Thursday, September 6, 2007

Spetmeber Scent Xperiment, Day 6

I had an interview yesterday, so I went Satsuma, just to up my Personal Awakiness Factor. As I was waiting for my interviewer, reading a book and minding my own business, a guy dropped his papers on the floor around my feet. Being the good citizen that I am, I promptly scooped everything up for him; he thanked me profusely, I did the whole 'oh, it was nothing' hand wave, and I figured that was it.

He paused next to me for a fraction of a second too long. Oh, crap, not again.

"Hey, do you know where the nearest Verizon place is?" he asked.

"Nope," I said, immediately burying my face in my book again. Why is it never the cute ones?

"Hey," he said, going for round two. "What nationality are you?"

This is where I gave him my Martian Death Ray Stare. "I beg your pardon?" I inquired in a voice of sweetness laced with cyanide.

He was understandably taken aback by this, stuttered nervously for a moment, then bolted. I was peeved; I don't know about you, but I consider my heritage a very personal, intimate matter. How dare a total stranger ask me about it?

Generally, there are two circumstances in which people bother asking me about my background within moments of meeting me:

1. They're WASP, figure I'm not, and want to confirm their suspicion before they accidentally treat me like an equal, not that I'm paranoid or anything,


2. They're a minority, figure I am too, and want to confirm this so that they can instantly be BFFs like OMG! and most likely more. This category is extremely male-dominated.

Please note that I don't resent when people ask me about my heritage AFTER we've gotten to know each other a bit, and I know if they're trustworthy or not. I'm only angry when it's one of their first questions, so I know they're using the information to define me and then stick me in the appropriate pigeonhole in their heads.

This guy fell into circumstance 2, just in case you were wondering. Dude, if you want to hit on me, ask me something related to the context we're in! Like, if two people are in a coffee shop, they can converse about the mocha-mint-blah-blah special. Or, if their cars just collided, they can share a good laugh and then ask each other for their insurance info. Sheesh. Must it be this crass and obvious?

Am I alone in feeling this way?


1. People should mind their own beeswax, until I've gotten to know them well enough that I know they won't abuse whatever personal info I give them, and

2. Satsuma really is good for the professional sphere, in spite of (or because of?) the possibility that it encourages my natural belligerence. Just sayin'.


  1. [ Original comment from Bekka imported from MySpace ]

    I went to this speed dating event a couple years ago and I should have known it was sketchy as it was held in a park as opposed to an actual building that would have given it some sort of validity. There were about 5 men for every 1 girl. All of the men look like they had just emerged from under rocks in their parents basements somewhere in Siberia probably, where they were born about 50 or so years ago.

    There was this one pasty looking 50-60 year old guy who's first question in our 2 minute meeting was, "Are you Eastern European or something? You definitely look Eastern European." Remembering all the images on TV of Bosnian women refugees wearing scarves on their head looking very haggard and hollow eyed-- I probably gave him a really confused yet annoyed look. "No." I said sharply. To which he responded: "You have to be. Even your earrings are Eastern European." He gestured at the gold chandelier earrings I was wearing that I recently got on sale at Macy's. I became even more hostile and refused to continue the conversation until our 2 minute "date" was up.

    The moral of the story is... If you're trying to start a conversation with a girl-- stick with inoffensive things like giving them tasteful compliments (stick to complimenting anything above the neck to be safe.)

    Posted by Bekka on September 7, 2007 - Friday at 1:35 AM

  2. [ Original comment from Astrid imported from MySpace ]

    "If you're trying to start a conversation with a girl-- stick with inoffensive things like giving them tasteful compliments (stick to complimenting anything above the neck to be safe.)"

    This tactic can backfire, though. I once had a guy compliment me on my eyebrows -- ??? Needless to say, I didn't throw myself at him.

    Posted by Astrid on September 7, 2007 - Friday at 1:43 PM