My Singaporean Mom excels at many things, from running a business to ensuring that we didn’t fail our Chinese O Levels to making just about anything look chic (I’m not kidding about this. She can totally rock an old, ratty tee better than anyone else. One time, she came to visit me while I was in college and she promptly decided to vacuum the entire house after proclaiming that the place was “like a rat’s nest”. She threw on one of my Singaporean Dad’s old T-shirts (the one that says “Smile and the world smiles with you… Fart and you stand alone.”), tied a little shirt knot a la Kristen Stewart and proceeded to zip around the house with our power vacuum. ) Anyway, I digress. If there is one thing that my Singaporean Mom is especially good at, it’s force feeding.
So what exactly is force feeding, you may ask. Is it making you eat your vegetables? Clean your plate so that there’s not even a grain of rice left? Close, but no. Force feeding is when your Singaporean Mom dumps a whole pile of food onto your plate and expects you to eat it up, even if you’re almost comatose from all the food you’ve already eaten. Force feeding often occurs at Chinese restaurants/Nasi Padang feasts, when there are many different dishes on the lazy Susan. Singaporean Moms are especially adept at spooning food onto your plate, and then giving you the evil eye until you finish up everything. Be warned – do not fight the Singaporean Mom’s powers of force feeding, even if you have rice coming out of your nose. She will just dump even more food onto your plate and say, “Finish this up so they can take the plate away!”
If you are a guy, it is highly likely that you will be more susceptible to the Singaporean Mom’s powers of Force Feeding. I can usually get away by prodding my food with my chopsticks and feigning a “But I’m sooooo full!” whenever my Singaporean Mom tries to pull a ninja move on me, but guys hardly ever get away with it (Unless she thinks your fat, in which case she will probably say, “AiYOH! How many bowls of rice have you eaten?!”).
Rest assured that whenever there are those last few pieces of siew yoke or steamed prawns lying on the table, she will taichi it over to the nearest young and able-bodied man on the table. If there are none, she will put it all on my Singaporean Dad’s plate instead, to which he will say “Slowly, slowly! Don’t get so excited. Aiyo why are ladies always so excitable har?”
The Singaporean Mom’s merciless ability to force feed you with bowls and bowls of braised ee fu noodles is one that is feared by many. But fear not, loyal readers, for I have cleverly devised a solution to deflect my Singaporean Mom’s force feeding prowess. After years of experience and training, I have come to realise that there are several fool-proof ways to escape the wrath of your Singaporean Mom’s chopsticks.
The first is called the Moan and Mumble, whereby you put on your best grimace, act like you’re in great discomfort and mumble something about “needing to lao sai”. The trouble with this tactic, however, is that you need to have a track record of eating like a bird. Obviously if you’re known as the resident greedy guts, you will lack the credibility needed to effectively execute this technique. However, this can be counteracted if you’re also known for having a sensitive stomach that always gives you digestion problems.
The second tactic is called the Nibble and Poke, where you basically take small bites of the food that is already on your plate so as to prevent your plate from looking empty. An empty plate, if you don’t already know, is like an open target for a Singaporean Mom. The key is to leave your plate moderately empty, so that you look like you’re still working on your meal. If you’re too full to even taken another bite, you can try hiding some food under a big mushroom/lettuce leaf. However, I wold advise caution when doing so, as the Singaporean Mom has sharp eyes that will catch any tomfoolery. One time, I tried hiding my sashimi (raw fish, yuck!) under a cabbage leaf while my Singaporean Mom was talking to some guests, but she totally called me out on it and said, “Don’t think I didn’t notice you hiding your sashimi har…I can see you in the corner of my eye ok!” Scary.