Father

Genetically speaking, “father” is generally a male who is responsible for half of your genetic makeup.

To me, he is a symbol of distant fears, of late nights when my sister, my mom, and I were obliged to stay up, waiting for him to come home from work. Later on, he evolved into a symbol of inexplicable misogyny, saying things like “wives should stay home and tend to their husbands,” demanding to know everything my mother, sister and I want to or plan to do, randomly snapping or throwing things when my sister and I dared to defy his almighty authority.

He is the one who asks if I am mentally unstable when I attempt to explain to him how wrong it was for him to say that the only reason women should be educated was to “make them more reasonable.”

He is the epitome of hypocrisy who scoffs when he sees my mother cleaning the house, but complains when my grandma does not leave the household spotless once my mother goes back to the States with me. He later told my mother that seeing people doing house chores upsets him and he wants it to be done out of his way.

He is the definition of insensitivity as he purposely boast to his friends in front of my sister and I how much he suffered when he visits the U.S.: how inedible the meats are compared to Taiwan, how the foods were only fit to be fed to pigs, how tiresome it was to adjust to jet lag. All these complaints, even though he never bothered to adjust to jet lag on his one-week visits nor even go through the bother of packing since he expects my mother or grandmother to clean up after the luggage he leaves opened in the middle of the living room. Most of the time he would talk loudly on the phone in the middle of the night even during school days. During the day, he would sit there and scroll on his phone, demanding for my sister and I to chat with him while he continues to stare at his phone (with the exception of the instances when I mention a white person).

Once we complain or try to talk to him, he would just book a ticket to go back to Taiwan sooner, saying that we are isolating him, that we are unsympathetic to his sacrifices in providing for us.

He’s the first thing I hate, and the last thing I would want to learn to love, though I know that the lesson will have to pass one day.

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