Asian by Proxy

As I enter into a marriage with the Indian LOML, I am completely aware that we have a wealth of cultural differences… However, over the course of the nearly three years that we have been a couple, I have found that the majority of people that we encounter are supportive and kind about these differences, and are thrilled to see how well we fit together–we share the same values, and that’s all that matters, correcto?

Not according to our local Chinese restaurants.

We went for take-out the other night, and the LOML requested chopsticks.  As the truly adorable take-out girl tucked a couple of pairs into our bag, she squinted at me and said, “Guess he’ll have to teach you to use these, eh?” and laughed.  A lot.

Huh.  The bitchy portion of me thought up many retorts to this, most revealing more ugly-white-American thoughts than I am capable of voicing.

(Look, heifer, I come from the proud people that invented the SPORK, by God. <Maybe?  Hmm.  Probably.>  I don’t need to eat with your fancy STICKS!)

But, I am not a butthole, so I smiled and wrote it off.

THEN, we visited another, favorite Chinese restaurant.  LOML ordered Korean Jong Bong, and they teased him about wanting a spicy dish even hotter.  Then, I ordered Chow Yun Si, and received an interrogation on my understanding of the components of the dish.  Yes, I know that it is not spicy.  Yes, I eat pork.  And cabbage.  And mushrooms.  I also understand that the noodles are not like macaroni in any way, shape, or form.  I am sure that I want to order this.  Really, I am.

The server shot me a wary look as she headed to the kitchen, and my head exploded.

“You are NOT Chinese, Korean, or any similar variety of Asian person.  Why do I always get the third degree about my ability to eat in Asian restaurants?!”  I screeched (quietly).

“You do not.  Don’t be dramatic.  They are just making sure that you’ll enjoy your meal.  They’ve done it to me too.”  The LOML is irritatingly calm.  This makes me want to donkey kick something.


My meal was fine, I ate it with sticks, and I hugged the owner’s wife while evil-eyeing the server to emphasize my displeasure with her assumptions.  I really hate “profiling” in any form, and my hackles have been raised since falling in love with someone who is looked at askance in airports for having a tan, I guess.

These little frustrations make me ever more intent on NOT judging books by their covers, so lesson learned.  A little introspection is good, and I actually (strangely) enjoy having to confront the tiny prejudices in the world in my head, because I usually learn something valuable.

Just don’t make me angry enough to spear you with a chopstick.  I know how to use them.


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