Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Outside Reading: Week 6- Post #1

Happy Birthday or Whatever by Annie Choi

Section 6: pages 191-239
Ch. 12
The chapter starts out as Annie’s dad is driving her to the LAX airport in major traffic. It is very early in the morning, so Annie was extremely tired. Yet, she carried on an awkward conversation with her father; apparently, her father has extremely bad conversational skills. In the conversation, the topic of marriage comes up due to her father’s concern that Annie is getting too old (she was 28 at the time). He thinks that if she waits any longer, she will never get married. Annie explains this is a conflict with many Korean families. On top of telling her that a man will never love her, her parents also don’t believe in multiple boyfriends; therefore, she couldn’t introduce any of her boyfriends to her parents unless she was to engage them. As if this wasn’t crazy enough, this man also had to be “perfect”, Christian and Korean. These requirements tended to ruin several of Annie’s intimate relationships, for example her relationship with Aaron that lasted six years. She was afraid her family wouldn’t approve of his Jewish and American background. Annie now vows to find a man she loves with hopes of her family’s approval.
Ch. 13 It’s that time of year, and Annie’s heading home to L.A. for the holidays. But before she makes her arrangements, she calls her mother to make sure everyone will be there- the previous year she came home to an empty house. After the assurance of her mother, Annie books her flight and heads home. Upon her arrival, she discovers her brother will not be there this year. I guess everyone is really not. Although this angers her, she still goes to the big family New Years Day Bash at her aunt’s house. There she is greeted by her relatives who consistently mention the she looks so different, what with her hair being short and her body looking larger. Annie disagrees and tells them, “I’m the same.” As her father tells a confusing riddle at the dinner table, Annie goes to peel fruit with her cousin Tina. Later, the families play a game called yut. It is sort of like the American Sorry! Despite her efforts to mix up families, Annie ends up on a team with her super competitive mother. Although she has a rough start, Annie leads her team to victory in the end, all the while drinking over 4 cups of coffee. At the end of the night, Annie hugs people and says her goodbyes and heads back to the normal world.

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