For me, family and culture are inseparable, so when I am comforted by memories of my family, I am also comforted by the culture behind those memories.
Only in middle school did I meet Caucasian-Americans to add to my circle of friends, but even then, Leonardo Di Caprio was the only man in my life.
The few Chinese people I had exposure to were my immediate family members, Andy Lau, and Connie Chung.
It was in high school when I finally encountered Asian-Americans and from then on, I crossed paths with more people who were like me, Chinese-American.
Moving neighborhood to neighborhood, school to school, city to city, and having friends come and go, the only constant in my life is my family who have taught me and nurtured me through the vicissitudes of life.
My lanky Caucasian-American date was reminiscing about his dating history one evening at dinner with me. Growing up in Philadelphia, in a very poor urban neighborhood, I was almost always the only Asian, let alone Chinese kid in school.
Did this guy have an Asian fetish and just needed to add Chinese to his list of flavors he’s sampled or was he really into me? My friends in elementary school were all Latino and Black Americans.
In any case, I never found out because we stopped talking after he rationed my beer for me, insisting that my tolerance is low due to of my Asian-ness. My earliest crush was a Latino-American boy named Anthony, while my Puerto-Rican-American neighbor had the hots for me.
I always thought I was an equal opportunity dater too until I moved away from home.
When I have a bad cold or sinus infection, I long for my parents’ congee, and I’m completely touched when my boyfriend brings me a quart of it from Chinatown, even if he can’t make it himself.