Thursday, January 24, 2008

slime a dozen

it doesn't end. you know how your parents, teachers, counselors tell you that the teasing stops? people outgrow their ignorant behavior. they don't. i work in a profession where it is basically a dude/cigar club. i am used to being the token. being different looking. today people call my look "exotic." back when i was growing up, it was called "ugly," "different," "weird," and plain out "dorky."

funny how my face has not changed, my eyes remain slanty, i am still tiny, but now the times call my look "exotic." i have grown to accept my different look and embraced it. it was not until college, really law school where i felt that i was confident in my appearance. i have always been completely aware that i was no barbie. i never looked like my classmates. i grew up in the burbs where brunettes were considered ugh, so imagine being a little vietnamese girl who was constantly falling down and actually believed in monsters. yeah, i was not sitting at the popular table. by no means. still, i accepted that my hair would never been blonde and straight, at least not without tons of bleach. i know that i laugh way too much and for a little girl, i dont have a bubbly giggle, but a snort. i have no bridge on my nose. sunglasses and any type of eyewear, besides goggles, won't stay on my face. i never even knew people couldn't see my nose until in fourth grade, i remember eric, this kid in front of me was using those retarded safety lefty scissors to pretend to cut the girls' noses. he then turned around to try to snip my nose and he looked at me and said, "you don't even have a nose! it's too flat!" everyone laughed and i remember wishing the floor would swallow me up.

despite the teasing, i turned out ok. the teasing continued through high school and even college. yes. people can be drafted, old enough to vote and buy beer, but they don't outgrow their stupid racist attitudes. i would be called ching chong or they would scream some jargin that these lame-os believed resembled "chinese." i would just roll my eyes. i could have retorted with some scathing remark, but i couldn't be bothered. i also wanted to explain that i was not chinese and that calling me a chink was actually an incorrect racial slur. just because china has a huge population does not mean all us asians are chinese. all this would have gone over these people shouting at me. but, college is over and i have joined the ranks of the working class. the proleteriat. 

today i was talking to a colleague of mine. he was complaining how he hated dealing with slimeball attorneys. he stated he hated slimeballs. i laughed and said, well, we are lawyers so we will have to deal with slimeballs sooner or later, "they're a slime a dozen." he laughed and liked my description.

as i left work tonite, i was thinking to myself, listening to my ipod and walking home. it is a nice walk and with the blustery weather, i tried to walk a bit faster. as i approached a group of 4 guys, all sporting large oversized sport parkas and sweatpants, i moved around them. well, i tried to. they were screaming something, but i couldn't understand, so i paused my ipod. as soon as i hit pause, i heard "chink" "f*ck hong kong" "go home hong kong"  and "chink" again. the words were followed by high fives and laughter. i didn't respond. my face was hot with embarassment and annoyance. 

i didn't understand the high fives or how little me embodied the city of hong kong, but i guess even without encountering lawyers, slimeballs are a slime a dozen in this cold city.

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