This installment of Tales from the Vegan Army is not as “combat-y” as the words “vegan army” imply*. Because it involves my dear ma. Okay, here’s the deal. I never explicitly told my mom I was “vegan”. Since English is her second language, I felt explaining to her that I didn’t eat meat, dairy, eggs, etc was just easier.
She’s been supportive about it since then. If I ever came home from college and she made me Thai food she’d know — no eggs, no fish sauce and add tofu and veggies. We’ve been doing this for more than a decade.
Which is why the following bit from a phone conversation that took place A WEEK AGO befuddled (and tickled) me. And I assure you that all conversations with my ma are this wonderfully strange. Love ya ma!
Mom: Are you coming home for Thanksgiving?
Me: Yup. Are you going to go to *insert my sister’s name here* place?
Mom: Ok. What you want me to make for you? I can bring something.
Me: I dunno. I’m sure whatever you make will be good. You don’t have to make anything if you don’t have time.
Mom: Do you eat eggs?
Me: No ma, I thought you knew that.
Mom: [very seriously] Why not? What happens to you if you eat eggs?
Me: Ma, nothing happens to me, I jus…
Mom: [interrupting] What will happen? If you eat eggs?
Me: Ma! Listen to me. Nothing happens. I just choose not to eat eggs.
Mom: Why not? What will happen to you?
Me: [contemplates going into long ethical explanation but opts for...] I don’t want to eat something that comes from a chicken…or any animal.
Mom: [pauses] Ketty. It’s okay to not eat meat and be a vegetarian….[does not finish sentence].
Me: Ma, I coulda swore you knew this. Remember? I would go to the restaurant (my ma had a Thai Restaurant for a while) and you would always tell the cooks to make my food — no eggs, no fish sauce? Remember?? [wonders if last 10 years were all a dream]
Mom: [pauses]…………Well, what about if I make something and you can’t taste the egg in it?
Me: [sighs] No ma. I don’t eat eggs even if I can’t taste it.
Mom: What about if I make sticky rice dessert with custard?
Me: What’s in the custard?
Mom: [says quietly but very matter of factly]….Eggs.
I love ya ma! Talking to my mom is always a rockin’ fun time. She has that dead-pan-can’t-tell-if-it’s-a-joke-or-not comedic act down. But she totes isn’t joking! I probably could fill a tome with all the funny things she has said. Like that time she told me that tasting food should be done with none other than……my mouth. Genious!
*Tales from the Vegan Army are not meant to be combative or promote ill will. They’re just a fun way for me to find humor in a non-vegan world.