Growing up, our family didn’t get a car until I was in high school. Needless to say, it was a Big Deal. It also meant that my dad became the de-facto chauffeur for my formidable grandmother, who had lots of friends, and a rather hectic social life.

This story always gets dragged out during family occasions. A bit of background: most everyone in my family looks distinctly East Asian – you know, almond-shaped eyes, flat nose, fairish skin. My dad doesn’t. And he tends to dress very casually. As always, Chinese is in italics.

Grandma, her friend Say-ah, and Dad are in the car. My dad is driving them to the temple.

Grandma: Don’t forget to pick up those herbal packets from the drugstore in Chinatown today.
Dad: Do they know I’m coming to pick them up?
Grandma: Yes. I called them. Traffic is so bad! Drive carefully, don’t get too close to those other cars. We might get into an accident.
Say-ah: Guat Ngo (that’s my grandma), you’re SO lucky. Your children must love you very much.
Grandma: I would like to think they do.
Say-ah: They must’ve gone through a lot of trouble to find and hire a driver for you. They even found one who speaks really good Chinese! Where did they find him? (pointing to my Dad)
Grandma: Uhm…Actually, he’s my son-in-law.
Say-ah: <blink> And he’s an extremely good-looking son-in-law!

Happy birthday to the best-est son-in-law and Dad anyone can have!