# week fail

My husband has worked umpteen days in a row, including weekends. Moreover, he’s gone most evenings between the hours 3-8 pm, which I call the “marathon hours”– the hours of the day when I tend to lose my shirt. Since I can’t clone myself, I am rushing like mad between homework and making dinner and practicing piano and getting to swimming lessons, and getting the kids outside to enjoy this lovely weather a good hour before it gets dark. And then its baths and pjs and bedtime snack and brushing teeth and stories and bedtime. When he’s not around, several days in a row, all I can do is get the kids clean and fed and where they need to be and pass out on the couch afterward.

A month after switching  classrooms at her preschool, my three year old is still upset at drop off. Most days she doesn’t cry, but  she gives me this pathetic teary-eyed look that makes me want to impale myself on something sharp. I’m told she’s sad for about 2-3 minutes after I leave, and then she’s laughing and talking and playing with her friends like nothing has happened. But in the meantime, her mal adjustment bums me out the entire day, so much so that I’ve contemplated taking her out of preschool for the rest of the year. But I’m working on a bunch of projects at once. She has to go.

Enough of my droning on…

I really enjoyed this blog post about what it means to be classified as Asian. I frequent an Atlanta message board, and I often hear that the area I live in isn’t diverse because it’s just “Asians.” I think it’s time we get rid of the term. Asians are Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis and Koreans and Chinese and Malaysians. And Pakistanis and Indians and Vietnamese. There are so many different countries, so many different languages, foods, traditions, cultures, religions. It’s like lumping me, an American, in the same category as someone from Canada or Mexico. I know virtually nothing of those countries, and I’ve visited them each maybe twice in my life.

Do you call yourself Asian? Or are you more specific?


4 thoughts on “# week fail

  1. I think of “Asian” as a broad category, like Caucasian. I don’t get offended at that classification on forms, though I personally identify as Irish and Italian.
    However, I understand that as a clearly identifiable member of the dominant culture, I have a different view on this. I am always fascinated by the assimilation/culture retention struggle; my own mother went to a public school despite being Catholic because she was one block from the Irish church and the public school, but nine blocks from the Italian church, and as an Italian, she was not allowed to go to the Irish parochial school. So she went to public school. And so while I completely understand why Malaysians are annoyed that people can’t tell the difference between them and Japanese, for example, the funny thing about America is that these lines shift and blend all the time. What’s not funny to me is that my mother’s childhood neighborhood, where clearly an Italian girl couldn’t go to the Irish school, still has terrible race relations and I despair–if European subgroups couldn’t mingle nicely, how are we expecting tri-continental cultural groups to do so?
    But I do think that as the Caucasian ethnic groups have lost most of their heritage ties (my baking Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day is all but meaningless to my kids, for example), it has made it harder to understand the differences in culture that other races bring. (And oh, an African perspective on this would be useful!)
    The YouTube video on the bottom of that blog post was amazing, btw. Thanks for passing it along.
    And also critically: I’m so sorry to hear of the return of the night shifts. Those are some long nights. Hang in there.

  2. Wow, this comment was more thoughtful than the actual post! Thanks so much!

    I generally tell people I’m mixed, but if I’m with Indian people, I say that my father is from India. I don’t typically say I’m Indian, because so many people here were born and raised in India (speak the language, observe the customs, are either Hindus or Muslims, etc.) and I wasn’t.

    I don’t know whether people necessarily get offended by being confused with another ethnic group, so much as they mind that they are all lumped together in the same big group (Asian) when they have nothing in common with so many of the countries. I think this is more felt by people who, again, actually lived in their home country until their twenties, and then came here. I don’t know if it’s as true one or two generations removed.

  3. My husband is a police officer, and I’ve done the single-parent thing for many years. It can be exhausting! Does your husband then expect/want you to devote time to him when he gets home? It is very hard when the menfolk work odd hours. Hang in there. At least you’re getting spring weather. It’s cold up here (outside of Philly) and there’s no warmup in sight.

  4. I am quite thankful for the weather, Kathy. I’ll try to push some of it up to you!

    My husband is one of those guys who walks in the door after working a 14-hour day and starts packing lunches for the kids or cleaning up dinner. Thankfully, he doesn’t expect anything, which works well since I’m spent. We have a work-free weekend coming up, and we could both use it.

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