Sunday, November 06, 2011

Assumptions, Calculations and Categories

Yesterday, we hung out with friends in a lazy Saturday kind of way. We decided to go to a local vegetarian Indian restaurant for their dinner buffet. There were six of us at a table and the place filled up nicely. When I was coming back from the buffet, I saw what I would assume was an Indian American woman holding a child with fairly light skin and blonde hair. My brain went to work trying to figure out their exact relationship. Ha! I caught myself doing something that I read in people's eyes constantly. Although it's not such a unique sight in our area, I do notice sometimes that people will look at me, then look at Z, then look at me again like they're trying to do a math equation. "One European(?) American woman + one Chinese(?) American girl = mother+daughter?"

So here I was, somehow thinking I was "above" all that needing to work out relationship equations, but in my head I was doing the math. I tried to give the woman a generic "hi, how are you" kind of smile, but I imagine she also knows the look of a brain in calculation mode.

When I sat down at our table, I noticed that there was what I assumed was an Indian American man with what I thought was the same fair skinned, blonde haired girl sitting kitty-corner from us at a table across the aisle. Then, the woman I had seen earlier came out of the restroom with the actual girl I had seen. They were twins! My brain was happy to figure out that multiplication equation. I forced myself not to look, but in the back of my head, I was still working on it.

I saw Z look over at the table and then she turned around and said "well, one thing is for sure...I know they were adopted." Hmmm. Surely it was a teaching moment, but what could I say without the family at the other table hearing our discussion? Adoption is a wonderful thing, but trying to understand someone's family dynamic is unnecessary. A family built on love is a family, period. So, I told Z that their family may or may not have been made by adoption and it's something that can happen with any family, but we don't always know the answer. We could certainly make our guesses, but in the end it doesn't matter. They were there enjoying each other's company, eating amazing food and those girls looked loved.

In the end, it all added up to family.

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At November 6, 2011 at 6:31 PM, Blogger Moppott said...

I sometimes do the math in reverse...I see a couple with a child of the name ethnicity ignoring each other at a table and wonder... could they unfortunately be related?


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