Jun Dishes

verb/diSH/ : food or sex or gossip or fiction in real life

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But I Didn’t Steal Anything!

barrette

The first time I ever stole something I was 5 years old. I didn’t even know I was stealing at the time. My mother had taken me to one of the wholesale stores near 32nd Street, in Koreatown. It’s where she bought frilly Korean bows and hair clips for me in wholesale quantities growing up, imported straight from Korea. There was never a day in my childhood that I did not have some barrette or headband with little birds or butterflies, or other tiny creatures of wildlife, adorning my hair.

Five

But on that one particular day, as I waited for my mother to pay for seven dozen new hair accessories, I noticed on the floor a little plastic bumble bee that had fallen off a headband nearby. It was covered in yellow and black sequins and glitter. I picked up the little bumble bee, saving it right before it was swept up by a store employee. It would have gone right into the trash had I not saved it!

My mother and I went off to lunch, and at some point during the meal I fished my little bumble bee out of my pocket and began to play with it.

“What’s that?”

“Nothing,” I answered my mother quickly. I wouldn’t have lied had it not sounded like an accusation!

My mother eventually confiscated my new toy, but then she gave it right back. I thought I’d won the battle, but then she marched me back to the store from whence it came. She explained to the store owner that I had taken something from their store without asking, and that I was there to return it. But I didn’t steal anythingI shouted in my head. But I felt ashamed. I handed the bee over to the owner.

“Oh but this is trash!” cried the owner in Korean, laughing.

My mother maintained that stealing trash was was still stealing. I had not asked permission to take it and therefore it was stealing. There was no grey area for my mother, just black and white, or black and yellow in this case. The bumble bee.

Both the store owner and I thought my mother was crazy. I realize now that my mother was right, in the end. I never asked anyone if I could have that little trashy bumble bee. It was the principle!

That was then.

~

This is now…

Yesterday I went to a baby fair alone, without Noah or Davy. Davy had gone to pick up my iPhone from the repair shop, and he’d taken Noah with him so I could quickly make the rounds at the baby fair before their return. Baby fairs, or babybeurs in Dutch, are basically swap meets but strictly for baby clothes and products. There are so many different beurs and markts (markets) going on, on any given weekend, that Belgium is basically one huge swap meet of a country!

So there I was in the very small and homogeous farming town of Kluizen yesterday, looking like I was on my way to a winter funeral in L.A with a little fur, a little Prada, and some suede ankle boots…

I’d just snatched up some long-sleeve shirts for Noah, and for a steal. The shirts still had tags on them so I was quite pleased with my purchase. I was enjoying all my conversations in Dutch here and there as I shopped. I liked flexing my language muscles without Davy around.

I knelt by another table to fold away the shirts I’d just bought, into my bag. I was about to move on to the next room of baby goods, when I was stopped. A woman’s hand gripped my forearm. She was the vendor whose table I’d knelt in front of. There were boxes of her children’s clothes she was selling, right where I’d been kneeling, and she asked me in Dutch if I’d taken anything from her box.

“Wablief?!” is what I asked the lady vendor.

Wablief is Dutch for what/huh/Whatchoo talkin’ bout Willis? It’s pronounced “wah-bleef” and it’s one of my favorite words in the language.

The lady vendor then repeated herself, louder, and by then everyone in the room was staring at us, in anticipation. For her, it was probably a mix of her own prejudices and jealousy over my tiny feet. I noticed her feet were huge. I couldn’t help it.

I told her in my best Dutch, “I took nothing. You don’t have to ask me again. Look in my bag.”

I’d opened my bag for her, and everyone else, to see. There were lots of sympathetic faces around me but it didn’t help. I felt like I was 5 years old again! Tears welled up in my eyes but I blinked them back. I swallowed the lump of humiliation in my throat. I wanted to run out of there and wait for Davy outside, but it was freezing out and I had no phone! I couldn’t even call him to hurry, and I couldn’t even tweet about it! I felt so alone.

I rarely feel outnumbered “because I’m Asian” because I don’t go around thinking about it consciously, but then some days it’s brought to my attention like yesterday. But my pride was intact and I continued shopping. I even had a cup of coffee at the refreshment stand. I looked fine.

When Davy finally arrived I told him there was nothing left to buy at the baby fair and we left. He was psyched to avoid the chaos inside and we drove off. He handed me my phone and I took it quietly. Davy knew my reunion with my iPhone should have been a bigger deal and he asked me what was wrong. I launched into the story, crying, while all the adrenaline drained from my body. Davy wanted to turn the car around and give the lady vendor hell, but I stopped him.

I’m not into Davy fighting my battles anyway, and I didn’t want the people of Kluizen to remember “that” couple on their gossip train. And I didn’t want Kluizen thinking I was anything but a well-dressed and gracious Asian woman who was falsely accused of stealing by a beast with big feet. It’s better than being called the crazy screaming anything. That never help.

Then this morning Davy saw that there was a babybeurs happening in our own town. We had nothing to do and so we went to check it out. And who did I see as soon as I walked into the fair? Big Foot from the day before! Apparently she’s a regular on the baby fair circuit.

I gasped. I couldn’t even help it. There she was.

She looked at me, and she saw I was not alone this time. She looked away quickly and never looked my way again.

But Davy had seen my mouth hanging open and he’d followed my gaze.

“She’s here? That’s her?”

I didn’t answer him at first but he knew it. He started to walk over to her with steam coming out of his ears. I stopped him. We went in the other direction. Noah found a set of wooden puzzles he wanted, and we made our rounds until we go to the front door again.

Davy and I discussed possibly stopping by “that” stall to say something, but we didn’t in the end. The fact of the matter is, I am a minority here and as such, shit happens. I stand out, which means Davy and Noah do too. How we stand out is what matters.

Short-term it would have been great to shame that sasquatch but long-term, I have to raise a family and live amongst her and other big feet like her. I’m okay with walking away from a fight I know I’d win, if it might make someone think differently about what they already assume. I hope that sasquatch realizes I didn’t destroy her, on principle, although I could have.

At least I have a good story to tell my mother on Skype tonight.

I’m sure we’ll reminisce about the stupid bumble bee…

Always dishing,

Jun

 

Happy Birthday Sushi Delivery Drama

MeMomz

Today’s my mother’s birthday and she’ll never read this but I’m saying Happy Birthday to her anyway.

I ordered her some sushi for her birthday, like I do every birthday since I’ve been living in Belgium, because my mother loves sushi. My family loves sushi and sashimi and all things raw fish. It’s in our Korean blood.

So I ordered the sushi early today, via telephone, from AAA Ichiban Sushi on Orchard Street in Manhattan. It was my first time ordering with them. I couldn’t place my order online because sites like Seamless don’t take international credit cards online. So I phoned my order in and it was to be delivered to my grandmother’s apartment at lunchtime.

Why to my grandmother’s apartment?

I should have known to confirm the time with my mother first, because every year on her birthday we go through what’s known as sushi delivery drama. My mother knows every year on her birthday to expect sushi from me yet it’s always a hassle each delivery. Things like this drive me even crazier from so far away than they ever did when I was living in New York.

The thing is…

My grandma’s Alzheimer’s is winning the race and she rarely has her wits about her. She can no longer do basic things for herself and the doctors have said that there’s nothing more they can do for my grandma’s heart and lungs. She has a nurse for 12 hours a day in two shifts and either my momz or my aunt must be with my grandma at all times. My grandma’s physical and mental condition has gotten to the point that she believes she’s being killed off slowly by North Korean disguised as nurses and doctors. She even refuses help from my uncle because she will not show him her “privates.” She could be living in a care facility but my family will hear nothing of it.

It’s heartbreaking yet my grandma has breakthrough moments where she is crystal clear in the present. On Skype the other night she told me she wished she could cook my favorite noodles for me. She remembered!

But back to sushi drama…

Sushi Delivery Drama 1: The first year, in 2011, I’d sent my mother sushi as a surprise but I did tell her to expect something “in the mail” forgetting my mother doesn’t answer the door to anyone unless they’re announced in advance. Since my dad passed away in 2004, my mother’s picked up more irrational fears than she’s ever before. So when the sushi delivery guy got to her place, my momz refused to open the door. I had to call her and tell her to let the delivery guy in, while the delivery guy was on the other side of the door from her. When she finally let him in, she grabbed her jacket and headed to my grandma’s (her mother’s) apartment to share the sushi with. They live within the same apartment complex on the Lower East Side. My mother told me she’d never eat the sushi without my grandma. It was the first year they were widows together, after my grandfather passed away the year before. I’d ordered extra sushi knowing my mother probably wouldn’t eat it alone. It was sweet, my momz and grandma.

Sushi Delivery Drama 2: The next year, 2012, I had the sushi delivered directly to my grandma’s house thinking I was ahead of the curve. But it turned out I ordered it for too early and I had to push the delivery time. The restaurant was very nice about it because I explained that I was calling form Belgium to send my mother sushi for her birthday and I was having a hard time organizing it. And then when the delivery guy finally got to my grandmother’s place there were problems with the intercom system and again I had to call my mother with the sushi delivery guy on the other line. Momz had to go downstairs to let the delivery guy in but someone let him in before she got to the lobby. She eventually got her sushi.

Sushi Delivery Drama 3: Last year today, Noah was shy of turning a year old and everything seemed to be in sushi delivery order when I called my mother to confirm the time and place and that all the intercoms all work. Then I learned, through my aunt who called me to say I needed to order more sushi, that my uncle would also be there for happy birthday sushi lunch. So I called the restaurant back and they were happy to take an extra order. At first I thought it was incredibly rude how my aunt handled the situation but in the end she just wanted to make sure there was food enough for everyone. I was happy to for my mother, because it’s all about saving face and stuffing your face with sushi!

Sushi Delivery Drama 4: Today, I ordered my mother’s sushi to be delivered to my grandmother’s apartment at lunchtime because I thought for sure my grandma would be home. She is in no condition to be anywhere but resting in the hospital bed set-up in the living room of her apartment. But it turns out my grandmother, home just a few days after being in ICU for a week, was not at home at lunchtime today. My mother, and my grandmother’s nurse Kay, had accompanied my grandmother to some doctor’s appointment in midtown! It’s freezing and brutal out in New York yet my grandmother was outside instead of resting. I only found this out after frantically calling my mother’s cellphone, to no avail because she’d left home without it, so I had to call my aunt to find out. My aunt told me to push the sushi delivery back two hours.

Two hours later my momz and grandma were not home yet. The car service they’d ordered was stuck in traffic in midtown, like that was rocket science, and I cried in frustration. My sushi order had been attempted to be delivered once and when I called with another request for postponement I felt defeated. I asked for another thirty minutes. The restaurant was gracious and said they’d try one last time to deliver my mother’s birthday sushi.

So I called my aunt and she gave me the number of my grandma’s nurse Kay. So I called Kay and she put my mother on the phone. I was so antsy about the sushi drama that I almost yelled at momz right away until I heard her say to me “Nuh-moo choo-uh” meaning it’s so cold, in Korean. Momz had been waiting outside the doctor’s office for an hour on the look-out for the car service and she was freezing. My mother was freezing on her birthday! I felt so bad for her. I almost screamed at her.

I couldn’t. None of the sushi drama was her fault, just like the sushi drama the year before that or the year before that. Except this year it looked like my mother really wasn’t getting her birthday sushi. AAA Ichiban Sushi was about to make it’s final delivery attempt. I’d never been there before yet they were so accommodating!

The thing is…

My mother is a very good daughter, in many ways to a fault. But who am I to say? She wants to do everything she can for her mother while she’s still alive on this earth. How can I argue with that?

Today I felt angry at my grandma. It lasted only a minute. It’s not her fault. It’s nobody’s fault.

Alzheimer’s sucks. Alzheimer’s fucks with you. Add a few organs failing and you’ve got my grandma. It’s a daily struggle.

But today’s my momz birthday.

All that matters is that my mother got her sushi after all, by just minutes, on a third attempt at delivery. The restaurant was so kind. I order enough for everyone to have, including Kay, because Kay’s simply becoming family.

I yelled at momz on Skype just now. I had to get it out and ask why there always had to be Happy Birthday Sushi Delivery Drama! We laughed.

Happy Birthday Umma.

Thank you AAA Ichiban Sushi!

MeMomz

Photo taken in 2010.

Always dishing,

Jun

 

How Marriage Is Like Big Brother

WeddingCakeTopper

Marriage is like Big Brother.

I’m not saying marriage is a game, because Big Brother is no ordinary game. Big Brother is more like marriage than The Bachelor ever is. It’s no wonder that there have been real marriages arising out of seasons of Big Brother. 

Life, in general, can be likened to Big Brother but it’s marriage that’s the final two. You both signed up for it. There’s no cash prize pay-off at the end but the two of you take home the prize anyway. We say there’s only one winner in Big Brother but there’s actually a 2nd place winner so technically there are two winners, it’s just that one got more money than the other. If and when there come times when you and your partner meet a jury then your arguments will determine who wins. I don’t shy from arguments at all, in front of juries or not, so being married to me must be tough sometimes.

Throughout the game of Big Brother, like in marriage, your final-two alliance remains steady as people around you are brought into your alliance, and some voted out. There are just some people that need to be cut the fuck out of your life for you to keep your marriage stronger. You don’t have to tell this to people’s faces, since you’re managing jury votes, but you really do have to know when to burn bridges.

There are no real competitions or favoritism, and no Chenbot thankfully, in marriage.

But there are still challenges and rewards.

Winning food in the Big Brother house was as important then as it is now, and always exhilarating. Let’s say for example, instead of Food Competitions my husband Davy and I juggle our little Noah and a huge shopping cart down the aisles of the supermarket. An exhilarating win for me is keeping Noah preoccupied sitting in the shopping cart while Davy and I shuffle quickly, single-file, while throwing groceries in our cart. The shorter the trip the better-behaved the kid. Last week we came home with a can of Pringles that neither Davy nor I put in the cart, but both of us thinking the other must have wanted it. It turns out it was Noah who threw the Pringles in the cart! We saw him do it again this last trip, reaching into the same shelf, and the Pringles mystery was a mystery no more.

Luxury Competitions are like arranging date nights, or getting to sleep in the morning after date night. Sending little Noah off to grandma’s or grandpas’s on a random Saturday night is a luxury. Getting to take a bubble bath in a quiet house is also a luxury. An unexpected and delicious nap in the middle of the day is also a luxury worth vying for.

I never fathomed writing a blog like this when I was sitting in final two with Alison in 2003, but here I am.

Could you find a winning final two?

Each partner has to balance being Head Of Household and not being Head Of Household, and each partner must respect the other’s Power of Veto. There should always be a right to veto. When you take away someone’s POV then that’s a game move but also a sign of disrespect. I meant it when I essentially took Ali’s POV away from her when I was HOH that week Jee went home. Ali had won it in advance of my nominations, which many forget, and that’s why I nominated her with Jee. Everyone thought I’d nominate Robert and Jee but hell no. I gave her no choice but to use it on herself so I’d replace her with Robert.

I always have a lot of shit to say so I veto things often. Like I said, it can’t be easy being married to me. In marriage, your spouse should always have the right to veto.

There’s no need to mess with someone’s POV anyway if you trust them. If you don’t, then that marriage isn’t going to work out in the end. It’s a long-term passive-aggressive thing called love where nobody has to get hurt but it’s okay to fight with your partner. Sometimes you want to punch your partner in the face and reign them in to focus on the end-game but you can’t do that. You don’t do that to your partner, neither in Big Brother nor in marriage, you don’t. You signed a contract. You can think about it all you want and even blog about it but you can’t do it. You remain calm and focus on the bigger picture and you get back to keeping your marriage going, because Big Brother never stops going on around you.

Marriage is hard.

Some people say they could play Big Brother successfully when they’re not really cut out for it to begin with.

Marriage isn’t for everyone and that’s okay.

Always dishing,

Jun

Train of Thought Over A Cup of Coffee: Charity and Philanthropy

Coffee

I started on this cup of coffee and I’m almost done with it.

Here’s my train of thought over this cup, and many people may disagree with me:

Celebrities are great and their efforts to raise awareness in fundraising for charities is humbling, most of the time. I never loved Celebrity Apprentice because it always just came down to making phone calls to other celebrities. I just give what I can, when I can. It’s what I’m comfortable with doing.

Celebrities sometimes make or break fundraising events, and charities certainly appreciate the larger number in donations that celebrities afford them. It should always be a beautiful thing. Legitimate charities all over the world need funds. Literally. Money is tight for everyone. It’s nobody’s business but yours how you spend your money.

Most of my life, and even as a child, I’ve donated to charities. But I’ve only given a few times in the true sense of philanthropy. One isn’t any better than the other, as long as nothing is ever expected in return. I only differentiate because with philanthropy, I was never going to really know who got the help they needed with the amount I donated. With charities, I always give because there’s some personal degree of separation or person associated with the cause I’m giving to, and usually someone whom I respect or mourn or celebrate. I guess I’d make a horrible lobbyist that way.

When I can give I choose charities that speak to my heart, and I give quietly regardless of what size the donation. I’d actually play Big Brother again if the whole $500,000 prize was for a charity, of American’s choosing, and Houseguests only got stipend at the end of it all. That’s philanthropic at the same time as it is charitable!

Clearly I’ve had too much coffee or not enough, because I’m fantasizing about a Big Brother Charity season.

I should probably drink some water.

I’ll have some water now…

Always dishing,

Jun

Pride and Embarrassment

Alexis

Blogging every day like I did in 2013 was hard, but this blogging-whenever-I-want-to in 2014 thing is just as hard. It’s like having to catch up with a friend about my last few days and wanting to cover so many things that have happened, yet not wanting to sound like a lunatic. It’s been days since I last blogged and in that time I got a lot of shit done.

My U.S. passport expires this year, faithfully, after ten years with me. It was one of the best gifts I gave to myself in my lifetime, a fully-stamped passport. I could write a novel each about my travels to Aruba, The Bahamas, Belgium, China, Croatia, The Dominican Republic, England, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, and some twice or more in those ten years. So with months still left before the expiration date, I took my U.S. passport and reported to the U.S. Embassy in Brussels this week to apply for a passport renewal. This morning, as a matter of fact…

Because I’m living Belgium I can’t apply online and so I must present myself by appointment at the Embassy. I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I realized this week that I’ve enjoyed all my trips to the U.S. Embassy here. Brussels is charming as a metropolis, and I feel a sense of pride as an American each time I approach that heavily guarded American flag along Boulevard Du Régent (in French) or Regentlaan (in Dutch). I never thought my heart would ever swell seeing the American flag and a huge portrait of Barack Obama on the wall inside the U.S. Embassy, but it swells! Plus, everything’s in English at the Embassy and the forms look soothingly familiar and I get to use my social security number which never happens in Belgium.

I never felt any kind of pride anytime I renewed or replaced my passport back in the States. I never knew this kind of pride. Back in New York it was just a huge hassle to have to “deal with” going to the passport agencies, and the costs and waiting involved.

My son Noah has both American and Belgian citizenship and he’s got his own U.S. Passport as well. He’s been inside the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels. My husband Davy and I have talked about this before and how it’s the best gift we gave to Noah, dual citizenship. Perspective is a window and the more windows you’ve got, the more you get to see. I wish for Noah to travel when he’s old enough, and to fill all his passport pages too one day.

So after all this feel-good love for America, I came home today and felt the need to blog about so many different things. My love for America wasn’t actually one of them because I was still basking in the glow of social security number excitement. I actually started out writing hours ago about the new Survivor cast. But I couldn’t not address the recent Big Brother drama so I started writing about that. But as I was writing, I found myself sounding so “anti-American” that I trashed it and started this new blog with my whining about how hard it is to blog in 2014.

And this is how I end up sounding like a lunatic anyway, with a disclaimer.

In closing, here’s who I like from the new Survivor cast (knowing this means that they won’t win):

fav3

 

I find Alexis annoying but I her hair is entertaining in the wind.

Alexis

As far as what’s going on in the Big Brother world?

I’ll just leave you with this PSA:

Attention: The Big Brother Cat Lady is evolving every day and joining online armies and mafias, sisterhoods and Big Brotherhoods of the internet, and you should be very afraid.

It’s almost impossible to explain to a layperson all that goes on between summer seasons of Big Brother, namely October through June, because there are things that go on during the season itself that never should have happened in the first place. Right now in January, Big Brother alum and their respective fans are socially slaughtering each other, with some even exposing their body parts on social media, in self-publicized scandals. It makes my rivalry with Alison and the rest of 2003 look wholesome and healthy. Not that’s scary.

I blame America and maybe some of Canada and England. I blame the internet. I blame Big Brother live feeds. To be clear, I’ve watched the feeds and I love the internet. I love America and Canada and England, but I’m not proud of Big Brother. All jokes aside, this is embarrassing!

Thank god I have the U.S. Embassy to remind me of all that’s good about freedom.

Always dishing,

Jun

Pubic Hairs Are Yucky Apparently

Bathtub

To call my little Noah precocious would be like calling me blunt.

He’s not yet 2 years old, yet he remembers everything and recalls it at his whim. When he helps me clean and vacuum around the house we sometimes run into tangled balls of hair, my long hair from my head. Noah picks these hairballs up and growls before saying in Dutch, “etsje vuilbak!”

This means “yucky garbage can!” and Noah then proceeds to throw the hairball away in the nearest garbage can.

Two days ago I had an appointment with my gynecologist Dr. Martens, whom I love enough to have blogged about once, and I prepared accordingly to the unwritten but stressed rules. I did not have my period, I did not fornicate the night before or morning of my appointment, and I made my vagina gorgeous and lovely. To me, gorgeous and lovely means sparkling clean and waxed or shaved and very trim.

Tweets

I actually got one answer to the question, thanks to a credible someone, as to whether or not gynecologists care about the gorgeousness or loveliness of patients’ vaginas. No.

But I welcome more surveys!

It’s not like I go all-bare down there because I’ve tried that before and never liked it. I prefer to leave some pubic hair in the right spot proportionate to everything else. Why am I sharing this besides the fact that I share too much as it is already?

Because two days ago I came home from my gynecologist’s appointment all checked-out in good vaginal health. That evening Noah was brushing his teeth before bed time, and he pointed to the bathtub telling me he wanted to take a shower. Specifically a shower. Noah only takes showers with papa. He’s never taken a shower with me. It’s not a rule or anything but more practical. I always just give Noah his baths. I don’t often get in the bathtub with him, and when I do I don’t take photos. My focus is his safety and fun. I get out first and towel-dry off while he continues to play. In the past I’ve been naked once or mostly naked other times but not really naked naked. Most times it was out of convenience so I could dry off quickly with less clothes to have to throw back on.

Two days ago I was in a bikini. It was bed time and I had things of my own to do but I decided a bath with Noah would be fun! After we brushed our teeth we got in the bath.

For fun I took a photo of us in the bathtub together and I later uploaded it on social media. Social media is just fancy talk here. It really just means Facebook and Twitter to me.

BathtubI uploaded the photo asking if any other mommies wore bikinis in the bathtub with their kids. I should have been more specific and detailed or written a blog instead. I should have rewound 30 minutes before the picture was taken to explain a few things, but that’s all shoulda coulda woulda when it comes to social media.

But this is what happened…

I’d undressed Noah while running the tub with water. I got down to my bra and panties and took those off too when I heard growling. I looked down at Noah who was growling and pointing at my groomed spot of pubic hair, and he said “Etsje!”

He called my pubes yucky! He growled at me! He thought I had a gross hairball stuck to me!

I gently told Noah that it was not yucky and that it was okay. I smiled and said it’s okay, it’s mama’s hair, about a dozen times. He didn’t seem convinced. It’s not like he’d never seen me naked before and it’s probably not the last time Noah will see me naked but he’d never associated vacuuming dirty hair into the garbage can, with my nudity, before.

But as precocious as he is, I didn’t believe Noah was ready for any kind of body parts talk yet. He’s not even two! He just needed to know that there was nothing yucky going on. So I threw on the bikini and we played in the bathtub. There’s plenty of time for talk later, just not at 21 months of age.

My mother was always naked with me in the bath. My father never. I never knew any other way to bathe until I was old enough to bathe alone. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Being naked with my mother and her naked body taught me so much about my own body later growing up, and now.

I never thought I’d wear a bikini in the bathtub with my son until it happened. If I had a daughter I probably wouldn’t wear one. But who knows?!

With Noah, it was a conscious choice on the spot but only after I laughed at myself. Here I’d thought I’d trimmed enough to make my vagina gorgeous for Dr. Martens yet Noah still found it yucky. You can prepare and read-up all you want on what your toddler might or might not do, but there’s nothing like the real thing. You have to laugh. You have to trust your gut whether or not you’re right or wrong, and learn from your mistakes and triumphs too, it’s one of the toughest parts of parenting. The uncertainty yet obligation to make split-second decisions.

Just because I blog about sex and I’m open about sex and my sexual history and the fact that I was sexually abused as a child, doesn’t mean I wear my vagina hanging out in public. It doesn’t mean I won’t wear a bikini in the bathtub with my child if I think it’s the right thing to do in the moment. I’m all for nudity when it works and improvising when necessary. I’ve never been a mom before so I’m the teacher and student at the same time every day.

When I uploaded the photo and asked what other mommies did, it was neither an invitation for judgement nor any indication of judgment on my part. I don’t need reminders that Noah came from inside me because even if he hadn’t and I’d adopted him, I still would have put that bikini on two days ago.

It was just a question not to be taken so seriously!

Or was it?

Always dishing,

Jun

 

 

Tupperware and Feeling Old

TupperwareCrew

I once attended a sex toy home party here in Belgium. I bought some disinfectant cleaner in a sexy-looking bottle because the prices of the rest of the products were ridiculously high. My husband Davy and I have a decent-sized pleasure and torture chest and I personally don’t need a home party to buy my sex toys. In New York I once attended a sex toy party for a Christmas charity. But I never attended a Tupperware home party in my life until I moved to Belgium. I’ve now attended two, one thrown from someone on Davy’s mom’s side of the family and the other from Davy’s dad’s side of the family.

I’d never actually been invited to one until I moved here. Nobody I ever knew in New York threw them. I knew nothing about anything about what a Tupperware home party was and it had always been more like an urban legend to me. My mother always used Rubbermaid anyway and she just bought it at the store.

So I’m about to overanalyze the shit out of Tupperware parties, in Belgium, and you can tell me if it’s similar where you are or were.

My first Tupperware party in Belgium was at the wife of Davy’s uncle Danny, Carine’s. She was the host and there were about a dozen of us in her dining room. Mostly friends of Carine and Danny’s and some family like me. Everyone was 30+ in age. I was very pregnant with Noah. Carine, our hostess, laid out crackers and cookies and I was so disappointed. I was pregnant! I needed to eat more than hostage in kidnap! I was shocked at the prices of the actual pieces of Tupperware. My urban legend had some legendary pricing. Geez.

I ended up buying the “cheapest” expensive freezer container at around $30 and getting something for free while other guests bought hundreds of dollars of Tupperware like it was nothing. The Tupperware Consultant had been very good at her job in selling fun and gadgets. She cooked a whole meal of raw meat and veggies in one one Tupperware bowl in the microwave. In the microwave! Her cooking demonstration was taste-tested by all guests including pregnant me. I felt weird about eating “microwave cooking” and I still do.

Carine and Danny ended our relationship soon after that stupid Tupperware party, and also cut off anyone else who bought just one “cheapest” expensive item like I had. Coincidence? A lost bond for the price of Tupperware. Tupperware is thicker than blood apparently. How sordid!

My second Tupperware party, last night, happened at the home of Davy’s dad’s girlfriend’s daughter Lindsay. Complicated-sounding but basically my future step-sister-in-law’s. Lindsay’s also, incidentally, the hostess of the only sex toy home party I’ve attended in Belgium. Connection? Lindsay likes to throw home parties.

But besides Tupperware and sex toys, there’s lots of other kinds of home parties all the rage here in Belgium like it’s 1949 or 1979, you choose.

The whole Tupperware thing makes me feel uncomfortable. All of it does. There. I said it.

I feel like I’ve taken a time machine back many decades to a time where I’m supposed to be barefoot and pregnant and pouring milk out of glass jugs brought to me by the milkman. It does help when hostesses like Lindsay put out a thoughtful and tasty spread of finger foods. She and I share a love of preparing and devouring party foods. So at Lindsay’s Tupperware  home party last night there was lots to eat and drink and nearly 20 of us under one roof in the living and dining room with the Tupperware Consultant.

Lindsay’s Tupperware Consultant was soft-spoken and nervous and not as polished as Carine’s Tupperware Consultant, but she was a nice Belgian lady. She also did a demonstration of microwave wonder meals and it took everything in me not to stand up and shout, “Microwaves are not for cooking! Nooooo! This is wrong!”

Cooking in microwaves is now a Tupperware thing?! You want me to stick a whole raw chicken with all the fixings in a Tupperware bowl costing $150 and call it dinner after 15 minutes in the microwave? No way! Microwaves are for reheating food, at best, and not for cooking. I can’t stand with Tupperware on this.

Am I just old-fashioned? Possibly old? I felt old last night and not because I was the oldest person at the Tupperware party. Lindsay’s guests consisted of a mostly of her best girlfriends, all aged similarly in their youthful and bouncy booties of their early 20s.

Lindsay’s standing 3rd from the left, with the short blond hair.

TupperwareCrew

Then there was me and the rest of the “older” ladies at the party, all family of Lindsay’s. We’re not in the photo, clearly. And I learned at this particular Tupperware home party that younger ladies don’t purchase as much ridiculously priced Tupperware as older ladies do. It’s the moms and aunts and grandmas of Tupperware home party hostesses that Tupperware should target. Not younger ladies.

The theme here being ladies.

All these home parties are hosted and attended and consulted by vaginas. Vaginas staying in while any corresponding penises are not present. I get all the good reasons for such vaginal gatherings but I can’t help but think it’s all a bit anti-feminist. I’m no bra-burner but I’ll let my tits fly free for a cause if I have to. I just never thought Tupperware would be it. I don’t think it’s any kind of conspiracy to keep women in the kitchen or home, but it does make me wonder.

However, I did purchase two items both for Noah…some “Lollitup” freezer pop holders and straw-sippy-cups. I did it because Tupperware kid’s stuff is built to last and Lindsay was a great hostess. I really wanted her to get the free mandolin she could be awarded as incentive for throwing the Tupperware party in the first place. I spent nearly double the amount I had at my first Tupperware home party at Carine’s and I was happy to do it. Lindsay’s mom, Myriam whom Noah calls Oma, and Lindsay’s aunt and grandma contributed greatly towards Lindsay’s goal too. I’m happy to report that Lindsay will get her mandolin!

There will be no third Tupperware home party for me because it’s just not necessary. It’s been fun and a huge learning experience in a country where the learning curve is brutal in its climb. As an afterthought I will add that Lindsay and all her girlfriends went out for the evening after Tupperwaregate and then I really felt old. Me and the rest of the 30+ ladies went home. I was strangely comforted by the fact that Lindsay and her bevy of Belgian cuties were out while I was home on the sofa with Davy.

I remember those days I still went out after a long day…

Always dishing,

Jun

Holy Shit I’ve Been Living in Belgium Three Years

HolyShit

I didn’t even realize January 4th passed by me until today. What’s January 4th? It’s the date in 2011 that I moved to Belgium.

That date is a big fucking deal to me because these last three years have been some of the hardest in my life. Even more than the three years I spent deep inside the dirty sex business in New York City. My three years growing up pretty poor in Korea looks like utopia. This is all compared to the socialistic country of Belgium I currently live in. It makes the three months I spent in the Big Brother house a feel like a treat in comparison too.

This isn’t a floral yay it’s my anniversary of the date I moved to Belgium blog. This is pretty much a rant blog of cold hard facts.

Couples Davy & I have witnessed broken up and/or divorced in the last three years: D & M, V & D, P & W, T & T, K & T, T & K, S & W, T & L, F & W, G & A, N & A, S & H, T & V, V & K, D & A, O & C

Couples Davy & I have witnessed married in the last three years: C & S

There’s a mild epidemic of otherwise divorce going on in Belgium. At least to me in our circle of friends and friends of friends on Old McDonald’s farm in Ghent where children are involved. Yet, everybody thinks they know what my life is like. It’s insane. It’s not even logical really. Only I know what it’s like. My husband Davy knows next best but he doesn’t really know either. Just like I can’t know what it’s like for him these last three years. In the meanwhile, my mother on Skype knows .04% of what goes on in my life. It’s the perfect balance.

Yet people, who are not me or Davy, make up grandiose scenarios to instigate something. Anything. Because Belgium is, in fact, a boring country. Belgians will agree with me.

It’s not that the people are boring as an insult because there are brilliant minds in Belgian history and current events. We have friends who will be lifelong friends no matter whether they are married or divorced or single. That shouldn’t matter between friends. My point simply is that the country is run on socialism. It’s only natural that a country of generally moderate thinkers gossip like small towns do in America. Belgium’s a very small country. Gossip is is like granny cocaine here.

I don’t mind it all the time. I like it that way. I like things the way they are.

Maybe it’s my ego and that I love being different in a country where not much changes often. When I moved here in 2011 most everybody here knew more than I did about Davy. Today in 2014? People have no idea.

No.

Idea.

And I like it that way. Marriage and all its deepest secrets are sacred and should be. I don’t want to be part of any epidemic anyway when I’m already a statistic.

Always dishing,

Jun

 

 

 

Marriage Is Hard

WeddingCakeTopper

I look back on 2013 and I think about all of the things that made my heart soar and sore. It’s the year I got to know myself better, first and foremost. It’s the year I got to know my husband Davy better and vice versa. It’s the year I cried a lot.

I hope I never make marriage look easy because it’s hard.

Parenthood is hard. Being an expat in a small country is hard. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. I can only speak for myself but whatever any of us are doing is hard, and this is what I’ve learned most of all, in 2013.

Life is fucking hard. It helps to have people and things around to lighten things up for instant gratification, but you can never turn life off. It will keep going on with or without you. It’s up to you what you make of your life.

I want to be sure that I’m not making anything in particular look easy or perfect, but simply showing how good things can be when they’re good, in marriage. It’s not for everyone, just like having a pet or going to college isn’t for everyone. It’s a choice and not often enough a right.

Always dishing,

Jun

Yes, Linda Catchup Will Return

LindaCatchup

Just because it’s the new year everybody’s extra sensitive about things they were already sensitive about the prior year and It’s natural. Or maybe it’s just me and I’m projecting onto “everybody” but probably not. But I’ve noticed a lot of things already in the new year.

Everybody’s more vocal about things. Like, people whose birthday fall during this week seem loud about it being their respective birthdays. And some readers are loud about wanting a return of Linda Catchup, “since it’s 2014,” which I love. I shared a lot of details enough to scratch the surface. Your reading and then subsequent outpour of feedback was tremendous, and invaluable and I’m grateful for it. The following, for the story of how I met my husband was large, but my writing was far from perfect. You all made it fun!

As far as it being 2014? Yes. It is.

We all have things to get done that we’re aware of or maybe aware that we’re in denial of.

I’m being vocal now and asking that readers not get rude or inappropriate in their requests for Linda Catchup. I realize I’m actually speaking to a relatively small number of people but it’s something I have to ask. But let’s not ruin things for everyone. This is why we can’t have nice things. I’ve got things that I need to get done before Linda Catchup makes its way up the list.

I’m not intentionally holding back anything. Give me a break. I just have a lot of shit to do.

That was a great cliffhanger to leave you all with, wasn’t it? Please confirm.

So many readers have mentioned wanting a return of more Food Blogs and I owe one reader, Cameron, a Kimchi Blog. I’m so late on that but I have some video footage of my mother making kimchi when she was here visiting two years ago, so it’ll be a momz combination blog. I promise.

Seriously though, I started the first five days of the new year on my period and that SUCKS but I haven’t been very vocal about that until now. And then there’s everyone who’s started working out and dieting or quitting smoking or drinking or whatever resolution it is that’s making people get gym memberships and sessions with their personal trainers or shrinks. I can’t help but notice these things.

I am thrilled about one girlfriend who told me she was going to give her husband more blowjobs. I am. Thrilled.

My Sex Blogs make some readers squirm and they could probably do without it but I appreciate all the readership and honesty in comments. My mother-in-law, Carine, is a faithful reader of all my blogs and I sometimes feel bad when she unsuspectingly stumbles upon one of my sex blogs mid-way. She’s always a great sport though, as is my husband Davy. My sex blogs and all blogs, and especially Linda Catchup, could only happen with the support and trust of Davy. Without that I’d have no inspiration to tell our tale.

Yes, in 2014, Linda Catchup will return this year just not right away. Come along for the ride and thank you for your patience. I’d serve nuts for the wait if I could.

Thanks everyone!

Always dishing,

Jun