When I first saw Wendi Deng Murdoch spike that foam-pie-throwing comedian-protestor’s head like a volleyball, I giggled with glee. Then I sighed with relief. Here, finally, was a portrayal of an Asian woman I could embrace. No timid China doll or obedient geisha, no mere trophy wife, Deng was the tiger wife, defending her assets – er, I mean husband – with a single, long-armed swipe.
But now I’m torn. While positive, tiger wife is still a stereotype, “a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals,” in this case Asian women of a certain age, and a tidy media invention banking on the popularity of Amy Chua’s tiger mother, and perhaps the Chinese phrase, lao hu, old tiger, said of ferocious older women. A stereotype with international appeal, and yet another one I’ll have to battle sooner or later. Keep reading »
“It’s not really a shock.” When a famous person dies from causes related to drug or alcohol addiction, this, or something similar, is one of the more common responses people have. While there are plenty of crueler things people can and do say, this bored and blase lack of surprise over the death of a human being tends to bother me the most.
That is because my father is an addict. He’s been an addict my entire life. And to not be shocked by someone’s death at the hands of addiction would mean I would have to have to reached some sort of placid acceptance that my dad will also inevitably suffer the same fate — that his getting “better” is out of the question. Keep reading »
Camp Keeyumah, a lush patch of woods in northern Pennsylvania, is where my entire family experienced “the best moments of their lives.” I’ve been hearing about their beloved Shangri-La since I was in diapers. My grandparents were head counselors there for 13 years and my mom “grew up there” as a camper and then a counselor. In fact, that’s where she met my dad, a counselor as well. They fell in love when they were 16 and 17, respectively. Yes, they’re still married. Isn’t it romantic? But the story doesn’t end there. Keep reading »
Over a lifetime of reading women’s magazines, I thought I had the rules of dating down. Yet at 30, with almost a decade living in a notoriously single city under my belt, I still managed to cram more classic first date mistakes into one evening than I would have thought possible. Keep reading »
There’s a lot to love about “Friday Night Lights,” a TV show about so much more than just high school football. My interest in the show was initially sparked by the sight of Taylor Kitsch, sweaty and shirtless, but it struck an unexpected chord with me. I came for the hot guy— I stayed for the honest and realistic portrait of long-term monogamy and lessons on leadership and compromise. For those reasons, the character of Tami Taylor has resonated with me the most. I often find myself asking, What would Tami Taylor do? Here’s why. Keep reading »
It all ends today. And by “it,” of course, I mean our decade-long love affair with the Harry Potter movies. For those young adults who came of age with Harry, what’s ending is an era. I am one of them – I was 11 when the first book was released, and 19 when the last one came out – and though I’m a bigger fan of the books than of the movies, I can’t help but feel a bittersweet blend of sadness and excitement as it all winds down.
We grew up as Harry grew up, and though none of us was involved in a good-versus-evil, civil-rights-metaphor fight-to-the-death with a vicious tyrant, we still saw ourselves in Harry and in his friends. We learned a lot from these books. For example, that sometimes, nice guys finish first and smart girls get the guy. We learned about motherhood and feminism. We learned that love is the answer to almost every question, and if “love” doesn’t work, try “expelliarmus!”
And more recently, as the cast of the movies has been hitting the red carpet to promote the movie, we have learned about the glory of being a late bloomer. Keep reading »