Saturday, April 07, 2007

Married Life (1912) - Roger de la Fresnaye

I am writing this as MArt sleeps in the next room. A lot has happened since my last entry, so good luck hoping for brevity.

My boyfriend spent March 11 with my parents, eating dim sum and doing errands. It was nerve-wracking for everyone. MArt entered the minivan like a hostage with Stockholm syndrome. My parents looked over their shoulders and resisted the urge to glare. "Happy birthday," they murmured. "Shit," I thought, "like lamb to the slaughter." My mom had insisted MArt join us for breakfast and now this? I tried to make small talk while envisioning unlikely scenarios that could arise from my dad's suddenly erratic driving. MArt sat there with his legs slightly apart, gently squeezing my hand for reassurance (more for me than for himself). I looked at him and mouthed: "I don't think they like you." His face fell. No, no, I didn't mean it that way! But it was too late. He knew: "It's because I'm white." The silence was palpable. I could've sworn I saw my future carved in there somewhere. Then my parents started talking in Chinese. The horror! They could have at least done the decent thing and snickered behind MArt's back, you know, in front of him (which would have proved to me he was being acknowledged). Instead, MArt was forced to listen to their animated conversation about the bloody real estate market (which would've sounded the same to him as, "Go home, cracker").

15 minutes later, we all got out of the car. (Okay, so it only felt longer.) I told my mom to ask MArt some questions about himself. "Like what?" she replied. I don't know, his favourite colour? "We are not children, Lily," she laughed and sighed. It was then I realized, silly me, my parents weren't racists - they were shy! MArt got along fine with them in the restaurant. He managed to pass both my mom's "chicken feet" test as well as my dad's "Canadian Tire" scavenger hunt challenge, which meant eating Asian animal appendages and locating screws and cables at my dad's favourite hardware store. Although my parents didn't talk much about MArt afterwards (which is a good sign because it means they don't dislike him), my dad did enthuse about MArt's exceptional manners. Success!

***

I went on TV to promote a journalism workshop my university was holding for the public. Except, I had to speak in both Cantonese and Mandarin. I guess that's one of the perks of being one of two Asians in a liberal arts program.

*UPDATE*
The host of the show asked me whether I'd like to work as a research assistant with the possibility of being an on-air "reporter" in the future. I think I will decline the offer since it's a volunteer position (and frankly, I'm overqualified for something she thinks I'd accept simply because I'm a student). Besides, I'll be working at a shoe store this summer. That's right, bitches! I recently started working at a boutique to help me with my French. The owner hired me for my looks more than my language skills, but c'est la vie - whatever will prove to MArt I'm not as spoiled as he thinks. (Full disclosure: I've only worked for my parents' retail business and in journalism-related positions, so in essence, this is my first ever paid job.) Mmm ... money. How exciting!

***

MArt and I might be moving in together by June. One year anniversary in just over a month. He is still smitten. Don't know what I'm doing right. Until next time ...

No comments: