He and I bonded over China one evening at the gym, and pretty soon we went from lifting weights to lifting coffee cups over at the Starbucks just down the street from me. Kaifeng became home to a community Sephardic Jews during the Northern Song Dynasty, and they thrived there for more than 700 years.
I liked Arnold because he was this huge espresso shot of an African-American, the kind of guy who wasn’t afraid to say — or ask — anything. Jews found refuge during the Holocaust in a visa-free Shanghai.
It continued as each of us dated our own high school sweethearts.
(A professor once mentioned to me that her synagogue had Asian women “sprouting up” all over the congregation.) People usually cite the most popular examples, e.g., Mark Zuckerberg and “his Asian wife,” Maury Povich and Connie Chung, Woody Allen and “his very young Asian wife.” (Hmmm, Connie excluded, I’d say we Asian women are getting the shaft in terms of name recognition.
But this is all beside my point.) Our marriage isn’t trendy. But ours is not a Jewish boy meets Asian girl, and due to a number of conveniently shared values–“tight-knit families, money saving, hard work, and educational advancement” included–they fall in love kind of story. As freshmen, we were lowly chorus members–he was a Jewish Nazi, and I, an evangelical Christian Chinese Austrian nun.
You're single and hot with your creamy, caramel-colored skin, and the white guy at the end of the sushi bar eyes you. Anyway, we all have those inner voices, and back at the sushi bar, your inner voice goes, "But would he take me home to his mama?
So you cozy up your multiracial, muttilicious, Taiwanese-Latina self to the sushi bar, two seats away from him. " Then another talk bubble lights up, that inner voice that's even deeper in your gut.