To Len Mirto:
Dear Lenny, I can’t believe you found my blog!! Every one of your comments brightens my day. You’ve seen us through good times, crazy times, and everything in between. I’ve always been inspired by your optimism, humor, bravery, and kindness. Thank you so much, and the invitation to a Chinese dinner still stands!
How did you get your mom to allow you to date? What’s your boyfriend like? Is he Asian?
I think you misspelled, "how did you persuade your dad to get off the porch with his shotgun?" Dating wasn’t really under the tiger mom’s jurisdiction in our house...David is white, but he passed The Szechuan Dinner Test with flying colors. He is left-handed, hilarious, and does not go big game hunting on the African plains in his spare time. That’s all I’m saying for now :] (but if you're really curious, he tends to pop up on the tiger twitter)
Why did you delete my comment?
I’ve been called every name under the sun (favorites: "halfbreed bitch," "meek automaton," "famewhoring squint-eyed kike slut,"). If I feel like reading insults and slander about me and my family, I’ll google it. That said, I’m totally interested in your respectful thoughts and criticisms. So by all means, keep being honest – just leave the racial/sexist slurs out of it.
Do you have a strange obsession?
Yes, actually. I have a bunch of cats that I shave every day, and I keep their hair trimmings in giant garbage bags in my room. Oh come on, I’m not that interesting! My obsessions are pretty mainstream. I’m big into Lord of the Rings...I have a pair of elf ears that I wear around sometimes...
Will you raise your children the same way? What will you change in your parenting style?
I’m dreading having kids. I can already hear my teenaged children saying, "There you go again, trying to be your mother. Seriously, go find a therapist."
There are definitely aspects of my upbringing that I'd like to replicate. I’m never going to be a professional pianist, but the piano has given me confidence that totally shapes my life. I feel that if I work hard enough, I can do anything. I know I can focus on a given task for hours at a time. And on horrible days when I’m lost and a mess, I can say to myself, "I’m good at something that I really, really love." I want my kids to have that confidence – confidence rooted in something concrete, not just "aww everyone’s a winner!!!" confidence, because in your heart you never believe that.
What would I do differently? Well, I agree that nothing’s fun until you’re good at it. Just because your 10-year-old doesn’t love running sprints isn’t an excuse to let him quit the team. (You think the other kids love running sprints? Nobody likes running sprints.) But fast-forward a couple years. If he gives it 110%, he’s state champion, and it still doesn’t bring him happiness. . .it’s time to stop. Ultimately, you need to love what you do.
What is your stance/opinion on LGBT issues?
My opinion really couldn’t matter any less, but to me it’s simple. Politically? It’s a free country. Religiously? I look at Michelangelo’s Pieta; I read Vergil's Aeneid...if there’s a god, there’s no way he wasn’t on their side. I don't know, that’s just the way I see it.
How are you spending your time as a second semester senior?
Believe it or not, I’m kind of the school tree-hugger. My friend Claire and I started a club called GOAT (Greenhouse Off-campus and Agriculture Team) in 2009, where we help the local Land Trust by renovating community gardens around New Haven. It’s rewarding work. I see a whole new side of my hometown, and I get to play in the dirt a lot. Second semester has been great because I’ve gotten out to the gardens a lot more often.
Have you decided where you’re going next year?
Somewhere wicked awesome.
Coming soon: as requested in the comments, a longer post about private school education. Also seeing lots of questions about my favorite things...might do a post on that too. Any favorites you want to know about? Or recommendations?