One of the many memorable scenes in Lac Su’s memoir, I Love Yous Are for White People, takes place in Chapter Four. It is the scene where Lac’s father takes his family out to buy their first restaurant meal. I find it a very interesting and hilarious scene. Pa receives some extra food stamps from Uncle Sam, so he decides to take his family out to the restaurant around the corner of their house. Obviously, this is the first time of them eating in the American restaurant; therefore, everything is kind of new for them. Since the only one who knows English in the family is Lac, it is not quite easy for them to order foods. The family has to order food through Lac, or they point at the pictures on the menu to order. Even when the food arrives at their table, which are hamburgers and French fries, they still do not know what those are and how to eat them. Lac’s father even asks him if they need to use chopsticks to eat the hamburgers, and says the other patrons are savages when he sees they eat hamburgers with their bare hands. When they are done eating and the bill comes, the father pays the bill with the stamp foods, and it drives the waitress crazy when she keeps explaining to Lac’s father that the restaurant doesn’t take stamp foods but he doesn’t understand what she says.
However, when the manager comes to their table to solve the problem, he accepts it. He takes all the stamp foods and twelve dollars cash and jettison the family out. This is a very hilarious scene in the memoir, and I remember this scene the most throughout the whole book. This memoir also examines the emotional and physical damage Pa causes for Lac Su. First, when he notices that Su steals money from the piggy bank, Pa whips Su as soon as they get home. Second, Pa forces Su to take all his clothes off until Su is completely naked. Next, Pa throws Su out in the crowded street to let him feels ashamed even though he insists Pa not to and cries. Then, Pa yells out to the street to make sure everybody notices Su when he’s naked (117). All the neighbors come out to street and laugh at Su. (117). When Pa finally lets Su go back inside, he still lectures Su for two hours and doesn’t care how tired and shocked Su is. In contrast to Lac Su’s life of minimal support, the most supportive person in my life has been my best friend, Trang. I first met her in tenth grade and we have been bestfriends since.
She is the same age as me but she is wiser than me and open-minded. She has helped me so much in my life. She is like my other sister who I could turn to when I have no one beside me. She has helped me make right decisions every time I have to do something important in my life. When I first came to the United States from Vietnam, it was the hardest time for me and she was the one who encouraged me to not give up. She told me to be happy and be positive. Until now, she still always tells me to be positive and stay happy. She is very good at keeping secrets; therefore, I feel like I can tell her everything in my life and expect no one knows about it but her. She also accepts and supports me for being who I am. Sometimes, I get bored and sad, but later, talking to her makes me feel better. She always helps me feel stronger and confident about myself. She was also the only one who helped me choose my major. My parents always wanted me to be a businessman or an engineer, they still do now, but I have never seen myself as an engineer or a businessman. I always see myself as a nurse working in the hospital. So, Trang talked me into pursuing my dream. There are many great and wonderful ways she has supported me.
Courtney from Study Moose
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