When you've grown up in a Vietnamese family, there are a few things you can always count on being asked about the following items when you return home for the holidays:
a. Your education or career e.g. "Why didn't you do engineering or pharmacy?"
Immediately afterward, you will be interrogated on the second most important subject on the agenda:
b. Your love life.
You see, in a Vietnamese family, nothing is off limits. Your business is everyone's business. No one is spared.
I've discussed before how my aunt grilled me during a family trip a few years back, but this year my uncle received the distinguished honor of having the most uncomfortable conversation with me.
My uncle was over for dinner at my father's house. This would be the last time I would see him in awhile as he was retiring from his job to move to Vietnam to be with his new wife.
The details of how he met his wife aren't quite clear to me and I follow a strict, "the less you know, the better" policy when it comes to family.
... but the circumstances of my uncle and his young, Vietnamese wife's union it's pretty damn well implied.
I had just finished scooping my uncle a bowl of rice; he wasted no time getting down to business.
My Uncle: So So@24, you have a girl yet? You in a relationship?
I intentionally didn't make eye contact as I reached for a piece of shrimp with my chopsticks.
So@24: No, no girls yet.
My Uncle: What!? You in LA, man!
So@24: That's what everyone says, but well... here I am. Can you pass me the Hoisin sau--?
My Uncle: I can help you out.
My Uncle: I'm serious. You like asian girls? I can give you email addresses.
Partially chewed rice dropped out of my gaping mouth right back into my bowl.
Did my 60 year old uncle just offer to help me out with my dating life? By offering me email addresses of some asian girls?