Week 6: “Kelly Loves Tony” portrays a real story of a young Iu-mien couple that is also often found in other ethnic groups among the Southeast Asian communities. Being high school sweethearts, Kelly quickly has Tony’s child. Even though she’s still determined to attend college, Tony isn’t. He accepts the way life is with his high school diploma. The conflict happens here on. Tony expects Kelly to be more of a “mother figure” – to stay home and take care of the house and the kid.
The ending is left open-ended to this relationship. I don’t doubt Kelly’s and Tony’s affection to each other when they are in high school. However, they now have different mindsets. When Kelly keeps pursuing higher education and being aspired by the many people who are equally educated, Tony still has the same conservativeness of a tradition Iu-Mien family. Thus, despite the love he has for Kelly, he still pressures her to stay home and take care of the household.
The young couple has been enduring for a few years but Kelly grows out of Tony’s standard. Between education and Tony, she really has to choose one over the other because the second child doesn’t just double the weight but quadruple it on Kelly’s shoulder.