Malcolm Godwin’s book, “WHO ARE YOU? 101 WAYS OF SEEING YOURSELF” asks: “How much do you think your racial make-up has contributed to your mental, spiritual, and psychological view of the world? Would you say that it has: ….”
Twenty four questions follow. I answered “no” to almost all of them which means, at least in the context of the presentation, that my race hasn’t played a strong part in the formation of my identity.
Number 19, though, got a BIG FAT FAST YES. A lot of people are attracted to me and curious (& I’m not talking the LET’S GET SEXY kind of attraction – just the simple, curious kind of attraction – where people want to know more about you.)
They look at your face and see a puzzling familiarity. There are features which match up with features found in their own race, and the rest of you doesn’t match up, but it’s those familiar parts of you that make them want to reach out.
“Eastern European.” “Italian.” “Persian.” “Maybe Egyptian.”
“No one’s Asian in your family?” “You’re Mexican!?!? You don’t look Mexican; you’re so thin and pretty.” Geeeeesh.
They want to feed you. They want to tell you about their family history, their cousin, niece, or daughter who you remind them of. They want to know if you’re single. They want to set you up with their nephew, brother, or son.
“Where are you from?” is one of my least favorite questions to be asked, second only to “What do you do?” but that question has also started can’t-be-forgotten conversations in downtown la parks, no name burger joints, and many, many homes.
Not to mention the both silent and audible musings I have with myself on the topic.
I was sooooooo attracted to my grandmother’s flour tortillas. Wishing I had had sexy time with them…