Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fried Rice or White Rice?

I am a 29 year old male. I am southern. I am white.

I have, on occasion, been mistaken for being Asian. Seriously. Now, I love the Asian people. I love how tiny they are, I love their skin color, I love their food (mostly). I am not offended when people think I’m Asian. However, it makes me wonder where they see it. I mean, I’m 6 ft. tall (not an Asian quality, except for that freakishly tall Asian guy who plays basketball). I have 52” shoulders (I’ve never seen a broad-shouldered Asian). I have hair on my arms – get it? So to say I am so believably Asian remains a mystery to me.

Most of this started when Celie was born. When she was in the NICU, we were going to see her and as we came upon her bed, the nurse said, “before we go see your baby, look how gorgeous this Asian baby is.” Well, said Asian baby was our baby. I was like, “Ummmmm, that’s our baby.” The nurse replied, “oh, my goodness, I’m sorry.”

So, fast forward a while. No Asian comments have been made – UNTIL RECENTLY. I bought Sarah a manicure/pedicure the other day for fun. I know she likes it, but hates to spend money on that stuff she can do at home – great point. So I go make the appointment and then tell Sarah when it is. It was yesterday after work. I thought it would be a nice ending to a busy day and even more busy week. She could go in, relax, I would take Celie by to see her, then she would be back home after Celie ate dinner and could play with her until she went to sleep.

So I pick Celie up from the sitter and go to the grocer. Celie is always a big hit at the grocery store. I think it’s because she’s so funny and “bright”. Nothing gets past this child. It’s too funny. Anyway, after the grocery store we head to the nail salon. It should come as no surprise that the owners (well the husband) is Asian. His mother works there too – who is obviously also Asian. I took Celie back to the pedicure area where Sarah was after having to show Celie to everyone. I have to say, all the “oh my goodness, she’s so beautiful” never gets old.

So I take her to Sarah. She gives Sarah a big, gross, wet, open-mouth kiss. It’s cute, sweet and disgusting all at the same time and anyone who says it isn’t disgusting that baby drool is all over you is lying not only to themselves but to everyone else. They play for a few moments and then we leave for home.

The nice Asian lady looks up as I’m walking away (and as much as I want to type her accent, I’m not going to because it would be too much work – but I have to say that the Asian-American accent slays me every time) and says:

Asian Lady: “Your baby is beautiful” (read: “Yo behby is beautifur – sorry, I had to.)
Sarah: “thank you.”
Asian Lady: “Your first one?”
Sarah: “Yes, she is – just turned one”
Asian Lady: “That’s so nice”
Sarah: “uh huh”
Asian Lady: “I see your husband is Asian too”

- Insert sound of screeching tires -

Sarah: “Oh, no. He’s not Asian.”
Asian Lady: “Oh yes, he is definitely Asian.”
Sarah: “No, he’s white.”
Asian Lady: “What percent”

Let me stop here and say – WHAT PERCENT????? Excuse me? I mean, What percent am I white? Who asks that?

Sarah: “Ummmm, 100 percent”
Asian Lady: “How long has he been here?”
Sarah: “He’s lived here his entire life – he’s white, not Asian, I promise.”
Asian Lady: “What about his parents, are they Asian?”
Sarah to herself: OMG
Sarah: “No, they’re also white”
Asian Lady: “What about any grandparents? Maybe they are a little Asian??”
Sarah: “No, they’re white to the core – I promise you.”
Asian Lady: “OK, well he’s Asian.”
Sarah: no response – just continues to read her People Magazine about that crazy Angelina Jolie wanna-be lady with all the babies.

I mean, I have fooled a lot of people in my day, but for an actual Asian person to think I am Asian????? Huh? My eyes are almond shaped, I suppose. But, I mean, I…………..


So, that’s my story. Apparently I’m Asian.

Domo Arigato.