My earliest memories were of waking up on a warm floor, which is how Korean houses were heated back then, and hearing faint females voices outside. I immediately recognized my grandmother talking so I started to cry knowing that’s the fastest way to get her attention. After all, I was hungry.
I think I was three, maybe four.
I guess I haven’t changed much since then. I still whine to get feed, but now mostly by my wife.
The older I get, the better I understand myself. As a son of Korean parents who grew up during the Japanese occupation and the Korean War, all positive reinforcements were about food. If I were sick, I would be given a precious orange, which was very expensive at the time. The best part of my mother going to the market in Seoul was the rice cakes I knew she would bring back for me. Throughout my childhood the measure of my mother and grandmother’s love (which was pretty important) for me were measured by food. Good grades meant a feast of marinated beef (bulgogi). When I was down, then I got dumplings (mando) made by my grandmother. They never really hugged me or showed much affection publicly, but they were quick with a meal. I definitely preferred that too.
So, it’s no wonder that I’ve spent so much of my life trying to get women to feed me. It gives me comfort and warmth. It builds my self-esteem. In return, I’ve also been taught to appreciate, protect, and provide and for such women since they were so important to my own self-worth.
I’m sure that I’m not unique in this regard, especially for most Asian men. I’ve been so lucky. Even as I travel, I always seem to have some wonderful woman trying to feed me: My sister, sister-in-laws, co-workers, and good friends.
There you have it. I’ve just explained why Asian men are such moma’s wagamamas.