Once You Go Yellow, You Will Mellow: Dating An Asian Man From A White Woman's Perspective II
Yesterday was my first blog in dealing with interracial dating. So today I'm here to talk about something I think all women (and some men *wink*) can enjoy. And if your first thought is sex, wrong blog. I promised my boyfriend not to discuss our sex life. (Just give me a couple of weeks when I run out of ideas). Instead I will make it a point to focus more on the racial differences between him and I.
First and foremost my boyfriend, (who is to be nameless for the duration of my blogs) is Cantonese-Chinese. His parents left Hong Kong in 1980 or so with his then baby big brother and my boyfriend's uncle. They came to NY, and a few years later out popped my boyfriend.
I myself am from a small forest covered town in Oklahoma and have only just recently moved to the Big City after a ten month stint in Upstate New York. I met him thanks to Geek to Geek dating service and moved in with him after only three months. Which is a long story for another day.
Yet here he and I are. The son of Chinese immigrants, eight years my senior, and a young wide eyed lady from the south.
But this relationship is anything but picture perfect. We fight... a lot. From online to farting on each other, we fight at least three times a day. Usually I'm the one who starts it, but it is good to fight. To get what's bothering you out of the way. Because we all know what happens after the fight *wink*. Actually that happens when he and I are both not completely exhausted from the days of work we've had. Usually our fights end in a cuddle. And weirdly enough we're okay with the fighting because the longer we've been together the less and less the fights have been important or damaging. In short, they're heated discussions.
But today's blog is not about one of those discussions. This has to do with morning tea or Dim Sum.
For those of you whities (yes I made up that word, or Christopher Titus did if you want to be technical) unfamiliar with Dim Sum here's what it is in a phrase: Chinese brunch that will scare you as a white person. The reason why is the loud people and them fighting over your seat.
Anyway, I went this late morning with his family.
It went pretty alright. Always good food. But what bothered me was the fact I cannot hold my chopsticks like my boyfriend or the rest of his family. While ordinarily this doesn't bother me, today it took it's toll on me. I was given a set of silverware by the staff. I accepted it, but I never used it.
Then at dinner we went to a nice restaurant again, and I was given silverware. I tried eating the chicken with the sticks, but because of the bone it was just a mess. My boyfriend, noticing my distress leaned over and told me it was okay if I used the silverware to eat my chicken. I set the chopsticks and picked up the silverware and ate the meal in silence.
While eating my boyfriend leaned over and asked me if I was okay. I nodded, but really I felt cruddy. I didn't know why I was feeling so damn sore over not using chopsticks. Then his family was laughing and telling jokes in Cantonese and having a good time. And I kept thinking "Why am I acting so butt hurt?" Then it hit me.
I didn't feel like I felt in. When I had dated my ex, who was a black college student I never felt out of place with him. It was because his whole family spoke English.
In this situation my boyfriend's family primarily speak Cantonese because English is hard for them except for my boyfriend and his older brother.
After dinner my boyfriend and I lingered behind so he could find out what was bothering me.
So I told him what it was. Being given white silverware to accommodate the "whiteness" that I was born with. And how that makes me automatically inept to use chopsticks. The son of a bitch laughed at me. I nearly clocked him for laughing, even though it was a moronic reason to be sad. Once the Asian Joker stopped laughing at me (he has a large wide smile like the goddamn Joker (c)) he said he knew how that felt.
Usually when he went to Asian restaurants with friends or just him, they give him normal silverware. His direct words were "Evidently I don't look Asian enough to the other white-washed Asians". I laughed and felt a bit better. He told me it was okay and it takes practice to get the hang of chopsticks. Which is true.
Here's The Takeaway
So here's my nice nugget of advice/wisdom/knowledge what have you: "If the cultural difference of chopsticks bothers you, don't get discouraged in social situations." Obviously this won't apply to many except for a solemn few. And that's okay. This already seems like a narrow audience I'm writing to. I just wanted to say,try to not feel bad about being white. It can't be helped. Just be yourself ladies (and a few gentlemen *wink*) and try to accommodate the family. Because really the only person who's gonna care about the chopsticks will be you. Unless your boyfriend's mother is a dragon lady. In which case assimilate. I'm kidding, don't lose or compromise your own identity for approval. And remember, if you're tired of having cream in your coffee, once you go yellow, you will mellow.