BookDragon Books for the Multi-Culti Reader

My Mom Is a Fob: Earnest Advice in Broken English from Your Asian-American Mom by Teresa Wu and Serena Wu, foreword by Margaret Cho

 

My Mom Is a FOBFor those of you searching for an antidote to the Tiger Mom brouhaha, this is it! I kid you not. Picture this … following my husband around as he’s trying to put away laundry, book in hand, trying to read aloud while wiping away the tears so I can see the type on the page, both of us giggling and snorting to the point that our tween son gets out of bed to tell us, “Okay, first of all, you both really need to be quiet. Second of all, here’s one more goodnight kiss so we can all go to sleep!” [Is my son not the sweetest or what?]

Teresa Wu and Serena Wu, two childhood friends, created the massively popular blogs mymomisafob.com and mydadisafob.com in 2008 while both were still in college. E-traffic was near instantaneous and they now average almost 70,000 visits a month! WOWOWOW! So of course the next step from fabulously successful blog was to go into publishing. They even managed to get Margaret Cho to write a few touching pages of tribute to both her fobby parents; her highly public parental impersonations have certainly kept us all rollicking for years!

F.O.B., in case you didn’t know, is short for ‘fresh off the boat.’ Use of F.O.B. (and its variants FOB, fob, fobby, fobbish) came with derogatory judgment and not a little eye-rolling. But the hip new APA generation – possibly led by Wu and Wu – has apparently reclaimed the term, transforming its meaning into “the heartfelt, hilarious, and thoroughly unique ways that Asian mothers [and fathers] adapt to American culture.”

Sure, all our parents say a lot of memorable things, but immigrant Asian parents seem have a whole language of their own – and that cultural and generational divide can sometimes only be bridged with humor … of the guffawing variety! Check out the cover: that’s one fob Mom’s way of eating popcorn so she doesn’t get her fingers greasy. Our teenage daughter, by the way, found the idea ingenious and is intent on trying it herself.

Will you find Tiger Moms here? Yes, you might notice a few overlaps with expectations for perfection and brutal honesty. But where Amy Chua is traveling the coast to coast insisting her memoir is more David Sedaris than Parenting 101 (I must insert here that I am SOOOO thoroughly relieved and lucky to have read and reviewed that book in a total vacuum, long before it made headlines!), the Wu buddies will be sharing the last laugh.

  • I am in San Diego to haunt the house with your brother.
  • Can I have a … crappuccino?
  • Hi. This is your mom. Or your friend. If you do not fit into one of these categories, please do not call me. Thank you.
  • Waaaaa! You got so fat! You look like a fat person swallow your face! … stay fat too long and he [the hubby] gonna look for pretty skinny girl and what happen to you? Fat, ugly with babies and no man. Poor you! … How can I not worry? I only one worry for you! Did he take life insurance out on you?
  • To get boy, eat lots of meat three months before action.
  • I’m so happy that you finally got the chemistry going with the right boy. Enjoy the ride, and let the future unveiled by itself. Latin American makes the best lover. I’m glad he is not the combination of … tall, handsome, and be the doctor. Flawless person is an insane!
  • you still virgin? you know .. . . . . . no balloon, no party ok? Ok
  • Because if you do [any public displays of affection], I take picture and send it to Grandma. And then when Grandma get heart attack, you pay hospital bills.

OMG. I’m ROTFLMAO so hard, I can hardly type!

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2011

Discussion

  • http://www.rufreeman.com Ru Freeman

    Why is it that I’m laughing just as much at the excerpt as I am at the picture of you tripping after the husband reading aloud from the book?! I’m all clawed out with that Tiger Mom stuff. I needed this!

    • http://bookdragon.si.edu/ SI BookDragon

      Obviously you figured out how much of a total, utter, hopeless klutz I am … because I did not include the tripping part, trying to preserve some sense of dignity, but no go, huh? Grace is just not possible when you have tears and snot dribbling out from laughing so raucously, waking up the poor kiddies! Small price to pay for all that merriment, though … we all need more of it, huh?

      Thanks for posting indeed! Come back soonest!

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