I need a better pick up line than that……

This past weekend my husband and I had a great time in Gatlinburg.

We went with our dear friends to play some Mini-Golf [or as they call it Putt-putt down here] and attend a Smokies Baseball game. 

We LOVE to go to the games because it is a great time. We also enjoy sitting in section 106!! That section has a season ticket holder who makes the games way more interesting!! 

Anyway…

I went to the concession stand to get some dinner, and it was HOT out. 

I am standing in line, and in the next line over, I see a guy give me that “head nod” thing that men always do. I just smile, and stand forward. 

Then I hear, “Man, it’s hot out.” I look at him and smile

Then this is the conversation that happens.

Guy: “I am just so glad to stand here under the shade.”

Me: “Yeah, it is hot outside.”

Guy: “When I was in the service in the South Pacific it was really hot there…”

Me: ” YEAH, I wouldn’t know.”

Guy: Blank Stare…”crickets”

He then continues to start talking to the lady that was standing behind him.

Yeah, buddy you go work your magic on her! I will tell you though, I never heard the “South Pacific” line come out of his mouth with her hahahaha. 

I don’t know if he was in the service or not, I also don’t know if the South Pacific is the right term to be using for a location for service. BUT I just think that if he REALLY knew what he was talking about he would have named a country. HAHAHA

Anyways….I know I have not been on here in a while, but it’s been busy! 

I hope you enjoyed this story!

 

 

Good Korea or Bad Korea?

So, as we all know lately there has been a lot of news about North Korea.

Let me tell you, there are a lot of crazy things going on with that country.

Over the years when people have asked me where I was from, I would say New York. Then proceed to change the question to what nationality I am.  I respond to that I am Korean American. 75% of the time people leave it at that.

Well, that doesn’t happen in the South.

After people ask me what nationality I am and I inform them that I am Korean…the look on their faces are priceless.

Then immediately follow up with this question:

“Are you from the Good Korea or the Bad Korea?”

Now, I KNOW they are asking me if I am from the North or the South.  I KNOW, I want to give them an explanation, but I don’t. I just tell them South Korea, but one day I made the choice to explain. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

I was at my friend’s birthday party. It was super fun.  I was having a good time, laughing and cutting up with everyone. I was enjoying my time and everyone was enjoying the dumplings I was frying up. As it was time to leave, a party goer asked me the important question….”Where are you from?” The discussion led to the above question of my allegiance to the GOOD or the BAD. I paused and decided that MAYBE, just MAYBE this person, who obviously had a college education and was in the same generation as I was, would understand. NOPE.

I told him the truth. 

You want to know the truth? Well BEFORE there was even a North or South, there was a peninsula called KOREA and it was the same country. When the Koreans were all a part of said one country, technically where the DMZ is, my dad’s side of the family was on the Northern part, but they fled to the South as soon as the war started.

He looked at me and with a straight face proceeded to word vomit,

“OH! So you hate all of us and want to bomb the sh*t out of us and kill us all huh?” 

“whatever you want to think man.” is what I said.

OBVIOUSLY I was annoyed.

“NO, NO seriously! you do right?”

I walked away. What was I supposed to do. There was no way I was going to have a real conversation with someone about this, especially someone who had one too many. If you know what I am saying.

The part that really upsets me about this question is that, there are no good or bad Koreans, there are just Koreans. And No, this does not mean I agree with what is going on the North side of the DMZ. North Korea has issues, I know this.

Are there two countries now, yes, but it was not like that before the war.  It’s bad enough that the question are you from the North or South bothers me, but to ask if I am from the Good or Bad is just ignorant.

My husband, a white, blonde haired blue-eyed man even tells me that he does not understand why it even matters which Korea I am from considering….

  1. I am born and raised in the great United States of America.
  2. Before there was a divide, we were all just Koreans.

Now, I love my husband and if HE can make the distinction and understand the whole story, I do not understand or comprehend the issues that everyone else has. It really strikes a nerve with me.

So, I pose a question to all of you…

Are you from the good or bad part of America?

XOXO

Christine

What is being a “Not Active” Racist?

Do you know what being a “Not Active” Racist is?

I didn’t know what this meant until just recently.  It was used to describe an incident that I had with a certain individual that is a racist, but apparently he is not an “active” racist. He does not speak his mind when he is in front of people that are not white, but he will speak trash and talk shit when they are not around. BTW do you know that this person is a government employee. Yeah, he is. 

So the back story. One of our friends was celebrating his birthday, so we were asked to meet with them for dinner at a restaurant. I knew nothing about this person. I was also told that he was racist, very racist. Well we got there, and I realize that he is very quiet and is not really responding to anything that I say. Now when you look at me, I am OBVIOUSLY Asian. When you hear me speak, I am OBVIOUSLY from “the North” or a Yankee as they would call me. Also you will know that I do not care to speak my mind or speak in hushed tones either. Regardless, after this meeting, I asked the friend if he doesn’t like me because I am Asian. And he said no and that it was just because it was the first time that I had met him. I knew better.

Here it is, six months later and I told my husband that if I felt uncomfortable I was going to give him the signal and that we were leaving. I did not know how he would treat me, so I got ready for anything and everything. We rang the doorbell, and the homeowner opened the door and I see Mr. NAR, we make eye contact and the first words out of his mouth were “OH SHIT!” Everyone in the kitchen area just laughed and chuckled. First indication he was obviously talking about me, and probably not in a nice light.

I entered the kitchen and said hi to the people I knew, and then introduced myself to the people that I did not know, EVEN HIS FIANCE. YES, I was nice. I introduced myself and even shook their hands! After I said hello, I turned to Mr. NAR and said,

“I know we have met. I heard what you said and that was VERY nice of you.”  **BIG SMILE**”

You know when everyone says “You could cut the tension with a knife,” yeah it was like that. So I got a tour of the house [it was a housewarming party] and when I got back to the group I said how I was so happy to see everyone and that it was nice to be there. Although some people were more happier than others. Everyone just smiled, chuckled. I did not mention names, but someone came to his defense and said that Mr. NA just didn’t like anyone. I looked at him dead in the face and I circled my face and stated, “NO, he doesn’t like me because of this. There are some characteristics that I have that Mr. NAR just doesn’t like.” Of course, no one said anything, but they chuckled and laughed. Mr. NAR did not even come out to say anything. 

So the group separated, and all the people that I knew hung around with me and then the people that were not interested in getting to know me went with Mr. NAR to the other room. I was having a great time. I could heard the things that were being said in the other room. Something about one of our mutual friends, who made a very brave decision to do something to support her best friend. Mr. NAR was making mean comments about that. REALLY RUDE comments.

Finally during the night, Mr. NA left. There was a dramatic shift. The people that were not interested in getting to know me came over and asked me questions. They were very nice. Asked me where I was from, and they didn’t mean New York. I respect that, and I appreciate it. They asked me instead of just assuming. 

I asked some of my friends if anything was said about me before we got there. OF COURSE like I had known all along. Apparently right before I got there, they were just talking about me. Mr. NAR was just talking about how much he hated me. Who knows what he said and in my opinion, I do not care. My issue with him was more of the fact that he was RUDE. 

I had a discussion with a wonderful friend about this whole situation. She was right and I knew it, that there is racism, prejudice and discrimination everywhere you go. They are mostly opinions that people are raised to have about other people. OPINIONS. So, I know that I cannot change everyone to be on the same page as me. I also know that when they are raised to believe that anything but white is wrong, then hey! that’s up to you.

I KNOW that I cannot change the opinions that they have, BUT what I do expect is that they respect me!

You can hate the fact that I am Asian all you want.

BUT have the respect to treat me like a person.

I may be imagining things, but honestly after he left, everyone got along great and there was no separation. We all had fun singing, telling jokes, and talking about the past memories we have together. We met some new friends and hopefully we will get to see them again tomorrow for a birthday party! 

So overall, was I hurt by the way I was treated? NO, because I knew he hates me, but I was not ready for the RUDENESS. All I really hope is that his fiance washed her hands after she shook my hand. I mean who knows if he would even let her touch him after that!

Really though, would I have been offended by someone who called Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday, “Dead N***** Day?” NOPE! 

 

XOXO

Christine

Is nowhere safe?

For Christmas, my husband wanted a golf membership and how could I deny such a request.

He wanted one from Centennial Golf Course, so we went to utilize his benefits this past weekend. Let me tell you, we may live in Tennessee but it was still pretty cold; the weatherman was way off target! HAHA Although the weatherman was way off base, there were still a lot of people playing on the course.

I enjoy spending my day on the golf course with my husband, and although I am a horrible golfer, I think it is a fun sport to play. You’re probably wondering where I am going with this, believe me I am getting there. By the ninth hole, which let me tell you, was a HARD hole even for the greatest of players, I gave up on that hole.

I had to use the bathroom, so when we drove up to the green of that hole, I walked into the clubhouse and warm up. I was walking out of the clubhouse back down to the green of the ninth hole. I look out and there are two golf carts full of men standing by the door. I just ignore them and walk, I hear some laughing/snickering.

As I got about 50 feet from them, I hear a man shout “Alooooooooo-HA.” And they all start laughing. In that split second, I thought to myself, I had a choice, to ignore or to say something. I decided to say something.

I stopped, turned around and said REALLY loud for all to hear, “OH YOU THINK THAT’S FUNNY?!?” Dead silence. “IT’S NOT FUNNY.” and I turned around and walked back down to my husband. Who of course thought that I was yelling at him.

I explained to him what happened and he just shook his head, and he knew I was upset. I was upset that even at a place where I find peace, I get gawked at and ridiculed.

I talked to him and we decided, that going forward, if anyone says anything about me in that manner. I will NOT tolerate it and I will not be nice anymore. I am used to be being blunt and honest and speaking my mind. I feel like I lost a piece of me when I moved down here, because I should be more patient and “nicer;” they call it “Southern Hospitality.”

There is nothing hospitable about the way these people treat me. The way they decided to approach me, the one that does not look like them, just does not have any class. Can’t they just speak it quietly among themselves if they have to?

So from this day forward, I am going to be the nasty Yankee that they perceive me as. I am going to get in their face and make them regret ever doing it again. Because obviously, the approach I am taking right now is not working.

Wish me luck on my endeavors!! Do you have any stories like this?

XOXO

Christine

The Reason for the Season…

It is that time of the year…Christmas.

I always enjoy this time of year because I feel like people are nicer to each other, except for me.

If I don’t like you, I don’t like you. HAHA

Living in the bible belt for almost 4 years, I have seen more churches than I can even imagine. There is one on almost every corner. There is one thing though that always annoys me, that people always ASSUME that I am not Christian and that in fact I am anything but.

My husband has been asked “Is she Buddha?” and “Is she saved?” before. When I do attend church here, I can always feel those eyes on me. Aside from the fact that they are wondering if I actually speak English, they are also wondering whether or not I am Christian.

Let me just say, I grew up Presbyterian and have been attending church for over 25 years. There was period where I had to give up on Church, but never gave up on God, until I found my new home church, Pilgrim. I really miss them, and whenever we visit, I always make sure to schedule my flights around church. I have yet to find a church in Tennessee to call home. We have attended a few, but they have yet to draw me in.

I was raised to believe that God forgives us for our sins, he loves us unconditionally, and that yes, Jesus was born on December 25th, which is the reason for the season.

I attended a church one day and was slightly offended. They were preaching about the reason for the season was not Muhammad [I am assuming referencing Muslims, but should be Allah] or Buddha and that it was God that brought Jesus into the world on Christmas, his son. Then for 20 minutes he asked people who felt like they were not saved to come to the altar to be saved. I felt uncomfortable.

Now, let me set the scene for you. This is a small church, and 99% of the people  went to this church and you guessed it, I was the only Asian person there. I asked my husband about this afterwards, but he said that he is used to it because this is not the first time he has heard it. Well, for me this was insulting because I really felt that it was unnecessary to bring up “Muhammad” or Buddha. You already did a play about how Christmas came to be, and that it is from the Bible. Was that all really necessary?

Call me sensitive, but to me this all comes down to belief that I am not saved because I am Asian, in Tennessee and that there is no way I have been saved. There is no way that I know what the Bible is or what the REAL reason for the season is. My husband may have heard it a million times, and I understand his point about how even if there was a Buddhist Monk there, that they would have said the same thing. Well, I was there, someone who they thought was a Buddhist Monk, because since that whole sermon that was given was not planned, I am pretty sure that he was compelled to make sure the Buddhist Monk was saved from Hell.

If you’re curious…I am Saved, Baptized, and Confirmed. I know where I stand with God and that is all I need to know. We are in search of a Church, and I hope and pray, that we find one where we feel safe and welcomed.

Have you ever experienced anything like this?

Merry Christmas & See you all in 2014!

XOXO

Christine

The New Language

Living in New  York for 28 years, I always thought that the words we said and phrases that we said were all understandable and EVERYONE knew what they meant. I was so sure that anytime I talked to my friends they knew EXACTLY what I meant…

It all changed when I moved to Tennessee

Ya’ll, fixin to do something and yuns….What do these words mean? Believe me i was shocked. I was eating dinner with my in laws one night and the server came up and asked, “Whatchyuns like to drink?” I lowered the menu and my mother in law looked at my face and started laughing. She knew it was all over my face. THE LOOK that I had NO IDEA what he just said.

Basically, WHACTYUNS is WHAT WOULD YUNS….YUNS as in YOU GUYS. So what would you guys like to drink.

It was really a mind blowing experience.

As three years have rolled by, let me share with you some other wonderful words that have come to light in my life:

Fixin to… Basically means getting ready to do something “Fixin to go meet some friends.”

Ya’ll … You know, YOU ALL. Or everyone “Ya’ll coming over after the game?”

Plum…not the fruit, but an adjective, extremely. “My shoes are plum worn out!”

shit fiiire….this is one of my persona favorites. it just means something bad. LOL

Lordy Day or God Bless…  I say this when I am not trying not to use the Lord’s name in vain. I am trying to get away from using the GD here. they frown upon that.

Seen…. we all know what seen means but here it is used as “I seen your cousin yesterday”

I am not going to lie and say that I have not used these words or phrases before. After three years they have been implanted into my brain and after these years I now have learned to understand these words more and more. It amazes me how things can differ from region to region in the great United States of America.

What do you guys think? Have you ever been to a part of the country where you did not understand a word?

XOXO

Christine

A “Working” Night to Remember

Last weekend on Oct 19th, I was able to be a part of a beautiful wedding celebration. My husband and I sold our season tickets to the Tennessee vs. South Carolina game [WE BEAT SC!!!! GO VOLS!] to celebrate the union between one of my greatest friends and my new friend! It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was ROCKING!

My husband without fail was the LIFE OF THE PARTY!! I mean Gangnam Style Dancing, shirt ripping, Hulk Hogan impersonating, & twerking the bride for the photographers kind of party animal! LOL

I was told AT LEAST 10 times..

“THAT is yours!”

Yes, THAT big, white man is MY husband!

(The reception was held at the Green Building in Brooklyn, New  York. Not my friends, but a picture from the website!)

The music was great, the atmosphere was great because we were there celebrating with friends and when your husband is running around taking selfies with your friends, you cannot ask for a better night.

The memories were priceless.

The one memory that trumps all memories of memories was AFTER the wedding.

I was of course some of the few sober people at this shindig, I ALWAYS enjoy watching the crowd and seeing what happens, because, let’s be real, SOMEONE needs to be able to tell the stories after everyone is sober. lol My brother (one of the Best Men, SUCH a proud big sister!) was asking for our help, and when I mean our, I mean the sober ones!

A few of the guests were unable to drive their vehicles to the hotel that they were staying at, so he was asking for us to drive people to the hotel with their vehicles and basically shuttle, park and make sure they all made it back in one piece. How could I say no, these are my friends, and even if I did not know them I would still do it. So after an hour we finally got down to the one minivan to drive back to the Green Building so that we could finally depart to go home. This is where it gets very good!

We were waiting for one more designated driver to come down, but we also picked up another friend to thought they lost their phone. SO, let’s set the scene. Two guys come down, we send one back because we did not have anymore room. He goes back up, and then we have the one designated driver and our friend that lost his phone at the venue and wanted to go back to check. My cousin and his fiance in the back seat my brother driving, my husband sitting shotgun and me sitting behind my brother. We finally breathe a sigh of relief as the night is almost over.

We are cruising down the main road to get back to the venue when we get pulled over, BY A FORD FUSION/FOCUS. Our initial reaction is wondering if Best Man was speeding. We just wait to see what it is about.  A man with an NYPD badge around his neck comes around asks my brother to get out of the vehicle and takes him to the undercover car.

Out of nowhere 3 or 4 other officers with flashlights start shining the lights into the car, and then start opening the sliding doors and my husband is trying to look for the registration and the insurance in the glove compartment. Then a woman [which we found out later was the supervisor] NYPD officer comes over with a flashlight, turns off the van and then points the flashlight into our faces and just asks “What is your relationship to the driver?” She is talking to one of our friends that we picked up. He says he is a friend. She says “do you personally know him?” and he says, “yes.” Then she asks where this vehicle’s original destination is from. This is when I knew things were getting crazy.

I decided to speak, ” the Green Building.” What is the green building? “it’s a venue that you can rent out for a wedding. we are just trying to get back to our cars because we all drove cars for the people that could not drive and dropped them off at the hotel. The driver is the best man and he is also my brother.” He’s your brother? Where does he live? “Michigan” where do you live? “Tennessee” so if he is your brother then he would know where you live right? “yes” do you have ID? “Yes, can i have it please?” She takes my ID and then a few minutes later my brother gets back to the car, hands me my ID and I was like WHAT DID THEY SAY!

He said that the woman told those guys to pull us over because she said we looked very suspicious doing U Turns in front of the hotel. Picking people up and dropping people off and coming back a few times. My brother also said that they did not want to pull us over but their supervisor made them. She asked him, “Who is the woman sitting behind you?” He said my sister. “Where does she live?” Tennessee.

So of course a car full of Asians and one White guy dressed in our wedding best looked very suspicious dropping people off and picking people up from the hotel.  If they were really watching us, they would have noticed that we had dropped off three cars with people that were stumbling into the hotel and we made sure they checked in and then parked their cars. I mean obviously this was not the right car to get, because a block away from where they pulled us over was a minivan SURROUNDED by women in short short mini skirts, plastic heels, and no jackets on. I mean seriously!

Overall though, I must say this was a bonding moment for all of us, although it just frustrated us more because we were just trying to get home. We also were just trying to do the right thing, but we got interrogated instead! We can of course laugh about it now, and we still do because that was a first for all of us in the car. Also in the end we all just made it out of there without any other further issues.

The only part that makes me think more is, I did not think any of us looked like “working” girls/guys LOL but maybe I need to rethink my outfit choices?? HAHA

Congratulations to my friends on their marriage!

Thanks for the fun night!

XOXO

Christine