There’s this really funny thing that happened, but it’s one of those “funny in retrospect” kind of things. I think it’s one of those really offensive things you know deep down you shouldn’t be laughing at, but I also know that it was too shocking at the time not to laugh at it.
I’m sitting by the pool with my friend, getting some sun on the old lounge chair, when her two little kids plop down at the end of our chairs to have a snack. Some old lady comes up RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE KIDS AND SAYS, “Oh, aren’t they adorable! They look like little china dolls! When did you adopt them?”
Problem one: The kids are sitting RIGHT THERE, and they speak English (weird, I know).
Problem two: The kids aren’t adopted.
Problem three: They’re not little “china dolls.” They’re Korean-Americans, and their names are Jack and Michaela.
So my friend (ever the goodwill ambassador in these situations) says, “Oh, they’re not adopted. They’re mine. I squeezed ’em outta my vagina and everything.” That SERIOUSLY took the lady a second, like she actually couldn’t process the biological facts in front of her. So then she recovers and smiles and says (wait for it), “Oh really? How nice! Which one’s their dad?”
Please stop and think about this. There’s a white lady sitting on a lounge chair, and her two Korean-American kids are sitting at her feet. Let’s all put on our blindfolds and play a quick game of “Pin The Tail On The Asian.” WHICH MAN IN THE POOL DO YOU THINK MIGHT BE THE FATHER OF THE TWO ASIAN KIDS? Really, lady, take a quick look around and see if you can spot the guy whose genetic material created these two kids! I’m guessing it would be the Korean-American man playing Marco Polo over there. WOW.
It’s like, the lady just told you she gave birth to the kids, but the old woman still couldn’t put two and two together that (duh) the mom’s husband would probably have to be Asian to create these two specific kids. I guess what was so weirdly offensive and funny was the fact that the old lady even brought this up in the first place. It’s like, how much more effort could you possibly put into not getting it?
But never fear, help is on the way! For its part, Hollywood is doing a great job of starting to break some of this down. For a long time, movies that featured interracial couples made a “thing” of it. But now, studios are starting to put out movies that feature an amazing, revolutionary concept: couples who are just…couples.
Some of those films are kind of recent, but some have been out for a while, movies like Fast Five, Harold and Kumar 3d Christmas, Jet Li The One, Entourage ( I loved the blonde who spoke Chinese, and she’s all, like, “What, so I speak Chinese, there’s no need to bring it up”), and several other movies or TV shows.
I think my point is this will stop being such a big deal when people start seeing it more and more on their TV screens. While I’m guessing that old lady is probably not a fan of Harold and Kumar, it might actually open her eyes in more ways than one.