What My Mom Calls Me


Many of you know this…but I feel the need to elaborate and frankly, to get this out of the way:

My mom is Vietnamese.  If I were a comedienne, she would be my stand-up routine.  She is…ahem… eccentric and quirky.  She has a Vietnamese accent that I find necessary to imitate when retelling my conversations with her.

To a therapist.

Okay, there’s no therapist, but if I had one, we’d discuss her.

Once, on one of my first dates with my husband, he came to the door to pick me up, and she yelled at him, “YOU no haf SEC with my DAUGH-tuh!”

Think about it.

You can laugh.  It’s ok.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love her and she loves me, but we are an interesting clash of cultures.  I am an American girl, raised by a non-American, typical ‘Tiger’ mom.  And a slightly redneck dad.  A GENIUS redneck.  Oh the irony in my life.

If you’ve never heard the term ‘Tiger’ mom, please see here:  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  This is an excellent book I just read by Amy Chua about the way Asian cultures raise their children.

If you’ve never heard the term ‘Redneck’… you’re not from here.

These are the facts:

My mom named me Gina.  I don’t know why she named me this, because she can’t pronounce the letter ‘G’; so she calls me ‘ZEE-nah’ or Xena.  I am now the warrior princess.  Incidentally, my older brother is named Paul.  And she doesn’t say the letter ‘L’ very well either, so we are ‘Paw’ and ‘Zeenah’.

Great.  My brother wears false teeth and overalls, and drives a covered wagon; I carry a sword and wear a stupid armored swimsuit.  And we all know how I feel about swimsuits.

Anyway, glad I could clear up the name, because when people hear me being called this around town, they think I am tough and ninja-like.  I can be, but prefer to exercise this quality when I do things like give birth or play volleyball.   I’m just sayin’.

Now that you know WHAT my mom calls me, one of these days, I can share WHY and WHEN my mom calls me.

Enjoy your day!

Xena

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3 thoughts on “What My Mom Calls Me

  1. I love the stories you tell about your mom. Hearing them in person with the facial animations are a little funnier, but this gave me a pretty good laugh! 🙂

  2. I am right there with you! My mom is Korean and while she has learned the letter “L” for “Linda”, the rest of her family has not. Therefore, I am called “NenDA”. Thanks for sharing your story!

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