Posted by: geminigoddess | February 11, 2009

One of My Biggest Pet Peeves…

So I was in the grocery store the other day and this woman, whom I have never before seen in my life, a total stranger, walked up to me and asked me, “What’s your background?”

OMG, I freakin’ hate it when total strangers ask me that question!  In case you were wondering, it has also been posed to me in the following forms.

What’s your race? Um, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

What are you? Hello, I’m HUMAN!  What, do I look like an alien?  Do I have something weird growing out of my head?

Where are you from? Kansas.  No really, I’m American.  (I’ve actually had to argue with people about this one)

What’s your nationality? AMERICAN! You stupid freaking idiot!  I was born in NEBRASKA.  Yes, the midwest!  Yes, the midwest right here in the United States.  Oh go to hell…

And if course, the many times I have been reprimanded/yelled at in Sanskrit/Arabic by a Middle Eastern man because I was not dressed appropriately/my hair was not long enough/some other reason.

Oh, and then there were all the insulting forms I had to fill out in school, for college, for student loan & scholarship applications, and I-9 forms when starting a new job, whose only choices under “race” were White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and “Other”.  As if I were some pariah, or non-human who didn’t deserve my own category.  Well to all of that I say, “Fuck You!”


Seriously people, when are we going to get to the point where that’s not something we care about?  Where total strangers don’t feel the burning desire to know “what I am” so that they can put me in a box on their mental shelf and make assumptions about me based upon a label they’ve given me?  When people don’t think that’s the most interesting/important thing about a total stranger?  There hasn’t been a year in my life when I haven’t been asked that question in some form by a total stranger.  If I looked white, no one would ask me that question.  If I looked black, no one would ask me that question.  Why is it that because I can’t be easily defined/labeled/boxed at first glance, my ethnicity is suddenly so fascinating?  The next time someone asks me, I’m going to say something really preposterous, like “Swedish.”

By the way, my mom is a mix of all kinds of European white; my sperm donor is black, with a Cherokee grandfather.  My children have all that, plus English, Czeckloslovakian (which I had to look up the spelling for), and Japanese from their daddy.  We made a new moniker for all that.  It’s Blackanesian…



  1. How about just showing them this:


  2. Aw shit. I suck at the internets

  3. Another response, when asked, is to tell them you are Pygmy. 😀

  4. Just in case people don’t know what Pygmy is:

    Knowing how tall you are, if I heard you tell someone you were Pygmy, I’d piss myself laughing!


  6. I’m going to confess that I’ve asked people that a few times, but only when they’ve been so stunningly beautiful that I have to know what came together to make them. And I ALWAYS preface it with, “Dear lord, you have the most beautiful combination of skin, hair and eyes I’ve EVER seen.”

    Sometimes, I just gotsta know.

  7. Thank you Mr Lady. You may approach me in the produce section and ask me how I came together any time you wish 😉

  8. HA HA HA sis!!!! When will people ever stop. I get the same thing with Aubrey. Remember that time I called you all pissed because some lady wouldn’t believe me that her dad was white and not mexican. I can’t believe she argued it. How insulting, I think she thought I was some whore who was unsure who fathered her child!!! LOL Idiots.

  9. Tell me about it. I don’t mind when friends ask me about my ethnicity. But it just bugs me when the VERY FIRST thing someone asks me is that question. I mean, they don’t even say, “Hi, your girls are beautiful. I’m Jack/Sarah. What’s your name? Do you mind if I ask you a question? I’ve never seen anyone who looks like you. What is you ethnicity?” Instead they just come up to me when I’m busy trying to shop for dinner, with two toddlers in tow, and bombard me with what I consider to be a rude question to ask a total stranger you haven’t even said hello to. Then half the time when I answer their question people are all, “Oh, I thought you were Mexican/Puerto Rican/Hispanic,” which makes me want to roll my eyes and say, “Yeah, like I haven’t heard that a hundred times,” or “Well if you thought you knew what I am, why did you ask me?” Whatever…

  10. I thought you were Icelandic when I first met you. Then you kicked me in the nuts and it’s been true love ever since.

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