I had and continue to have a sensitive side.
Perhaps that's why many of my friends in middle school and high school were girls. However, Indians are BY FAR the most awkward-looking children during this time period, so there were no girlfriends for me 😕.
And as most people realize, teenage girls love to talk on the phone... and I kinda did too (I'm still a talker!). So I used to get LOTS of calls on a daily basis.
And this annoyed Daddy to no end.
He used to get mad about the calls because they would tie up the phone lines (this was during the early days of call waiting, no cell phones, and phone modems!). And plus, he didn't think it was appropriate for girls to be calling me just for the hell of it (he had never had to deal with the same issues with my brother).
I just ignored him for a while, but there was one day where my best friend at the time, Rachel, called me. Daddy picked up, asked who it was, she said her name, politely asked to talk to me, and he then told her to stop calling our home and proceeded to hang up on her.
Uhh... Daddy could sometimes be a bit "rough" around the edges.
I didn't find out about this until the next day at school when Rachel told me the story. I was livid. When I got home, Daddy and I got into a huge fight about this. I told him he had no right to be rude to my friends, and though he argued back, I could tell this was something Daddy was WHOLLY unprepared for given the cultural differences in how he grew up.
But as always, he came up with a solution, and I ended up with my own personal phone line (and I thought I was awesome).
When I reflect on my parents immigrating to the US, I usually only think about how difficult it must have been for them to come to this country and integrate into a new environment. But what I frequently forget is that didn't end up being one of Daddy's biggest challenges.
It was raising three children in an environment in which he was truly a foreigner.
He had never experienced childhood in the States. Few of his life lessons were applicable here. And I'm sure this was one of the few times in his life (pre-stroke) where he had uncertainty (Mummy was better able to handle this as she spent a lot of time with us in our childhood while he was working).
As a child, you don't have the mental faculties to truly appreciate everything that your parents do for you. But what I'm realizing now, even at my current age, is that I still have a ways to go to truly understand and appreciate everything Daddy did for his children.