Sex Related Injuries Are the Worst. After the Sex, I Mean.

YOU. Get over here.

“Dear Mr. So-and-So. I apologize for not being able to make it into work today because I sustained a sex-related injury. Sorry!!”

Yeah, you totally can’t email that. But it happens. Well, it happens to me.

I am toddling around in my house because of one, my back completely aching and sore. My poor back has been abused due to helping me move stuff from my Baltimore house to the new one and also from, uh, energetic activities. But how do you put that in an email? And is that even covered when it comes to HR purposes? I don’t think so and I don’t want to find out because I’ve worked in enough places to know that although HR says that they are HR and therefore information is kept confidential, crap like that always SOMEHOW gets leaked. Then you’re the weird person walking around and seeing people giving you the side-eye all of a sudden and wondering, WTF, what happened? Why are they looking at me like that?!!?

Why? Because they KNOW.

Work environments are insane in that way. Gossip like sex-related injuries (not that I ever reported one) always circulates. That is one of the reasons I’ve been able to form good friendships through work: I know how to keep my mouth shut. I don’t disclose shit, I don’t acknowledge it, and sometimes I’m even able to forget that I knew it. It’s a good trait to have, except sometimes it spills over into other parts of my life, when someone tells me something very personal and then my mind places it in the “trash” icon of my brain and deletes it. And then the person gets offended, which I 100% understand, that I don’t even remember that they told me an anecdote that has deeply affected them.

To be fair, that doesn’t happen to me often. But it does.

In my opinion, the best policy when it comes to work dynamics is to not talk about anything personal you know about anyone who works there. Silly or funny stories, things that they themselves would be okay with disclosing at lunch, but that’s it. It’s just safer that way, and also saves you a lot of drama and turmoil afterwards. Also, you have to close ranks, right?

So, obviously I did not report my injury as sex-related. Also, a lot of people, I’ve realized, don’t have that kind of sex. I don’t know why, but each to their own, I guess. I am more of a rough-and-tumble person so am not someone who is strictly into the missionary position. It always seemed kind of boring to me, to have a foreordained routine where both partners then roll over, yawn, and go to sleep. What is the point? Experiment a little, add a little spice to your life!!

I had a bruise recently on my arm from sex. A colleague of mine asked at work, “Oh, no! What happened?!”

“Um, I’m really clumsy.” I replied.

“That’s too bad!” She replied with a sweet smile. Then I remembered a similar conversation with a friend of mine where I responded, “I bumped into something.”

“What, a dick?” She said.

That’s when I knew that she, like I, have had…uh…exploratory sex? That’s the only delicate way I can put it. Or aggressive sex? However you say it, only people who have had that kind of sex will recognize the bruises and marks you get from being sweaty and somewhat crazy in the bedroom. It’s kind of like Fight Club!!

And…of course, my boyfriend, John came home tonight and fell asleep on the sofa, happily snoring away after work. So peaceful. So content. So relaxed. I wanted to punch him in the face. But, of course, couldn’t due to the back injury he gave me. Jerk!!

But from me to all of you out there who haven’t engaged in at least a few insane antics in the bedroom, well, it’s worth it. Even if you can’t explain it to anyone honestly except your closest friends and have to endure a related injury that takes you out of of commission for a while.

This is Me at Work: Fuck You!!!

That’s right!! Step away, bitch!!!

One of my rules in the posting of my entries was never to write about work. Such things get people into trouble. So let me just say, right now, that this is about work IN GENERAL, not a specific gig or job.

I think we’ve all felt like the above while working. For me, it’s especially tough because I have tons of rage inside me, but given my upbringing, am often very polite and polished when it comes to dealing with my bosses at work. Also, I am somewhat of a workaholic, so even when I’m grumpy about my professional environment, I still work my ass off. It’s not a good combination.

But. That dog above? That is totally me. I love that gif because that is how I am like, all angry and surly on the inside and accommodating on the outside. “Yes, sir, of course!!” and “I’ll try my hardest to get it done as soon as possible” are comments that spill from my mouth while my brain is saying, “Fuck you! Bitch! Asshole! Fuck off! Bastard!”.

I don’t know where my inclination to swearing comes from. Certainly not from my mother, who was always very proper and civil. But the good thing to note for people who know me is that if I like you and feel decently comfortable around you…I will swear. Oftentimes, like a sailor.

It’s difficult, isn’t it? To say yes to everything at work and seethe at not being acknowledged for all the effort you’re putting in, especially if you’re someone like me, who harbors a ton of rage and resentment in general? To sit there and appear all compliant because we have to earn a paycheck? And then to receive that check and look down at that dollar figure and think to yourself…THAT’S IT?!!? All that time and stress? And it comes to this.

But we all have to do it. Because we are adults and living in the real world.

I remember my first job ever; I was being paid the minimum wage and sometimes I would go and grab myself a sandwich and as they rang up the bill, I would look at the receipt and think to myself, that was two hours of work right there. I just worked two hours to simply eat.

It taught me quite a bit, working at minimum wage. It wasn’t for long, only for one summer, but I realized how tough it must be for most people. However, after that, I never really took things for granted. Then I moved on and was able to command a higher salary and benefits and then also came to a wonderful epiphany: I don’t need them.

I don’t. I don’t need to be employed by one firm or another. I am lucky in that I have choices. I can find something else, always. It has made me more of an undependable employee, but fuck them. It has made me a happier person. And one who can swear, at least in my head, at them while I roll my eyes and pretend to give a crap about all the trivial requirements they want me to fulfill.

When Friends Are Family

Cuddling!!! WE ARE PACK.
Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/546905948471872224/

Don’t get me wrong. I love my mother and sister and nieces, but at the end of the day, due to a bunch of stuff I’ve been through, I consider my closest friends as my family.

It’s understandable that my friends have plodded through similar traumatizing family travails as I have; we have all had to find a way to re-construct a support structure by ourselves, mainly comprised of people who are not always related through consanguinity.

This came into question a few years ago, when I realized that I was approaching forty and had no offspring. I had always wanted children, but my ex and I put it off year after year, due to a few reasons. One of them was that I was afraid that I would screw up whatever children I had because I was never really a child, due to dysfunctional family dynamics. Another was that I was working insane hours and couldn’t even imagine handling something else. There were other reasons, ones that I don’t necessarily feel comfortable right now in disclosing in this post. Needless to say, I never got pregnant.

Then when we got divorced, I was about 35, which meant that I was right smack in that age range where if you want to get pregnant, you should do it then. But I was dealing with an enormous change in my life and didn’t want to rush into any sort of commitment with some stranger just to get pregnant. That wouldn’t have been fair to me or to the other person.

I finally decided to approach one of my best friends in the world, Jacob, to ask him if he would be willing to donate his sperm should I decide to have a child. I remember the phone call between us when I asked him if we could meet for dinner. I was wary and tense at the same time, which sent up a bunch of red flags, I am sure, for him. I am unable to be casual when I should be.

When he met, pretty much right after we ordered, he said, “I know why you asked me here.”

“Really?” I asked.

“You can have my stuff.” He responded. “Yes. Now can we have dinner?”

He said that he mentioned to his partner after the phone call that I sounded weird, who then replied, hello, it’s obvious why she wants to meet you! She wants to see if you’re okay with donating and you’re totally going to do it, right? And my friend said yes, of course.

I am not there at this point. But it meant a lot to me that Jacob was completely willing to be the donor and that we agreed on everything. That he didn’t need to be involved, that the child I might have would be mine, and mine alone. That he didn’t need to take on any responsibilities and feel like a “father” in the traditional sense.

Jacob is like me, more clinical and straightforward so he discussed his family’s medical background as a forewarning of issues that may appear. Not that there were many. Afterwards, we enjoyed our meal, especially since I was so nervous that before we met at the restaurant I had gulped down two enormous glasses of red wine (totally helped, BTW!!).

Despite the fact that if you agree with that perspective or not — having a child in that fashion — I think anyone can acknowledge that at least it was wonderful and heartwarming that Jacob was so willing to give me something that was so significant: the life of a baby.

And although I didn’t go through with artificial insemination (uh, because there is no way we would have conceived through the standard, biological process), it meant so much to me that Jacob said yes.

I love my friend Jacob and would be proud to have his child. Even if we wouldn’t be together in the traditional, marital sense. He is great. I love him.

I am lucky, really lucky, to have such great friends. And that is one of the many reasons I consider them my family.

Wow. Please Kill Me if I End Up Like This.

Yes. I was raised to be a respectable young lady. Sorry to disappoint, mother!!!

I was raised with strict guidelines on how to act as a hostess. One must always be graceful, tactful, delightful, and set a welcoming table in a stylish house while appearing as beautiful as possible without ever offending anybody as guests enjoy their delicacies which are paired with the proper succession of wines.

It always grated on me, but that is how my mother viewed what being a proper woman was while entertaining. Periodically, she would appear in my room and tell me that we were “expecting guests” and I would have to don my best dress and come downstairs to the dining room. I was expected to engage in scintillating repertoire while being non-threatening to the men around me and being gracious to the women. People would mill around and I had to always respond with precocious responses to any questions regarding my family and educational ambitions while, at all times, be a lady, as my mother used to say.

This was not easy, people, and I was not built for it. I can do it, due to my training, but I absolutely hate it. I would have preferred to run upstairs to my room and snuggle into my bed with a book. My sister had it worse, as she was older and had to bear the brunt of such duties, but she enjoyed it much more than I did. I told my mother often that I hated to be fake, and she would always answer that acting as a Stepford-child (although she didn’t use that term) wasn’t being fake, just being polite or nice.

All of this came to mind this weekend when John and I welcomed some of his family into our home. I madly cleared off the dining room table of all our files and unopened mail, thinking that we would eat there in the formal style that I was used to. Instead, we ended up at the kitchen table munching off of small plates. It was fun, although unexpected on my end.

I then realized that John’s son also seems a little taken aback whenever I set out place settings with napkins and flatware; I saw then that he may think l that do all that for him since we are all settling into new family dynamics, but I don’t. That was simply how I grew up. I was instructed at an early age on what utensils went with which dishes, which beverages should be served with which meals and in what order, and how to properly eat and act during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In a way, I still eat that way to this day. If anyone cared enough to watch me eat, they would probably notice that I’m very proper, which my close friends have teased me about often. Just like how I have a straight posture whenever I am sitting in a chair (although not nowadays, suffering from a sore back from all the moving). Most of it, though, is due to hours playing the violin and viola; because of it, I tend to sit at the very edge of my chair. It’s great if I need to store my purse anywhere since I have lots of seat space. It’s not when you are at a very fancy restaurant and the waiters are constantly trying to scoot the chair under you. Once, a waiter asked me, “Would Mademoiselle like a pillow for her back? Would Mademoiselle prefer another chair? Would Mademoiselle like me to settle her more comfortably at the table?”

No, Mademoiselle would not. This is how I sit. Do I come to your home and criticize you on how you sit? Back the fuck off, asshat!

I read all about how kids nowadays don’t have any etiquette and how Americans are viewed as hulking, snuffling savages in other countries while they scarf down food in restaurants. And I can’t say I blame the criticizers. Americans, in general, aren’t very delicate diners. And when we are, in country clubs and the like, we seem to do it consciously, as if we were following some Emily Post manual.

I don’t think the right approach is to make kids into tiny etiquette robots. However, at the same time, I don’t think — if I ever have any children — that I would also simply let them eat without any guidance on proper manners. What is that fine line, between complete Stepfords and Viking hordes when it comes to dining room behavior? I’m not sure. Since I don’t have any kids, I’m afforded the luxury of not having to decide that quite yet. But…yes, we Americans in general have terrible, atrocious table manners. Although, perhaps that is what makes us Americans?

Apparently Suburbia Loves Yippy Dogs

Whut?!!? Where are all the Labradors and Huskies?

I am obviously completely out of the times when it comes to my vision of suburbia living. I always thought that it would be resplendent with Labradors, Huskies, Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, and the similar, but apparently, that’s not the case. At least in my neighborhood.

Everywhere I look, all I see are these teeny yippy dogs, which I have to confess, I’m not a fan of. And they are always being walked on cute, slender leashes by huge men. As they trot beside them daintily and then start barking at you if you look at them askance, which I always do.

What is with these small dogs? When did they become so popular? I mean, sure, they’re cute, but let’s face it, if you don’t live in the city with restricted space and an elevator, shouldn’t you have a burly dog, one that can bound around in joy and chase squirrels? Or am I delusional?

That is one of the reasons I never had a dog while living in Baltimore. I didn’t feel like it was fair to constrain a large dog to a small space. Secondly, I am severely allergic to animals. And finally, I grow too attached to my animal companions.

My mother always told me I did and I never believed her when I was a child, when she would say that I took loss too severely. But, I was the girl that always chose the runt of the litter, the smallest and weakest one because I wanted to nurse it back to health and shelter and protect it. Oftentimes, it backfired on me because the runt of the litter is the runt for a reason; despite my best efforts, sometimes my chosen one would sicken and die and I would cry and mourn for a long time.

I had two bunnies, Roo and Yuri, for about twelve years back when I was in Baltimore. I have written about them on my blog. And when Roo died, I knew that I probably could never have another bunny again, or even another “pet”. I lost both of them within the span of a year and them passing just cut too deeply.

“Just get another bunny! Or dog!” People said. As if it was that easy to replace them, as if it would just make you feel better because they’re just animals. People would never say that if someone lost a human child, they would be more sensitive about it, but just because you lost a non-human, suddenly it’s understandable that you can just substitute the old with the new.

Maybe I’m unusual or weird or however else you want to put it, but Roo and Yuri were really special to me. Through my hard times, when I didn’t even have family support and had limited friends, they were always there. They gave me comfort as they sat on my feet or looked up at me with understanding as I spoke to them while working or cooking at home. And they were always happy to see me, even if Yuri was surly (which I kind of liked). They chewed everything to bits, which caused me to rant and rave, but when I came home, they would be huddled together as huge balls of furs as they cuddled and then hopped up to greet me.

They didn’t need to always need to be by my side; actually, they often weren’t since they were potty trained and had free roam of the house so liked to lounge around wherever they chose to, but they were more than just pets or even friends. They were part of my heart.

So, although John has mentioned that perhaps we should get a puppy, I’m not so sure about that. He would hate the work that goes along with it, but I know that he would agree to get one if I wanted to. But I don’t think my heart could stand another loss like the ones I always felt when my pets as animal companions, friends, and yes as family, left me again.

SUBURBIA!! OH NOES!!!

As I mentioned before, I have been remiss in the posting of entries because I have been moving. Not only moving, but also trying to secure refinancing to renovate my old house before selling or renting it. Not to mention a whole bunch of other stuff.

Yay! So much fun!!

Okay, not really.

But, I would say about 90% of the items from my old place has been moved into the new one. Since we didn’t need to sell my house to buy our current abode, we have been able to transition gradually, but when I say US I mean mainly ME because I’m the one with the flexible schedule. John has been great as in transporting all the big furniture and getting things over to the dump and also securing the contractor to fix the house. If I had to do that as well, I think all the details would have bowled me over and driven me completely crazy. To be honest, I feel like that right now, even without the extra responsibilities. Like this:

Whut? Huh? Nonono!!

I have been moving all the little stuff, like books, clothes, kitchen utensils, pictures, shoes, office and office supplies, etc. etc. to the point that my lower back now hates me and I want to weep every time I traipse back to Baltimore to pack more belongings, five to six bags and boxes at a time.

However, things have calmed down somewhat recently to the point that I’ve been exploring my new Ellicott City/Woodstock neighborhood a bit and observing all the “wildlife” and nature around me, trying to identify  birds and trees and plants. I am pretty ignorant of such things, having always lived mainly in urban areas except for my time in boarding school. When I was there, I loved the large expanse of trees and farmland and being able to gaze out on acres and acres of stone houses and barns and romping around in fields and dreaming of one day potentially living in a lighthouse. I felt as if I could finally breathe and that I was free.

So I am growing to like the area around me. Even though our new place isn’t out on a whatever-acre plot and is in a townhouse community, the areas around us are open and you can see the sunlight through the leaves of the surrounding trees as they slightly undulate in the wind. It’s nice and I’m starting to kind of like it.

However, I am feeling the impact of the differences between Baltimore City and Howard County suburbia. As in, strangers here smile and wave at you. For no reason at all. Suddenly, I feel like I’m a New York City native that has been transported to, say, Milwaukee or Minneapolis where people are polite to the point that I give them the side-eye and consider them suspiciously and wonder what they want from me.

And everything is…perfect in our community. Grass is cut and trimmed, sidewalks and streets clean with no weeds growing out of the cracks between the pavers, no dog poop and scary mutant rats, no crowds of twenty-somethings rollicking by right after last-call from the local bars.

Also, we live right by a golf course. This is a view from one of our windows:

How beautiful and perfectly sculptured!

So when I’m home, either puttering around or working, I see – ALL DAY – a bunch of golf carts driven by passengers with immaculate collared shirts and khakis chatting about who knows what. They trot onto the hole and stretch and line up their shots and then slap each other on the backs and guffaw while enjoying the high life.

Okay, they’re not all like that. But that’s what I envision in my mind whenever I see them. And, guess what? I’m living amongst them! This boggles my mind, that I caved in or sold out and that I’m now an actual suburbanite with tee times and contemplating whether or not to belong to the local country club.

Don’t get me wrong, my family actually did all those things when I was growing up (not the suburbia part, but all the rest, including high tea with scones and formal functions for which I had to wear velvet dresses during winter and cotton ones with lace during summer, which I hated), but I fought to get away from it all so now it’s rather unsettling that I’m back in the midst of it.

But I’m not a kid anymore, nor a teen or even a young adult so I have been contemplating a lot of philosophical questions, such as perhaps it’s time for me to let go of a lot of my phobias and prejudices. I tend to hold tight onto things, for a lot longer than I need to; I am nostalgic and stubborn to the point that sometimes I get in my own way. Sometimes I throw up my own barriers. And I think this is one of those times as I have been enjoying my new life, my home, the surrounding trees and flowers, and (sometimes) the oddly cheerfulness of our neighbors.

Support to Baltimore From Me

Thankfully there were no fatalities that resulted from the underground steam pipe explosion that happened near Camden Yards yesterday evening. Although I do extend my warmest wishes and sympathies to those who were injured.

There is something about Camden Yards. It took me a while to get warmed up to it since I was around when Baltimore demolished Memorial Stadium. Sure, it was dilapidated and sad and not safe, but even though I wasn’t born and bred in Baltimore, there was something so…Baltimore about Memorial Stadium. It was plunked right down in a not-so-great neighborhood, but its very bricks seemed to have soaked in all those years of games, the excitement of kids, and smell of hot dogs. It screamed of the old-time stadiums, when although the seats you sat upon were uncomfortable and, let’s face it, the bathrooms appalling, it was all part and parcel to going to a baseball or football game.

I think I was among one of the last audiences to attend a game at Memorial Stadium. It was during pre-season for the Ravens, a training game, but it was still fun since at that point I hadn’t attended many (perhaps only one or two) professional athletic events at an actual stadium. My family wasn’t one for such entertainment; my mother preferred operas, ballets, and orchestral performances. So, for me, it was exciting.

The stadium was run down, the grass wasn’t even mowed because everybody knew that Memorial Stadium was going to be torn down soon so the city didn’t care about its maintenance. But there were still die-hards there, people who showed up simply because they knew that it was going to be the last chance that they could sit in those crumbling chairs and gaze out on what would probably, as future historians would like to view it, a venue to be studied and categorized.

Since then, however, I have come to love Camden Yards, even though I don’t visit it much and eschew the commercial peddling of beer and peanuts and everything else that has been labeled as part of the American baseball experience. It’s a great place and quite beautiful, especially when you’re looking out on an expanse of green, people, and the open sky lit up with bright lights.

Baltimore has its problems, to be sure, and we have had issues with the infrastructure under our city, with its previous sewer systems and yet to be discovered caverns and collapsed old building structures due to fires and development. It’s something that we will probably continue to struggle with since we are near a bay and everything in the city slopes downwards, but there is not much we can do about it in the short-term unless we discover a deposit of Spanish doubloons somewhere the city can claim.

On behalf of Baltimoreans, or perhaps just me, I apologize that there were injuries due to whatever the issue was. We are trying, we really are. But thank you for continuing to visit our city and Camden Yards and I hope all those injured in the explosion last night recover well. Please continue to come see all of us in Baltimore.

Lack of Trump and US Political Commentary

WTF is going on?!!?

I have held back on my blog. A LOT. From any commentary regarding President Trump and US political machinations. And you know why? Because I am completely, utterly confused and bewildered about what is going on in our country.

I’m not sure anymore what is happening or what will transpire; what is true and what is not as well as what is propaganda and what is serious journalism. All I want to do at this point in my life is burrow under the covers of my bed and wait until the next election until it is ALL OVER and I can peek out and decide whether or not to stress about the state of affairs for another four years. Really.

Right now, this is me:

Just…just leave me alone.

I’ve been hearing a lot of opinions, how people want to impeach President Trump and how others don’t. For me, I am just tired, simply tired, of everything Trump related. I live in Maryland. If whatever our president does gets us annihilated (i.e. North Korea), I’m pretty much in the epicenter anyway. If we get nuked, I’ll be dead and my stance on all things political will come to naught so I prefer to take my time espousing on my other thoughts and musings.

I’m sorry, I know it’s not a popular position to take, but I’m just done. DONE. No marches, no signs, no nothing. Sorry.

I think our president is unqualified for the position he has undertaken. I don’t agree with his views on minorities and women. He rarely forms a coherent argument or point of view when he speaks and it pains me. So, I think he’s a wee bit stupid. I mean, don’t blame it on his age. He just turned 71, but my mother is about the same age and she’s brilliant. Smarter than I am, to be sure.

When it comes to governing, maybe in even a simple way, I think our president sucks. There. I’ve said it.

And, yes, like everyone else, I hate his tweets. He’s not a teenage girl who we can forgive when he resorts to lashing out on his cell phone. I mean, have some class, guy! Show some restraint, some gravitas. You owe it to the office the nation elected you to, right? You are not a tween. Just, please, stop.

But with his tweets and all this craziness about the Russian investigation, I don’t know. I am like the bunny who just wants to roll over and into a safe haven somewhere waiting for all this insanity to pass.

Whole Foods, You Caved to Amazon?!!? Just Don’t Take the Soup Away!!!

SOUP IS ALWAYS YUMMY!!

I always said that Amazon was going to rule the world one day. And here they are, buying Whole Foods. Why? I dunno. I’m sure I can come up with my personal hypothesis as to this strategic move since they are entering the whole “Prime Pantry” and “Amazon Food Delivery” sectors, but…it’s Whole Foods. Leave it alone!!

The one protest I have about this is that I would love it if Whole Foods doesn’t change their soup recipes too much. I am a lover of soup. I don’t know why, except that perhaps I am the world’s slowest eater with the smallest appetite and soup is comforting and easy to chow down on.

I told my boyfriend that I am very atypical when it comes to eating. As an Asian, I mean, because per a previous entry I guess I’m not 100% Asian and at this point in the learning of my family genetics, perhaps I am about only 50%, so maybe it’s not surprising. As a race, Asians love to eat. If we had  our choice, all Asians would simply sit down and eat and drink and talk all day at a big table with a bunch of their friends. While mysteriously making money while eating.

I, on the other hand, eat very slowly (I also don’t have that many friends, so it would be a small table). I am the slowest eater I know. I can take one meal and struggle through it all day and not finish it. It’s gotten even worse the past few years. I have to force myself to eat food; it’s not that I don’t crave anything, I watch Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and other similar shows and want everything I see on screen but then when it comes to the actual sitting down and consuming of food…it’s difficult. I’ll eat a few bites and then just sit there, looking sadly down at the rest of the food. I don’t know why, except that perhaps my mother forced me to finish my meal when I was younger, every single piece of whatever it was on my plate.

You do NOT even know how delicious these things are. They are these Chinese, beef-filled fried dumpling thingies. Sigh…

I was extremely skinny when I was a kid. So much so that the school called up my mother one day and asked if my family needed financial assistance in food subsidies to help feed me since the nurse thought I may be malnourished.

This sent my mother into a frenzy as the last thing she wanted anyone to think was that she was maltreating her daughters due to lack of financial resources. But there I was, all thin arms and legs, so she decided to fatten me up.

We had a nanny who was assigned to me to ensure that I ate every scrap of food I was given. This started around the age I was six. There were evenings when I sat there all night, four to five hours, just staring down into my bowl or at my plate and I still remember how my nanny used to plead, “Please just finish it, please just take a few more bites.”

I would try because she would almost be crying; a grown woman sitting there with a little girl, hour after hour, looking at a congealing sop of soup or rice or whatever else it was. I’m not sure now why she didn’t cheat, why she didn’t throw the food away, but I guess she had some sense of honor.

I felt really bad for her so I pushed through, even though it took me forever. I did, because if someone is basically shedding tears in order to be free of her duties and that stupid, stupid dinner table based solely on something you alone can do, wouldn’t you do it? You would. I did. But I think it scarred me for life, all those nights being forced to eat all the food that was put in front of me.

So one of the easiest meal choices for me is usually soup. And Whole Foods actually has great soup. I sincerely hope that they don’t fuck it up and make them all goopy and fatty and gross because most of their recipes…are actually pretty yummy. And take it from me, from someone who needs to be enticed to eat, their soup is pretty good for a grocery store chain. Whole Foods…don’t give in!!

Regarding My Racial Makeup

I’ve been assumed to be many of various races. To date, I’ve been taken for:

  • Eurasian (this is what I am seen as primarily, by people who notice such things)
  • Native American
  • Filipino
  • Hawaiian
  • Part Indian (from the country of India, not Native American)
  • Eskimo/Inuit

The fact of the matter is, people, that I’m American. I am a mix of a whole bunch of things, which my mother kept secret for a long time. She couldn’t hide the fact that my sister and I were a mix of something after I was born; my sister is older, but she takes after my mother and looks a lot more Asian.

I, on the other hand, appeared and there I was! Obviously not 100% Asian! In case you don’t know this already, Asians are very sensitive to the physical characteristics of other Asians in order to place them into specific categories (Chinese? Japanese? Korean? Vietnamese?). I’m not sure why, but there you go. It’s simply a cultural thing that you can’t get away from. During orientation week at Hopkins, a whole group of Filipinos came up to me and asked, “Do you speak Tagalog?”

“No,” I responded. “I’m, um, not Filipino.” Then they were like huh, okay. And walked away. That was it. I was not part of the team, apparently. That’s how it can be like; you can be ostracized or cut off at an instant because you don’t pass the DNA test.

I have a whole bunch of other similar stories, most of which include people assuming right off the bat that I’m half Caucasian. It’s not an insult to me in any way, it was more always amusing because I never thought I looked THAT mixed, just somewhat.

But, let me remind you that many people (unfortunately) still judge on race. I don’t know why and never will. I’m just not built that way; I have friends of various races and sexual orientations.

In my opinion, if a person is good and true, that’s all that really matters, right? And if they stand fast by me and I connect with them to the level that I will lay down my life for them and vice versa, what else really matters?

Anyway, this is what I’ve been told that I am comprised of (to-date, because who knows what else will be disclosed!):

  • Chinese
  • Taiwanese
  • Dutch
  • Korean
  • Possibly Japanese
  • Iranian
  • Turkish
  • Mongolian
  • Possibly Russian
  • Possibly Spanish
  • And, finally, “We are not sure on your father’s side, because he was South Pacific Islander”

All the “possibles” added to the “definites” may actually add up to a total of me being 50% non-Asian, which has been a shock to me. I knew about my Dutch lineage, but all the other information has been disclosed only recently by my mother. It explains my somewhat wavy and frizzy hair as well as some of my other physical characteristics, but I’m still kind of adjusting to the fact that I may not be as “Asian” as I thought.

And Dutch is way up there, as in that I am 1/16th Dutch, which doesn’t sound like a lot…but I was always told that I was “part Dutch, way back in your ancestral lineage” which was a translation to me of “1/100th Dutch way back when!!”. And, I mean, when I think about the Dutch, I envision blonde hair, blue eyes, pointy wooden shoes, and windmills. And cheese.

But a whole lot of things do make sense to me now, such as when my mother told me not to be surprised if I had children who had blue eyes. She always referred back to her own background. All she said was maybe because “You are possibly part Russian, that happens with Mongolians all the time! Blue eyes!” when I asked her why. But no. It was the Dutch thing. Combined with the Russian thing. And all the other things.

Am I bothered by these disclosures? Somewhat. Just because I was never informed of them and that it kind of changes my perspective somewhat. As in, that’s why a bunch of people always asked me about my racial makeup when I thought it should be apparent. But I guess they were in the right and I was in the…ignorant? And also, I suddenly have an entire history of peoples to enfold into my understanding of who I am. It’s a huge consideration and puzzle to ponder over.

My mother had me when she was older so she comes from a generation that I can understand may be intolerant or ashamed of having mixed DNA. In this day and age, I think (hope) that we are much more accepting or, actually, cavalier of the fact. Especially here in the States where, let’s face it, we are pretty much all mutts.

Which is a good thing, right? I mean, I had many dogs growing up and the muttiest and rattiest always seemed to survive the longest. They were the toughest and scrappiest. So that’s not such a bad thing.

So I guess this is a shout out to all my mixed, mashed, fellow Americans and people of other nationalities. We are here to stay!!