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Interesting Interracial


We went to a former coworker (and dare I say somewhat friend?)’s birthday shindig in the city last week. The interesting thing was that this is the first time I met his Irish family and his wife’s Chinese family. All in under one roof. For once Fifi (fiancee) and I weren’t the interracial family out on the town.

It was interesting to see the former coworker’s (“E”) parents make small talk with his wife’s parents. It reminds me of my father being pitted against Fifi’s parents in a room, looking around to see what he can talk about. Next thing you know my pops will say something like “so, lovely carpet I own over there, huh?”. My mother does all the talking and can actually interact with human beings, making me very impressed with E and his wife’s parents handling small talk very well.

I think in general the white families of an interracial group do their best to make the minority family feel at ease. I sort of saw that a bit with E’s parents making the small talk with the Chinese in the corner. Minorities just aren’t minglers I think.

I wonder what E calls his in laws. Perhaps he does the same thing I do and wait for Fifi’s mother or stepfather to look at me before I talk to them. I figure the only time I’ll need to address them by name is during my reception speech when I then say “Mr. & Mrs. Fifi, I thank you for not screwing up Fifi too much during her impressionable years.” I don’t know if I can call mother-in-law “mom” for fear of an Everybody Loves Raymond episode where my mother gets jealous.

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2 Responses

  1. They make me call them “mom” and “dad”. I hate it. I avoid speaking to them as much as possible just so I don’t have to call them that.

    When we got married, her folks told me I could call them whatever I wanted. Then every Chinese person at the reception told me otherwise and it would be a great insult if I didn’t call them Mom and Dad. Oy.

    • That’s kinda awkward. Being “recommended” what to call your in laws. I mean, it’s cute if you’re willing to do it and they’re playful with it…but only if they’re sociable people. How’s convo with your in-laws?

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