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Forget Tiger Moms. Growing up, it was my Hardass Asian Dad who was the scary one with all of the obscure rules. No comedies. No cheerleading. No shirts down to there or skirts up to here. Math workbooks and book reports over the summer. Scientific American as required reading–in the 3rd grade. Awkward hugs, if you were lucky, but mostly firm patting on the shoulder and back to show affection.
He could cut you with a look. He could give you the silent treatment for days, weeks even.
And yet, over time, he’s the one who’s gone soft. He’s the one who sends the corny e-cards. He’s the one who cries when my parents watch Korean soap operas together while my Mom gently pokes fun at him. He’s the one who melts at the sight of babies. Even as I write this, he’s downstairs in my house having a Downton Abbey viewing marathon, I shit you not.
Who knew that my Hardass Asian Dad would become this guy?
Cuddly, gentle, hooked on Masterpiece Classics.
The hugs, though, they’re still awkward, so at least I know aliens didn’t snatch his body.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad, you Hardass-Turned-Softie! And to all of you other daddies out there–hardass or no!
Like my Dad’s shirt? It’s from the brilliant and talented Martin Hsu. Buy it HERE.