Sunday, August 26, 2012

In which I am a secret not-Asian, but sort-of-Asian person

I went to a baby shower on Saturday. I only knew three people there- the honoree, the hostess and one other attendee. I know all three of those people from church. Both the honoree and the hostess are Asian, as were all of the other guests except for my one other church friend who was there (2 were Indian at the party, the other 16 or so were Asian, of varying types).

I'm almost never in a situation in which people have no idea that I have any association with an Asian family. Either it's a situation like I keep getting into with work or my travel job, in which everyone communicates with me online and sees my name before me and assumes I'm Chinese and then is confused when they meet me in person. When I worked as a scientist, I was constantly getting invites to join the Chinese chapter of our professional organization.

Or people meet me and I have the kids with me (particularly if it's Vivian in tow) and they assume that she's mixed and that my husband is Asian. Except for those few people who still ask where I adopted her from.

Or, in the simplest situation, I meet people when I'm with Daniel and it's all immediately obvious.

But yesterday I was only introduced by my first name and I wasn't with my husband or kids.  So people kept explaining the Asian foods at the baby shower to me. Or other Asian-related stuff. And I sort of just laughed inwardly and thanked them and didn't say anything.  Eventually a few people did find out, when we started sharing about the joys of red envelopes (one of the best things about being in an Asian family is the tradition of giving gifts of cash in red envelopes for many occasions- love it!).

It's a weird in-between world- to have people assume I'm Asian when they meet me online or think my daughter is adopted when they just see her and I together or to assume I have no clue about Asian customs when I'm in a situation without any of my Chinese people in tow.

Nothing about this was bad, just kind of weird and unexpected!

On another note- tomorrow is week 2 of insanity and I get to add in traveling to the things I'm juggling. Should be interesting!

1 comment:

maggie said...

Yes. I get all of this.