One morning, a week or so ago, I got into a little argument with my father, a result of my impatience with him. (He asked me an obvious question I answered coldly, if you must know.) It escalated quickly to statements like Why don't you just move out! You are selfish! What do you do for the family? etc. typical progression.

Once at work I felt pretty bad about how impatient I was with him and also just how distant I've become these past couple months, spending more and more nights out with friends and overnight in the city. So, I sent an e-mail offering to cook dinner once that week and take them out for dinner on Friday night. I apologized and said I was looking to move out in the late summer, early fall. I would make an effort to be less selfish and Thank you for understanding.

Minutes later I receive this message from my father:


During this economic downturn, preserve money is the most important thing for everybody. Now days, all people want to move back to home. I talked to Robert, his son and his friends are moving back ( they are 26, 27 years old and all have jobs ). Live outside is so expensive, especially in SF area. Rent along can take away 60% of your pay check. Your quality of life will deteriate significantly. You would rather save rent, instead, go out have dinners, parties..etc to enjoy better quality of life. After all, just a bed to sleep during weekdays. In weekends, we don't mind you go out overnights.

We love you to stay home, but, just be more considerate. Independent and maturity does not show by moving out. Sense of responsibility and forward looking for life shows growing up. As a start, You can share some expenses of house, such as utility bills.

I am sorry this morning to yell at you. But you know, we all love you very much.


Please note my father is a Taiwanese immigrant and has not come close to perfecting the English language. Also, I'm not sure the statement "Now days, all people want to move back home" is true. A more heartfelt note, as far as I can remember he's never said 'I love you' to me verbally, so this was a nice reminder.

Ever since, we haven't argued and I have a) taken them out to dinner and b) written a $100 check -- which probably covers the water bill plus the trash/recycling?

As frustrating as living at home can be, I feel pretty blessed. I'm saving thousands of dollars each month, come home to homemade Chinese food every night and have their support and comfort. This just sounds like I'm bragging. Not my intention. The point is, in case you've experienced similar turmoil...know watchu got.

Authorjustine lee