1. Tell her you’ve passed up social events to study. Your mom will brag, and the other moms will be really jealz.
2. Don’t argue, because the argument will always turn to how hard she works and how ungrateful you are.
3. So be grateful. Or she’ll start telling stories about how difficult it was for her growing up in [insert Chinese province here].”
4. DON’T FORGET YOU’RE CHINESE FIRST. Everything else comes second.
5. Attend Chinese school every Saturday without fail and without complaining.
Even though you’ll forget everything you’ve learned by the next Saturday.
6. Then impress her by using the new Chinese diction you’ve learned (that you’ll forget by next week).
Extra points if you knew what that read — even if you only understood the pin ying.
7. Attend the giant potluck dinners and try not to leave immediately after you’ve loaded and scarfed down your plate.
Free food means having to make small talk with all your community “aunts” and “uncles.”
8. Tell her the dish she brought was better than the other Chinese moms’.
Because you know there’s stiff unspoken competition at these events.
9. Always refill your rice bowl for seconds. The more you eat, the bigger the compliment.
If you can handle thirds, do it.
10. But don’t go overboard. It’s a tricky line, but you’ll avoid a passive comment on your weight.
11. Don’t laugh when it’s that time of night, and she’s already broken out in impromptu karaoke.
12. Cover yourself, if only to avoid giving her an open opportunity to jiggle and/or slap something.
14. DO NOT talk sex: having it, thinking about having it, regretting having it, etc.
The conversation will go: “no.”
15. And conveniently forget your boyfriend or girlfriend exists when she asks.
Because she already disapproves of them.
16. Consider meeting her friend’s Chinese son, the Harvard grad getting his Ph.D. in smart and soon-to-be rich.
Fine, mom. Fine.
17. Tell her the cheap perm and dye job she got in Hong Kong turned out really good and youthful looking.
18. Don’t insult the funny ways she says things in English.
She immigrated here when she was 36 and she can get by, OK?
19. Drink the strange medicinal concoction without complaining. And believe her when she claims it cures bad eyesight.
20. Accompany her on her leisurely post-dinner stroll.
Usually the older they are, the more they stroll.
21. Answer her calls when you’re out, or she’ll think you’re taking the drugs and having the sex.
22. Prove how successful you are by gifting her expensive name-brand items.
24. Don’t roll your eyes at her when she’s embarrassing you in front of all your friends.
Because she’ll slap you in front of your friends too.
25. Surprise hugs can soften the air after you’ve been scolded.
It’s also the easiest way to crack a smile.