I see mixed couples in public and guess at their ethnicities, then catalog them in my imaginary database. I compulsively count the mixed couples I know and tally the various combos—white man plus Japanese woman, Mexican woman plus Jewish man, black man plus Vietnamese man.
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I am not a scientist. I know that bias and anecdotal evidence do not make for winning Internet arguments. But anecdotal evidence does have its place. When we go to Pho Saigon, its old Asian patrons stare openly at us.
The first time Dat drops me off at my nail salon, his departure sets off a flurry of Vietnamese conversation around me. She translates to her coworkers and more animated discussion ensues. Nothing wrong with that at all.
We know only one other couple of our combo: a white woman with a Laotian man. Until, that is, I discover one of my distant Chicana cousins married a Vietnamese man. We share tales of high school crushes who ignored us with impassive faces.
Race against time
Dat tells me that he and his cousins were always attracted to non-Asian women but assumed the appreciation would be unrequited, hence the self-protective stony expressions. We discuss the theory that indigenous Mexicans walked here from Asia.
Neil Clark Warren, founder of eHarmony, advises Salon. Yes, we have three half-white, half-Hispanic children from my first marriage who are all taller than Dat and me. Does that really warrant such interest?
Then their friends tell them a worse story: their daughter eloped with a Saudi Arabian man with four kids and is converting from Buddhism to Islam. Catholics blend well with Buddhists because they also like incense, honoring elders, and fruited altars. Our Honolulu honeymoon blows my mind. The difference is undeniable.
Here, for the first time, we go into public together and no one stares. For the first time in my life, I consider moving out of Houston.
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We have dinner at the most prominent restaurant, Dairy Queen. Everyone stares.
Without smiles. Every weekday for two years now, Dat and I have bought breakfast from Rosa in the cafeteria in the building where we work.
One day I have an early conference call and Dat buys breakfast without me. Rosa takes the opportunity to tell Dat that the cafeteria chef is interested in his friend. She means me.
After that, the chef always gives Dat extra nachos at lunch. Dat and I walk through our workplace parking lot holding hands, reflexively seeking comfort and safety from passing cars. We let go at the door, so as to look professional.
Old women are colorblind. Also, they have supersonic hearing, like dogs. Unscientific studies show Korean Glenn and white Maggie are the Walking Dead couple audiences least want to see eaten by zombies. Probably because their babies would be so cute.
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People here are totally cool with interracial relationships. Image: Dan. Filed under. Show Comments. Related Content.