Sunday night was great. For one thing, I’ve been looking forward to this ever since my mom told me about it a few weeks ago because one, I love to eat and two, this was a rare event.
What was the event?
One of the owners of the restaurant we often go to, had his first child. The child was a son which made this event even more special and since we are regular customers, we were invited to this special celebration.
We were supposed to arrive at 5:30 but since it’s a small plaza with very limited parking spaces, we decided to arrive 15 minutes earlier. It was a good decision. We found parking.
The moment one of the owners saw us, we were immediately shown to our assigned table and as I sat at my seat looking awkwardly around the room, my mom went to see the baby, a small boy with a full head of jet black hair, nestled in his mother’s arm. During that time, I watched the room fill up.
As people filed in, the room became very loud as people conversed in a variety of Chinese dialects and accents. “‘Seeing her holding her baby reminded me of when I held you,” my mom said as we watched the baby from a distance.
“Yeah, but you didn’t have to throw a party for a bunch of strangers.” I replied.
“Who said I didn’t?” Oh, right, in China, you don’t get marry to a single individual. When you marry, you marry the entire family. At least, I’ve been told that’s the tradition of the old days. I am sure it’s different now.
As I wander in my head, the restaurant began to fill up as people I’ve never met before began settling at the table. Then without announcing or making a speech, the appetitizer had arrived.
Followed by the soup…
The soup was delicious and as dishes came around, the conversations turned to clanking and clattering of spoons against the porcelain bowls and metal spoons banging on the plates.
After this dish, a vegetarian dish came and it was then I learned all the men at the table were vegetarian. I was like what? Anyway, it became clear why none of the men touched the chicken and the barbecue pork.
Lobster is my mom’s favorite food as with all kinds of seafood. She asked me if I wanted any.
“No thanks,” I said, “I had enough lobster to last me a lifetime.”
Two years ago, my mom’s family came for a visit and during their visit, we had a total of three lobsters and none of them were cooked correctly. So after that, I’ve sworn off lobster.
This dish was pretty good though it took me a little time to pick out the onions. Still, I got to enjoy the noodles, eggs, and barbecue pork.
By the time the fish came, I was beyond full. I couldn’t eat anymore and thank god there weren’t any old lady at the table piling food on my plate. People around the table began to talk again. One lady asked, “What grade are you in?”
Are you kidding? I thought and was about to say when my mom spoke. “She’s a college graduate. She just graduated with a degree in civil engineering.” Thanks, mom, thanks so much. “But she couldn’t find a job. So she’s back to school for an accounting degree.” Again, thanks. Then, all of the sudden, people around the table began to look at their phones.
“There are plenty of jobs in civil engineering.” Really? I secretly looked at them with a raised brow. Do you even know what a civil engineer does? Apparently, a lot of people don’t know.
Then dessert came and finally, people put their phones away, steering the spotlight away from me. Thank god.
As the buns disappeared from the plate, the conversations resumed to a different topic. They’ve forgotten me already. Typical. I stood up, so did my mom. “Are we leaving?” I asked.
She nodded. “The party’s over.”