Culture Clash Wedding

   So far on this blog, I’ve just been taking the piss at tacky wedding shit. I don’t want to make this too much about my own wedding, because I’m just not that self-indulgent and I realize that the funny tacky shit is a helluva lot more interesting. However, there are some meaty and interesting issues with regards to my own relationship that are actually worth posting about.

(interracial LOLcats are hard to find, so settle for a tabby-calico mating and shut up.

 

   Mr. Panda and I are… Different. I’m a Southern, white, crazy Cajun and he’s a Korean-American Yankee. Neither one of us has a problem with it, obviously, but planning a wedding with so many different cultures and customs involved can be difficult. But, you know, I’m not about to post about this as if Mr. Panda and I are the only mixed couple from different backgrounds to ever get married in the history of the world EVAR, or anything like that. I know the gals over at Buttercup Punch will give me crap if I even tried to take myself too seriously about this topic, being that the two married Buttercups are they themselves in multi-culti marriages. (Which, I hope that they will come over here & post about sometime *hint*, *hint*)

   So yeah, I’ll avoid getting too deep and just tell y’all some stories. Pull up some rug, grab your blankies and your juice boxes, and I’ll get started:

 

   I’m from the Deep South, so, *shocker!*, my family is a little bit old-school. And by “old school” I mean racist. I was pleasantly surprised at how well everyone in my family embraced Mr. Panda. He is smart and kind and wonderful, so there’s really nothing not to love anyway. The only hazy area is my dad. 

   My dad has this little thing that he does that he likes to pretend is a joke, but it’s really pretty transparent. When I call him to tell him I have a new boyfriend, the first question out of his mouth is usually, “Is he a white boy?” Seriously, he’s done this as long as I’ve been dating. So, three Christmases ago, my mom was out of town and I was spending Christmas with Mr. Panda’s family for the 1st time. I call my dad and, for the first time, answer “no” to his inane little question. It’s not like I haven’t dated outside my race before Mr. Panda, it’s just that my dad and I didn’t speak for a few years (again, *shocker!*), so I never had to answer the question before Mr. P. Dad rebounded pretty well, hid his surprise or dismay should he have any, asked lots of questions about Mr. P’s background, yadda yadda. So, I’m left thinking everything is going pretty OK on the Dad tip.

   Two more Christmases go by, and in August of last year, Mr. Panda buys me a ring & we start planning a wedding. Dad still hasn’t met Mr. P, so he insists we spend Christmas at his house. I’m on the phone with dad and he’s asking the same questions he’s been asking about Mr. Panda for the last 3 years. What follows is an approximation of my Dad’s actual queries, followed by my actual answers, and my fantasy answers/thoughts in italics:

D: You know, it really doesn’t bother me, I mean, I don’t really mean that stuff.. I just want you to be happy, blah blah blah. I don’t have any problem with-

M: (The “model minority”? Asians? Slanty-eyed brown dudes?)

D: So long as he’s not..

M: (Black, Mexican. Gotcha.)

D: So, he’s-

M: Korean. (I know you really don’t know the difference between China, Korea, Japan and anywhere else in Asia. To tell you the truth, I’ve actually considered changing up my answer a few times just to fuck with you, because you obviously aren’t paying attention.)

D: And his family is-

M: From Pennsylvania. 

D: So he’s-

M: (Brown.) Adopted, yes. (Can you at least *try* to read between the lines?)

D: But his family is-

M: White. (Like it matters)

D: So he’s-

M: Basically American. (duh.) He’s been here since he was four. He’s 29 now. (So 25 years in America with white people vs. 4 years in Korea = America wins!)

D: Does he speak-

M: English? Yes. (No, motherfucker, he speaks Swahili. Or, no, he was adopted by a white, Pennsylvania Dutch family that speaks Korean primarily at home. AND, what’s more, *I* woke up one day and could magically speak Korean, and as fate would have it, I met this guy… But seriously, you’re my father, you should know that English is the only language I speak. So how the hell am I gonna marry someone who I can’t even talk to, and what’s MORE, he’s been here for 25 years!! Of COURSE he speaks goddamn English.)

 

   And so it goes. The same questions for the last 3 years. Which I will answer again, and Mr. P will also answer for himself, when we see my dad in person. We arrive at Dad’s this past Christmas as planned, everyone is on their best behavior (despite Mr. Panda’s understandable shyness), and a decent time is had by all. Cut to a month later: My mom goes down to Louisiana for my baby nephew’s 1st birthday party. She and Dad (divorced for over 22 years) exchange pleasantries. The topic of my wedding is broached by one of my sisters and my dad turns to my mom and says:

D: So, does he speak English?

Mom: Fuck, D, you should know, they spent a whole weekend at your house!

D: (backpedaling) Un, well, you know, the boy doesn’t talk much…

   He later goes on to tell my mom that Mr. P and I are too young to be getting married and that she should try and get us to call the wedding off and all sorts of nasty talk. Man, fuck. At least this is the only real family drama I have to deal with, and I’m thankful for that bit. But still, it’s pretty redonk.

 

There really needs to be a white + Asian version of ‘Ebony and Ivory’, please help me to compose it in the comments. 

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9 responses to “Culture Clash Wedding

  1. as the very happy partner of a half-asian, half-white boy, I can assure you that should you and Mr. Panda choose to make babies someday, your half-y babies will be gooooorgeous. Just ask Kadinsky- ain’t nothing hotter than a half-Asian.

    Ebony + Ivory? Um….. Apple pie and mochi? Bamboo and oak trees? Bento and bologna on wonderbread?

  2. Totally, Nadarine. The prospect of pretty Hapa babies is very exciting. But we’re gonna wait, hopefully, a loooooooooong time. I mean, it’s gonna take my dad at least another 3 years to get used to the idea of my marriage to a brown dude, so…

  3. TruculentandUnreliable

    What is UP with the “Soooo, does he speak English?” Three of my second cousins are adopted Koreans, and since we lived in se Kansas, there weren’t a lot of Asians around in general. People would act like my cousins couldn’t speak English all the fucking time. So stupid.

    I am glad, however, that my best friend in high school, whose parents moved here from Libya in the late 70s, graduated before 9/11 happened. Holy shit.

  4. dorothyzbornak

    One of my friends is getting married this summer. She’s a preppy white girl (and a natural blonde, no less) and he’s Lebanese but was raised in NC. So like your boy, he speaks English (with a southern accent, of course) and is about as American as they come. My friend and I used to work together and one of our co-workers said in front of me, “Oh, I can’t believe she’s dating a foreigner.” Uh, WTF? I, as calmly as possible, explained that he was not a “foreigner” and even if he were, what difference does it make?

    But yeah, this stuff gets especially crazy when weddings occur. Aside from that couple, I have three other friends getting married this year, all to men of different races. I just pray their families keep the ridiculous to a minimum.

  5. Waitaminute…Koreans are “brown”?

  6. CC- I hate the term “yellow” b/c it’s kinda not accurate. My fiance is pretty dark-skinned. Pretty tan/brownish.

    But that’s beside the point. A lot of the borderline-offensive crap in this post is my sarcastic responses to my family’s ignorance. You know, like, my dad doesn’t know the difference between any of the countries of Asia or South America or even Europe for that matter. I’m sure when he sees Mr. Panda his eyes glaze over and all he sees is “non-descript tan person.”

    Sorry if I confused or offended anybody!

  7. Oh girl! As soon as I am able I will write you a post about my opposite lovely racially mixed marriage. This time though the boy is white and the girl is brown.

  8. And um, your dad sounds about as ignorant as my mom!!

  9. No worries, biscuitdoughjones!

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