I’m starting to think that I’m not a very good writer.
This is something that—thanks to you anonymous freaks who follow this blog (luh y’all), and the fact that my hand calligraphy would’ve made that smarmy overachieving asshole Steve Jobs proud (Is nice penmanship even considered a litmus?)—I’ve never had come into question. I have a wheelbarrow full of insecurities, but, my writing…1) I have a better command of the English language than most white people. 2) I’m funny as shit.
I had one job to do. One. And that was to write an article (as exercise) à la Carrie Bradshaw about my relationship. It’s been a month since that task was assigned. In that time, I’ve gone through four drafts: one that is deeply personal that reflects back on my parents’ divorce; one that is deeply personal that reflects back on how I treated my stepparents; one that is straight-apocalyptic, when I nearly ended my relationship due to the weird headspace this mock piece put me in; and, finally, one that opened with a comparison to the age gap between Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri in Flashdance (because I had just watched it and it is one of my many timeless loves). Clearly, I’m a fucking disaster.
I was reading Gloria Steinem’s My Life On the Road during this process and just recently picked up Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. Both women I deeply admire, not least of all for their beautiful words; both exquisite examples of why I’m shit at life and should just quit now. Yes, comparison is the thief of joy, and it should come as no surprise to you—as, by now, it doesn’t anymore to anyone who works with me—that I have deeply entrenched psychological issues about not being Asian enough. READ: a highly-functional overachieving perfectionist who would more readily self-immolate than fail¹. At anything. If you think I’m joking, my father regularly asks me if I’m The Best yet. At what? At everything.
I hold one thing to my merit: I never feel like I know enough about anything, which is great because it puts me in a position to actively continue learning. Cool. But with writing, I always thought that a safe place to start was with what I do know. Hence, this blog. It’s a whole lot o’ nothin’ because I don’t know that much about the world. I don’t know nearly as much as I would like to about social movements, politics, foreign policy, pop culture, feminism, or relationships. I only know my truth. Below, you will find my truth(s), and it’s a hot mess and a half.
I put my dog on a diet, and he’s been a real asshole ever since. To be a fair mama and lead by example, I also went on a diet. I have also turned into an asshole, but luckily, I don’t count free food/booze from work, or anything from Trader Joe’s, in this regimen. I’m not about to develop an eating disorder² over this; I already live in a four-floor walkup what more does the media want from me?
For the first time since I’ve moved to New York, having survived roughly 4 [seeming] Snowmaggedons and countless other fuck-this-weather days, my mom has texted (not called) to ask if I was surviving the cold. Well, Mother, I wore two pairs of socks, tights under leggings under jeans, and two sweaters over my Uniqlo thermals to work, every day this week. Sure, I’ve been home for almost two hours now and my left ham hock still has yet to regain proper circulation, but otherwise, yea. Alive.
“Okay cover yourself up real good when you go outside.” After two years on the East Coast, this is her advice. I’m grateful, kinda, but I mostly wish that she instead advised me (preferably much earlier than now) on how not to abuse food to the extent where your colleagues know, from muscle memory, to bring you pretzels (or Hershey’s kisses, or bread slices from some discarded breadbasket, or a muffin) as a sedative when your day is going fractionally shitty [She types this while shoveling Trader Joe’s White Cheddar Corn Puffs in her face and using her chest as a tabletop … my cleavage is now a sandy surface of cheddared crumbs]. Had I learned that instead, Mother, I wouldn’t be at home right now, recovering from what I imagine to be food poisoning but in all likelihood could very well be my digestive organs buckling under the weight of “diversity” in the form of the following contents: one-too-many-coffees, milk-based or nah; standard sad salad desk-lunch; free chocolates because the company decided to be kitsch and celebrate how much it loves its employees for Valentine’s Day; subsequent free booze for same occasion, which I’m now almost positive was either poorly mixed or straight-up roofied (or both) to add some flavor to the party; some Bud Light (poor choice in beer, honestly); string cheese in there, somewhere; sour straws; Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate (possibly spiked?)… I don’t even want to continue because I’m so [partially] ashamed. Mom, that would’ve been a better lesson.
Just brought up in conversation with my whiter-than-the-driven-snow boyfriend: when I was young, same Mother’s hope for me was to date a white guy because “They’re more open-minded.”
“They’re not more open-minded; she was basically inviting you to date guys with Asian fetishes.”
And that’s the real story I should’ve written about my relationship: my boyfriend’s Asian fetish is for Chinese food. Ipso facto, a couple of degrees removed, he dates a Vietnamese girl in the hopes that our egg rolls taste the same as the deep-fried Chinese ones. Fuck my life.
¹ Failure equates to any place other than First.