1. Nance & Dan were an interracial couple before it was cool.
Before it was trending on Twitter or plastered all over popular magazine covers made famous by progressive and sexy celebrities (still, bravo), there my parents were boogeying on the dance floor in the 70s looking a little bit different than most.
They were a fierce match that went against the grain of society’s dating rules. Grooving around Monmouth University campus was my Chinese dad with his long, black hair and stereotypical karate moves and my American mom with her blonde hair, blue eyes and big boobies (not sure how I got the shaft on that one). Yes, you read that correctly. My dad is the Chinese one and my mom is the American one. This small detail totally ups their legitimacy on an interracial scale, in my opinion. I award 10 extra points for the male-foreigner scoring an all-American female. Congratulations, Dad, for bagging Mom. She’s a dime-piece and we salute you.
2. My dad, until he’s 90 years old, will make you fear for your life.
Once upon a time, when I was 14, I got arrested for under-age drinking. So, that was all super dramatic and traumatizing at the time. But nothing — not even the hard-knocked cells of OTPD — could put the fear in me like Dan Chen could. Now, true to teenage form, I learned absolutely nothing from this incident. HOWEVER, you better believe that going forward, as my friends and I would sneakily (continue to) take shots in my room whilst dressing in scantily clad fragments of clothing for high school dances, a joint-shiver would collectively run down everyone’s spine whenever Dan walked past the room or calmly spoke out in a questioning, fatherly voice “Hey Kir… come out here, I want to talk to you.”
Also, if you’ve ever been my boyfriend or my boy friend or 100 yards from my house and show signs of being part of the male species, you alllllready know.??
3. My mom can drink your mom under the table.
In concurrence with the incomparable fear of an angry Dan back in the day, no one could comfort me quite like Mom could (or buy me a 30-pack a few months after being arrested when Dad was away on business #huzzah! #victory! #catsoutofthebag). Now, when Mom got sidelined by Leukodystrophy, this did little to nothing to squash her zeal for life, or for partying for that matter. As a professional wheelie, Mom not only has a strict work-out schedule and still maintains a killer bod, but she also oftentimes makes a star appearance on backyard, summer ice luges. Coincidence that the seated position brings one perfectly mouth-to-mouth with the spout of an ice luge? I think not. Party on, Wayne. Party on, Nance.
Side note: I don’t want this to start seeming like my mom’s a Lieutenant Dan alchy. (“HEY, I’M WALKIN’ HERE!”) If you don’t get that reference, die.
It’s just that she’s kind of still really f-cking awesome for continuing to move forward and be happy and she deserves a big shout-out for it. As she likes to say, we have to “grab life by the balls, no matter what.” So, good job grabbing balls, Mother, you have done a fantastic job. We commend you on your ball-grabbing abilities.
Additionally, my dad is not really that intimidating and he’s far from being one-dimensional in personality. In fact, he loves talking with young people (or just talking, period) and is the kind of person who would take in strays in a heartbeat. He looks exactly like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan AND Manny Pacqiao (perks of being Asian, suckas). He might only be 5’ 7’’ (or so he claims) but everyone will always look up to him.
4. They’re totally in love.
My parents prove that in order to be a lover, you have to be a fighter. Real life doesn’t always come in the size and color we order it in, and you can’t exactly send it back to manufacturing to be fixed or return it for a new one. Real love is the same way.
My mom always has been a ride-or-die chick. So when my dad is asked “How do you do it?” (referring to handling my mom’s disease) he simply replies, “In all my life, I’ve never backed down from a fight. I’m not backing down from this one.” Now that’s true love.