My aunt said, “You should marry someone of your own culture. It’s just easier.”
I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to say how it shouldn’t be a match of culture, knowing that she meant of the same ethnicity or race. An asian, she said. I wanted to point out other things that were traits for compatibility: mindsets of money, tolerance of humor, similar life expectations, etc. I let some out, but I held back my tongue.
I remember an essay—a college application essay in fact.
A girl went to England to visit an uncle she dearly loved as a child. He would swing her up and down…both laughing as they did so. She hadn’t seen him for years. When they met again, it was as she remembered it. Yet when they settled down, the uncle started talking with the mother and the girl about how women’s roles have changed over time. How they should always be stay-at-home mothers and take care of the household, the kids. That they should never be working and basically live for the husband.
The girl was shocked that her uncle was so intolerant. The mother gave her a look that said no don’t say anything. The girl held back her tongue. And when the uncle went to another subject, it was as if he was still the uncle she loved.