Today is Valentine's Day and the lunar new year. We celebrated the former with dinner out last night; the latter was going to the annual Tet celebration in Virginia Beach and then getting Chinese food on the way home.
The Tet celebration was nothing like the ones in Cedar Rapids that I vaguely remember. This one is huge, and full of hundreds of people. Asians as far as the eye can see, which is not very far, because your view's blocked by a bunch of Asians. There's a stage with actual organized programs. And all the food's for sale. I don't remember it being like that in the rinky-dink parties we'd have in Iowa. But then, I was a little kid. What did I know?
Anyway, Jeffrey helped me discover something about myself at the celebration: Whitey can't win with me. I saw an older white guy walk in from the parking lot alone, and immediately got suspicious. He was a little schlubby, bald and bearded, and I immediately thought, Asian fetish. Gross. I've seen plenty of that kind of thing, and I am not interested in it. So I stereotyped him right away. And I said something to Jeffrey, like, ew, gross. And Jeffrey said, "Maybe he dropped off his family and went to park the car." And that seemed plausible enough.
Then we went inside. Aforementioned as-far-as-eye-can-see Asians. And there the guy is, still alone. Just walking around. I was grossed out again. Like, what the hell are you doing here unaccompanied? Who gave you a pass?
So I was telling Jeffrey all this and he said, "I saw that guy talking to a Vietnamese guy. Maybe he's a Vietnam vet or just someone who loves Asian culture? Do you just want Asians to celebrate Asian culture?" And I guess he has a point. I probably think that everyone should celebrate cultures, not just those drafted into that culture by birth. And I say "probably" because I haven't thought about it as such since elementary school. And probably then it was with a lot of idealistic passion.
So, my husband taught me a flaw in my own thinking. Happy Valentine's Day, honey. I love you.
Still that guy was creepy.