Life Stuff

A little reminder…

Hey friends! Thanks so much for all the love! If you’ve had or have a pet, you know how difficult it is when they are sick. You also know that support from friends means everything ❤

So yesterday I loved (like I usually do) SCB’s post. It was basically a response to a hater making a judgey comment about her lifestyle.

It inspired me to write a post about reminding us to NOT judge others unless you know everything about them.

People making judgmental comments about strangers is one of my biggest pet peeves. You automatically lose a point (or more) in my book when I hear these comments.

A part of this comes from how insecure I was growing up. And I became insecure because of judgmental people. I don’t want others to feel this way.

I grew up in a nice area with a great family and friends. But there were some not so nice parts that I experienced as well. I recently had a coworker ask where I grew up and respond sarcastically and bitterly, “That must be nice.” I wanted to slap her.

I hemmed and hawed about sharing my stories (almost didn’t publish this) because they are personal (I think Kyle only really knows most of these), but I figured it might inspire 1 person to stop being so judgey. Now, you all know there are different kinds of judgey-ness. yes, that’s a word. Most of my experiences are with racism.

As you might have noticed, I am Asian American (if you haven’t noticed, you might need to visit your optometrist). Japanese American to be exact. My family has been in this country a very long time (my great great grandparents immigrated here). English was my first language, and the only languages I know beyond that are French, and a very little Spanish and Italian.

In 7th grade, we studied a little Japanese history. My teacher (whom I hated before this) read a Japanese word from the text book and asked if I knew what it meant. I told her no, and her response was, “Oh come on? You don’t know what that word means?” At the time I just laughed and said sorry, but I was actually really hurt. I wanted to tell her, “You don’t see me getting all upset that you aren’t dancing around in a kilt playing the bagpipes do you?” She had Scottish roots FYI-context helps. Growing up I was also teased at school by kids pretending to speak Japanese. Saying “ching chong” (and a bunch of other random words) and squinting their eyes at me. I don’t get that so much anymore, but it just pisses me off when people assume I speak Japanese (a common occurrence). If you have Italian, French, or German roots, I don’t automatically assume you speak the language. So stop assuming it with me.

When I was older, I had people tell me they would never date an Asian person. That’s okay, I don’t date stupid. (Keep in mind these were random conversations where dating wasn’t even being considered so it was really weird to bring up). People jokingly told me I must be a bad driver. A “friend” even said, “OMG fucking Asian drivers.” to me while we were in a car. And then proceed to say, “Not you, other Asian drivers.” I had classmates tell me to do a certain part in a group project because I must be good at math.

And it unfortunately didn’t stop when I was a teenager. A few years ago when I went up to Mt. Diablo to take photos with Kyle, Kyle stopped to take a photo for a family. I kept going to set up his tripod. A couple of guys in their early 20’s walked by me and said in a fake Mr. Miyagi-like accent, “Oh you a like to a set up da camera.” I ignored them and then left to cry in the car. I hid it from Kyle until the guys had left because I was scared of what he would do.

I could go on and on and on (down an embarrassingly long list). And yes, I know people have it way worse.

My point isn’t to get you to feel sorry for me. My point IS that I don’t think you would have known all of this about me by reading my previous blog post. You would not have known that about me if I simply told you the city in which I grew up. You would not know unless I told you.

Getting picked on when I was younger was hard, but I got over it. It shaped me into the person I am today, and at least it means I try not to judge others.

I think it gets easier to make these snap judgments about people and voice our opinions on the internet. Something about not saying things to someone’s face makes people a lot more ballsy.

So, my simple reminder is to remember that you don’t always have the whole story. Try not to judge a person you don’t know. Sticks, stones, AND words hurt.

I’ll leave you with a quote that my boss likes to use (luckily not about me):

You have 2 ears and 1 mouth. Use them in that order.


41 thoughts on “A little reminder…

  1. such an important, heartfelt post about the hurtfulness and stupidity of ignorance. diversity is what makes this country so amazing and one of the main reasons i moved to NYC — i so want my group of friends to be as diverse as possible. you’re lovely and have an amazing heart and perspective and i’m glad you wrote this post. ❤

  2. That is insane that you’ve experienced any of that, I can see it maybe from ignorant elementary school children but still to have that kind of thing coming from adults is ridiculous. Thanks for sharing even though I’m sure it was hard!

  3. you’d think in a country that has as much diversity as the US that people would be a little less ignorant and hurtful. Nope, we’ve still got a long way to go. Sorry that you had to deal with that, and thanks for the good reminder 🙂

  4. I really just don’t understand ignorance. I have always been tiny (I’m 5′ flat), but as a kid and young teen I was even smaller than I am now. I was SO embarrassed and CONSTANTLY had people poking fun at me (I’m a little tea pot was a favorite. . . “short and stout”). As a teen I wore heals DAILY because I never felt comfortable in my own skin. Thankfully at some point, somewhere in college, I found comfort in my own skin and now live in Tom’s and embrace how petite I am. . . But that doesn’t take away what was so ingrained in your head for so long.

    1. Aww that makes me really sad 😦 heart breaking. I totally relate to that since I’m only 5’1″. Luckily I had a few friends who were just as short as me but had way more confidence. They taught me that we’re just a lot of awesome, tightly packed into a tiny package 😉

  5. Your great, great grandparents, who you are right, had it worse than you…I think you’ve heard some of those stories. It kills me to think that here we are, 5 generations later and the same stupid ignorance occurs. It kills me that you felt this way and I could not help you.

    Unfortunately, all of our relatives and Asian friends have had similar experiences as you have had. Maybe we (your dad and I) could have shared more of our experiences with you. I think, I felt that talking too much about it would perpetuate some sort of “hate” in you and your sister. In retrospect, it might have been better to share a bit more than we did so that you would have more inner strength and not feel so alone? Parenting is not a science.

    It’s better than it was but, the ignorance is still here! Those same great, great grandparents would be very proud of you and how you are making a difference.

  6. Yes – we still have a long way to go but this Auntie is way proud of you to speak up and voice how you feel…Yes I too agree with your mom about shutting it out (or putting it aside) and hoping it would not affect our kids. I’m crossing my fingers with the boys and they do go to a very diverse school but yet I’ve just recently heard of that happening with some of their little friends and it hurts me all over again inside when I hear of this because I re-live it all over again too. The hurt unfortunately never goes away but those experiences that you share with your kids will hopefully teach them the importance of being kind to others and to remember that you didn’t like it when someone called you a name so why would you hurt someone and make them feel that way. That’s what I tell the boys – not sure they get it at age 7 but if I say it enough I’m hoping it will stick. Mostly their name calling is directed at each other – but it still hurts the same and that’s where the lesson begins.

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience and sorry that you’ve had to deal with that. Blogs are always interesting because people choose what they are comfortable sharing. Some people like to just keep things positive, which doesn’t mean that they don’t have struggles. Luckily the blogging community is mostly kind and supportive, but I know from experience how much a negative comment in person or online can ruin a day.

    1. Thanks so much for your support! I completely agree- as bloggers, WE choose what to put out there. Many of us leave things out, so it’s important to realize that we usually don’t have the whole story. The blogging community is amazing ❤

  8. To be honest, even though we haven’t met, I’ve always judged you as being weird. 😉
    I had really curly hair growing up and got made fun of for it daily – all the way through high school. I think people that make fun of other people are really sad about something in their own lives and just lashing out. BTW, Asian drivers aren’t as bad as female drivers. 😉

    1. LOL it’s because I am! Weird and proud! Aww I hate bully stories- they break my heart. Clearly you showed them cause now your an Emmy winning producer, runner, and dad! I agree, bullies typically are insecure about something and they don’t know how to deal with it. PAHAHAHA whenever Kyle and I spot a really bad driver I say, “Ugh, typical female driver.” And he responds, “Yep. What are you gonna do?”

  9. I read SCB pretty often and sometimes I wish that I lived by the ocean, could go running in sunshine and had a cute dog! But I would never judge someone for their blog postings or begrudge them their successes in life. Some people can be jerks. Ignorant, racist jerks and I’m sorry that you’ve had the misfortune to meet a lot of them in your life.

  10. This is Mr. SCB. I just read your post and I prescribe to the Chris Rock, Carlos Mencia doctrine and I embrace the differences all races, religions. I call this the masterpiece of America. We are all different, and in that, there is always something we can laugh about. I’m just about as white as you can get. If you ask Jacqueline, she will tell you I can’t dance. (she is wrong) but to her I fit that stereotype. I’m not quite sure why she won’t dance with me when we are at weddings/clubs/parking lots/the supermarket? Just remember there is a little truth in all stereotypes and embrace it. See you on the dance floor!

    1. Lol you crack me up Mike! I definitely agree with you- there is always something we can laugh about. I think it just takes time. As I get older, I’m learning that I can’t let ignorant people upset me! I’ll see you at Trader Joe’s on the dance floor?

      1. Trader Joe’s music sucks. Whole Foods is where I shake my booty! (I had to ask Jacqueline how to spell that, I put bootie, lol)

  11. I don’t get how people can be so nasty to one another just because of; height, weight, hair colour, race (the list goes on). – Well, there’s that whole theory that bully’s have some pent up hate about themselves and take it out on others – kind of boggles me. I’m lucky I didn’t get a lot of stick growing up. The only thing that bothered me was when I finished my qualifications at college. I’d trained to be a mechanic, scored plenty of A’s +B’s and I needed a level 3 apprentice to finish. I walked into a motorcycle training place, asked for an apprentice and he told me how he ‘only employed one female and that was the telephone lady’ and how he thought I wouldn’t be able to lift ‘that big bike over there’ – I stopped listening at that point, since I knew ‘that big bike’ was a Suzuki GSXR1000r. I also did two weeks volunteering in a garage where the valeters from round the corner used to laugh at the boss, I asked why, and he said its because I’m there. I didn’t laugh at them because they couldn’t fit the suspension, instead they where cleaning alloys. It just angered me more then anything.
    I hate bully’s, racists, just plain simple arseholes.

    Now that I wrote that essay, I hope your cat is doing much better! I know they’re family, I often call my dog my furry sister…
    Hope your okay!

    1. Completely agree with you girlie! I think bullies are insecure about something and don’t know how to handle it. Wow I’m sorry you had to go through that sexist bull crap. That’s just horrible and breaks my heart. Clearly you’re a better person than them, so you won 🙂 Thanks for the love and kitty love ❤

  12. Thanks for sharing lady, I know it sucks to be stereotyped but it sounds like you’ve really grown from and it as hard as it was learned from these experiences.

  13. Holy cow. I CANNOT believe that adults could be so embarrassingly (for them) stupid.I mean your teacher, and the guys at Mt. Diablo? I honest to goodness feel bad for them and am embarrassed FOR them.

    I'm sorry you ever had to deal with that!

    1. Thanks so much Anne, you’re the best haha! It really is embarrassing how stupid some people are. That’s what I have to tell myself when that kind of stuff happens. Can’t let the haters bring me down!

  14. First of all, I love the quote. I’d say your boss is wise, but they probably saw it on a Snapple cap 😉 I’m glad you wrote this! We get to know each other better when we expose our weaknesses or what makes us vulnerable. I could write pretty much the exact same post (subbing Japanese for Arab, of course), so I empathize with you completely. Kids were really mean growing up! But I would not expect that from an adult, especially a teacher. People never really grow out of their closed minds. I hope your responses these days are as sarcastic as I think they are. Make people feel f’ing stupid and sorry for insulting you. I know you can! ❤

    1. LOL my boss is the best- but he might have read it off a Snapple cap 😉 That breaks my heart that you went through the same shit. Stupid will follow us for the rest of our lives unfortunately. On the bright side, I think it shaped us into more accepting human beings. Except for Prius drivers. Lol I kid. My responses are LAME (aka I usually ignore it)!! I hate confrontation and believe you cannot argue with stupid. But the reality is, is that I cannot think of a snappy comeback until 5 minutes later lol.

  15. I say, use it to your advantage. If anything, those people show just how silly and immature they are. In this day and age this shouldn’t exist. There are many bullies out there. However, I am a strong believer what goes around comes around. BTW some teachers ARE stupid. TO give you an example, when I was 15-16 y.o. my teacher told me that ‘it’s so sad that you are such a beautiful girl and you don’t come from a rich family’. Can you imagine?! And at that point of time, both of my parents were working for the government. She said tat only because that I didn’t have most recent gadgets and my parents would never bribe her, or anyone else for that matter, and they were in the process of saving for our family to move to Canada. I admit, it scared me for life but I will not let an opinion of someone else dicatate what kind of person I am. I simply use it as a fuel to achieve more and more. I suggest you do the same 🙂 One ear – in, another – out 🙂 xoxo

  16. I know your point wasn’t to get people to feel sorry for you, but damn girl! You’ve had to deal with a lot of insensitive/ignorant BS. Great quote there at the end. This post is a good reminder about not having the whole story and not judging others.

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