Friday, June 12, 2009

We're back!

The Generation Gap or the Cultural Gap?

I noticed while my parents were here that a great deal of importance is placed on whether someone is male or female. It is something you must specify at the beginning of a story. For example:

Me: "I meet with this group of artists once a month to discuss..."
Parent: "All women, or mixed?"


Me: "My neighbor..."
Parent: "The husband or the wife?"


Or we're driving down the freeway and—
One parent: "Hey, look at the passenger in that car, they've stuck their feet out the window!" (They're constantly amused and amazed by such behavior.)
The other parent: "Is it a man or a woman?"


In short, you simply can not talk about anyone without having to specify whether it's a man or a woman. Yes, it drove me slightly nuts. And it makes me appreciate that here, people care slightly less about that than perhaps in other countries.

So this reminds me of another gender related story

In one of my visits back to Taiwan, when my brother & his wife still lived with my parents, my s-i-l would collect my laundry every morning and by the evening, my clean clothes would magically reappear on my bed. That is, everything except for my socks. I didn't say anything, thinking that the socks took longer to dry in the humid weather. After 7 days, I was out of socks and had to enquire after them.

S-i-l: "What colors are your socks?"
Me: "Black."
My father, quite surprised: "But why do you wear black socksl?!?! You're a girl!"

But back to work

After a month of traveling with my parents, life is more or less back to normal. I'm trying to finish the GBW's Marking Time website, which I did manage to work on while my parents were still here. I should be finished this weekend. And not a moment too soon, I had said I'd be done mid-June. Here's a sneak peak. I'm further along than that, just haven't uploaded the latest yet.

And for something unexpected

Check out the video on our (the critique group) exhibit For the Love of Food at Cedar Crest earlier this year:


margaret said...

Thanks for the amusing (maybe not to you) stories of your parents needing to know gender for every story/observation. I laughed. What if you did something similarly strange like interrupted them every time they were telling a story to demand, I dunno, "What color eyes do they have?" or some other relatively and perhaps equally inconsequential detail.

Would they get it? Or is it one of those things you can laugh about now?

BTW, I wear black socks too. Shocking!

Michael5000 said...

Yeah, what IS it with your socks?

gl. said...

i've loved telling people this story!