Time seems to be flying by at an unprecedented pace. I suspect there might be some sort of alien abduction to blame. One minute it’s the beginning of September, and then I wake up this morning and somehow it’s the beginning of October.
Even though I seem to be moving faster than ever, I just can’t keep ahead of the game. Then again, I also manage to waste a lot of time getting stuck in my brain. It’s a corn maze of epic proportions in there.
The other day, while at work, I rounded the corner to see a tall man standing at the hostess stand waiting to be seated. He smiled as he saw me and stated that it was so quiet that he had wondered if there was anybody home. Now I did have a few tables on the other side of the partition and I had been bustling around keeping busy so I joked that I was like a ninja….
…just as a small Chinese man popped out from behind the tall man, well… like a ninja.
My brain kicked into high gear, trying to evaluate whether I had once again managed to open my mouth and insert my foot.
Even though I was startled, I hadn’t actually called the small Chinese man a ninja out loud, so while I might be a closet racist at least I hadn’t publicly incriminated myself. Beside, it’s not like I believed all Chinese men were ninja’s, only potentially ones that could conceal themselves behind larger white men. Then again, cultural appropriation is a form of racism so maybe I’d better apologize just to be on the safe side. On second thought, are ninja’s even traditionally Chinese? Maybe they are Japanese…or is that a Samurai? Are Samurai quiet? I know that they carry knives. What do I really know about Ninja’s? Not a lot. The problem is that if you see a ninja, it’s probably too late for you. It makes after the fact identification difficult.
Upon further reflection, do I even know for sure the small man is Chinese? He could be Japanese. Now, I’m pretty sure that makes me racist. Oh jeez, they are both staring at me. They probably know I’m a horrible person. Gosh, your son talks about Ninja’s constantly, you have zero excuse for not knowing more about this. You literally carry a virtual encyclopedia around with you at all times. Why haven’t you researched this? Maybe try spending less time exploring the filters on Snap Chat and more time trying to educate yourself on different cultures and you wouldn’t be in this predicament. What kind of person are you. Quick, say something…
“I really respect Ninja’s”
Ok, that seems safe. I’m not making any assumptions on race, and I’m not lying because Ninja’s are super cool. All the movies agree on that. So why then do these men look so uncomfortable?
Maybe you should just throw yourself at their mercy and admit you can’t tell the difference between Chinese features and Japanese features and you’re actually not 100% sure of the origins of ninja’s either although you do feel pretty confident that Samurai’s are Japanese but that’s actually not relevant since none of us appear to be holding a knife. *sigh* Obviously I need to travel more but honestly the cost of an airline ticket to Asia is way out of my salary range and really with my attention span a 10 hour flight is just asking for trouble. Maybe I should just ask them in 5 words or less what they would like me to know about their culture so I can use it next time I’m in this type of situation. Also I should probably assure them that I have learned my lesson and will never loosely throw around a label that I didn’t earn by completing hours of training and catching flies with chop sticks. Wait, do ninja’s use Karate? Is Karate Chinese, or Japanese? Good Grief, I’m exhausted, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME???
“Um, are we able to get a table for lunch” the tall man asked awkwardly.
“Oh, sure, a table. I can get you a table. I’ve spent hours training for this job. I’m very good at it. Right this way, let me get you a table, oh and a menu, you’re going to need a menu.”
And that ladies and gentlemen, is why being me is so hard and no amount of training makes it any easier. I would just like to make a blanket statement that all people are welcome in this corn maze of a brain. I want to be clear that I don’t care what your nationality is, or your preferred type of combat training. Come in, take a seat, I can find you a table. I’m good at that. I’ve had hours of training.
disclaimer: this unfortunately is based on a true story. I am sorry to all future generations for ladling you with these genes. As well, the correct answer is Japanese. All of the above; Ninja’s, Samurai’s and Karate, originate in Japan. I still do not know the race of the small man but he seemed very nice.
One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings ~Franklin Thomas