10 Things that Don’t Need to Be Said

As an anxiety-ridden obsessive-compulsive Korean-American adoptee Mormon in an interracial couple with a penchant for depression and not planning on having children, I kind of get the whole gamut of things people probably don’t ever need to utter under any circumstances.

Also, I am really addicted to BuzzFeed right now, so here goes.

1. “I’m kind of OCD” and/or “That’s kind of OCD.”
To specify, you can’t really “kind of” be OCD. You either are or you aren’t. What you CAN be, however, is generally compulsive, which is a trait every single person on this earth has. You don’t have to have some mental disorder to feel compelled to alphabetize your Blu-Rays (which, by the way, if you’re not doing, just start, okay?) or organize your kitchen counters. You aren’t mentally ill if you don’t like fuzz on your clothing or notice a speck of food on your work desk. If you weren’t compulsive, you’d be kind of … in a vegetative state of apathy, when you really think about it.

Image courtesy of youtube.com

Image courtesy of youtube.com

2. “Just think happy thoughts.”
Just stop. Just stop now. People suffering from depression, seasonal or otherwise, do not need to hear your sage advice as to how to overcome it. There is an inherent difference between depression and feeling blue. Feeling blue is one of those things that would absolutely be fixed by thinking happy thoughts and eating cheesecake. Depression isn’t really. If it were that easy to overcome, we’d all be thinking the damn happiest thoughts on earth all of the time.

Image courtesy of juxtapost.com

Image courtesy of juxtapost.com

3. “Don’t worry about it” or “Don’t stress too much.”
I will if I want to. I will if I don’t want to. There is literally no way that you can convince someone with anxiety that things aren’t worth worrying or stressing over. Just let us deal in the ways we need to deal. Like with medicine and therapists. This especially goes for individuals who have OCD. “Oh, so you want me, an obsessive, to cease worrying? Done and done.” <—– will literally never happen
Your plan to make us stop worrying is futile, so you may as well just throw in the towel and either worry with us or love us for our other outstanding qualities.

Image courtesy of glennster.deviantart.com/

Image courtesy of glennster.deviantart.com/

4. “Never say never!”
This is specifically in reference to the not planning on kids issue. I get it, you and your spouse and your children are the happiest family on earth, and I admire that. There’s nothing bad about having a family; I literally can think of nothing unless, of course, you’re Amanda Bynes, and then maybe hold off, mmkay?
When people hit a certain age, like 29 or 30, and Spouse has been through an -ectomy, and both are college graduates with their heads on straight, chances are they are old enough to have made a solid decision together that doesn’t involve anyone else. Also, colloquialisms. Let’s just rid ourselves of them right now while we can.
Furthermore, should we change our minds, that’s not a good time for you to say “I told you so.”

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

5. “Where are you from?”
No, but where are you from?
Before that.
Well, I was born in South Korea, but I was adopted when I was three months old.
<insert awkward Korean phrase here>
Oh, I don’t actually speak the language. Because I was three months old.
When are you going back?
… I don’t really have plans to.
Don’t you want to meet your real family?
They’re in Oregon. I see them pretty regularly.
et cetera

Just watch this.

6. Anything about the “real” family.
Let’s just establish something: calling either the birthfamily or the adoptive family real is offensive to the other and generally incorrect. The best way to get around this? One’s a birthfamily. The other is family. Adoptees don’t generally consider themselves to have any sort of fake family in the mix.

Images courtesy of mamiverse.com

Images courtesy of mamiverse.com

7. “What’s your real name?”
Not all adoptees, especially those adopted domestically, have different names than the ones they’ll have the rest of their lives. And it kind of goes back to the real v. fake family thing. I was given a Korean name by the adoption agency (Kim Jong Mee, which I find disturbingly similar to the former and current presidents of North Korea), but my real name, which appears on my birth certificate, is Mary. Always has been, always will be.

Image courtesy of thegazette.com

Image courtesy of thegazette.com

8. “You speak really good English” (can be followed by “… for being from Hong Kong” and yes, that really happened in my real life)
I’d hope so. I was an English major, after all.

Image courtesy of forlackofabettercomic.com

Image courtesy of forlackofabettercomic.com

9. “You’re Mormon? How many wives do you have? hahahahahahaha”
Polygamy (called plural marriage by Mormons in the 19th century …) was taught by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) for more than half of the 19th century, and practiced publicly from 1852 to 1890 by a minority of families (between 20% and 30%). (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_polygamy)
For the record, we haven’t practiced polygamy for 123 years now. That’s a long time. That’s longer than the oldest person in the world has been alive. So probably we can stop with the jokes about it.

Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

10. Are you going to raise your kids bilingual?
If you’re talking to an adoptee, then don’t even bother. If you’re not talking to an adoptee, then maybe. Maybe they will raise their kids to be multilingual. Maybe their kids are going to get all the jobs because they speak literally every dialect on earth.
Probably it is not your business. Also, seriously disinteresting when it really boils down to it.

Image courtesy of memegenerator.net

Image courtesy of memegenerator.net



Engrish cracks me up. There’s probably a joke in there somewhere — for those of you just joining the party, this is what I look like:

I mean, this is what I look like after airbrushing my head.

I mean, this is what I look like after airbrushing my head.

Yep. I’m Asian. I’m Asian and I laugh at Engrish.

In my defense, I’m adopted and only look the part — I don’t speak the language, I don’t care for the food, and I know the most basic parts of the culture, like, the country is full of Koreans and a lot of them are Buddhist.

[No, I am not from North Korea. That wouldn’t actually happen in real life.]

So the other day, whilst in Las Vegas, Husband and I went on a shopping spree. And by Husband and I, mostly what I’m getting at is that I bought a ton of clothes and dragged him around the Forum Shops till about 11:30 pm, despite his upset stomach, headache, and exhaustion. I know, I know, wife of the year. I’m expecting my award in the mail any day now.

At my favorite store — we’ll call it I&N so I don’t get sued or something (yeah, like corporations read my blog) — I found a cozy hooded sweatshirt. As it turns out, I am a real sucker for cozy hooded sweatshirts. So I bought it, not actually reading the text embroidered on the front. I figured it had something to do with athletics or college or school or any of the other arbitrary things manufacturers put on the front of hooded sweatshirts, and I didn’t mind.

In fact, it says, boldly, in all caps, “SINCE 48 ATHLETICS ESTABLISHED.”

I’m sorry, come again? Is that like a partial headline?

Hooded Sweatshirt
Mom says I should return it, but there’s something kind of fun and campy about a grammar snob Asian wearing a sweatshirt with Engrish on the front of it. For all the world to see.

Dangerously Close to the Edge

We’re now teetering into the zone of “This is officially low point material that is no longer funny … just low.”

Yep, another person figured I couldn’t possibly be Mary. That Asian face — it’ll apparently get you every freakin’ time.

If anything, the hair, eyebrows, makeup, and wardrobe should generally give away that I am not actually from the homeland.

In other news, Husband is away on a business trip till Wednesday evening, I nearly gave myself food poisoning with last night’s dinner, and school has begun, which means slow walking, confused 18-year-olds dominating campus. Which is cool, I suppose, if you’re a fellow confused 18-year-old looking for friends, but isn’t particularly desirable when you’re trying to get stuff accomplished in a timely manner.

Confessions of Girl Nerd (and why I need a new name)

My becoming a recreational gamer is one of those predestined things. I wasn’t allowed anything Nintendo-based as a child, and I’ve yet to pass beyond the 2nd level of any Mario game that’s ever been invented in the history of all time, hence the recreational part. But I did spend a lot of time playing “Oregon Trail” and — are you ready for this? — I completed “Amazon Trail” in sixth grade. The whole thing. Twice.

Image courtesy of wikipedia.org

When I got married, I told Husband all about this picture book I not only wrote but also illustrated. Two brothers, regulars at the neighborhood arcade, are sucked into one of the games. (gasp!) The older brother, determined to not let his brother die, must COMPLETE THE ENTIRE GAME in order to stay alive.

I see that you’re opening your mouth to say something: As soon as I finished telling him about this story, Husband said, “Um, that’s Tron.

Image courtesy of imdb.com

Confession time: I have never seen Tron.

But potential (and accidental) copyright infringement aside, the point was to show how I was into gaming even before I could game.

I’m not quite sure exactly what it is that I love about particular computer or video games. The achievements? Unlikely, since I am generally really bad at all of them. Winning? Probably not. I never win.  I know that, if given the opportunity, creating avatars is on of my most favorite things ever. My XBox avatar has five outfits (and counting). And I may or may not have begun “Dragon Age: Origins” about 8 different times mostly so I could create new people.

Same goes with “Sims 3.” [And as an aside, I came up with a Sim costume for Halloween last year; as it turns out we didn’t have friends then, so there were no Halloween parties to attend, but I have big plans of pulling out the plumbob this year.]

The Low Point

Husband did a lot of working, recently, on this big event and was getting home around 10:30 – 11:00 pm every night. That’s an important little factoid. Save it for later.

It took me about a week to finally cave and play some “Call of Duty” alone — I generally prefer playing with him because it’s just more fun [another aside: I discovered that I am actually WAY BETTER without him, so maybe I should generally prefer playing without him], and there’s something very depressing about sitting on an exercise ball in our living room playing video games all alone.

With, you know, hundreds of strangers.

Image courtesy of gamespot.com

The upside to playing with Husband is his ability to stop. He gets tired of the games pretty easily and wants to take a “How I Met Your Mother” break, which, incidentally, he does not tire of easily. I discovered, last week, that when I play alone, I have little to no ability to cease and desist.

Here’s what happens when you have little to no ability to cease and desist: You will probably agitate your carpal tunnel.

I’ve been spending a lot of time debating which is lamer: that I have carpal tunnel in the first place (secretarial work … it’ll get you every time) or that I agitated it by playing “Call of Duty: Black Ops” ad nauseum day after day.

We might have a draw.



Oh, you’re probably wondering why I need a new name.

The Low Point: Take Two

Today I had to run to the admin building to pick up some gift cards we’re sending out as gifts on behalf of the department. When I got to the window, the woman asked for the custodian’s name (as in … person who requested the cards … not a janitorial custodian), so I naturally gave her mine. Because I’m the custodian. She handed me a form to sign and

Her: “You’ll need to put Mary’s name on the line for the custodian, but you can sign your name at the bottom.”

Me: “Um, I am Mary. So … I’ll put my name … there.”

Her, after a very pregnant pause: “Well, then, you can sign your name twice!” (smile here)

This happens sometimes. Asian kid gives a white kid name and confusion ensues.

“Hi. My name is Mary … and I have a white person name.” “Hi, Mary.”

The Drug Store Incident

I know you’re probably expecting me to refer to the low point of my day as being the 40 minutes I traipsed around the university campus at which I work, in high heels, wondering where in the heck the stupid Widtsoe building was, only to discover upon giving up and returning to my office that it was, in fact, right behind the Martin building. And that’s only significant because the Martin building is where I stopped my search…at that end of campus. *lays head on desk and cries* Or you might expect me to refer to the low point as the ham sandwich I ate that tasted icky and made me sad. Well, you’re wrong. So maybe that’s the low point of your day. You’re welcome.

A Disclaimer: I don’t like to play the race card unless I know it’s going to get me a job/get me into college/get me a loan/lead people to believe I am brilliant at math and the violin. It’s just tacky.

I had to go to the drug store today to buy a Shake Weight makeup. And Husband needed chapstick, which is also important to me because I kiss his lips and like it much more when they are soft and supple. As it turns out, along with selling everything from makeup to Snuggies, Walgreens has a really stupid store layout. And trying to avoid another 40 minute roam to find something, I dropped my pride off at the door and asked two employees where I might find chapstick.

Photo courtesy of blistex.com

The Low Point

The male employee looked right at me and said, quite loudly, “OH MY GOSH! I seriously swear to you it sounded like you said CHOPSTICKS! And I was going to say, ummmmmmmmm we don’t sell any CHOPSTICKS!” I can sort of see why he’d be confused because chapstick and chopsticks have a lot in common; 8 letters, in fact. But I am nothing if not a clear speaker who enunciates very well (this isn’t just arrogance speaking; a customer service representative with Discover credit cards once told me over the phone that I should be in sales, I spoke so well, and recently a woman told me over the phone that she was surprised at how quickly I can speak, but still be understood. I’m that good.), and I didn’t pluralize chapstick (because who asks for chapsticks? Probably people who talk about mouses.), so there was no reason for the confusion.

And then it hit me: Asian in the drug store. Walking around all Asian-like, asking for chopsticks.

They don't sell these at Walgreens

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com - they don't sell these at Walgreens, in case you were wondering

ChApstick (singular) can be found in Aisle 9, under a very small sign marked “lip care.” He even went out of his way to show me the Walgreens brand, Chap-Aid, in case that was something I wanted to try out. It wasn’t. I’m a Blistex girl and so is Husband (well, he’s a Blistex boy) and I don’t think I’d ever voluntarily use something called Chap-Aid in the first place. I tried to avoid going through his cash register line, but it would have been unreasonable to wait for the woman buying multiple packs of mini yo-yos just to make a silent statement against idiocy. So there I was, placing my makeup and four tubes of chapstick on the very counter he patted with his hand — “Mm-hmm just set it right here.”  Thanks, Walgreens employee. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I got confused what with all my Asian-ness.

In the end, I really learned a valuable lesson; namely, that chopsticks are the one item that Walgreens apparently does not sell. So don’t go there, if that’s what you need. You’re welcome again.