A couple years ago, I was having dim sum at a restaurant with my mother and 2 of my aunts. During our meal I get a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and see this Chinese guy around my age with long hippie hair. A Chinese guy with long hair is about as rare as a Chinese person who wears a turban. Well, maybe not but pretty damn rare. I was sure I had never seen this guy in my life.
“Is your name _____?”, he asks.
I was hesitant but I confirmed that was my name. He goes on to tell me with a smile that he is my cousin. I already knew what was going on. I have never met my father so I concluded that this hippie Chinese guy was from his side. He said his mother recognized my mother and figured I was probably her son.
I looked over to his table, curiously wondering if my dickhead father might have been sitting there. He wasn’t and luckily for both of us he wasn’t cause I’d might have gone over there to extort him for 34 Christmas and birthday presents. It was my ‘cousin’s’ mother, girlfriend and older brother who were over there. For whatever reason they decided to come up to introduce themselves and shake my hand like I was some kind of hero who got his balls shot off in a war. I felt uncomfortable cause I didn’t feel the same warmth from DNA that they must have.
My 2 aunts were silent during the whole exchange but after, one of them blurted out something about them not being my real family. My aunts are single and are in not so great health. They were probably scared I might switch teams and leave their soon to be decrepit lives in the future. When people get old their most valuable resource are people who can help them wipe their ass and chew their food for them. My aunts aren’t old yet but they will be one day soon and they know this.
My mother was all for this reunion cause my mother is stupid like most Asian parents. “They are your cousins!” Seriously? I know them as well as some bum off the street. My ‘cousins’ ended up leaving me their email addresses on a napkin and told me to “keep in touch.” I took the napkin but had no intention of contacting them unless if for some reason I could benefit off them.
I don’t know if it’s cultural or maybe instinctual but people can sometimes get a warm fuzzy feeling when they are reunited with long lost family. There’s supposed to be this instant bond that happens even though you are complete strangers with no history together. I’ve bumped into them a couple times after at the same restaurant and have avoided that place since. My mother was always eager to meet with them after cause she’s lonely and makes poor decisions because of it. Maybe one day I will meet my 2 half brothers when I swoop in and steal some of their inheritance.