My mother came to the United States in her late 20s. She is from Taiwan, and she met my father, a white, southern Baptist (redneck), at the University of South Carolina. Don't ask me _why_ she wanted to study in that infernal state, and not New York, or California or something, but she did. The two of them "fell in love," were married, and had a son. This was almost two decades ago, I believe.
I think they had a hard time starting out. She was an Asian after all, and my father's family didn't exactly respect her... partly because she was female, and further because of her race. The whole "southern values" and Christian dogma situations weren't healthy for her, and my dad's family held strictly to their close-minded bullshit.
To put it simply, they were unkind. No... they were fucking ass holes, and I have yet to forgive them. But I'm straying from the point....
My parents were poor. My father went on to be the first in his family to graduate from college. He was a genius. They gave him a full scholarship through graduate school and he acquired a PhD in European History. He is now a professor, and, I think, because of my mom. She kept him in school, and made him work. He helped teach her English. I think they were content for a time, or at least tolerable. They supported one another, in their weird relationship in the south.
But I don't think they were ever happy. For as long as I can remember, they've slept in separate bedrooms. I've never known them to talk with one another much. As a toddler, we moved to south Florida - it's warm here. They escaped the claustrophobic "deep south" and tried to start over. They have succeeded… but there is strife. I've taken my mother's side.
It's a sad situation.
Now, I'm a junior in high school; I'm half Asian, and everything is all the more confusing because of it. My parents remain together; they tolerate one another; but hardly can one stand the other. Their relationship has somewhat distorted my view of romance, or love, or whatever it is you want to call it. I've never seen them happy; I never want to see them happy. It's come to the point where I actually hate one of them.
Maybe it contributes, maybe it doesn't. I try not to think about it, but it's always there. And really, I think anyone of my race - my hybridity - must be under strikingly similar circumstances as I. I can only assume that anyone with the same background, the same family heritage, must be a lot like me. While two people of a single race (European, African, Asian...) may be completely different, I think another like me, another paradox, could only be similar, almost identical to me.
The learning experience...
I'm a contradiction and it is, beyond interesting, hardening. You stand out. You can "fit in," but you stand out, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. You distance yourself from people - you become detached. There was a time when I could hardly touch anyone; when I could hardly look people in the eye. It's passed, but my inherent solitude isn't going to go away.
I don't let it get me down. I'm a loner, and that's alright, I look Asian to Americans, and American to Asians. My eyes are slanted, but slightly. Not narrow, just slanted... and black. With dark brown hair and pale skin, whiter than most. Not short, not tall, but smaller in frame. (The cursed mind has troubled digestion.)
Beyond it all, I've never met someone like me. I know they exist, but I don't know them… and that's fine. I'm a true American. You won't find cities of my nationality on any other continent. You won't find "my people" in some other land. Just know: I will ace math class and English class - I will eat pizza for lunch and tofu for dinner. I know all the Christmas carols, and can appreciate Buddhism.
There are no rules when you're the exception.