You might call it “lust in translation.” This Chinese-English online quiz, one I agreed to do complete well before I met John, turned into a perfect excuse to visit John a little more often at work. I translated the English words into Chinese, and then brought my work over to him for proofreading. Sure, in between our “how do you say”s and “zenme shuo”s, we flirted a little. But we also learned something too, more than just the right way to say rainjacket or maozi. We made a pretty awesome translation team.
Nearly eight years later, we still help one another with language and translations. John’s my go-to guy for Chinese when I’m stuck on translating a word, and I’m the one he calls on to give his English writing a final check. One week, he tells me about a new Chinese idiom; the next, I’m explaining a new saying in English. You might say we’ve re-written that old cliche — now, the couple that wordplays together, stays together. Continue reading “The Couple That Wordplays Together, Stays Together?”
When you’re facing hard times as a couple, people say all kinds of things. “Hope it gets better.” “Stay strong.” “You’ll be okay.”
And then, there’s what my so-call friend told me back in December, after I told her about the discrimination against John, and how I supported him.
“So you’re standing by him? Wow, you’re so loyal.”
You’re so rude, I wanted to tell her. I also wanted to slap her across the table, but it was a holiday party and that sort of thing doesn’t go well with gingerbread and hot apple cider.
“Why wouldn’t I be? He’s my husband and I love him,” I finally said as I glowered at her.
From her perspective, “for better or for worse” just didn’t apply to us. She might as well have said, “You should have married a white man,” because that’s exactly what I heard hidden within her words — that when a white woman chooses to marry someone outside her race, in my case a Chinese man, she should throw in the towel when she faces something she’d never face with a white husband.
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