Last Thursday Mamma Lin called me. I knew I was in trouble because I hadn’t called her for like 2 weeks, and that makes a super cranky Ma.
Ma: Meimei. Why you no call for long time?
Me: Hi Mummy!!! I’m sorry, I know I haven’t called forever. I’ve been busy.
Ma: Busy doing what?
Me: Hm…ah…well…nothing really. Aaaanyways. How are you?
Ma: I okay…how is you new name?
Me: Oh. My. God Ma. I couldn’t change it. Those stupid people at the Australian consulate fucked me over. I’m not changing my name.
Ma: WHAT? What happened? I send you birth certificate, no?
Me: Yes, you did. But they won’t accept the certificate.
Ma: No accept? Why? They think you lying? You go again and tell them you no lie.
Me: Sigh – no, Ma. I’m done. I am never going again. I’m just going to keep my own name. It’s not going to happen.
Ma: But Meimei – what is boy going to think? You no take his name?
Me: Oh, he understands. He knows I tried.
Ma: Oh good. You must tell him you try really, really hard. You tell him you WANT to take name, but it no your fault.
Me: He knows ma. Don’t worry.
Ma: So. You no take name. How is money?
Me: The money is good, I guess?
Ma: No. I mean WHO is controlling money now? You? You have join account?
Me: You know what? We DON’T have a joint account.
Ma: SEE? You no take name, he no give you bank account. So, you have to ask him for money. I no like Meimei. It’s no good. YOU have to handle money, ALL of it.
Me: You are absolutely right Ma. I should have access to his bank account….I’m on it.
In contrast, this is my conversation with my father who called last night:
Dad: Mei – when you move into your new apartment?
Me: Probably around middle of July?
Dad: Okay. When you think you have it all ready?
Me: Hmm…Probably around August, end of August. Some furniture is on back order.
Dad: Okay. I think about coming to visit. So, maybe September I can come.
Me: Yeah – September is good. It won’t be too hot then. You can stay in the guest room.
Dad: Oh you have guest room? You have bed in there?
Me: We’re going to buy a sofa bed for the guest room. So yes, there will be a bed in there.
Dad: Hmm…Sofa bed huh? I think I would prefer to stay in a really expensive, nice hotel instead.
Me: I hear ya Daddy. Me too.
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