"Your father wants to drive you to the airport and have a talk with you," my mom said.
Even at the ripe young age of 32, these words from my mother scared the crap out of me. I was on my way to fly back to Korea after coming home to the USA for about a month vacation from my job and life as a university professor overseas.
As I unpacked and repacked my luggage for the third time that night, I wondered what the hell my dad would say to me since our recent conversations mostly centered on his truck, my future, how much he doesn't like Obama, how one or both of my brothers are idiots, his apple trees, and other mostly uninteresting stuff.
I loaded his truck trying to figure out what he wanted to talk about.
Would he want to lecture me on not spending enough of my free time with him and my mom? Personally, I thought I did pretty well splitting my time between my friends and parents this trip. Other trips I spent most of my time drinking with my bros, but this time I managed to hang out with my family as much as possible during the week and then chilled with my dawgs during the weekend.
Would he chastise me for drinking too much, which also happened a lot? Sometimes boozing and talking to pretty girls is more fun than watching NCIS and Bones with your mom and dad. Also, sleeping off a hangover can be more therapeutic than home-cooked eggs and sausage.
Could the reason behind this drive-and-talk session be my dislike for Bill O'Reilly, shaving, and American football? Or could it be my affection for chewing tobacco, drinking copious amounts of booze, getting tattoos, and bedding random women?
Am I about to be convinced I should quit skateboarding and/or Jiu Jitsu? I thought. I mean, both are pretty stupid with a once-broken neck, but, hey, it's what I enjoy.
What else could he be so concerned about that he'd volunteer to drive with me, alone, to the airport? That I'm mean to his dog? That I'm in my 30's and unmarried? That my mom can't stand missing me 6,000 miles away in another country on another continent? That another of my high school friends is in jail?
Would he congratulate me on my new job and the fact that I wrote a textbook? That I paid off my second of three student loans? That I'm not longer wearing polo shirts with clip-on ties?
All these ideas rolled through my head and I kept waiting for him to open his mouth and tell me what he wanted to tell me. I didn't really want to start the conversation, but when we pulled up to my terminal I finally had to ask.
"Dad, why did you tell Mom you wanted to drive me to the airport and talk to me?"
"I didn't say that," he grumbled. "I just wanted to drive for a while to charge up the battery in my truck."