Review of “Kissing Outside the Lines” by Diane Farr in AMWW Mag

Kissing Outside the Lines by Diane FarrAMWW Magazine just recently posted my book review of Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After by Diane Farr.

I mentioned this book last month in a list of memoirs by Western women who love other Asian men. But I really felt the book deserved a review of its own. Kissing Outside the Lines could become the go-to guide for any women who happen to date Asian men and live in a Western country like the US; her experiences with Korean-American Seung Yong Chung cover everything a couple might face:

  • Confronting prejudice and racism
  • Dealing with family and parents (on both sides)
  • Learning more about his Asian culture
  • Planning a cross-cultural/international wedding (they end up having two weddings — one in South Korea, one in the US)

I also think this book can inspire Asian men out there still looking for love — as I said in my review, “who says that Asian men can’t land babelicious former MTV hosts?” In fact, cvaguy, one of my longtime commenters, also gave this book a thumbs up in a comment. I agree with him — this is a smart book written by a very smart woman.

Here’s a snippet from my review:

When Diane Farr first spotted her future Korean American husband from the dance floor, she actually “took both index fingers and pulled on my eyelids, making the international sign for ‘Yes, Charlie Chan…I mean you,’” to signal him over.

This is the first of many cringe-worthy moments in my book review of “Kissing Outside the Lines” between her and a guy she first dubs “the Giant Korean.” (I’m not kidding.)

Who would expect that this same white woman would end up writing about her relationship with a Korean man in her memoir entitled “Kissing Outside the Lines” — one that explores the idea of interracial/interethnic/interfaith relationships as a whole?

Or, for that matter, that she would do it with an intelligence and sensitivity you wouldn’t imagine from a woman who once used a “slant-eye” reference in a pickup scenario.

Read the full review here. And check out Kissing Outside the Lines here.

What White Parents Think of Asian Boyfriends: Pub’d on AMWW

An old 1940s photo of a white husband and white wife in black and white
What white parents think of the Asian boyfriend -- the toughest subject I ever tackled, now covered in a piece in AMWW magazine. (photo by Susan H.)

Asian Man White Woman magazine just published an article of mine — What Do White Parents Think of Asian Boyfriends? Meanwhile, a commenter on this site, named David, wondered, why hasn’t she mentioned it on this blog?

Good question, David.

I’ll be honest — this remains one of the toughest articles I ever wrote. Why? The more I delved into it, the more I realized the news wasn’t pretty. And if you read it, you’ll see even I experienced some OMG moments in my own family (my grandmother, bless her heart, says the darnedest things sometimes).

Still, I stand behind it as a true depiction of white parents everywhere — yes, even my own (crosses her fingers that father and stepmother do not read it).

Here’s a snippet of it:

I’ll never forget when my Chinese husband John and I married, and my father stood up to give a speech. He spent more than half of his talk praising John — loving, hard-working, loyal, thoughtful — and ended by hugging him in front of the entire audience.

It’s such a tear-jerker of a moment that I almost cried the last time I watched it on our wedding DVD. Maybe they were tears of gratitude — because my family embraced John so publicly.

After all, not every white father — or parent — has the same opinion on the Asian boyfriend. Over the years, I’ve met many white women with Asian boyfriend and their meet-the-parents story is never quite the same. Usually, there’s acceptance. But sometimes it doesn’t come immediately, or even easily. And even if they welcome you with open arms, it doesn’t mean they understand you either.

One thing is certain, though. White parents sometimes think the darnedest things about your Asian boyfriend.

Head on over to AMWW to read the full article. And if you’re as excited about it as David, don’t forget to share. Thanks!

Ask the Yangxifu: How to Introduce Your White Girlfriend to Your Asian Parents

Instead of my usual Q&A this Friday (nothing to do with April Fools Day, I promise!), I’m steering you over to my latest article on the Asian Man White Woman magazine. If you’re a Chinese guy who just started dating a White girl, well, this one’s for you. It’s called How to Introduce Your White Girlfriend to Your Asian Parents — here’s a snippet:

When I first started dating John, my future Chinese husband, everything seemed as perfect as our first kiss by the lake.

We could have entire conversations with just a glance. Our chemistry was so good that, for weeks, I came to work every morning, beaming from bedroom bliss. And within weeks of getting together, we had taken two romantic dates together, and planned a third trip to Beijing.

So finally, after a little over a month together, John decided to go home and tell his Asian parents all about me. His report?

“My father said I can be friends with you, but not date you.”

Gulp. Not exactly what you’d call, uh, “perfect.”

So if you have a white girlfriend or fiancee, what do you do when your Asian family gets in the way of happily ever after?

To find out, read the full article now. If you like it, share it. And thanks!

Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese (and Asian) Interracial Wedding Dos and Don’ts

kissing my Chinese husband at our Chinese wedding
Tip #7 on my list? Have fun -- or, in our case, steal a kiss at your Chinese wedding. 😉

For those of you with a Chinese wedding in the works for the new year, this article — titled 7 Interracial Wedding Dos and Don’t for Your Asian Groom — is for you.

Published in the AMWW Magazine, this article, written with the Chinese/Asian men out there in mind, covers what you should keep in mind before you say “I do” to your lovely bride. Here’s an excerpt:

Once my Chinese boyfriend and I became engaged after a long courtship, visions of an interracial Asian wedding in his whitewashed, bucolic country home in China danced through my head. I longed to experience a traditional, intimate Asian wedding, just like his mother and grandmother had done years before. But with a personal twist — a Buddhist vegetarian banquet, prepared by a chef from one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Shanghai.

Little did I know, I would end up having a big, fat Asian wedding banquet in an urban hotel in China, with more than 200 guests and a menu of carnivorous delights, including a turtle standing on all four legs.

While this isn’t the usual Q&A I feature on regular Fridays, it does provide a lot of answers to any interracial or cross-cultural couple planning a Chinese wedding. To learn more, read the full article at AMWW Magazine.

P.S.: The Q&A will be back next week, promise. In the meantime, keep those questions coming in, and, as always, thanks for your support. 🙂

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Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China/Chinese culture (or Western culture)? Every Friday, I answer questions on my blog. Send me your question today.