My mother was blonde when I was a little girl – courtesy of Clairol. She had been white-blonde as a child, but her hair darkened as she aged. I don’t know whether she was dirty blonde or chestnut, though, underneath her cheap, brassy dye. Everyone assumed blonde was her natural color, however, since she was always surrounded by a horde of screaming towheaded children. We were the perfect camouflage for her unnatural hair.
I hated her dye job. I harangued her about being a natural brunette incessantly. She ignored me. I swore I would never, ever color my own hair, even though my own locks were brown by Junior High.
This spur-of-the-moment midnight post might not be for everyone. But a fellow Western Woman involved with an Asian Male is heartsick now. Maybe there are a few other women out there running into this same cultural clash.
Maybe I can help. So here I am, riding in on my white horse, with this post about one of the biggest struggles I face with my Chinese-American guy. Not every white woman’s experience will mirror mine, and not every guy with Chinese parents will turn out like Andy. But some of you might see just enough of the same dynamic to find our story helpful.
Everyone wants the U.S. Election to be over – by whatever means necessary.
Mothers are tired of explaining to schoolchildren that “pussy” means something other than a cat. Millennials are tired of hearing that they’ve paid more in taxes in the last five years than Donald Trump has since 1991.
My siblings and I once celebrated Thanksgiving in the traditional fashion. We met at my Ex-Stepfather’s house in the DC suburbs and pigged out. Family members brought appetizers and wine. (A LOT of wine.) Drinking, eating, and cards started around noon. Football games played on the living room TV. The turkey was usually served by 4 PM. Dishes were finished around 7. Our exercise consisted of a slow walk around the neighborhood about 7:30.
On the weekends, I wake before Andy. I shuffle into the kitchen, turn on the coffee maker, and scoop the oatmeal into bowls. Invariably, one scoop is bigger than the other. Invariably, my hand always reaches for the bigger bowl first.
Lisa’s Bridal Shop made my wedding dress in Los Angeles. I got married in New Hampshire. The dress was too big to fit in a carry-on bag on the plane. As United Airlines once lost my suitcase and an entire collection of expensive suits that I wore to various film markets, I wasn’t about to put my precious (i.e., unbelievably expensive) dress in checked luggage. I arranged for Lisa’s to ship my dress, along with some of the bridesmaid dresses, directly to Patty’s Bridal & Tux Rental shop in Nowhere, New Hampshire.
My Southern grandmother drilled old-fashioned etiquette into my mother’s head. My mother drilled that same etiquette into mine. Which is weird, really. My mother turned her back on much of her upbringing when she became a liberated woman. She reclaimed her maiden name. She mortified my grandmother by embracing their Cherokee heritage and getting suntans so dark my racist grandmother would insist – in the most DIRE tones — that “her daughter was turning black.” My mother discarded “Mrs.,” bras, hats, gloves, and the idea that all ladies should be competent with a stove or a vacuum. Continue reading No Thank You (#65)