To be exact, my 20th high school reunion is this year. WOW, time sure flies!
The thought of the reunion brings back lots of memories, both good and bad. From an Asian dude social point of view, the bad was remembering every girl at my high school who I asked out on a date said no. (Yes, I admit it! And that sucked!!!) The good was having one bold and popular Chinese girl actually ask me out on a date. (I said yes, and she became my high school sweetheart and a good friend to this day.)
Back then I was just another politically apathetic Asian dude trying to fit in. My school was for the academically gifted so we had a proportionately high number of Asians in my class; 15% of the student body was Asian. But our Asian American Society organization was so pathetic; our only highlight was our annual Chinese New Year show. Our parents seemed to be similarly apathetic, getting good grades and a 1600 on the SAT (that’s all it was back then) seemed to be their only concern. (Seriously, I actually did have Asian friends whose parents expressed profound displeasure at scoring only a 98 on tests.)
I was quite different back then. I tried to be pretty color-blind with respect to everything including girls (my Mom’s greatest fear was I would bring home a non-Chinese girl.) I might have even enjoyed watching Sixteen Candles back then (Boo! Hiss!) I had no clue about the biases of American media and how it was affecting me and my Asian brothers and sisters. I guess I was just lucky that I was too stubborn to let “no” stop me.
Fast forward 20 years, I have the Chinese wife my mother always nagged me to have and 3 boys and a girl who in no time will be in high school too. Playing catch-up on Asian American issues was painful and I look back at my last 20 years with a humble “what the hell was I thinking!?” I’m making sure my kids are much more aware of Asian American issues and don’t go through what I did. And that my boys enjoy their high school social experience more.
Now back to the reunion. I have this real selfish urge to show off my wife and tell everyone that she’s my trophy wife, especially to the girls who turned me down. (I’m just kidding!) But bless her Asian genes and her addiction to working out; she gorgeous, looks 21 and weighs the same as when we met - even after 4 kids! My wife nagged to be dressed appropriately for the reunion and I asked her, “Why? You’re the only accessory I need to wear to the reunion.” [ducks…]
P.S. That was supposed to be a compliment.