1. fucking hate how the girls who tormented me throughout grade school, middle school, and high school for wearing a bindi, henna on my hands, braids, and colorful kurtas now get to wear those same bindis, henna, braids, and kurtas with no consequences.
2. fucking hate how the things that make me look “fobby” make white girls today look “trendy” and “bohemian."
3. fucking hate how when i embrace my culture, i get called a "dirty paki rat” or a “hairy terrorist” or a “disgusting coolie” at the tender age of eleven.
4. fucking hate how the girl who used to yank my braids and throw food at my colorful kurtas for years has been trying to get in contact with me to find out more about my “gypsy bohemian” lifestyle.
fuck off you bitch. i’m not your friend.
don’t get me wrong, i don’t care if non-desis wear bindis, henna, saris, or other desi fashion items. i hate the double standard society in which brown girls are made to feel ashamed about their culture while non-brown girls are welcomed with open arms.
Hey, it’s double-recipe night at Lazy Dad’s Guide to Everything!!!
My sista from another mista, communications mama, makes a deloycious Filipino creamy fruit salad, which apparently only she and I lurve cuz we’re Asian and stuff. Turns out my son lurves it, too! The other night we had some at communications mama and developer papa’s house, and since then, the boy has been asking me to make it.
I asked communications mama for the official name of her creamy fruit salad, and she told me it was called Fobby Fruit Salad, but the interwebs told me it’s actually called Ambrosia Fruit Salad. Whatever it’s called, it’s super-yum and super-easy to make. Here’s how:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and eight-ounces of whipped Philadelphia cream cheese until it’s the consistency of ranch dressing.
Add one can of fruit cocktail, one can of mandarin oranges, one can of pineapple chunks, and a bunch of maraschino cherries, then stir until everything is incorporated. Protip: you’ll wanna drain the liquid from the fruit and take the stems off of the cherries.
I suppose you could use real, fresh fruit, but that seems like too much of a hassle, amirite? Plus, part of the joy of making and eating this fruit salad is how canned it is. It reminds me of summertime as a kid growing up in the suburbs of Chicago.
You’ll wanna chill the fruit salad in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
Voilà! It sounds crazy, but it’s really good! You should try it!
my hands are shaky, tinged with a dash of melanin, enough to proclaim my title as a child of the sun
i am rooted in purple orchids that have been grounded in the west aching towards the east, my spine contorted between two different sets of stars
my skin longs for better days, clearer skies and my ancestors, they don’t recognize me anymore they see me as a ghost, with my tongue burnt out of my mouth all i can do is spit out ash and decay, and figure out what to do with this grey matter that accentuates my scattered blue veins
I have always found comfort in the meaning behind words, in the form of books, poetry, or advice from my mother. The potential for one word to mean so many different things, fascinates me. I find myself up late at night, spellbound over the way a comma in a poem can mean three different things because of its placement, and two others if it wasn’t there. But sometimes, I get caught in the in-betweens. I stumble over binary arguments, whether something is this or that, and half way through my essay, I have disproved my thesis statement and I have contradicted myself. The place I find myself stuck at the most is in between Asian and American.
To be honest I don’t get the typical “Where are you from?” or “Your English is so good!” as often, but I still feel the discomfort of being one of the few Asian American English majors. I feel obligated to try harder than everyone else just to prove that I belong there, that I have a voice. I recall one instance in class when I made a comment and it went unheard, and the girl sitting next to me told me not to worry, I’m just “quiet”. Somehow, I felt offended, and I could feel my eyebrows knitting together under my skin, drawing blood to my face. Part of me scoffed at her assumption, but another part of me was angry at myself for not being loud enough and succumbing to being that docile Asian girl. Every day, I subconsciously try to disprove stereotypes and that has strengthened and weakened me in countless ways that make my head spin.
The problems I face as an Asian American woman don’t just come from non-Asians. A lot of tension exists in our community among ourselves that make my bones ache and lungs burn. For example, there is still this passive aggressive warfare between Asians and Americans, F.O.B.’s (Fresh off the Boat) and (in Chinese culture) A.B.C.’s (American Born Chinese). Entitlement is assigned to where you were born and it is a wicked thing that changes to whoever holds it, and has stolen my mother tongue away from me. I used to be ashamed of my heritage and refused to learn how to read and write Chinese because I thought it would make me more “fobby”, uncool according to Asian Americans. With more hindsight and maturity, I now feel the sting at my fingertips, ashamed and disappointed in myself that I can’t write poetry in Chinese. I can’t share my craft with my mother and I can’t fully comprehend how intelligent she is. I can barely write my own name.
I battle with myself a lot more than others do with each other and I have internalized my identity in a way that has altered my bone structure, the shape of my hips and the way I hold my pen. I used to be a quiet, bookish little Asian girl who never participated in classes but now, I am a woman who is desperately apologetic to the little girl I once was, convinced by the world that she could not have a voice, that she was not allowed to take up any type of space. Today, I am a woman who juggles metaphors with shaky hands, an ocean churning in her chest, trying to bring her mother back to the motherland, and earn back the right to call it home. I am trying to make ends meet, to untangle these in-betweens and to chase after sunrises. To have a voice and take up space that provides more for those who cannot.
My story is nice and sweet, this friend of mine in middle school, we’ll code name her “E” was a giant Weeb. I’m Japanese/Chinese and therefore in theory, “Super Asian” but didn’t act all traditional, I am from the United States (so ofc i’m not going to be fobby Asian), wasn’t math wiz, etc.
E wanted to grow up and marry an Asian man, blah blah blah, and at that time it was like, “Whatever k sure.” But E’s mom knew of her obsession with Japan and was totally all for it. Two different instances I remember E’s mom said pretty stupid/weeb things to me.
We went to dinner with E’s mom, another friend of ours who’s also Caucasian and was into teas at the very least. E and the other friend order green tea, and I get Pepsi. E’s mom goes, “HAHA the Asian girl gets Pepsi and the white girls get tea.” UM…okay.
Then E had this grand idea of moving to Japan, marrying said Asian man, etc. So E’s mom turns to me and goes, “So, you’d probably blend in very well in Japan (because you’re Asian). Whereas E wouldn’t be able to because she’s white.” I proceeded to say, “Well there’s a giant problem of I don’t know Japanese so, they’ll know I’m not born there.” E’s mom didn’t care and continued to say some other shit. Needless to say, hadn’t really been friends with her ever since, as the weebness got to me after a while. She started to forget English and was trying to make English sentences into Japanese grammar…uh okay.
Tl;dr - E’s mom said some pretty weebo stuff to Asian girl, “you’d fit in Japan because you’re Asian”, “Haha Asian girl gets Pepsi and white girls get green tea!”. E also was convinced she was going to marry an Asian man and started to butcher English into Japanese grammar.