I’ve just finished the first two chapters and already, so much resonates with me. I’ve gathered a few quotes that reflected all too accurate fragments of my life and the relationships within my small family – my mom, my dad, my sister. Just wanted to share:
“…her father, Joseph Han, could’ve easily passed for her grandfather… Joseph and his daughter did not speak to each other.” Sounds familiar.
“[Casey’s mom] left the store early that morning to shop and cook her daughters’ favorite dishes… now both her girls were home. Her heart felt full, and she prayed for Joseph to be in a good mood.” Casey who? You mean my mom? Bustling around, cooking enough to feed an entire orphanage the few times we go back home together? She occasionally hears, “Mom, it’s just the two of us. You don’t have ten daughters to cook for” but it doesn’t stop her.
“Schoolwork is work. I’ve always worked hard… just as hard as you work at the store. Maybe harder. Do you know what it’s like for me to have to go to a school like that? To be surrounded by kids who went to Exeter and Hotchkiss, their parents belonging to country clubs, and having a dad who could always make a call to save their ass? Do you know what it’s like to ace my courses and to make and keep friends when they think you’re nothing because you’re from nowhere? I’ve had kids step away from me like I’m unwashed after I tell them you manage a dry cleaner. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have people who are supposed to be your equals look through you like you’re made of glass and what they see inside looks filthy to them? Do you have any clue?” Well shit. I can’t say I could relate to that, but I could have easily empathized depending on the people I met. Fortunately, I fell into the right crowd and came across the best friends I could ever have, who adore my mom and even love Domino’s Pizza regardless of that reprehensible Youtube scandal a few years ago.
“Casey felt bad for him suddenly, because for as long as she could remember, they never had any money, and her father was ashamed of this… In truth, Casey had never blamed her parents for not being better off, because they worked so hard.” Amen to that. I’m nothing but proud of my parents.
“In the end, things had worked out for her at [Princeton]: the school had provided her with health insurance for the first time in her life and, with it, cheap birth control. For books, clothes, and walking around money, she’d taken a train to the city every weekend and worked at Sabine’s.” One of the many things I miss about college: student health insurance and the cheap (or was it free?) birth control that came along with it. Now it’s about $70 bucks a pop every month – the real world is merciless. There goes half a Kate Spade wallet… but do I want to get pregnant, or get a Tiffany blue leather wallet? And there you have my answer.
“‘Virginia is in Newport for a month, then off to Italy. It must be nice to have pots of money. And time to piss it away.’ ‘Italy sounds nice,’ Tina said. Neither of them had been to Europe.” Personal goal before turning 28: go to Europe. Get my high on in Amsterdam, get my pizza on in Italy, get my romance on (with Joseph!) in Paris. I have a good 5 years to save up on my Euro travels.
I promise not every entry will be a high school honors English reflection paper written with such academic vigor! Ha. I don’t know why I’m so excited about Free Food for Millionaires, I haven’t so happily dissected a novel (or at least the first two chapters) in a long while.
Now on to Chapter 3.