Like Confucius, but in English

I thought I’d start writing down real-life bits of wisdom for your benefits. I am totally qualified to impart wisdom to strangers on the Interweb because I am naturally wise and Zen just from being Chinese. It is in my blood, damn it!

This will be a growing list because I love you. I am wise. I am facetious. And Zen. Srly don’t forget about Zen.


Things I said to my kids…

“Don’t do a half-ass job”

“I am not your best friend. I will love you. Respect you. Listen to you. Worry about you. Be there for you. But I don’t want to be your best friend. Because when you do something wrong, I need to discipline and punish you. I am your parent.”

“Don’t tell me how difficult your brother is. Don’t you think I know that?”

“Don’t tell me I can’t be on the Internet because I told you to get off the Internet. I am not in school any more. You are!”

*Exasperation* “For god’s sake! … Ok. You are not supposed to do that. You know the Ten Commandments right?  I didn’t mean your god. I meant mine. So it is ok!”

“Mom, you look silly in that hat!” “Well, then I have done my job as a parent.”

“Books? You are not allowed to read books today! It’s too nice a day to be wasting on books!”

“Mom, what’s your password?” “I can’t tell you.” “Come on, mom.” “I said I can’t tell you!” “I need to use your phone!” “FINE! It’s ‘Curse Word Curse Word Curse Word’…” “No. Way.” “Way. Why do you think that your mother does not curse?” “Hmmm. Because you are a… mom?”

(On IM with my oldest) “Mom, I just changed your name on GTalk from XXX to MOM.” “Ok. Because I am not me, I don’t have a name. I am just your mom.” “…” “I changed your name to Number 1 Son.” “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“Well, maybe you should have thought about THAT before you did so well in the Spelling Bee!” Response to my 6th grader when he complained about having to compete in the School District Spelling Bee.

“When in doubt, evoke the Golden Rule.”

“Your opinion though interesting is irrelevant.”

“Don’t say dumb things on purpose to provide content for my blog, I have enough already. Thanks!”

“Seriously. What do you expect me to say to that? ‘Atta boy!’?!” Response to my 6th grader when he proudly announced how cool it was to ride his bike downhill with no hands. He actually said, “Mom! I’m telling you. NO HANDS!”

“We are not equals. I also gave birth to two children. Would you like to do that too?” Response to my 6th grader’s protest when I asked him to leave the computer, “How come you get to be on your computer?”


Things that make sense if you don’t think about it…

Husb: “Do you think you are a MILF?” Me: “I believe I am disqualified when my own husband does not nominate me.”

Lowered expectations make a more optimistic person.  Or rather, the pessimists are in fact the most optimistic amongst us.

I expect the world sucks, and when it does not, I am always pleasantly surprised. Same as people.

Midlife crisis: Others bought cars. I started a blog.


Turns out my youngest child is sometimes most of the time wiser than I am…  I shall dub him Mr. Monk:

“When I turn 21, would you buy me a beer? Like, my first beer, ok?… Wait. Ok. I’d better remind you again 12 years from now.” 0310

“You know what’s ironic about the Karate Kid movie?” He was referring to the 2010 edition with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. “He is learning Karate in CHINA?!” 0210

As an update to the lovely Valentine’s Day card he made us, Mr. Monk elaborated, “I could also say ‘No matter how unattractive you are, I still love you.'” I have a truth seeker on my hand. 0210

After my veiled-snide response “Well, I wish I were Queen of the Universe but I can’t” to his “I really wish I could…” passive-aggressive attempt (atta boy! Take after your mother!), Mr Monk said, “Queen of the Universe? I don’t want you to be Queen of the Universe. Then you’d be too busy taking care of the universe!” 0110

“This is my revolution: doing the dishes will be my job from now on! … (While doing the dishes) Ah. It is nice to have a revolution!” 0110

“Pray for what you want. Work for what you need.” That’s what my fortune cookie said. 1209

The worst part about being an adult is having to deal with us children, Mr. Monk said matter-of-fact-ly. 1109

Coffee makes grown-ups better.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Falling November 10, 2009 at 1:24 am

Re: the optimist/pessimist thing. My husband keeps telling me that my constant worrying makes me a pessimist. I maintain that the fact that I see the world as such a dangerous place AND continue to go out and partake of it actually makes me the ultimate optimist.

What say you, Zen master?


Absence Alternatives November 10, 2009 at 5:28 am

@ Falling
Agree I do. (Does that sound like something Yoda would say?) Seriously though, through your work, you must have seen true instances of pains and sufferings, without being an optimist deep down somewhere inside your heart, I doubt you’d be able to continue: you’ve got to believe that what you do matters (by the way, it DOES!) “Throw one starfish back into the ocean one at a time and such shit” as you said in one of your posts, eh?


Yuko (emma_zero) November 18, 2009 at 9:45 am

You make me laugh, as always. You have such a wonderful talent to express your poignant point of view.

People often say to me when I pour my soul out about what I see wrong in the world, “Why bring it up? That’s just the way it is. Live with it. Everyone does.” And I disagree. I expect the world to be a better place, and that’s precisely the reason why I need to point out what is wrong.


Absence Alternatives November 18, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Thanks for the very kind words. I am glad you got the humor. I am cynical and naive at the same time. I think being “nameless” on here enables me to call a spade a spade. Thank goodness for Al Gore, right?


Andrea November 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm

My seven-year-old son has some wisdom he shares with me:

“Wine makes you whine.”

It’s true. Feel free to add it to the list. 😉


Absence Alternatives November 19, 2009 at 11:54 pm

I love it. LOL. I will do so. May I use his name (from your blog) to give him proper credit?


Terresa Wellborn February 9, 2010 at 12:16 am

The list of “Things I said to my kids…” is brilliant! I’m loving your blog, humor, wit and secret identity…


Absence Alternatives February 9, 2010 at 6:56 am

Thank you so much! Thank you for visiting and commenting. :-) I am dealing with preteen crisis now so am MIA. I will be back tomorrow with a guest post for WTF Wednesday! 😉


JennyMac March 1, 2010 at 8:45 pm

“Don’t tell me how difficult your brother is. Don’t you think I know that?”
HAHA. I want to get some wine and come over to your house just to hear the conversation. I also loved the exchange regarding the internet. LOL.


Wicked Shawn March 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Love is not shown or given by standing watch at the end, it is shown and given during the quiet times, when you share the precious memories of her with your boys. When you remember her beauty and grace and the lessons she taught you and let them guide you through decisions you make in life.
I am so sorry for your loss, love. I will raise my glass to you and your Aunt tonight at exactly 10pm Eastern time. In celebration of a woman who was there for you when you needed, who helped to shape someone who is a bright spot in this world. 😉


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