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Dinner, driving and my dad

It’s often said that kids say the darndest things. And while that’s true, I’ve got to say grown ups — especially my parents — have their moments as well. I’ve already paid tribute to both my mom and my dad, but here’s another moment for my dad:

Tonight, my parents and I went to dinner at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro because my dad received a gift card for the restaurant.

Now, for those of you who have eaten there, you probably know that despite its name, P.F. Chang’s is more American than Chinese. I think the first clue would be the fact that almost none of the cooks are Asian and neither are the wait staff. I’ve only eaten there twice before tonight’s visit: Once with some friends and once with my family. This being said, my family didn’t have high expectations (for authentic Chinese cuisine) that first time we went and it was pretty much the same this time.

Here’s what my dad had to say about the experience:

“We’re not coming back here again. We only came here because we had the gift card…(In reference to the people who gave him the card) I don’t know why they think this food is good. (Sighs) Well, that’s Americans for you.”

Then, later during the drive home he had a few other interesting comments about my music choice (Belle of the Boulevard by Dashboard Confessional):

Pa: Who sings this song?

Me: Dashboard Confessional.

Pa (in a tone of recognition): Oh, this is Dashboard?

Me (surprised he even knows who they are): Yeah.

Pa (very matter-of-factly): All their songs sound the same.

Me (not sure how to respond to this, but just going with it): Yeah, I guess they do.

Pa: This song sounds like the “Stolen” one.

It’s amazing how even after almost 25 years, my parents can still surprise me with their knowledge of American pop culture. I guess I just see them as more Cambodian than American, but there you go.


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