Those People that Will Never Stop Loving You

by Jane Moneypenny

Sometimes I think I may be the only one who can’t stand my family. At close
distances, anyway. Across state lines, I’m great. I’m the perfect daughter
then. In person, I’ve actually considered jumping in front of a train out
of sheer frustration.

When traveling with friends, getting lost or trying to interpret a foreign
language are adventures that become funny memorable stories. When traveling
with my family, these experiences become irritating angry arguments with a
level of seething rage that makes me question my desire to ever talk to
them again.

Of course, guilt sets in as I think about my parents in their early 30s
dragging ten suitcases to the Taipei airport for us to move across the
globe to America. The story is legendary: my two month old sister in an
actual basket and two year old me in their arms. Who am I to complain? I
had a normal happy childhood compared to most children of tiger moms.

So I promise myself to behave, to smile and to be grateful for a normal
family. Five minutes later, another argument ensues and the cycle begins
all over again.

Traveling with my family brings out the worst in me but traveling with
friends brings out the best in me. How do people have healthy happy
relationships with their families? Is this only possible for me to have
when not in the same state? Does this make me a terrible daughter and
sister? Do I cop an attitude because it’s family and thus, they will never
stop loving me? With friends, no one dares act like this or loneliness will
set in fast.

True, I came back to Taiwan mostly due to a complete failure of plans to go
elsewhere since no one could travel with me. But I also know my grandmother
isn’t getting younger, my aunts haven’t seen me in seven years, and it
means something to my parents. Yet, I can’t stop fighting them on every turn. Ebb and flow. I think I may be a terrible person.

In other news, Seoul has a museum about its history using electronic mini teddy bears.