The entries have all been so great!! And I have tons of goodie-bag goodies to give away. Remember, I used to be a fashion and beauty editor!
I have been reading a book called FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES by Min Jin Lee. It is a fantastic book about being an Asian (in this case Korean) immigrant and having hard-working immigrant parents who send you off to elite colleges and then graduating from these colleges where it seems, everyone has a trustfund or is related to the Rockefellers (or Mick Jagger) or whose mother hung out with Jack Kerouac back in the day, and your parents ran a dry-cleaning business (or in my case a Sears employees cafeteria) and you are exposed to all these people who think nothing of flying to the Caribbean for the weekend or spending a thousand dollars on a sweater from Bergdorf in one afternoon, and somehow you have to be able to be friends with them without completely hating yourself.
Anyway, I could relate so much to the book, especially since the character graduated from Princeton in 1993 (I was Columbia ’93) and all her friends are Ivy League business school i-bankers (that’s investment bankers) and she doesn’t want to go to Law School (I didn’t either! I almost went–good immigrant girls are supposed to be lawyers or doctors) and she spends way too much money on clothes and staying at the Carlyle. (YUM!)
My parents were nothing like the parents depicted in the book, however. My parents are the funniest people I know, and they were always really supportive of my writing career. They didn’t even worry when I told them I didn’t want to go to law school. They always told me to do what I loved to do, and the money would follow.
The book got me thinking, because in the story, the father comes from this wealthy Korean family who loses their estate in the war, and my family lost our fortune during the Philippine economic bust of the eighties, (my dad wasn’t just an investment banker–he owned his own investment bank) and how hard it is to be so humbled in your own lifetime, and that a lot of Americans would never really know this kind of loss, or struggle. My parents always said they moved to America because what happened to them there could never happen here since the American economy is stable.
So I tried to picture it–these fat cat Beverly Hills princesses depicted in My Super Sweet Sixteen, what if suddenly they lost it all and had to move to a different country? Would they be able to survive? Hmmm….
What saved us, I think, is my parents’ ability to retain a sense of humor about everything bad that happened. Like the other day, my dad found a letter my sister sent to him more than ten years ago when she was at Yale, about how he had to send the school another check to cover tuition since the first check he sent bounced. And my sister had written "BOING!!!" to illustrate how the check had bounced. And my dad just laughed so hard to read it. BOING!!! And the letter was on Garfield stationery no less, which I think, adds to the hilarity of it all.
Of course, it’s easy to laugh now because everyone is doing well. But I also remember laughing back then too.
Anyway, my only small complaint about the book is that the dialog does not feel very real to me. Like who uses "preternaturally" in conversation??? But it is a small point and I am enjoying the book nonetheless.