In which I know I’m going to get in trouble

I met some of my in-laws this weekend at the airport. I think the airport is the perfect place to meet family. All you have to do is meet them at baggage claim and take in a quick meal before they have to make their connecting flight. There’s no time for anyone to cry over the Christmas of 1973 when so-and-so was forced into an impromptu “Silent Night” solo. There was just enough time to eat a plate of lox and answer questions on how it was to grow up on Taiwan, to which I had no response since I was born and bred on SAIPAN.

During our Midwest Christmas, another in-law said, “I know you’re not Asian, Mona, but I just want to call you Asian!” Um…thank you? Can I call you Hmong, even though I know you’re not Hmong because I have an urge to call you Hmong!

Mona’s family portrait, 1986.

To be honest, Mike’s family is a very sweet lot who have never greeted me with pitchforks, torches and “Get Out Harlot!” signs. After reading this list, question 12 (no surprise) prompted me to say: I hate that they don’t recycle. I can understand why they couldn’t locate Saipan on a globe and why they think Chamorro is a casserole recipe since I am the first Pacific Islander they have ever met in person. Before me, they had only seen Pacific Islanders on episodes where the cast goes to Hawaii or Dog the Bounty Hunter in which Pacific Islanders are getting locked up for meth use and jumping bail. In fact, when I arrived in St. Louis, the Pacific Islander population went up one, which was one more than before I had had landed.

I asked my brother-in-law why his family didn’t recycle and he said that they weren’t “into it.” I guess they’re not into a sustainable environment but are into landfills.

And all I could think about while they were bagging the paper, plastic and aluminimum together was that one of my goals would be to teach Nathan a two-part lesson: recycling is necessary and all country music stations are created by the devil.

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  1. Oh, The Joys says:

    …so you’re the one “waving your hands in the air, waving them like you just don’t care,” right?


  2. thecandyqueen says:

    If they want to call you Asian, let them call you Asian. No one wants to call me Jewish and Im starting to feel grateful for it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    in-laws are annoying and I think you should only be forced to spend one day a year with them, at the least. I speak from my own experience alone of course, I’m sure other people don’t feel that way:)

  4. Anonymous says:

    um, i love you?

  5. la vie joie says:

    word! you said it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    very nice picture. now I am Hmong, I saw this article in google image search. you can call me Hmong or visite me at:

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