Post # 1
Okay so this has been bugging me since yesterday and I need to bounce it off some other people (bees ) to get a better idea of whether I am over-reacting or not.
So I let it slip yesterday morning at our weekly staff meeting that bf/FI and I are getting married. They, of course, all glanced at my left hand and the lack of ring raised questions. That in and of itself was annoying but here’s what really got me…
At one point, one of our newer staff members mentioned that she hasn’t met bf/FI and asked to see a picture. I happily showed her some pictures of him and after commenting about how cute he is, she asked me about his ethnicity. This is not uncommon – bf/FI is biracial and is often mistaken for hispanic when he’s actually half-Japanese (I have some great stories from when we evacuated to Texas for Hurricane Katrina). I explained that he is half-Japanese and they started asking questions about his family etc, no big deal.
Then, out of nowhere, one of my coworkers says “oh, so he’s Japanese – well no wonder he likes you with your lily white skin and that dark hair.”
My jaw literally dropped but she (and a few other coworkers that chimed in) continued to talk about how I’m “whiter than white” and “now it makes sense!”
Here are my problems with the conversation:
1. I know I’m fair skinned and I do have dark hair but I don’t understand how that and bf/FI’s race have anything to do with why he wants to marry me.
2. I found it insulting that she was looking for an “explanation” as to why we were together!
3. She went on from there to ask if we would be serving sushi at the reception and if I would wear a kimono for the ceremony which (at least to me) is borderline racist.
It just… bothered me to the point where I’ve been constantly thinking about it. The more I think about it, the more upset I get. I am dreading seeing my coworker again and don’t know what – if anything – to do about the situation.
Does it seem like I’m over-reacting? Sometimes I get all worked up over nothing and I’ve been extra emotional lately so I’m just trying to get a read on where this would fall on your radar!
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
Ugh people can be so ridiculous sometimes. Yes, I do think that her comment is very inappropriate, but I don’t think that you should necessarily do anything about it – that would probably just make the whole situation more uncomfortable for you. I’m sure she didn’t mean to offend you and that she had no idea that what she was saying was rude.
I’d let it go, but just avoid talking to that coworker about my wedding in the future, ’cause she’s likely to say something else rude!
Post # 4
Wow – that would have offended me too, so you’re not alone on that. Some people can be so quick to stereotype and not think about what they’re saying! I would have been especially offended by the “now it makes sense” comment with respect to your light skin and dark hair.
No, you’re not overreacting on this one.
Post # 5
that is messed up, really truly not a normal thing to say! it’s always tricky when it comes to jerky co-workers, how upset you can get without kicking yourself. if she is in a lower position than you in the company maybe just grab an opportunity to get a dig in with her when she gives away some personal detail. or you could take the high road and flat out ignore everything she says to you in the future. sounds like she’s sort of jealous or intimidated by you. good luck with all that.
and yeah, what is up with people looking at your ring finger the instant you tell them you are getting married?? i find it really stupid and irritating as well, and since i am also sporting the naked finger for now it’s doubly so when the women straight up ask me “where’s your ring.” i sort of want to tell them something really b*tchy like: “none of your damn business.”
Post # 6
@amanda.lynn I definitely will be avoiding her from here on out – no wedding deets for her! As for her not knowing she was being rude, if it were anyone else, I might see that. But this same woman tried to get one of the managers fired because she told her that her lipstick looked good with her skin tone, a comment that she deemed racist. Maybe she’s only super sensitive to such comments when they are about her?
@realeastcoaster Yes, the “now it makes sense” comment bothered me more than anything. It came across as an insult!
Post # 7
I think that the first half of the pale comment would have been more appropriate had she a) been a good friend b) been talking about the first fraction of a second of intial attraction AND your Fiance was raised in Japan c) obviously been talking in a friendly yet relatively teasing manner, which would require her to be a good friend. However, it doesn’t appear as though any of those apply and then she went on and on about the Asian-fusion wedding idea… so yeah, I would be irked too.
Post # 8
Their comments were rude, but I’m sure they weren’t trying to get your pissed on purpose. Some people just don’t think before they speak!
Post # 9
I don’t think the question about the kimono or sushi was rude….I’m part Korean and we got questions like that, too. People can just be curious about the integration of culture and sometimes, dating someone who is biracial makes you super sensitive to stuff like that. Darling Husband would get questions like that about me. It was never a big deal.
Last I checked, japanese men don’t all have a *thing* for “white girls with dark hair” that’s so strange…I’ve NEVER had anybody say anything like that to us. The ONLY remotely close comment is that when I reveal I’m part Korean, they’ll say to my husband, “oh, no wonder you like her so much, her eyes are so pretty!” and kinda nudge him. But that’s not even racist, I think that is a compliment, lol.So, maybe she is complimenting you with your lovely skin?
I don’t think that is racist–i think the “now it makes sense” comment is inappropriate. My mom is half korean–I’ve heard a lot of comments like that in regards to her. “oh shes’ so exotic” blah blah blah. You kinda have to grow a tough skin and realize people don’t always mean it the way you take it. Especially since you do’nt know her. Benefit of the doubt for now? Next time, speak up. The “now it makes sense” isn’;t appropriate. Is it possible they were kinda joking with you?
And I’m totally guilty of the finger-check when someone’s engaged. I mean, seirously–IF you had a ring on your finger, you know you’d want someone to grab your hand and ooh and aah over it, so try not to get so offended about that. I know i’d be a little bummed if i said i was engaged and nobody was like, “oh let me see!”…double-edged sword I guess =]. It’s a natural instinct.
Post # 10
Oh and maybe she’s just JEALOUS of all the beautiful happa babies you’ll have. They’ll have “weird” eyes like I do =]
Those 25% asians are the shiznits…
Post # 11
Ugh, I’m sorry you had to go through that. You’re not overreacting at all. PPs are right – some people are just ignorant and ridiculous. I agree that because it’s a work environment, it might not be the best situation to confront her about the comment. But, if she brings it up again, there has to be something you could say to make her stop and think about what she’s saying. Maybe you could even mention what you said yourself in your original post: “I’m not sure I understand why you need an explanation for us to be together – much less an explanation based on the color of my skin.”
Post # 12
I’m with ejs4y8 in regards to the ring glance. I’m also guilty of checking to see if one is there, but it’s NOT to judge her if she doesn’t have one. I just know how good it feels to have someone gawk at it, and my fiance still gets a kick out of it when I come home and say “so-and-so loved my ring.”
About your coworker – I’d avoid her if I were you. She sounds like bad news, especially seeing as how she tried to get a manager fired for making a WAY less offensive comment than hers.
Post # 13
Yikes! That is definitely offensive! I’m of bi-racial ethnicity as well, and trust me, I would be incredibly insulted if someone insinuated that I was with my Fiance based on that alone!
Post # 14
I don’t mind the ring glance so much as the funny looks/questions/comments I get afterwards. But believe me – when my ring does come, I will be showing it off to everyone, lol!
Thanks so much for all of your comments, I feel a lot better now
Post # 15
Wow, those comments really bother me, too. I’m half Japanese and I’m very offended by the comments that your coworkers made. I think it’s pretty ridiculous that your coworkers said those things. I have yet to be asked if I am having an Asian fusion wedding and with my last name, it’s pretty obvious I’m Japanese. And people don’t ask me what ethnicity my Fiance is or anything like that.
On a side note, my brother and I, also, get mistaken for being Latin American/South American/Mexican, which doesn’t bother me, I just think it’s funny that another half Japanese person gets mistaken for that, too.
Post # 16
@chachacha that is so funny about the Latin American thing – Fiance always thinks it’s just him! He doesn’t get offended, just frustrated sometimes when people will start speaking Spanish to him automatically because he doesn’t speak Spanish! I will have to let him know that you and your brother have had the same experience.