Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My whiteness

Last Saturday when I was buying bananas at el supermercado down the street from our house the cashier looked at me and said "es dos en once" ( well she actually probably didn't say that exactly, but since I suck at Spanish that is what it sounded like to me... ). It was super flattering that she though that I was Latina though... I wish I was Latina... or Asian... or something ... Anyway, I didn't want to ruin the illusion for either of us, so when I handed her a five and she gave me my bananas and change and said "gracias" I just said "mmm hmm" and left so I wouldn't have to say "thank you" in English or "Grassyass” in my I-can't-speak-Spanish-too-well accent and totally blow my cover.

Other cultures just seem to be so much more interesting than white American culture and Latina women and Asian women and Native American women and women from most anywhere other than the general Anglo decent are so much more exotic and interesting looking and prettier than I am, so of course it felt like a great compliment that the cashier that day assumed I was Latina... it was like she thought I was prettier than I really am.

I think one of the best unintended compliments I've ever gotten was when I was in college going to a swim meet. I was looking at a magazine my friend had brought me from Japan and one of my teammates from Hawaii said "Oh are you Japanese? I didn't know that".

I was floored. The notion that I could even remotely pass myself off as Japanese just tickled me pink! ... and this notion had come from someone who is pretty much Asian herself. (I think technically Hawaiians are considered Pacific Islanders, but they get grouped together a lot on surveys where you are supposed to check a box for your ethnicity... I'm pretty sure I've seen "Asian/ Pacific Islander" more than a couple times as an option... and I think the native inhabitants of Hawaii came originally from Japan although I could be totally pulling that out of my ass but I do feel like I heard that somewhere) , so it made it all the more powerful of an implication coming from her, but Before I could tell her that I wasn't actually Japanese another girl on my swim team, who is actually Japanese laughed and said "geeze she's obviously not Asian. Not everyone who can read Japanese is from Japan."

So my moment of feeling like a beautiful lotus flower from the East was quickly dashed to the ground and then when my teammate asked me to read something to her from the magazine I also had to explain that I did not read Japanese either but was just looking at the pictures in the magazine... and then I felt really boring and plain for the rest of that bus ride. Oh well. It was a nice moment anyway.

It's not that I think I’m ugly. I don’t. I even have moments where I pass by a mirror and wanna go back for a second eye full of myself… but then I’ll be watching tv or surfing the net or looking at magazine covers while I’m in line at the grocery store… and I’ll realize that I am pretty…PRETTY AVERAGE LOOKING (ZING !). There’s not really anything wrong with me (aside from the occasional wart, cold sore, pimple, dandruff flake, stretch mark, oily hair or split end … ok, well yeah I guess I’m somewhat busted looking, but more than that) I just don’t have a super exciting and exotic look… Apparently even when I am actually excited and having fun… I still look dull.

All my life I have constantly heard that I should “smile more” and I’ve had people asking “what’s the matter” when the answer really and truly is “nothing”. My neutral expression is just kind of frowny I guess… so my excited expression just seems to come off as mildly amused. Last weekend, for example, I took Tony to a magic dinner show for his birthday, and there were magicians coming around and doing card tricks and things while we were waiting for dinner to be served and I was having a really good time and I thought all the tricks were good and stuff, but I think I was going to have to just get up and start dancing or something if Tony had to say “This IS what she looks like when she’s excited” to one more roving magician who thought he had to point out sarcastically how “EXCITED” I looked. Blah…

One thing that is going pretty well for me lately though is my skin… I seem to have finally found a skin care regime for my face that works pretty well. I have been loyal to Clean and Clear ever since I found their moisturizer that actually contains acid… I’ve had Acne issues for as far back as I can remember and pretty much any moisturizer I used made my skin break out, but I finally was able to give my face the moisture that it deserves once I found “Clean and Clear’s Duel Action Moisturizer” which pampers my face with cool moisturizing lotion… while also burning my face with salicylic acid… its pretty awesome !!! I feel my acne is so much better since I found that moisturizer… but I still would not say I have great skin. My big (pun intended) skin problem I think is that I have huge pores on my face… (wow suddenly I feel this post turning into a wanna be proactive commercial…)

Anyway, here is an example of how awfully big my pores are… About a year or so ago after Tony and I had just returned from a camping trip I was squeezing a black head on my cheek and it turned out to actually not be a black head at all… a flea suddenly wriggled out of my face… it was so very very VERY disturbing... and itchy… so yeah I kind of put it out of my mind, but there has been an onslaught of commercials recently for pore minimizing cleansers and creams and what not and I would say pores that small blood sucking insects can hide in are too large, so while I was at target a couple weeks ago buying groceries I wandered past the skin care aisle and I noticed that there were some skin care products ON SALE… and Target was so kind as to put big enticing red stickers on these items to let me know what GREAT BUY they were… so I ended up buying 3 new facial cleansers and a night-time moisturizer… and I saved $3.00 on the whole lot. SCORE! Anyway, the random on sale products that I got work great (three were clean and clear and the third was Biore, but it was so cool I had to buy it… it’s a “warming facial scrub” and it heats up almost to the point that it feels almost like touching a hot stove just by rubbing it around in your hand with water… chemistry is CRAZY) … anyway my skin has never looked better, but I’m pretty sure that since all the products I bought were marked down they will soon be discontinued and my face will go back to being a gross pitted desert. Until then I’m going to enjoy it though… even if it is only smooth WHITE PERSON skin at least its smooth.

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