Dev: His dad doesn’t know that we eat pork.
Navid: It’s against our religion.
Denise: Wait, aren’t y’all two grown ass men?!
Dev: Yeah! But we’re scared of our parents.
Master of None is a great show. Even though Aziz is Indian-American, as a fellow Asian-American I can relate so much. That’s something very uncommon.
I started Season 2 and this scene made me laugh like crazy. Aziz’s character, Dev, is 33-years-old. The episode touched on religion and how Dev is not a very religious person but had to put up a front for some relatives. It was all just too familiar.
The part that made me laugh, though, was that Dev was still afraid of his parents at 33. I’m 25, living across the ocean from my parents, seeing them at least once a year, and I’m still afraid of them!
I firmly believe this is an Asian thing, and a first generation thing. I don’t really know why that is, but if anyone could explain it to me, I’d love to hear it.
My husband is also a first generation FilAm, but his relationship with his parents is rare for our kind (lol). He can’t relate to my terrors, but I know a lot of others who could.
One example of being afraid of my parents involves tattoos. I’ve had them since 2012. My mom has told me over and over again that I better not get one, but of course, I got two. They’re both on my hip area, so they’re hidden under my clothes 90% of the time. I make sure not to wear anything that may show it around my parents. I can’t even imagine what I would do if they found out. I do want more tattoos but I spend a lot of time thinking of size and placement so that it fits somewhere hidden by my clothes. I daydream about having something on the back of my neck, on my ankle, somewhere on my forearm…but I know it’ll never happen. It’s been five years and I’m pretty sure they don’t know about my tattoos yet.
“Who cares?! Do what you want! You’re an adult!”
Nope. The guilt will eat at me and also my parents terrify me.
Another example? My relationship with my husband started off…well, it wasn’t supposed to start in the first place. It has a weird history that I may write about here someday. I avoided telling my parents about us for almost a year because I was terrified of their reaction. When they finally confronted me about it, I was right to be scared. So much yelling. So much CRYING. SO. MUCH. GUILT TRIPPING. It took them several months to accept us, and now he is the son they’ve always wanted (sorry to my two brothers, lol!). Trust me though, I will avoid that initial confrontation for as long as possible.
Disappointing my parents is just something I never want to do. I believe that most of my anxiety and depression stems from this. The reason why I can’t accept myself as I am currently is because it would disappoint them if they found out. Yup, they have no idea what I’m actually doing or where I am in my life because I am keeping it hidden from them as best as I can. This stresses me out. Every day that my life doesn’t change is another day of disappointment, and I can’t live with it.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to get over how my parents react to my life, but until further notice, the way they see me will always make or break my day.