Asian Instincts

After all the years I mocked and laughed at my parents for their very Asian cultural habits, I am finding (especially after becoming a parent myself) myself doing the same things, like they suddenly just make great sense. Because they do! You be the judge: awesome life hack, or crazy ABC lady?

Welcome to my life.

Cover everything in plastic wrap.


Nevermind that plastic wrap on furniture on a hot humid day feels about as comfortable as wearing pleather pants, ever. But for us it also applies to but is not limited to tv screens, cell phones, remote controls.

I took this pic after we unboxed our new patio furniture, because I was already thinking of the dust and leaves that would potentially stain the cushions. Plastic wrap made a whole lot of sense at the time… but we resisted and took it off.

Plastic wrap 2.0

My mother in law bought me towels to put on our upholstered dining chairs. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but now I humbly admit that now with two caveman eaters I have no objections to this – except when company comes over and my embarrassment presides.


Squeeze every possible bit of toothpaste out of the tube.

I’ve been known to cut one open and use my toothbrush to get another extra week’s worth (or more!) of paste. Score! This one isn’t really something I picked up on from my parents, but I group it in with Asian instincts because my mom never liked to waste anything. Life hack, or poor college student? As much as she didn’t like wasting stuff, she also would probably say I can afford not to live in a home where my toothpaste bottle looks like that.


Add water to soap/any liquid to get the last bits.

Also applies to condiments, sauces, Top Ramen powder packets (Mom uses half of a packet per bag and saves the rest for another serving).

Hey, it’s going to get water added to it anyways. If I’m going to pay $$$ for salon shampoo, I am going to get every little last bit out and get the same amount of suds (most of the time).


Wear the same undergarments well beyond their lifespan.

I have items of clothing that are worn waay past their lifetime but I refuse to throw them away. Why lose the comfort of those items meant for comfort now that they’ve reached prime comfort age?? For me it’s a pair of pink sweatpants circa ~1997. I think my mom bought them for me and they were too big and too long. Now they are a cut up holey mess but I can’t bear to part with them. Bossman calls them my “Birth Control” pants.


What other Asian instincts kick in with you, or what have you seen your ABC friends do? Or do these awesome/not awesome instincts cross cultural boundaries?


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