So I had two incidents in mind that I wanted to share here and had written up a blurb for, but was having a difficult tying them together. And then something happened at work that’s been bothering me a good deal, although it’s taken me some time — and a good deal of discussion with various fellow-Asian-American friends — to put form to why I’ve been feeling so bothered since last week.

The incident took place at the end of the day last Friday. Three white coworkers were chatting about 10 feet away from me, discussing the red lights shining at the Empire State Building (which we have a prime view of from my office). Incidentally, I was trying to join in on the conversation by asking for more details about the lights,  but they didn’t hear me, and then THIS gem happened instead:

Lady 1: It’s Chinese New Year-themed. They’re having some firework lighting at 6 to 7, I hear.
Man: You know, I don’t understand why Oriental is suddenly an offensive term.
(There is an awkward pause as ALL THREE GLANCE SIDEWAYS AT ME. I pretend not to listen, but am in fact listening quite intently.)
Lady 2: Yeah, I know…
Lady 1: It’s just one of those things.
Lady 2: I personally don’t think it’s such a bad term, but you have to be sensitive.
Man: No. This is one of those cases where people are just overreacting. You can’t be sensitive about everything.
Lady 2: (trying to be conciliatory) Well, I don’t mind not using the word.
Guy: I do. I like that word. It sounds very (emphatically gesturing) mysterious, and fantastical.
Lady 1: The Orient Express.

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Japanese Christmas cake

The “proud” recipient of three summer 2012 wedding invitations, I was wondering out loud to my new coworkers at the trade publication I work at, expressing my apprehension at finally entering the wedding attendance stage of my vicenarian days. My boss happens to be passing by. He stops, looks at me, and interjects with: “It’s like Japanese Christmas cake.”

All four of us look at him with giant question marks hanging over our heads.

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16 golden tips for hitting on a bartender

Having worked as a bartender for going on two and a half months now, I’ve observed my share of human psychology as it relates to bar politics. Now, back when I first nabbed the gig, the comment I heard most from male friends was, “I bet you’re going to get hit on A LOT.” While this hasn’t necessarily been true — I don’t spend the bulk of my shifts batting away inebriated would-be suitors, and I don’t consequently feel constantly violated by having to play the face at a nightlife venue — I have come up with my own list of what accounts for good bar behavior, but more of what really pisses bartenders off.

Without ado, I give you:

16 golden tips for hitting on a bartender

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