What are you?

Out tonight with a bunch of people at a very informal banquet.

The food being served led to me being asked, "what are you?". My darling husband chimes in with "Scottish!" to which I say, no, I'm Irish and...uh, and..I think maybe French. He looks at me with a "huh?" and then a "oh, yeah" and I go on to say yes, Irish for sure and I think French with a definite Scottish, Ukrainian, and Polish influence. And then, nothing. Only a slight glance from one dinner partner and much to my disappointment, not one, "what do you mean influence?".

Such as it is. Sometimes it's kind of like people asking you how you are. It's more like a pleasantry, they really don't care how you are. Just like nobody really cares what we are, what our cultural background is. If we're lucky enough to be something exotic, sure, it can impress the odd dinner partner but for the most part, who really gives a shit?

It would have been far more interesting if anyone I was having dinner with had given enough of a shit to ask me what I meant by influence.

Oh well.

We entertained ourselves instead by talking about people who weren't there.


  1. "Just like nobody really cares what we are, what our cultural background is."

    Not true.

  2. It is true for me Mei Ling. Anyone I tell my cultural heritage to is really just waiting to tell me theirs which I likely won't really be all that interested in if it's something run of the mill. I'd find the conversation far more interesting if they told me they were adopted and shared their story, just like people are more interested in what I have to say if I tell them I'm adopted.

  3. No one cares when they ask "How are you", they are just exchanging pleasantries in the morning.

    But the not caring about someone else's ethnicity, people tend to be genuinely curious when they ask. It is not a pleasantry. It is an actual question.

    I would have expanded on this earlier but my keyboard was being an a$$.

  4. "Anyone I tell my cultural heritage to is really just waiting to tell me theirs"

    Do you have the same ethnic background as your parents?

    (Note I said "ethnic", not "heritage.") Adoptees who are ethnically Asian with white (Caucasian) parents are asked this question in earnest. I figure if you're of a similar ethnic background when compared to your parents, you might be less likely to get this question in earnest as opposed to "in passing."

  5. Bad keyboard!

    Yes Mei Ling, same ethnic background as my parents, couldn't be any more boring.

    This question/topic would be an entirely different experience for you, no doubt.


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