My best cousin Wang

This is a Happy Birthday post to my childhood partner in crime, Wang! She turned 30 today and I can’t believe it’s been over two decades since we ran around screaming “8 is great!” (It was a sad day when I turned 9 first.)

Wang is the oldest daughter of my mom’s younger, closest sister, Ta Tram. Growing up, it seems like we were only separate during the three months of difference in age. We shared everything: a crib, strollers meant for one baby (so this looks totally illegal), toys, and secrets*. She named me Nhanh. Days we were apart, we sent each other I-miss-you-letters via our moms; now we’re 3000 miles away.

Wang was a funny looking baby, with a huge ‘fro of hair and boyish features, but grew into the most beautiful person I know. When I haven’t seen her in awhile (which happens too often now), I still am struck by her striking features, skin, and smile. We have always said she should model, but she’s camera shy.

She’s also beautiful because of her style. I admit: I copied HER all the time. She just has a knack for finding things that look good on you. She doesn’t get distracted by what’s popular or typical; she’s creative and can turn anything into something you wish you had.

We never imagined being apart — drawings of our future houses included a shared backyard and swingset — but such is life. In college, we found our first serious boyfriends. Even if we went to the same school, our contrasting interests would have put us on the opposite side of campus: engineering versus art. We made new friends. I moved out west.

But every reunion reminds me of old times. We still don’t go out; instead she comes over to my (parents’) house, we talk at the table, and inevitably she stays for dinner. And we always take a photo together.

Tonight I dug through what photos I have of us (many are back at home in the family albums) to remember the past 30 years. Happy Birthday Wang! Enjoy this photo album of all our photos together and priceless video!

*This one I have to tell. One evening, with our younger sisters, we wondered what would happen if we squeezed a ketchup pouch as hard as we could. I guess it should have been obvious. Let me tell you what we did learn: one ketchup pouch can paint an entire kitchen red. I wonder to do this day if my mom finds red spots.



  1. This was a really touching post, Annie. Love all the photos through the years.

  2. Great post, Annie! I wish I actually remembered that ketchup incident…

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