Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Not American

Our daughter takes her dry-cleaning to a shop run by two very friendly Korean ladies in their sixties. They get right to the point, asking such questions as, “How come you not have two baby?”

They asked this question about three years ago, before Becky and her husband adopted a baby girl.  Their son, who would have been about four at the time, might have come in with her that day. Becky said, “I’m 47. I’m not going to have another baby.”

“You think you too old? You not too old. She (pointing to her co-worker) have baby when she 47, so still you can do.”

Becky mumbled something pleasantly non-commital and left.

The next time she went in, the lady said, “Her baby here today. You can see. She fine.”
She called the “baby”, who was in a back room of the shop, to come out. A pretty young woman of about 20 appeared.  She smiled, said hello and returned to the back room.

The lady said, “So now maybe you have baby.” Then she turned to her friend. “She not American,” she remarked.

Hearing this, Becky objected, “But I am American. What else could I be?”

“You not look American,” the shop keeper stated firmly. She turned to her friend. “She not look American you think?”

“Yes, not look American,” agreed the other.

“So what am I then?” asked Becky.

The two considered her for a moment. “Polski,” said one. The other nodded in agreement.

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