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Ah… The Yum Cha date arrangement

I have to give my parents credit in how fast they work. This past Friday, I told my parents that the girlfriend and I are no longer together. While their reaction was less than sad, they asked me to yum cha on Sunday morning, assuming they want to probably check up and console me or something.

I show up to find the two of them at a large table with four other empty seats, thinking they must be killing two birds with one stone with dad’s business friends and my sister. I ask who is coming and it turns out my sister is working and they begin to be less direct than usual with their answers. My step mom directs me to sit in a specific seat while they spread out with an empty seat between them. My “spidey” sense tingle – something is a foot. This is all too familiar. ? Then it hits me, my aunt has done this before. IT’S A SETUP. I ask them what’s going on. ?… My dad smirks.

In an already loud restaurant, I say in Chinese “What are you guys up to?”
My step mom immediately responds with, “Introducing you to a nice girl! Don’t worry”
I look at the both of them in surprise but totally seeing more humor than their determined game face.
I ask, “Why no heads up? Where did you guys meet this girl?”
I was not ready for this. I was tired from being out last night. I made no effort in my appearance today. I had on a black hoody to cover my bedhead and the dry skin on my face. I looked like I was going to rob a convenient store.

My parents started talking over each other trying to give context of how they connected with this girl and her parents. But the only thing I caught was when my dad said, “We’ve never met her but her parents say she’s pretty”
I laugh so hard and say, “ok ok ok. I can’t run now so I guess I have to do this but don’t be surprised if this doesn’t go well”
They agreed.

At the strike of 11 AM on the dot, the girl and her parents show up. She looks exactly like the type my parents would want me to be with. Sporting large round thin frames, straight black hair, conservatively dressed with zero fashion sense. Everyone sits at their assigned seating as if they are all too familiar with the arrangement. I could immediately tell she was not comfortable. Maybe she was ambushed as well. The talk was what you would expect between a boy and a girl with their parents present.
For those not familiar with Chinese culture – yum cha setups with parental presence is very common. The last time I was setup was four years ago. The conversations are entirely superficial and bold-faced lies. Why? Because chances are her condo security concierge knows more about her sinful lifestyle than her parents. My parents know all about my shennanigans, but in front of others they paint me as if I were Yue Fei 岳飛 (Chinese war hero).

The girl was clearly shy or not impressed. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how she felt but it didn’t matter. I was trying to control the conversation around the girl’s family and just let time go by, but my step mom would spin the conversation to be about me and then her. SO AWKWARD. My step mom to put it plainly has no chill. I always call her out and we laugh about it a lot, but she still does it.

While this did not turn out the way both sides of the parents had hope for – the girl and I leave the restaurant holding hands or something, I find my parents more entertaining than I did many years ago. Because they can laugh about it afterwards; whereas before it was a mission and if it failed, an argument would ensue.

Just thought you guys would find my Sunday highlight entertaining.

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