What was it like to grow up Asian in Washington state? Well, for one, most people assumed I was from Vancouver (the Canadian one) when I was in college (this was a number of years ago, before 1/2 the University population was from Japanish countries - meaning all of Asia :P ). But mostly it wasn't weird. I just thought I was white. Remember when kids in high school used to call other kids "wiggers"? How did we EVER think that was ok - it is so ugly! But yeah, you could've jumbled my sorry ass into that stupid group of dumbtards. A Korean chick that thought she was White but wanted to be Black... Isn't there a Lifetime special about this yet?! Geez, my poor folks probably didn't know what the fuck happened when I left 7th grade a little angel and entered 8th grade a Grade A POS, smoking pot, drinking, huffing...it's a fucking miracle I'm still around. Thanks, folks...
Let me introduce my childhood fam:
Dad: looks like Santa Claus, loves to debate, can definitely be an ass, but has a huge heart and gives fabulous bear hugs.
Mom: had the most beautiful red hair that made me so jealous with my glossy black hair...really!..., paper-thin skin that looks just like Grandma's, a love of silliness that I come by honestly, and a baffling inability to drive around a town she's lived in for over 40 years without asking me for directions.
Brother: looks more Native American than Korean, except that time he blasted off one eyebrow and singed some hair - he looked more like a soft-boiled egg, holds a part of my heart like my children, broke more glasses than I can remember by "accidentally" smashing me in the face with baseballs and soccer balls..., can charm the birds from the trees, but has had some challenging times in his life that continue to thwart him at times.
And: now there is a SIL, a wicked Step-Mother (WSM - ha), a nephew (aside from my hub's nephews), and other Step-Family (they'll probably come into this blog at some point, they are the cat's fuckin' pajamas (that sounds like pajamas for fucking, not what I intended, but funny)), but they don't work in until well after my childhood was past.
So if you add a Santa Claus to a red-haired beauty, you can easily reach the conclusion that my brother and I were adopted by a couple as different looking from us as possible :) But I truly believe that genetics don't matter for shit in personality because I am SO much a product of my parents, as is my brother. This is very handy for blaming them for all my issues :) Obviously things like bipolar disorder, ADD, schizophrenia, and those type of chemical/brain issues are exceptions to this, but for the most part, I think environment plays such a larger role in child development than genetics. Honestly, I forget that I'm different looking from all the Whitey's. I grew up on a small island with fewer than 800 people from 3 to 18 years (and back a bit after a while, blerg) that were mostly Caucasian except for fewer than 10 ethnic kids - and yes, we were all kids, no ethnic adults for the most part. The most kids in my class from K-6 was 5 one year, but I was only one of two 6th graders.
Being from a small island community through 6th grade then being thrust into a large middle school of hormones, peer pressure, and social awkwardness was not a great thing for me...or my brother for that matter. I had danced ballet from age 4 onward up to 5 days a week off the island so while my compadres were becoming life long friends (at least 7 Islanders just recently flew to Brooklyn, NY to go to a fellow Islander's wedding - they're still THAT tight), I was dancing solo. So I really was awfully alone when I went to middle school. One lone Korean girl, adopted, so already filled with shitty abandonment issues and a strong sense of wanting to belong. Luckily, I was placed in a advanced block of classes with the other smarty-farty kids who were so lovingly accommodating to a scared new kid...they were the shit, I wish I'd've realized it at the time how generous they were. But then the stupidest thing happened: in 8th grade they split up the 3 class block and threw us to the fucking wolves. I'd've turned out completely different if they'd kept me in that same 3 class block with the other smarty-pants...
What group of people are friendly to a fault, inviting, and expect little in return? Users. People that are kind, generous, compassionate, intelligent, and all that goody-goody bullshit actually expect their friends to exude at least SOME of those traits. They expect at least SOME return of those qualities. Users expect nothing. And for a fact? They're a hell of a lot of fun. And I was surrounded by them. They welcomed me, made me feel like a part of the cool gang, they made me feel like I belonged. What a slippery slope. This is where I learned that Birds Of A Feather Flock Together. But I wouldn't realize I'd learned it for another 15 years at least... This is where my conviction to control the friends my children make as much as possible comes from. My kids are gonna be PISSED when they realize that Fun Mom has Been There, Done That and they ain't gonna get away with shit... Sorry kiddos, God gave me a fuck-up youth so I could be a better mom to you.
It took me a long, long time to sow my wild oats, to make stupid mistakes, spend too much money, save too little, create memories that were made in a haze of alcohol/drugs that I now can't remember. Being Korean factored very little into all this craziness, aside from a general feeling of being different that did add to my desire to BELONG. I have realized over the years how incredibly blessed I was to be raised in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, it's mostly Caucasian, but SO welcoming! The diversity of the spirit is here if not the physical ethnic numbers. I was called a Gook in middle school once. I remember thinking it was so funny at the time because I had just, that previous weekend, learned that word (yes, I made it to 8th grade never knowing that word, thanks, yet again, folks) when reading an article in the newspaper about a gay, Asian man who had been murdered at a university. Reports stated that he was bullied by other students and called Gook. A sad, sad story, but where I learned the word, nonetheless. So I just assumed she had learned that word over the weekend the same as I. It didn't hold a lot of power over me because I just didn't understand it - although I held some anger over it years later when I got all sensitive over bullshit like that. I was right way back in 8th grade, it's not worth doing ANYTHING but laughing over!!! Ironically, she was the one Black girl in school with us at that time, you'd think she of all people would understand being different! Now looking back I wonder what treatment she was getting...definitely food for thought.
So is being Asianic (my new favorite word after that Asianic flight fiasco in the news - bah hahahaha! Captain Sum Ting Wong!!! Hilarious!) took a long time for me to love, but that road to feeling comfortable in my yellow skin was worth it, cuz damn, girls, self love rocks, especially in my early thirties. Some of us don't get it till much later (some sooner, damn show offs). In conclusion, I think we could all just ease the fuck up a little about all the racial stuff. Stop taking it so damn seriously! Laugh about it! Take that fucking power away from those words and just chill about it! I see people getting all up in arms about a stupid fucking app that gives faces an Asian "look" - like seriously, it slants them all up. That is AWESOME! But some Asians Of The World Unite To Make The World Just A Little Less Fun group got the app banned from Google Play or wherever it was. I mean, come on! A little slanty never hurt anyone. I know a few people personally that would be much improved by the addition of some slant.
Is there ever a time that getting pissed about racism is okay? Of course. I think Paula Deen sums it up just perfectly. I think she's filled with a racist hate that she glosses over with her slow "Y'aaaaallllll"'s, caked on foundation, and fluorescent white veneers. After reading her deposition and the original lawsuit, it's clear to me that she's a phony. ...My favorite go-to red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting were her recipe, but I don't want to feed my loved one's food borne of hate. So yeah, I'm pretty serious about not supporting her bullshit. But that's racism born of a combination of ignorance, dislike, and habit (the worst reason, really, I mean, grow a fucking brain of your own already). There's plenty to find hilarious with regards to the different races...
Slanty eyes. This by itself is funny, especially for one born around you round eye's like me. But this is even funnier in my case since I also have a lazy eye. My brother shot me with a bb gun bulls-eye when I was 6 years old. Luckily, I was far enough away to escape totally losing my eye, but it left scar tissue on my retina so I have a blind spot. Due to this, my right eye is way stronger - like I use it almost completely by itself most of the time (I do have fantastic peripheral vision, however, so don't be afraid if you see me on the road...although I do have some difficulty with depth perception, so it's best to not drive immediately in front of, or to the side of, me...lol, I'm mostly kidding). So my lazy left slanty eye... If you are up and a little to the left of where I'm looking, I'm probably looking at you...or I'm looking at something up a little and to the left of you.
So back to the original question of "What was it like to grow up Asian in Washington state?" In answer, it was just like growing up any other fucking color, you fucking racist.