My Chinese-American boyfriend’s birthday came less than a month after we started dating. I got him a polo shirt, carefully cut off the tags, and wrapped it up in tissue paper. Andy opened it, thanked me, and sat in expectant silence. Continue reading Badge of Shame (#33)
The future Mr. and Mrs. Ashbough-Wong went off to have dinner at their super fancy hotel and celebrate their engagement with champagne. They spent the rest of their weekend sleeping, getting massages, and lounging by the pool. They stared into each other’s eyes, cocooned in unassailable romantic mush.
Three days into our trip, and my Chinese-American boyfriend’s father had spoken directly to me exactly once. This was solely to bellow, “NO!” when I went to shake his hand. I kind of understood. Jay was trying to film our arrival at the airport in Honolulu, and I broke the fourth wall by acknowledging the camera’s existence. Bad me. A day passed. Jay never spoke directly to me. Two days. Nothing. Continue reading The Patriarch Speaks (#9)
Three days into our trip, and I hadn’t really talked to the mother of my Chinese-American boyfriend. Sunny gave me a lei at the airport and promptly ignored me. She made sure Andy had his favorite foods, pressed Chinese herbs on him, and even insisted that he take an electric blanket back to Los Angeles, “where it is so cold.” Continue reading Chinese Mom Envy (#7)
My first dinner with the family of my Chinese-American boyfriend was at a Hawaiian fusion restaurant. Andy’s mom Sunny chatted mainly about the chef, and how he was nice and fat. But once she got a glass of wine and our orders were taken, conversation lagged. Andy’s taciturn father Jay had forgotten the usually omnipresent video camera, but he still said nothing. I asked Andy’s brother Denny how he and Claire met. I asked Claire about her major (again). I told everyone how Andy and I met. I tried to fill the silence any way I could.