Compiled by Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Sometimes, dads say and do the darnedest things, and Asian dads may be the reigning champs at finding new, unusual, and creative ways of embarrassing their kids. In honor of Father’s Day, we’ve compiled a batch of stories that will hopefully make you commiserate, squirm, laugh, and celebrate dads everywhere. <!–more–>
The naked truth
My dad came down when my friends were over, one time, only in his boxers. My dad was on the couch, watching television, and there was no where else for us to hang out. There were too many people to hang out just in my room.
And he’s like, “Hey guys!”
And I’m like, “Dad, why are you in your boxers?”
And he said, “It’s my house.”
I was in high school. It was mortifying. I was like, “Are you kidding me! There are girls coming over here!”
And my dad was like, “What? You worried?”
— Eddie Kim
Pink is the new black
When we just came over to the U.S., I was about 14 years old. For school, my dad bought me a girl’s bright pink back pack, because he didn’t know it was a girl’s back pack. It was just for a cheap price and we didn’t have a lot of money back then.
And of course, he made me use it.
I got teased a little, but not too much because the school I went to was mostly made up of immigrants so it almost seemed normal. I also didn’t know enough English to know what Americans kids were saying about me.
It was only a few years later that I looked back that I realize how weird it was to walk around pink back pack for a whole year!
— Johnny Bui
This is gross and too much information, but I got my first period when I was 12 years old. I hid it from my parents for about six months because … it just seemed like the right thing to do.
I remember when my dad found out and confronted me about it. We had all of our family members over for a big dinner, cousins and everything. There were like 25 people in my house.
My dad nonchalantly walked down the stairs with an unused maxi pad. He thought he was being really secretive and quiet about it, to spare me from embarrassment.
But what he actually did was slam the pad on the dining room table in front of my whole family and in a loud stage whisper, was like, “I think you need this. There was a stain on the toilet. But don’t worry. I cleaned it for you. I think you should be more careful with your lady issues in the future.”
— Tuyet Tran
I invited my friends to my house to do a group project. We were doing homework in the living room, while my father watched his favorite TV show in the other room.
We were so serious, doing our project, when suddenly came a sound, like somebody’s farting. We were looking each other but seemed like none of us did it.
We kept doing our homework and for the second time, that sound popped again.
One of my friends looked at me and pointed toward my father. “I think it was your father, Sam.”
“Really?” I said, trying to defend my dad. “I don’t think so.”
“He did, Sam,” my other friend said, very certain.
My face turned red. I was so shy at that time. I could not say or do anything.
After my friends went home, I went to my father and asked him, “Dad, did you fart while we were doing our homework?”
My father just smiled and said, “What’s wrong with farting?”
— Syamsul “Sam” Arif Galib
A case of mistaken identity
When my dad met my brother’s roommate, he thought the guy was Korean.
So my dad asked, “Do you eat Korean food all the time at home?”
My brother and his roommate were like, “What?”
My brother’s roommate is actually Chinese.
It turns out that my dad only assumed he was Korean because his last name is Chee, which my dad thought was derived from ‘kim chee.’ Because, you know, that’s all there is to Korean culture.
My brother was mortified.
— Betty Wang
Boys, boys, boys
When I was younger, in high school, my dad didn’t allow me to date. He said that I was only allowed once I was in college. Also, boys weren’t allowed to call the house. Ever. Period.
So once, a boy called the house and my dad picked up.
From upstairs, I overheard him telling the boy, on the phone, “Don’t call her again! She is not allowed to talk to boys!”
He was the most popular boy in school, too.
And he was just calling about homework.
— Maria Reyes
Merry Christmas! … not!
My dad has a rather sadistic sense of humor. I remember when my brother and I were younger, he was 4 and I was 8, on Christmas day, my dad got us really excited by saying, “Guess what! We’re going to Toys “R” Us and you guys can pick out anything you want!”
We were so freaking excited, oh my God.
So we piled into the car and we drove to Toys “R” Us.
When we got there, we saw that the parking lot was vacant. We saw that the store was closed. And my brother and I were like, “What the heck!”
My dad was cackling in the driver’s seat, just laughing his butt off. You see, he knew it was going to be closed, because it was Christmas. He just thought it’d be fun to watch us get excited. And then disappointed.
The kicker is that he pulled the same trick the next year. And we fell for it again.
— Jody Yuan
My father is a big fan of seafood, especially crab.
One day, I had a friend coming from another city. To please our guest, my dad went to the fish market downtown because we were going to serve our guest with a special crab dish. So my dad bought a big basket of crab.
My mom, she’s a great cook. She made crab with special ingredients and herbs. We all had dinner together with my guest.
And guess what? My dad hoarded most of the crabs! He seemed out of control and totally forgot that other people were eating, too. Oh my God, I felt embarrassed. It seemed like my guest didn’t get to eat any.
— Ahmad Alisyahbana
Who bad? You bad?
A group of friends and I were designing a poster for our high school’s IT department office.
My dad came home and stood behind us, watching us work.
Reading our banner, he suddenly demanded, “Who is ‘We Bad’? Is that you!”
We were stunned.
And then we realized he was reading email@example.com.
— Esther Wang
Oprah knows all
My first year of college, I gained the freshman 10, plus 20 pounds. I went to school out-of-state, so when I came home, the change in my body was obvious to people who hadn’t seen me in a year.
At first, my parents didn’t say a word. I foolishly thought it was because they didn’t notice.
Then, at lunch with my dad, he suddenly leans over and goes, “Your mom and I have a fair bit of money.”
And I responded with, “Good for you?”
Completely dead serious, he says something like, “I was watching Oprah. And she had people on who got surgery because they were too fat. And I was thinking of you and how you’re a smart girl, not like your sister. But the outside doesn’t match the inside. You need to be thin for a good job and nice husband. So I talked to mom, and we decided that we will pay for surgery for you.”
My face turned super red. And I think all I said was, “Dad! Oh my God!”
And over the next year and a half, I lost the 30 pounds, to save my dad his retirement money.
— Jenny Le
Words of advice
It was just last summer. I was 21. I was hanging out in my room with my girlfriend and my dad arrives home from work.
After a bit, he comes into my room. He looks right at me and you know, I thought he might say hi to my girlfriend or something. Instead, he looked at me and the first thing that comes out of his mouth is, “You need to get a job!”
I didn’t know what to say or do, other than just stand there and nod my head. ♦
— Hieu Lai
Han Bui, Tessa Sari, and LiAnn Yim contributed to this article.
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.