Taer took me on a "date" Friday night. (He opened my doors and everything!) We had dinner at Addie's, which is a cute, neighborhood-y restaurant in a little, yellow house down the street. It's not mindblowingly innovative cuisine, but it's definitely yummy; and you can't go wrong with the outdoor seating on a nice night. Or so I thought.
I smiled across the table as I savored my ribeye and Rosenblum zinfandel. I noticed Taer was ready for a little more wine, so I re-filled his glass; and when I was done, he took the bottle from me to fill my glass.
This is when the man to my right, white as Wonder bread, leaned over his table and "knowingly" informed his date that Taer and I were obviously following, "... an Asian tradition."
HUH? What the heck did this ethnically challenged man know about our traditions, Asian or not? When we're eating family style, Taer also puts food on my plate before serving himself. Is that considered Asian tradition too? I call it being courteous and thoughtful. Silly me. Every time we're nice to each other, will people around us think it's simply because we're Asian?
I had gotten used to living in my San Francisco bubble, where it didn't really matter if you were white, black, yellow, or purple. People were themselves. Everyone was different, so no one was different. I'm not saying that I've never experienced racism, nor am I calling this man's comment blatantly racist. But it's ignorant. And it's stupid. I hate ignorant stupidity.
I considered saying something to him. Maybe I could've played the role and announced, "Confucius say, You are an idiot!" But I decided to enjoy our dinner and speak loudly in my American born, law school trained, perfect English. There I go again, being all submissive and Asian.
Being fair, I should note that D.C. is pretty diverse. However, it is very conservative, and people are very set in their narrow ways. This is the first time I've met so many people who don't eat sushi. And this is also the first time I've met so many Republicans. I have a feeling I'll be going through a lot of firsts here. I just hope I'll know how to best deal with them in the future.