The following is a true story. I grew up on the borders of the South Bronx. My apartment sucked. I shared a bed with my mother all through high school. We were poor because my dad went on vacations and spent all his money on girlfriends and booze. We had roaches. We had mice. The apartment was fucking filthy because my mother and I were so fucking depressed. I was like Molly Ringwald talking to Andrew McCarthy in Pretty in Pink: "I DON'T WANT YOU TO TAKE ME HOME!!! I DON'T WANT YOU TO SEE WHERE I LIVE!!!" Though, man, if I had a dad as cool as Harry Dean Stanton I wouldn't have cared much.

I ate Spam out of the tin with a spoon and rice out of a metal pot for dinner. I remember buying 13 glue traps in the summer and, after 10 minutes, NO SHIT, AFTER TEN FUCKING MINUTES, we had already caught four of the motherfuckers. Then one summer it got so hot and when I came home from school I smelled what you might call ROTTING MOUSE CARCASS. So, don't give me any rhetoric about, "Well it wasn't REALLY the South Bronx because you were on 182nd Street." Because every day after fucking school after getting beaten up by future ex-cons I'd hear "CHING CHONG, FING FONG," "Suck my lo mein noodle," "Yo stupid chinky chinky poo poo chinky Chinese Wong nee how ma." That's fucking South enough of center for me.

So after getting beaten up enough my mother sent me to a better school in Riverdale. It was like the line in that movie, only it was "I see rich people." And guess what, they didn't ask me about lo mein noodles, didn't pull up their eyelids when they saw me. Whoa, man. Am I smoking something? Then two summers at some private school on some scholarship deal. "I see richer people." They didn't pull that shit, either. These people played tennis. The boys wore white shorts and the girls wore socks with pom poms on the back and Tretorn sneakers. What the fuck was that all about? So college comes along and my SATs suck and I write some essay about my dad being an abusive alcoholic, sob sob, and they write back with some note about being "truly moved by my sensitive work" and take me in as their token minority. I think there were three others in my class.

This is the point of my story. I met a guy freshman year. Fell totally in love. Both of us fucking inseparable for four years. I thought he was IT. And then it was over. Hard times. I would look down at the street and hallucinate his name written there between the cracks. Scary stuff. So here are my tips for those of you who happen to like those waspy, cute rich white boys.

  1. Don't gape at the stuff they have when his parents invite you over for the first meeting. This is their shit; they're used to it. They've probably never seen a fucking waterbug in their life. Just act real cool, play it down, smile, try to read up on current events (I say this because I don't give a rat's ass about current events, but Wasps like to discuss them at the dinner table).
  2. Don't think dinnertime is going to be some rowdy, fun fantastic thing where everybody's making cool jokes, slapping each other on the behind to get to the refrigerator, whatever. Isn't going to fucking happen. There are going to be motherfucking candles and china sets here. If you don't know what fork to use watch Pretty Woman before you go.
  3. Be prepared to have a box of Slim Jims in your room, because Wasps don't serve enough fucking food. There's always just enough, and of course you can't ask for seconds because you'll look like some pig. And you're gonna leave that table fucking hungry as hell.
  4. Smile a lot. Ghetto Asians who smile are charming as shit. They like that. They know you're a ghetto Asian and you're a fucking novelty, so go with it. When they ask about your background just tell them about your great fucking esteemed college and your scholarship and they'll be happy to have housed you and let you use their monogrammed towels.
  5. When things start to get real serious and you start to get invited to family "events," be nice to all the siblings even though you think they suck big wang. Be super nice. Treat your boyfriend's brother's girlfriend as though she were fucking family, even though she sure as hell won't do it for you. Give her nice presents even though you can't fucking afford three slices of pizza the day after Christmas. Give nice presents to everyone in the fucking family. Don't get drunk. I learned this the hard way. Wasps never forgive.
  6. Don't joke about how Nixon seemed "really sensitive and tortured in that Oliver Stone movie." They won't get it. Sarcasm? Right over their heads. It is perceived as RUDE, UNDIGNIFIED. They're just gonna think you're ghetto, you got reeled in by Hollywood, all the usual blah blah blah.
  7. When you think your boyfriend is gonna propose, don't take him seriously for a goddamn minute. Goddamn minute? Make that goddamn second. He'll do all the lead-up shit, get his mother's old ring appraised, but when push comes to shove he'll say "I'm not ready," leaving you with your sad ass tits flapping in the wind. In their bedroom his parents will be breathing huge sighs of relief and counting their silverware.
  8. Don't get insulted when they say "How can you not know how to swim?" Resist the temptation to say "Well, you lousy motherfucker, I don't happen to have a summer home on a lake and my mother was too busy trying to afford tutors for me to get into good schools so we had no money for swimming lessons and I had no friends since everyone was fucking trying to beat the feces out of my little ass."
  9. When someone calls you "oriental," don't say "that refers to rugs and furniture, not people." They're not gonna change for you, cause honey, you just an Asian ghetto child and they couldn't care fucking less. Just as long as you don't marry their son, you fine.
  10. When someone in the family says, "Yeah, we have money, but I don't think I should be beaten up for it," JUST BREATHE, JUST MOTHERFUCKING BREATHE. IT WILL PASS.

This is the last I have to say. One day when my college boyfriend and I were together in my dorm, happy as fucking clams, I took some soda out of my fridge and poured it into a measuring cup because I didn't want to take the trouble to pour it into a proper glass. This is the love of my life, the guy who got his mother's ring appraised, all that bullshit. You know what he said to me?

"Ugh, honey, that's so GHETTO." So if you're reading this and you don't remember, HONEY, have that engraved on your fiance's ring and stick it up your sorry ass.


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