For old hands like me, well-meaning bigots are easy to spot, if only because they never know they’re doing anything wrong.
I can see ‘em coming from a mile away. They’re almost always slightly boozy. They close-talk, reeking of misguided knowledge, insecurity, and entitlement all at the same time. Even if they haven’t been drinking, they adopt the loose, grandiose gestures of those who are deep in their cups.
It’s easy to handle them. Smile, turtle my shoulders a bit, look out from beneath my bangs, and say, “That’s fantastic that you were able to visit. I’m not from Korea/Japan/Vietnam, but it’s easy to make that mistake. Don’t worry.” Or, [...]
I’m twenty-five. Twenty-five is a big deal, right? I mean, I’ve thought about this. Twenty-five is when your early twenties end. Twenty-five is when you really have to start thinking about calling yourself not a “girl” but a “woman,” regardless of what the women on “Girls” say. Twenty-five is when you should, essentially, have your twenties figured out, as a decade, or something. I think.
I don’t know if there’s an equivalent age for your teen years, which officially begin when you’re thirteen, but could maybe be more accurately said to begin when you get your first period, which means that some of my friends became teenagers when they were [...]
The following are a sampling of the daily conversations I have with the group of 80-year-old men who smoke cigarettes and drink coffee every morning on the corner of my block. It took me two years and the acquisition of a dog to infiltrate their clique.
Ed: Why does your face look like that? Me: What? Ed: You look very tired. Me: Well, I am tired I guess. I also don’t have on any makeup yet. Ed: You should put some on before you go to work. Me: Okay. (And I did.)
Tom: Do you have one of those phones that can take pictures? Me: Yes! Tom: Take our picture. [...]