Directions for being Colored, Asian/Female by Susanne Lee

Susanne Lee227 Waverly Place, #6A New York NY 10014 (212)620 -0165

Directions for being Colored, Asian/Female Sample Dialogues & Exercises Levels: Beginning to Advanced

  1. Basics (Repeat as many times as necessary.)

    • “Where are you from?” “L.A.” “No, where are you really from?” “L.A.” Note: The inquisitor wants and expects answers like Taipei, Shanghai or Hong Kong. Any American city confuses them; not that they are really interested in any of the locations. They cannot wrap their minds around the notion that you could be from anywhere else less foreign.
    • “I really like your dim sum.” “And I love your puttanesca, your osso buco, your spaetzle and schnitzel, your bangers and mash, your spotted dick, your cuisse de grenouille and of course, your cervelle de veau.
    • “I’ve always wanted to visit the Orient.” Well, let me, as an official representative of the Orient, that nebulous region somewhere between Formosa and Siam, be the first to welcome you. Here is your visa –and your voucher for a 20% discount on all souvenirs -- embroidered silk robes with dragon motifs, counterfeit DVDs of last week’s Hollywood releases, an hour shiatsu massage with Rei, a sheet of Astro Boy stickers, fake Qing dynasty porcelains, counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada bags, pornographic manga and a set of Hello Kitty cell phone charms. Note: The inquisitor flatters himself and believes he is being sophisticated by talking about “Oriental things.”
    • "How long have you been here?" Avoid the more inflammatory, “Since I came out of my mother’s vagina.” And opt for the more modest: “I was born here like you, sweetheart.” Make sure the sweetheart is coated with honey-like sarcasm, which the inquisitor will, most likely, miss. The college educated ones prefer this question. Apparently, it sounds more refined to their ear, but actually, they are baffled by your language skills and are only slightly too polite to ask where you learned to speak English so well, since it simply cannot possibly your native tongue.
    • “Excuse me, where did you did you say you were from?” Repeat the first instruction as many times as necessary. It may take years.
  2. Instructions for Assumptions Level 2, Second Generation Increasingly rude responses when questioner lack manners Characters: Trendy converse, horned-rimmed glasses wearing gel haired dad with child Colored girl with mixed child Location: Greenwich Village “Is he your son?" Not acceptable: "No, he’s my boyfriend." “I am his wet nurse.” “I borrowed him.” “I stole him.” A slightly inappropriate volume and insipid vague smile: "Yes, what’s your son’s name?" "Sebastian.” Follow up with, "Did you get that from Shakespeare?" It’s Twelfth Night actually, but that detail will probably go over faux hip daddy’s head.
  3. Smart Sex & Death: Advanced Education Character: WASP college boy Colored Girl Location: Ivy League University“I’ve never had an Asian girl before.” Avoid the following: “I think there is a spare room here.” “I pity you for I have been studying the Kama Sutra since I was 12.” “Actually, how much is it worth to you?” Note: Fulfill one of the classic stereotypes of the Asian overachievers by attending an Ivy League school; however, contrary to the other stereotypes, do not excel at Math or Science or Engineering or IT, much to the dismay of the traditional family. More importantly, do not be particularly quiet or well-behaved and challenge and defy authority frequently. Besides attending classes, go to a lot of receptions and cocktail parties, listen to many speeches where the speakers tell you that you are among the “Best and the Brightest,” and believe it all with a wink. Endure more propositions than you’ve heard in your entire life to this point. Leave the school with the conviction that there are more Asian fetishists per square inch there than any place else on earth, and with much more confidence than you will actually need, and the reassuring knowledge that if you ever win an Academy award or Nobel, make a scientific discovery, plagiarize a novel, murder someone or unfortunately, fail to live up to your potential and get murdered, the press will use its shorthand and simply and neatly reduce you to “the Harvard-educated blank.”