Friday, March 04, 2005

When Ash's Parents Met Me: A Play.

Here's a rough timeline of how my visit to Ash's childhood home went:

3:30 last Saturday at my apartment:

ASH: Hey, it's my cousin's 50th birthday party, and I was invited to it by e-mail weeks ago but forgot about it. Would you like to come with me?
ME: Sure, when is it?
ASH: I'm supposed to be there at 4.
ME (with a look of panic on my face): Um, let me get ready ...

4:30 on Saturday at Ash's parents' house:

ASH: Hi Mom, sorry we're late.
ASH MOM: That's fine. Is this a new roommate?
ASH: No, this is my friend Benjie. I've known him forever. We met in college.
ASH MOM: Hi, what was your name?
ME: Benjie. Sorry we're late.
(ASH MOM smiles.)

4:45 on Saturday in Ash's parents' kitchen:

ASH: Dad, this is my friend Benjie.
ASH DAD: Oh ... hi ....
(ASH DAD looks at ME, trying to decipher what is going on.)

5:15 on Saturday:

ME: Pardon me, sir. Where is the garbage can?
(ASH DAD steps away from the counter, uses his foot to open the garbage disposal and looks at ME.)
ME: Thank you.

5:30 on Saturday:

ASH: Is that punch?
ASH DAD: Sorta. It's pretty good.
ASH: It looks gross.
ME: They mix lime sherbet and soda. It's good.
ASH DAD: Yeah.
(ASH DAD glares at ME. ME recognizes the look as the same one his own father gave ASH at the Super Bowl Party.)

5:35 on Saturday:

ME: I think your father hates me.
ASH: Oh, yeah, well, he hates everybody.

5:45 on Saturday:

ME meets ASH BROTHER, ASH's thirtysomething, computer-addicted, video-game-playing, Anime-obsessed, DVD-collecting older brother, when he looks away from the giant video screen in his bedroom and hits pause on his joystick, noticing a stranger in his room.

ASH: This is my friend Benjie.
ME (intentionally ignoring formality): Oh my God, I love your DVD collection. Do you have all the Mizayaki? (ASH BRO and ME talk for 10 minutes about Anime. ME offers ASH BRO a Gmail account, which he accepts.)

5:55 on Saturday:

ME meets ASH SISTER, ASH's pretty, smart 18-year-old sister, adopted from India, but they don't get to talk much.

5:58 on Saturday:

ASH MOM says goodbye to ME and ASH. ASH MOM tells ME to call her by her first name and smiles.

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