For reasons unknown to me (read: passive racism), my grandparents have always hoped I would become a doctor and settle down with a nice Chinese girl. Unfortunately for their hopes, there are three hitches in that plan: I’m terrible at doctoring, I’m as wild as America, and I find Chinese girls as attractive as a horse’s ass.
The cause of the first two problems should be fairly obvious. I can’t tell my tibia from my fibula (can you?) and I spend everyday trying to embody JTT’s filmography with my very life.
But I usually get some funny looks for the last one, especially since a majority of the male people I’ve ever rubbed elbows (or clashed ankles) with have probably uttered the phrase “Asian chicks are hot” at least once in their lives. And more power to them. Me…. I don’t think so.
Naturally, you ask, “Why not?”
I’ll tell you why not.
I grew up in a small town just north of the prison capital of the United States (google it. Then search “Huntsville, Texas”). The name: Trinity, presumably because it’s existence depends on the economically-stimulating trifecta of churches, bars, and High School sports. There aren’t a lot of people in Trinity. About 3,000 if you apply the definition of “people” generously.
If you were really good at the Context Clues section of your Reading class in fourth grade, you’ve probably figured out that I grew up in the podunkulous East Texas backwoods. If you were even better than really good, you’ve probably realized that not a lot of Chinese people can be found in said places.
In fact, my hearty family of six were the only ones in our particular neck of the woods, raising the Asian or Pacific Islander bar in the population chart from ‘None’ to ‘Negligible’ like we owned the place (we didn’t). I grew up being friends with so many white kids, it took me until I was like seven years old to realize that I wasn’t white. This is real. Troubling though that may be, I had no problems distinguishing my family from strangers; my family were the people with black hair and squinty-eyes.
But it’s not like they’re the only Chinese people I’ve ever known. Oh no, we went down to Houston where my mom grew up at least twice a year on Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know, for family reunions. Those things where you hang out with a bunch of people you don’t really know but the one thing you do know is that somehow, some way, you’re related. Even the white ones.
Just to be clear, the only Chinese people I knew (or could correctly give the first name of) for the first nineteen years of my life were all my relatives. For you statistically-minded people, that’s my entire childhood and most of my life having the idea that I was related to all Orientals (I can call them that, I think) unintentionally drilled into my brain.
To make matters worse, when you live in a town and go to school and make friends with stupid people, you learn to expect stupid questions. “Are you related to Michelle Kwan? Is Jackie Chan your uncle? Your cousins blew up Pear Harbor!” (and wait until you hear what the kids asked) Once you start getting used to such preposterous queries, you actually start to wonder yourself. “Am I related to these people? Do we share a great-grand-something up the line?” And when they’re all related to you, you learn to automatically filter them out of your dating radar (datar?) before you ever lay eyes on them, instantly comparing them to one of your kin-folk. Which is essentially what I’ve done.
So no, I’m not attracted to Asian people, quite simply because I inherently feel like we’re all one big family (there, I said it). Of course, the word “attractive” is kind of loaded. If you think someone’s attractive, then you’re saying that you’re attracted to them. And while I may not be attracted to them, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re pretty — Zhang Ziyi is an elegant woman. Kelly Hu is a stone-cold fox. And my mom is the most beautiful woman in the world.
That’s right prospective non-Asian mating partners — eat it up.
But honestly, I just can’t see myself ever marrying a nice Chinese girl, regardless of how ludicrous the reasoning might seem. As I would say if I were born sixty years ago, “Thems the breaks, kiddo.” It’s about as likely as me performing brain surgery. Which will only happen when being the son of a family practice qualifies me to split open a guy’s skull to save a life.
That’ll never happen either. Hopefully.