Can you tell us what we have made here today?
Well this is usually what I’m used to eating when we’d eat at my grandparent’s house. It’s my favorite meals that she’d make on my birthday. It consisted of Baked beans, egg noodles, peas, croissants along with a concoction my dad invented called chili cheese rice.
Let's have some!
(We both take a couple bites of the food)
Your dad's dish is really good! It goes well with the sweet beans.
Yeah it’s a little dry. I should’ve put more water in it.
So tell me a little bit about your home life.
Well I'm a native to Providence and well, it was kind of weird because when I was four, my parents split up. I lived with my mom during the weekdays and during the weekend I’d go see my dad. My dad married my stepmom when I was seven but I’d known her for all my life and that side of my family remained relatively unchanged. My mom’s side was a little more fickle, she went through several marriages and then it was just us two for awhile.
Do you feel having to go constantly between those two homes affected your perception of home?
Yeah. It made me feel like I never fit in with either family and I still feel like I don’t. Since I had distance I got used to it and now it feels like I’m trying to fully distance myself from both sides and disappear but they’d probably hunt me down (laughs) so I can’t do that. Also they pay for college so I can’t do that either. They took out a mortgage for me to do this.
Going off that, what do you think defines a home for you?
For me, it’s the sort of feelings in the home. A lot of conversations happening in my homes now are very curt and I wish the conversations were more intimate.
Which can be my issue too, mostly because I don’t like showing any emotion around them.
Yeah, I get those feelings. I would do that with my family too.
I’ve started to become more relaxed around them, throwing out jokes and being sarcastic. To them, they feel as though it’s come out of nowhere.
Are there any places you would consider home if not these two places you grew up in?
It was probably in high school. I had this best friend April and I would go over to her house and I’d call her mom “mom” and I thought her older sisters were so cool. I even thought her older sister’s boyfriend was super cool. We even kind of looked alike!
Unfortunately the friendship ended the day I graduated high school, which is fine now. I look back at it and realized there was some tension between us. She often thought I was trying to steal attention from her which is a little petty.
Yeah, I was about to say.
My parents said I can move back in with them as long as I pay rent and I’m like with what money? It’s not like I have a job lined up right out of school plus they pay for room and board. I have no money for that.
I don’t know, maybe it was just being in such a foreign place and not knowing anyone. Getting a chance to make new connections and build something new there without the baggage of the old. I went and made friends around Osaka and really started to make something there.
I get homesick for it and pretty emotional about it too.
Wow, all in a month, that must’ve been some deep connecting.
Yeah well I’ve wanted to go to Japan since I was eight years old so going was everything I wanted and more.
Would you want to move back to Osaka?
Yeah Osaka’s nice or anywhere else in Japan. i have this life goal that if I don’t like what I’m doing out of college in the next one or two years, then I’m going to apply to grad and if that doesn’t work out then I’m going to go teach Japan in English for five years.
(tries to contain laugh)
Oh! I mean, I’m going to go teach english in Japan for five years. (laughs)
Or longer. I could also do films there and go to the film academy. I have friends there so it wouldn’t be a huge uproot.
So one of the reasons I wanted to do this interview with you was because most people that have been a part of this use this meal as a way to connect with their home that is far off aways but you live here.
What I’m finding more interesting is that even though you live here and have access to your home whenever, you feel the most distant from it, it seems.
Yeah I woke up the other day at 6am, in part because of my body being in pain, but I thought about how I haven’t seen my mom physically in three months and she lives ten minutes.
And you don’t feel any sort of remorse?
Maybe not now but at 6am I thought ‘Oh my god, I’m a terrible person.’
Yeah I don’t know, I think it’s crazy how your relationship with your parents can really affect your perception of home and what a home should be.
Whenever I go back home its still more of the same. Whether it be my mom and her boyfriend arguing or my dad being strict and demeaning. All of this just continues to reinforce the idea that I want my home to be just me by myself.
Well I hope you get that and you get it in Japan. That'd be perfect huh?
Yeah, that'd be the nicest.
(continues eating meal)
I haven’t eaten this in two or three years. It reminds me of summertime at my grandma’s place.
Well with that, I’d like to ask did making this meal remind you of home?
Hm? Hell yeah! It was super my grandma’s kitchen in here for like a second. We had Frank Sinatra playing and everything
Well thanks so much for being a part of a Heart’s Meal! It was awesome having you!
This meal was made with Danielle Glynn (RISD ID '15)
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