Thursday, June 11, 2009

The "Guess where I'm originally from" Game

When you ask me
“Where are you really from?
“Where are your parents originally from?”
Or my personal all-time favorite,
“Where are your ancestors from?”

I’ll play a little game with you to answer your question
A guessing game, for kicks and giggles
And your job is not to guess what ethnicity I am
But rather to figure out what makes me ME

Before you get to learn what my colored skin is all about
And the complicated, terrible, and beautiful history that it carries

Let me tell you the passions of my life and what drives me forward
Let me excite you as I tell you where we as people will move towards
Let me be enigmatic and mysterious to your perceiving senses
Let me show you what I’m all about before you make any pretenses

I’ll be a question mark in your desire to box and label me nicely,
Turn myself into an exclamation, a comma, or perhaps a semi colon
When we get to the end of the game and I let you in on my skin
You’ll see me the way I want you to see me.



  1. sadly, sometimes people don't want to see you the-way-you-want-them-to-see-you. sometimes, their very intent is to see you the-way-they-want-to-see-you, regardless of your wants.

    true, there are those who don't any better, and assume the two "ways" are one and the same.

    what can we do about the rest? those who know, but just don't care to show patience before passing judgment?

  2. to comment on alatus said...

    i dont think eddy is trying to be so naive in what he expects people to see him in the way he wants to but that it's still worth an effort to have some control. I personally would love to play this game and not satisfy people's desire to know exactly what the hell I am and instead focus on who I am as a person.

  3. Thank you for this site and its contents.

  4. to be clear, i didn't suggest or mean to suggest eddy was naive or trying to be naive.

    i think what's been written is great, and meaningful enough to stir up further meaningful discussion.

    while we're on the subject, and since i haven't done so yet, i also want to thank karen for facilitating all of this, and all that it has the potential to become.

  5. I'm weird. It doesn't bother me when people ask me where I'm from. I say where I was born, and then add where my parents came from. Actually I get it more from other Asians who are trying to place my lack of stereotypical features and then ask me if I'm Filipino - surprise, I'm a mix of 2 countries. Then we talk about how my parents met. I kind of like it.

  6. First, I must say, well put and I love the site.

    Personally, I don't think the "what are you?" question is meant negatively in 99% of the cases, tho I understand getting tired of it. I've been known to snap at Chinese people who say uninvited "Oh, you speak Chinese" when I've just been overheard speaking fluently, "Yeah, me and about a billion other people on this planet, what's your point." We all have bad days.

    On the subject of race, I was talking with my 14yo daughter the other day about her ancestry and brought up my standard answer to the question about what *I* am, which is "Euro-mutt." Sometimes I explain the break-down. Sometimes that answers the question.

    Since she was little, my daughter's initial retort about what she is has been "Californian." She's actually (approximately) 1/4 Swiss; 1/8 German; 3/8 Swedish and 1/2 Chinese, by way of "American" father and "Taiwanese" mother.

    Interestingly, and offering hope for the future, whenever my wife or I ask her, "Is your friend (insert name here), (insert race here), her most common response is, "I have no idea, we never really pay any attention to that and I've never asked."


PostMimi has an enabled comment section to facilitate a community discussion.

The purpose of the comment section is to share similar experiences with others. It is not for judging any of the opinions in the submissions or for giving advice to the submitter. If you disagree with a submission, please voice your thoughts in terms of your own experiences. Please try to keep this a welcoming environment for everyone.

All comments that do not follow these guidelines will be removed.