Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm an American Gal

While back East we visited with F’s cousin, S and her husband SC and their 2 adorable boys, J and SH. Cousin S married an American who is whiter than I am, in ethnic backgrounds. SC is a very nice guy and I will love having them at the wedding. We started talking about how J and SH show absolutely no Home Land features AT ALL, except maybe their dark hair. They are extremely fair skinned and fine haired and you would never look at them and say, Oh, You must be from The Home Land. It is obvious that they aren’t strictly pure blood of one ethnic background; you just can’t tell what the mixture may be. Like I said, they are adorable. I said I hope our kids get F’s hair and skin color and my sexy hazel eye color for a truly exotic look. They laughed as Cousin S attempted to prove her boys have her and F’s hair.
Then Cousin S wraps her arms around SC and says, “Oh Honey, you know you picked me because I am from The Homeland! Because I take care of you like a Homeland woman; doing your laundry, feeding and caring for you, (pause to look at me) no offense, not like those American girls, who don’t.”

We all laughed. Because it’s true. I don’t wait on F hand and foot. Just the other night he was complaining about being hungry and I looked at him and said, “You know where the fridge is.” This was of course after I’d taken him out to dinner. F does a lot of the laundry. He does some grocery shopping, and every now and again, he makes dinner, and even helps when I make dinner. We have slipped into those common gender roles in many cases. I make dinner more than he does, I insist that the house needs cleaning, and I keep track of the items we need when we go shopping. He takes out the trash, and pays the bills.
It was then that I realized how truly different we are. How what he grew up with is totally different than what he sought out. I think in looking to escape the negatives he saw in his culture, he may have lost some of the positives too. You know, if you consider being waited on hand and foot as a positive. And really, who doesn’t? As long as you’re the waitee and not the waiter.
I still take care of my man, don’t get me wrong. We take care of each other, and that suits me just fine.

But it makes better sense to me now, I can see how his mother disapproves. She thinks I’m not doing enough. Maybe not caring enough for her boy. But she has it wrong. F picked me, and she needs to accept that I’m not about to make 5 different dishes just because F wants corn beef instead of chicken, roast beef or lasagna that's already been made for everyone else.

That’s not how I was raised.

That’s not my culture.

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