I woke up this morning to find Olympic ping pong on TV (one of many stereotypically Asian traits that totally missed my skill set). The game was between the USA and South Korea. Both players were Asian. I watched this metaphor of growing up an adopted Asian American play out on the screen for a while. I mean, my internal being is basically a ping pong game between my Asian American self and my South Korean self. Did the NBC and the Olympics air this symbolic game this morning in honor of my Adoption Day? Obviously. So, I watched and thought about all the funny things that happen when you have a different story than your peers, when you’re a minority raised in a culture both your own and not your own .
Going places with my white family and any white friend or boyfriend equal people thinking my parents are the white person’s parents and I’m the guest.
When I get my nails done in places called Happy Nail or NAIL TIME, I get asked a series of questions, all regarding my Asianess and origin, while the native-speakers test the waters to see if I understand what they’re saying.
Driving is a stereotype waiting to happen. I’m an amazing driver that parallel parks like a boss, but on the rare occasion I do something stupid on the road (especially now that I’m in a new place) I feel the other drivers judging me. “What are you DOING? Oh figures, Asian driver / woman driver…” *sigh*
Dating: if you date a lot of Asians, good luck ever getting my attention. I won’t be your fetish.
For a while, I checked Caucasian on my in-school forms. I must have thought that meant a special kind of Asian, and that would have for sure been the best way to describe me. 🙂
People tell me I look like their friend or swear they’ve met me all the time. Really? Is that friend Asian.. did you see a different Asian last week? HMMmmm.. nope, it wasn’t me.
Despite these whimsical additions to my every-day life, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m so lucky I was given the opportunity to live here. To be adopted is to have a special story, to be Asian is to have a wonderful and underrated beauty.
I love my family and friends so much, and I really believe my life is a gift.
As such, I usually throw an America party to commemorate the greatness of 8/8.
Since I’m still adjusting here, this 8/8 is setting up to be the most low-key adoption anniversary in a while, but I’ll be looking back on year’s past and treating myself anyhow! ((Style guide for what I wore is here www.glamcadet.com/fashion/fob-to-fab-treat-yo-self))
What stereotypes do you have to laugh off?
To my adopted readers or those who know someone adopted, what fun things do you do on adoption anniversaries?