I have a tendency for living life to the fullest and experiencing everything I can. But my dad takes it to a whole new level. One time, we were vacationing in Canada’s Banff National Park and stopped at a place to ride the Gondola up the mountain. That should have taken 20 minutes or so round trip. My Uncle Don ended up waiting 4 hours for us in a van because my dad had to take us on that hike, pay for the cheesy photos, and see the museum.
In conclusion, though I may not follow all of his Dadisms, I love the man behind them all and am beyond grateful for the gift that he is to me.
This is Amy Hu signing off for June 20th, 2013.