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You Know You Are Asian When . . .

January 31, 2010

There Is A Near Family Civil War Because You Are Marrying A Whitey

The Beauty and the Whitey (In case you are wondering, I am the Beauty. Can’t you tell? I mean, look at him, he practically glows in the dark and I am pretty pale for an asian)

When Shoestring Boy asked my father for his blessing for our marriage, Dad said “yes” and then later told Mom, “Well, what else was I suppose to say? No?” Really, that was what (I think) he really wanted to say. Mom that same week, sent an email out to all our family and friends announcing our engagement and also petitioning for prayers for my Shoestring Boy because, “He doesn’t believe in Jesus and our daughter is marrying an American”. The implied being, “You know what that means”.

‘Why can’t you settle down with a nice Asian boy?” was the constant whine I would hear from my mother. When, “Well, Mom, they don’t have great equipment” is not a suitable response, you settle for other responses that are true but not quite, all at the same time.

“Nice is boring, Mom” when you really mean, “Asian is boring”

“It is the nice Asian boys who don’t want to settle down with me. I intimidate them,” this not being entirely false but hence after leading to my mother calling me before every date to say, “Don’t scare him away. Maybe you can not talk so much?”

“I have one Asian mother, I rather not have two” which leads promptly to my mother hanging up on me. Which might not be entirely a bad thing.

Shoestring Boy likes to explain it like this, “When you have been eating mash potatoes all your life, fried rice is incredibly tasty”. The reverse being true for me, of course.  Truth be told, there are a lot of reasons why I just don’t find myself attracted to asian men and none of them pertinent to this post today (remind me about it at a later date and I will dedicate an entire post to it though I might get hate mail).

After two and a half years of dating, it should come as no surprise that we were going to get married but somehow, it did. And it sparked a wildfire the like my family has never seen. My grandfather threaten to disown me. My grand-uncle immediately pronounce that it was going to be a disaster. Me being the conflict-friendly person I am, immediately got on the interweb to talk to my aunt about it “I hear your father isn’t fond of the idea that I am marrying a whitey”. She had no idea what I was talking about and claims that her father would never say such a thing. My father swears up and down that it is true, he heard it from the horse’s mouth (which horse I would like to know), I guess we shall never know.

There were many a talks about why I am marrying a white boy. My family is casting bets on how long the marriage will last “I give it 5 years. He is American and comes from a divorced family”. Which will only lead to one conclusion: me digging my heels in and never getting a divorce. Shoestring Boy claims their fuss is going to save our marriage and he might be right. By golly, I will be the most miserable wife on the planet before I am a divorcee. I’ll show them.

Nevertheless, I sat down to think about their worries and grievances to see if they merited to much. It is true that couples that come from similar backgrounds, cultures and upbringing tend to have a more successful marriage. However, if that were the case, then I am afraid I would be up you-know-what creek either way. I am a Malaysian, with a some what moderate Western upbringing, who spent half her life in the States and the other half in Asia. How am I suppose to find a person who matches that kind of upbringing? Not to say that my parents did me a disservice by carting me around the world, on the contrary, I have turned out quite well but it seems illogical to think that I can somehow find someone who like me is international and that will somehow save our marriage. Just because I can swim doesn’t mean I cannot drown.

Americans have a higher rate of divorce than say Asia. This is again true though I have to wonder how many more divorces there will be if divorce was not such a social stigma in Asia. How many women (or men) because of poor financial backgrounds, family pressure, or social pressure live in unhappiness? Not that I think personal happiness is the end all be all for a person but I cannot imagine that being miserable, having your children watch their parents fight all day everyday would be beneficial to anyone.

For the past, 3.5 (nearly) years that my Honey and I have been together, very few of our arguments have been about cultural differences. I once read an magazine article at the vet’s office about an interacial couple going through marital trouble. The husband could not understand why his Asian wife brought up every argument they had as husband and wife to her mother and sister. He felt disrespected and embaressed (especially when his Asian mother-in-law would call him and try to mediate). Cory and I don’t have those problems. We might have heated arguments about the Patriot Act (in case you are wondering, I am not for it) but we by no means, cannot understand each other. We have given the thought of divorce its weight and air time and both agree that divorce is something we cannot even consider until it is obvious that the death of our marriage is inevitable and more beneficial to everyone involved (children for example) in its’ death than its’ continuance. I don’t think my marrying someone of a lighter skin is a curse to our relationship anymore than our maturity level is an insurance. We are just two people who have fallen in love, made a decision and intend to stick with it. What happens from there is anyone’s guess and not conditional on the color of our skin, the country we came from, the language we speak.

Now, I just have to wait for my Asian family to realise this. I am not going to hold my breath though I might die from self-asphyxiation.



3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2010 6:09 pm

    My Korean mother married a white man…so I think she’s ok with me marrying a white man (you should have seen her though…when in the past I told her I was dating a black man). But because asian people have to complain about something, she complains that he’s a pastor and destined to live in poverty.

  2. January 31, 2010 7:00 pm

    I am a white hispanic and my family hated that I was dating a dark central american when we first got together. Now, since he is nicer than me, they just love that I am not marrying an asshole. Sigh. Still, they make racist comments about “indians” all the time. Not cool. Racial issues suck.

  3. February 4, 2010 8:27 am

    1. You too are far too cute!
    2. My mother still find it a little grating that I am marrying a Northern and I am a Southerner. She is just a silly snob.
    3. I’m a mongrel and happy with it (that’s what my Polish Grandpa used to call me and my brother and cousins). I am proud of my heritage although I know it is easier as I am white.

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