Saturday, February 27, 2010

Love: A Personal History

You grow up thinking it's perfectly normal that your parents love each other and hate each other at the same time. So it's also normal that they love you and hate you. You believe that every kiss should be paired with a slap and every "I Love You" is waiting for a retraction.

And then you are watching Step By Step and Full House and learn that real, anglo-saxon, American love is unconditional. You wonder why the people that say they love you can also hate you and ultimately hurt you. [It is because they are Asian.] So you force yourself to stop forgiving them for the way they make you feel and you decide to resent them instead. And when they say, "I love you," you stop believing. And where you used to respond, "I love you too," you don't say anything anymore.

But as you grow older you realize that this is not their fault. They cannot love you because they cannot understand you. They will continue to see what they want to see: the archetypal version of a son that will one day marry an Asian girl who will bear them three grandsons. And they will love that archetype with all of their hearts and they will love the real you the only way they know how. And though you still can't bring yourself to say you love them, you can appreciate their gestures.

And when you are all grown you think you don't need your parents' love. You know what real love is and you can find it in the form of a boyfriend or a naked French rugby player or through the unrequited adoration of Kim Yu-Na.

But the people you love can never love you back in the idealized manner you've always imagined. And when you are with your boy, all the little things bother you because they seem to tell you that, just like your parents, he loves you and he hates you.

And though you've convinced yourself you would be capable of loving somebody that truly understood you, you find that you are not so different from your parents. Like them, you are incapable of love. Because you don't know how to feel loved without feeling hurt.

13 comments:

Xac said...

I love you, in a totally platonic blog reader way. Best post ever.

Aek said...

Asian parents are just stoic in their emotional responses. It's not their fault, just how things are. :-/

Patrick said...

I'm sure Kim Nu-Ya's talent for making home cooked meals will placate any desire for intimacy/love/romance

Anonymous said...

Can we please hear more interesting personal stories from you life? I think that's why most people read blogs. You seem to be becoming increasingly focused on style over substance in your recent posts.

j said...

anon: you assume i have a life.

Caligula Sanchez said...

time out, you're asian!?!

Mike said...

I'm with SANCHEZ! Asian? Dang!! When did that happen?

True loves come and goes (so I'm told). If you want to feel blimps of it, find a relationship. Otherwise, just F whatever comes along. In the end, we're all dead, so really doesn't matter.

If you want blips of happiness, unfortunately they aren't associated with love, but associated with "not thinking about life" - being mundane and boring is a sure path to happiness, hence relationships.

I HATE MY PARENTS TOO!!! but i ALWAYS tell them, I love them (and their will).

Thanks for posting!!!

TED said...

Yeah, your parents' behavior has pretty much left you emotionally stunted for life. It's unfortunate, but it's really not uncommon. You probably can't ever truly love another person, but you can learn to fake it. There's no reason your bf ever has to know.

Oldyeller said...

Nice introspective post. I wonder if your feelings about your parents would be different if you were straight. Your posts seem to reflect this love vs. hate dichotomy too.

david said...

contrary to anon's comment, i think that was a good post!

french rugby players <3

Anna said...

holy fucken shit.

DEAR ANONYMOUS, this is a blog where the author is entitled to blog about whatever the fuck he wants to blog about, it's not a commerical magazine.

Straight guy from NYC said...

I agree. One of the best post recently.

I am not Asian, but coming from a culture different from the Anglo-Saxon, with a similar complex relationship between parents and children.

Love is conditional and you are bound for life with them. They don't raise kids but contractors who will serve them back when they grow old.

No matter whether you follow the traditional role or try to break away, you scarred for life.

The Covert Homo said...

I just read this several times. It really brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for posting this. I am a new follower.