Everyone calls Nam my mom now, because that is exactly what he is. He has a sixth sense about where I am (he found me on my way home from a completely different gym Saturday afternoon and whisked me home for free) and plus I think his his family informs on me. And, I have to try so hard to please him.
This morning, because of his "You are boring and 'eat bread' every day- change it up" speech last week (how dare anyone call my eating habits boring), I order the noodles with egg roll and pork in the market and keep my to-go container out so I can show him when I get to the street. I undo the dreaded rubber band (how DO they wrap it so tightly?) because, as I knew would be the case, he wants to know what I have. But he is nonplussed, and nonplussed is too enthusiastic of a word for what he is. He merely starts his '59 Super Cub and we head straight in to oncoming traffic (that's the way they get across the street and it actually makes sense to me now.) Yes, it stung (not the traffic - the dismissal).
But when we arrive at school, he hops right off his bike and ascends the stairs to grab Helen Our Daily Translator about All Things Food. Helen says, "He says to tell you that what you bought is probably not good. The kind that is sold in his village is way better than what you bought."
Nam is my mother. He is my Vietnamese Jewish Mother Stereotype whom I just can't seem to please.
The other day I am entertaining the staff at lunch with stories of Nam. One guy says, "Hey, I know a driver who speaks English and who has a cell phone. He would be indispensable if you want to get rid of that guy." Alice and I shoot each other a look and she is offended for me. "Marjie has no intention of 'getting rid' of her guy." It's so cool when someone who deserves it is slapped with a French accented tone.
Some people just don't get IT, you know? An English -speaking driver with a cell phone? BOR-ING. I prefer the ones who lose their cell phones and helmets and who get flat tires and who take me by bridal shops to meet their daughters after work (personally).