The woman who owns the restaurant works there all the time. My dad thinks he has a personal relationship with her – like he’s a cowboy learning an exotic culture from a pioneering native.
He calls her by her first name.
There is a large heater at the end of the table. Musette sits next to it. My sister’s husband wants to sit next to it, because he is a heat monger like me, and gets cold every time the door to the restaurant opens, but for some reason he and Musette don’t switch seats, even though Musette doesn’t want to sit next to the heater.
I order a red chicken curry, but the woman who owns the restaurant says that the yellow curry is the restaurant’s number one seller, so I get that instead. My sister’s husband also orders this. Musette orders a green curry. It is spicier than my yellow curry. I did not expect that. I thought everything increased in spiciness from green, to yellow, to red.
My sister orders sweet and sour pork.
“Just like Panda Express.” I say.
“You can’t bring someone to a restaurant and then get mad at them for ordering what they like.” my mom says.
My mom orders the salad. My dad orders a pumpkin curry and another salad for the table so we all can try it. Musette likes the salad, but she doesn’t say anything, because she is getting upset. My family is talking in a mock Thai accent. My sister and her husband are not excited about eating the food. They would rather have Cafe Rio.
Musette thinks they are closed minded. She tells me later. But what she was most upset about was how they made fun of our marriage:
“They don’t see it as a real thing, because we didn’t get married in the temple. We’re not perfect for their heavenly family like your sister and her husband!”
She doesn’t want to go to their house tomorrow. We are supposed to see my grandma.
“We don’t have a choice.” I say.
“You might be surprised at how frail she is now.” my mom warns me in regards to her.