When East Dates West: 1 Year Anniversary Post (#116)

IMG_2287Today is my website’s one year anniversary!

I’m amazed that I’ve been blogging for an entire year.

I’m beyond amazed that my blog averages four hundred human hits daily (though this is small potatoes to some bloggers, I remember when twenty hits was a good day).

I’m not really amazed that many of those hits come from porn-seekers.

A sincere thank you to all the readers who weren’t looking for porn.

A special thank you to all those readers who were looking for porn and decided to read on anyway.

But today, we’re switching things up. For today only — or until I get out another post — we are:

When EAST dates WEST.

It’s Andy’s turn to tell you his side of the story. But he HATES writing. He did, however, consent to the following interview. Possibly under duress.



Autumn: You’re a Chinese-American guy. I’m an American Caucasian. What was your first impression of me?

Andy: You were so hot.

Autumn: We’ve been married a while. No need for BS.

Andy: Fine. You were scary.

Autumn: Cuz I was so hot, right? [Autumn yawns]

Andy: No. Because you were practicing on dance floor with your partner and you hit him. In the jaw.

Autumn: It was an accident! I was finishing a spin and bringing my arm over his, back into closed position.

Andy: That wasn’t an accident. You laughed.

Autumn: So did he! Dance partners accidentally hit and even DROP each other sometimes. You know this. Don’t make me tell everyone HOW you know this.

Andy: I’m just saying it was a little scary. Also, I thought you were arrogant.

Autumn: I hope the READERS give you points for your honesty. Now, why did you decide to partner with someone so…arrogant?

Andy: Well, you were a good dancer. Also, there was one night where you grabbed my collar, got in my face, and said, “Are you ever gonna decide to dance with me?” It seemed like a good time to say yes.

Autumn: So you’re saying I bullied you into being with me?!

Andy: Nah. I’d just have never answered if I didn’t want to do it.

Autumn: Kind of like when I asked if we could get another cat?

Interminable silence.

Autumn: Moving on. The readers know all about the culture shock I experienced when I met your China-born parents. How did you feel when you met the big, white, uptight dysfunctional family?

Andy: It was fine. Probably because I watched a lot of TV. So I kind of knew what to expect from white people. And your family was very… um…welcoming?

Autumn: Probably the word you’re looking for is grateful.

Andy: Well, nobody was racist or anything.

Autumn: The racists were all dead by then. There was nothing that surprised you?

Andy: How much you and your siblings talk at the dinner table – that was kind of crazy. And how fast you all talk and how quickly you go from subject to subject.

Autumn: Do you think it feels strange because it’s such a contrast to your family’s focus on food at dinner?

Andy: No, I don’t think it’s just me. When your Brilliant Blonde Lawyer Sister brought her fiancé to a family dinner for the first time, I was sitting across the table. And Mr. Fiancé is whiter than white, and he keeps opening his mouth, like he’s about to say something and add to the conversation. But by the time someone quits talking, you and your sibs are already on another subject, or teasing someone else. So Mr. Fiancé closes his mouth, and then he opens it again, but someone else is talking and he can’t say anything and then the conversation has moved on. I watched him the whole dinner, and I’m laughing inside, because that’s just how it is. Poor Mr. Fiancé. You guys talk really, really fast. I think it’s those small little mouths. [Andy laughs]

Autumn: You’re still mad because I tell people you can fit a whole doughnut in your giant mouth, aren’t you? [Autumn laughs]

Autumn: Do you ever wish you’d married a woman of Chinese descent? 

Andy: Nah. They have their own issues.

Autumn: Like what? And are you implying I have issues?

Andy: Your hair is so pretty today.

Autumn: Nice try. What are Chinese girl issues?

Andy: Probably that they’d remind me of my sister. That, and they’d have this secret language that they could talk to my mom with. “Blah blah blah ANDY blah blah HA HA HA HA! Blah blah blah.”

Autumn: But you do actually understand Cantonese, right? It was your first language?

Andy: That’s what my mom claims.

Autumn: But you don’t speak it now. Why? 

Andy: When I was younger, my sister told me that my accent was terrible. So I stopped talking. Now my brain has trouble telling my mouth what to do.

Autumn: But you do understand it. Clearly the “secret language” reason you gave earlier was bogus. So what is the real reason you avoided dating Chinese women? 

Andy: I’m pretty sure Chinese women are mean like my sister.

Autumn: Huh. But I’m kind of mean and judgmental. And you’re with me. What’s the difference?

Andy: There’s a good amount of humor mixed in. And you know you can be mean, but you don’t necessarily think it’s right to be mean. Unless it’s really, really funny.

Autumn: And what are my other issues that you mentioned earlier?

Andy: You keep asking me questions until you get an answer. And you never give up? Like now? OK, fine. I guess it’s really not your issue as much as an Ashbough thing. You know, instead of fight or flight, its fight or fight harder.

Autumn: That’s survival of the fittest, not an issue. How is that an issue?

Andy: Are you going to start throwing things?

Autumn: OH MY GOD, you throw one measuring cup ONE TIME and you hear about it for the rest of your life. I did not even throw it in your direction. But moving on, once again — what kind of racism did you face growing up in Hawaii?

Andy: Not much.

Autumn: In the blogosphere, I hear all kinds of American racist horror stories, from elementary school through college. What do you think made Hawaii different from the Mainland?

Andy: If you compared the individual races, like Chinese to Japanese to Filipinos to Caucasians, the white people are in the majority. But, if you compared the entire Asian population to Caucasians, they weren’t. That, and it’s really such a small place that you’d regret it pretty soon. So no racism, more of a stranger anxiety: “What neighborhood are you from? Can I beat you up?”

Autumn: Wait. What does the neighborhood have to do with getting beaten up? Wouldn’t it be more a question of size?

Andy: It’s more of a reputational thing. There’s an implied toughness with respect to different communities.

Autumn: So who was tough? And who got beaten up?

Andy: The Polynesians—Samoans and Tongans especially — were known for being tough. Usually the little Japanese kids were prey.

Autumn: What’s the worst thing anyone’s ever said about your race, or us as a mixed race couple?

Andy: I don’t think I’ve heard anything. Not that it hasn’t been said, but that I hadn’t heard it.

Autumn: It’s plausible. Your hearing does suck. You never hear the cat barfing, somehow.

Andy: There was this one time, though, that this older white guy was talking about how he had a Chinese woman as an officemate. He made a remark that referred to a Chinese guy as a ‘Chinaman’, which made her kinda mad. But he didn’t get why. I just had to remind myself that this moron, er, guy is on the spectrum, so to speak.

Autumn: What surprised you most about being married to a white woman? Is it a cultural issue?

Andy: The love of baked goods and chocolate. Doesn’t everyone like orange slices for dessert?

Autumn: Finally, what would surprise readers most about Autumn or Andy?

Andy: That I’m really not that messy in the kitchen.

Autumn: Alas for honesty.


Interviewer’s note: Apologies if the conversation feels choppy. It was choppy! It took me FIVE DAYS to complete this interview, due to the fact that the interviewee would insist on giving one-word answers such as, “yeah,” “maybe,” and “availability.” 

Feel free to ask Andy any further questions in the comments. Just be ready for laconic answers!


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Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

31 thoughts on “When East Dates West: 1 Year Anniversary Post (#116)”

  1. 400 hits a day after one year?! Okay now I’m jealous, as I think it took me three years to reach that point and I’m not that far ahead even now. But anyway, you deserve it because your blog is great. Congrats on the anniversary. And thanks for doing the interview, Andy. I really enjoyed that.

    1. Well, first, if you exclude the porn searches, the number of hits might be closer to 200. 🙂 But thanks, though I am pretty sure all credit goes to using the “f” word a lot in my posts, combined with with “Asian” and “dates.”

      Anyway we all bow down before 2 Summers and the hundreds Instagram followers that adore her gorgeous photos!

  2. I’m with 2summers… 400 hits a day is GREAT! Tell me your secret Autumn!… But I know it’s just your ridiculously good writing. Darnit. I need to work harder and improve my writing like the almighty Ashbough! 😀

    I loved the interview, and congrats on your one year!

    1. Thanks! I think I was lucky to come along after you AMWF pioneers established a niche, though. I think it’s all due to you and Jocelyn and Grace and Lina and Marta, really.

      And too much use of the word “fucking,” probably. Yay for porn?

  3. I had to share Andy’s answer (“The love of baked goods and chocolate. Doesn’t everyone like orange slices for dessert?”) with my AM fiance. He laughed and laughed, because that’s so us. I love to bake, and I HATE eating oranges for dessert. The juice gets all over and it’s sticky! I think he would literally die if he didn’t get a piece of fruit after a meal though.

    Congrats on one year! I just stumbled on the AMWF community, and I’m loving it 🙂

  4. Who eats oranges for dessert? That’s heresy! Oranges are what you eat for a snack when you are trying to be healthy. When you’re not trying to be healthy, your snack would look exactly like your dessert…maybe with extra chocolate.

  5. This was such a great interview with Andy. Five days to do it, wow. He really needs some convincing in order to be co-operative 😀 Hahaha at the orange slices dessert. I am sure you make them good. Growing up in my Chinese family, very rarely did my parents serve anything baked for dessert. It was usually red bean soup (which is great by the way) or sesame seed balls. Very rarely mum would make an apple pie but they always were too sour for my liking.

    “no racism, more of a stranger anxiety:” Interesting to hear Andy say that, and it really is another way of looking at racism altogether. I mean, we live in such a diverse world with different cultures, we’re bound to come across something or someone who scares us or feel uncomfortable around just because we do not know them at all…

    1. My mom also made the red bean soup. And a “dumpling” made with glutinous/mochi rice flour, filled with sweetened peanut butter simmered in a some kind of ginger/rock sugar-court boullion-like concoction. My grandmother made it, too. There was also some kind of fried batter made with a something that looked like a branding iron.

      1. My parents never made that glutinous peanut button sweet treat. My mum attempted to make sweetened thick peanut soup at one point. I always like that but turns out it took a lot of effort to make.

        My grandmother used to make kuih kapet (or love letters) using a branding iron for each Chinese New Year. That was another Chinese dessert I like. But still, would have loved to have more baked goods when I was younger.

      2. Isn’t the soup dumpling thing Tangyuan (汤圆 )? I’m jealous. My mom never knew how to make Tangyuan, so I only ever had it on the 15th day of Chinese New Year when my aunt made it.

        And dessert for me was always a delicious apple… We didn’t do the orange thing much in my house. It was usually apples, or whatever tropical fruit was in season at the time.

  6. Congratulations, Autumn. You’ve had a wildly successful first year. It was fun to hear from Andy, although it seemed like he needed a lot of prodding. I guess you’re the noisy one in the family. No surprise.

  7. Congratulations on hitting that one year milestone! I get those horrible porn stalkers, too! But man, they sure are great for your SEO, right? xxoo

  8. Congratulations on your blogiversary, Autumn! I love your story telling. It’s humourous, addictive, and awesome.

    I’m afraid I have to side with Andy on the fruit-for-dessert thing. While I do like an occasional baked good or two, having them every night for dessert would probably kill me.

    Also, the interview might have gone better if Andy replied with interpretive dance. …Right I’ll just uh… show myself out now.

    1. Thanks, Joelle! It’s comments like yours that keep me writing.

      Andy’s idea of an interpretive dance is to wave his arms over his head wildly while doing pelvic thrusts. Trust me, the interview was undoubtedly more universally appealing. 🙂

  9. Way to go! Funny answers all the way! I really need to catch up on this blog! >3<
    Also, congrats, Autumn! ouo (though I am late…)

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