- Considerations of "Modern life"
- Creative writing
- Joie de vivre
- New York City
- The law
The summer before I turned 9, I took my haughty little self and marched straight through the doors of People’s Republic of China Shanghai City Yangpu district People’s Court. It was a brisk 20 minute walk from home. All the way there, I rehearsed my righteous speech and in my hand, I held papers whose contents I didn’t completely understand. But it’s clear, you see, one thing was clearly stated: 150 rmb per month for child support commencing on October 1989. It’s 1995 now, I said to the guard, almost six years, that’s more than 10,000 RMB. I was so sure, with my newly acquired multiplication skills. You should make him pay. I started to cry. I was so angry.
Months went by, and we never saw any money from my father. On the day I turned nine, a man showed up at school and I was taken out of class by the principal. My birthday fell on a Friday that year. Friday the 13th, I stood outside in the school yard and spoke to my father for the first time in my life. He handed me a shopping bag and before my hands could open up the box inside, he began to quiz me on his side of the family, followed by an explanation that I have to remember these things when I’m grown and successful.
And, so, I do.
When I went home for lunch that day, I found a white blouse, an orange skirt, and a receipt. 145 RMB. There were ruffles everywhere, satiny ruffles, lace ruffles. All of it polyester, and all of it hedious. I wished nothing more than for the whole pile of ruffles to morph into a pile of money. And even though, all I had then were uniforms, handsewn clothes, and handmedowns, I never did wear this fancy outfit. I put it away as quickly as my mom asked me if I liked it. Maybe I have finally found the source of all my distaste for polyester.