“when a woman is smarter than a man”: my mother\'s lessons in beauty and independence
My father is a handsome agricultural vendor and has always been a hot topic in the Korean community in New York.
At his peak, he stood 5-foot-
10. taller than his companions
A generation of people who were stunned by the local dairy farm
Free diet, malnutrition, War
However, my mother Uma is neither a famous beauty nor a witty person.
When my parents first met, my mother had been giving her father a fruit cash register. and-
Vegetable shop in Upper West Side.
My father came in.
When he reached out through the plastic curtain slats of the cold box and took a bottle of Coke himself, he smiled at my mother.
When my mother told the story, she screamed.
She told me in her flawed English: \"He should pay for his soda . \".
\"But your father did a great job.
\"What she did not know was that her father knew my father\'s name through the matchmaker and invited him to the store.
When my father drank unpaid wine
For Coca-Cola, Umma was very angry and couldn\'t say a word.
Maybe my father mistaken her silence for shyness.
They got married two months later.
My mother is a woman who does not know the word \"woman.
Like most Koreans of her generation, she is educated in Confucian values: women play a fixed role in society; men had theirs.
Her growing beliefs seem to be as limited as those of the Victorian era.
Take her theory of beauty as an example
A story shared by all the women in our hometown of Queens, when I was sent to a liberal arts university, I think I have escaped: men will choose a beautiful girl, instead of a smart sipjungpalgu, eight or nine out of 10.
So there are two options for women: beautiful or smart (
It almost always leads to beautiful
If a woman is smart, she will choose the former).
According to Umma, when a woman is smarter than a man, he starts to feel inferior, which leads him to go to \"Dinka-
Dinka \"is with younger and more beautiful women who will make him have a hard time.
There was a weekend when I came home with the flu, a bag of dirty clothes and my first broken heart, she hinted at me about this (
I was late at 25).
When Umma met me at the door, she took the clothes from me.
She estimated the size for me.
Then she pointed.
Long mirror hanging in the foyer.
She insisted I hang one at my front door too so I could give myself one more time
It ends every time I leave the house.
At that time, Umma had just started the homeopathic course.
This is the new hobby that I originally laughed at as backward.
Now I realize that this is a channel for her to explore other interests beyond the limited role she has had to play for decades: daughter, wife of grocery store owner, mother.
That weekend she had me sitting with her finger press kit trying to heal my flu.
I can\'t protest because I\'m sick.
When she poked my finger with a needle
She continued, like an instrument.
\"Maybe it\'s because you only chose to be smart. ”Smartness. Not prettiness. My ex-
My boyfriend is very handsome and spends quite a lot of money on clothing and beauty products --
More than he spent on our Dutch date.
When a friend reviews his looks, I will joke about how he belongs to a higher aesthetic class.
Once, my boyfriend and I met one of my old classmates on the train.
She looked at him from my side.
Then she said to me, \"Wow, your boyfriend is so cute.
\"I couldn\'t help but read the doubts Between the Lines: How did you find him, but in the end, I lost him.
I went home for treatment.
On the contrary, Umma\'s words hurt my heart.
\"So which one did you choose? \" it was rather arrogant to ask your mother.
\"None,\" said Umma.
Her tone is very important. of-
In fact, she acknowledged that both shortcomings were common facts.
* I have never been a girl who has been valued for her looks;
In Korean society, my broad tan face and strong figure are considered unattractive.
In the process of growing up, I envy those delicate girls.
The world seems to be open to them in a way that has never been open to me
Adults will praise their beauty.
Men will cross their unfunny jokes and stare at them like rare works of art.
Maybe my mother is right.
I rejected the path of \"beauty\" and instead focused on developing my wisdom.
Ironically, when I went to college, I distorted the image of the \"girl\" because I sometimes wore black and shaved my armpits. And yet—
What seems to be most sought after is women who don\'t care about their appearance.
I entered a world of values that grew up with me. being hyper-feminine, well-
No more weight;
Those attributed to them, if any, were written off as \"too hard.
These women embody the feminist theory that is still unfamiliar to me;
Although I have collected all these words, they are not easily rolled off my tongue.
Three years after graduating from college, when my mother stung my finger, I was repeating this sentence to her, but I think I was really just repeating it for myself, if you want to come true.
I don\'t want to believe that the relationship I failed might be right.
Breaking up is the result of my lack of appearance and lack of \"pretending to be silly.
\"I don\'t want to believe her black man --and-
White distillation of the world.
My mother\'s comments may upset me.
Won the view about women, though unstable.
* This is a luxury-
Signs of progress, even-
Have contradictory views on this topic
My mother\'s life was dominated by her government, her father and her later husband.
During the outbreak of the Korean War, she and her family fled their hometown of Pyongyang.
All the trains traveling south were already packed with women and children;
They had to sit on the top of the train.
Umma remembers having to dodge every time they cross the tunnel.
Her family arrived in Busan, on the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula.
They live in a shantytown along the coast with other northern refugees fleeing the communist regime.
My grandfather decided to have a better chance abroad and the family should leave Korea. After a two-
My mother, her parents and three brothers arrived in Argentina after a month by boat, where they lived in blaujo, Argentina.
My mother is in her early 20 s.
Every morning, my mom knitted a sweater at home with a machine assembled by her father.
She opens in the afternoon-to-
Her handmade samples were placed at the door.
She would say in her crappy Spanish: \"Gusta Osto Lu pedo Ezar . \".
Sometimes the man who opened the door made an order;
She was driven away several times.
In the evening, my mother and her brothers went to night school to learn Spanish.
It was not until my mother and her family established citizenship in Argentina that they were allowed to enter the United States.
They flew to New York, where six people lived in a small apartment in their 90 s West.
Every morning, my mother works in a family shop and wears layers of clothing to avoid the winter drafts.
Every night, my mother and her brothers go to night school to learn English.
Trains, barges, planes. . .
Modernization can be tracked in my mother\'s life journey.
During each stay, her father combed her hair every morning and nailed it back to a neat bob.
It seems to be a touching gesture.
But it is clear that Umma found this style difficult to pop.
All she wanted to do was grow her hair out, shake it freely, and feel the wind sweeping it into loose waves.
She never knew the freedom to live alone.
My grandparents watched Umma\'s every move;
Whenever she speaks to them, they make her bow down and impolitely fix her eyes on the floor.
This is the grandmother who once told me that Taekwondo is only for boys and not girls like me.
\"I hate going home because going home is like a dictatorship,\" Umma told me, pressing tiny metal adhesive discs designed to stimulate blood circulation into the softest parts of my fingertips.
She decided to run away.
She responded to a newspaper advertisement saying she would do cleaning in an apartment building.
The overseer took her to the supply cabinet-
Narrow room with mop, broom and bucket. “He . . .
\"He is not such a good person,\" My mother said . \".
\"He put me there, and then the door closed and locked.
I asked \"it was just locked \".
\"Or he locked you in . \". .
He has no such good intentions.
My mother has no face.
During her delivery, she was almost casual, as if she had been playing down the sting of memory for decades.
\"The smell of ammonia in the closet is very strong.
I\'m not that strong and I\'m scared and I corrected that.
When my mother showed up at the apartment, how easy it must be for her to be a target: stand 5 feet and a halfan-
Inches, wearing her mother\'s full skirt and socks lying on the bed that morning, her bob was combed apart by her father a few hours ago, and Bobby pins is now drooping from head to head.
Uma\'s upper West End in the 1970 s is far from today\'s neighbors: Trees-
With the marked of Street with the fresh
Scrub brown stones and upscale boutiques and cafes.
Almost all traces of sand and bodegas like my grandfather have disappeared.
When I asked my mother what happened next, she said, \"I --
Because I don\'t remember long ago.
But somehow, I walked out of the room. the Super One, he chased me, but I ran away.
\"Wait, what did he do\" \"nothing happened.
I didn\'t get the job anyway.
My mother tugged.
I feel sick about this person\'s behavior, just like I feel angry on behalf of Umma --
She won\'t let her anger
She\'s important again. of-
Fact delivered, distant tone
It\'s like she thinks she shouldn\'t get better.
Eventually Umma went home.
She has nowhere to go.
This is hardly a home time;
When she came back, she found an angry father, mother and three brothers waiting for her.
\"Especially your second uncle, he\'s very upset,\" she said . \".
\"He threw the chair and it hit me-\" \"The second one untied your rope with the chair,\" she said, \"but it\'s just because he doesn\'t know how to control his anger.
\"Then I went back to my father\'s shop and finally I met your father, we got married and I worked in the store. ”Umma’s post-
The life of a virgin is strikingly similar to the life she lived under her father\'s roof.
My father made all the decisions for the family, while his mother and sister poked his wife\'s ass. Seasoning dishes.
My mother ran again soon after she got married.
One night she prepared a hearty meal and gave it to my father and his sister who lived with them.
She said to them in Korean, \"eat well and live well . \".
This is equivalent to having a good life.
Then she held my first sister in her arms and walked out of the door.
My father drove until he found his wife and daughter crowded under the bus shelter.
Go home, he said.
What choice does she have and she has nowhere else to go.
* At the end of the weekend, when Umma removed the bandage from my finger pressing, I asked her if she had told my father what happened on the day she tried to find a cleaning job.
For some reason, I think he will feel angry and want to avenge my mother\'s honor, even though it happened decades later.
But what my mother said was, \"Why would he think I\'m a fool.
\"Of course he wouldn\'t --
I said, then I stopped.
I thought of the boy who lived across the street carrying me back to the corner of the laundry room and starting to touch himself.
I don\'t know I can refuse, so I stand there and stare my eyes on the ground shyly, the idea runs through my teenage mind, he chose you, you should feel very special.
I think of everyone who put his hand on me.
I let every man put his hand on me.
Because no matter what kind of male attention I get, I appreciate it.
I think of the handsome boyfriend who just hurt my heart.
My mother continued.
Other mothers are smarter, she says, but she\'s \"low
Then she looked down at her bandaged fingers.
\"I thank God every day that you are much smarter than your Umma.
The privilege my mother was denied.
Home, university education, knowledge of the existence of feminist movement-
It\'s all for me.
What\'s my excuse for all my college?
The learned wisdom can\'t change the fact that I\'m still some kind of stupid.
* It was not exactly the case that I came to understand my mother\'s theory.
I was pursued by a man who was attentive to me every time he went on a date, and I was full of praise for his compliments.
But he began to pull away as soon as he got close.
I called him out and listed the reasons why he did something wrong.
Soon after, he began to look for a young and beautiful friend. Sipjungpalgu.
Eight of 80 or 90.
In retrospect, I may have saved something by closing my mouth and not causing him trouble.
But just because you acknowledge the existence of a theory doesn\'t mean you have to support it.
But I\'m still learning.
Nearly ten years after returning home that weekend
When I was in my twenties, I was still sorting out my views on women\'s temperament.
My feminists may warn me to \"cater to the eye\" as my family is not trying hard enough.
I chose (
According to Umma)less-
The road of favor of \"wisdom\": I left a complete
The steady work of becoming a novelist sacrifices the pursuit of a more traditional role for women.
But looking back on my life choices so far, my past relationship --
A series of corrections and over-corrections
I realize I don\'t want my value to be summed up as either.
I don\'t want to live like my mother.
I don\'t think she wants a life like that.
Recently, Umma talked about her way to upgrade.
Learn how to use her iPhone.
Play video online.
Log in to her email
Her advances in homeopathic research.
I think these gestures are small, but they are all made by themselves.
Give all the same powers.
Umma may not have developed from me.
A guarantee of a beautiful woman or well
I said one, but it may not be too late to learn.
Even my father noticed: \"When I got married to your mother, I thought she would be nice and gentle.
But now . . . . . . He shook his head half jokingly.
Perhaps imagine the quiet young woman behind the counter, staring modestly at the floor with her eyes.
This is also the same but different picture I carry with me: a young woman was too shy to speak loudly at first, but determined to find her voice.