My drawers at home are full, and the pantry, stocked. At any given point in time, I can slide open the bottom drawer in the upstairs bathroom and see seven bottles of shampoo and conditioner, three toothbrushes, still in its packaging, a stack of Dove original soap, courtesy of Costco, and a container of dental floss, with two missing. My mom likes to double up on coupons and still carries the ratty coupon case I made for Mothers' Day in YMCA day care circa the 2nd grade. I never pack toiletries when I go home, and my room looks just as it did eleven years ago. My home life is full.
My life in San Francisco is thread-bare. My cupboards are scant, save for the soba noodles and baking products. I've been meaning to replenish my jar of cotton balls for Lord knows how long, and the lightbulb in my room blew out three-and-a-half months ago. I've an abundance of CDs and books neatly stacked. I will read them one day. But in the meantime, I think I shall cart home some more. It takes me 3 weeks to unpack my suitcases, and sometimes, I fall asleep face down on a pile of clothes, as if I fell timberrrrrr unto the bed.
Just today, I toted home a paper Walgreens bag - its contents: jumbo cotton balls, a peach eye shadow palette, volumizing shampoo (having forgotten to purchase alongside conditioner during my last Target run), and one Symphony bar, the blue kind. This set me back $24, and I'm quite certain that my mother would have doubled the quantity of haircare products, amassed dental floss to last another seven years, and fed the family four times over with the same amount. I buy on the fly, and can barely even plan for the upcoming weekend, let alone two hours from now. All of that effort goes to work.
My mom is what they call boo-jee-ruhn-heh (that's uber-productive for non-Koreans). I'm nothing of the sort. Around the time I wake up on a typical Saturday morning, er.. afternoon, she has cooked up a storm, watched a Korean drama, gone hiking with my dad, picked lemons from our backyard tree, and visited her own mother - my grandma - in Irvine, one hour away. I, in turn, rub the sleep out of my eyes and happily munch on a Noah's bagel. And three hours later, drag myself to the beach for a leisurely jog, being sure to take the scenic route.
She says that she was the same way at my age, wandering down grocery aisles, contemplating the different soup cans, before sitting at home, sampling each and every one. Rarely cooking until she got married, which she tries to push upon me. I politely decline. I kind of want to fall in love, and I haven't done that yet. But what I don't tell her is, I've grown a little too comfortable being on my own; I find it hard to be convinced otherwise.
I suppose one day I'll learn to cook. And to plan. And to clip coupons. One day. But I'm not there yet.