The Adventures of Shen and ShaSha: Did She Really Say That!?

2.9.11 ShaSha LaPerf 5 Comments

 Woohoo my internet is back so the hiatus is over! I gotta get this  story out about what happened to me and Shen recently.

So some time ago I vaguely mentioned that Shen and I were  moving in together. Well we've spent that past few weeks getting things situation. Our initial plan was to move to a different area of Maryland, but after we realized how broke we were and how I could keep my sanity from driving to Virginia a few times a week, we decided to move into a large apartment in the same complex I live in now.

But that's not the point of this story. During the week of our move we had our first real WTF moment while we were out together.

So Shen lived with a relative about 60 miles away from where we are now. From what I'd seen I thought the area was pretty diverse, but Shen frequently mentioned the "redneck-ness" of it. Anyway, we needed to get his stuff to my place so we made our way to the suburb to pack up our cars with his stuff. After we loaded the cars (and he found out his relative's cat had peed on his bookcase) we decided to get our groceries from the area because it was so late. We whip through the grocery stroe grabbing what we needed then we got to the line.

Shen and I were having our usual banter, which focused on celebrities we spotted on the tabloid covers. The cashier, a white woman, joined in on our banter as we discussed the Jada/Will/Marc Anthony drama that was going around. I'm not sure but we get on the topic of food and the cashier asks who does most of the cooking. I told her I did while Shen did the dishes and cut food. The woman was completely shocked at this.


She looked at Shen in amazement and said, "But it's in your blood!You make good food!"

Yep, cooking apparently is in the blood of Asians. That one was a new one to me.

But it gets better.

She then proceeded to tell us about her black African husband and how much he loved cooking soul food, which was confusing because I'd never heard of soul food in relation to Africans. I would think a man who's say Nigerian would refer to what he cooks from his country as "Nigerian" food rather than "Soul food" but I digress.

I wasn't clear if the cashier was making a "joke" or was honestly shocked. Either way she sounded like a dumbass. And the need for her to tell us about her husband and his soul food cooking was icing on the cake. I guess she wanted us to know she was "down for the cause," but since this came immediately after her cooking comments she just made herself sound sillier.

I'm sure y'all are wondering why I didn't bitch-slap this woman, or call her out. It's hard to call out people like this. Mostly because they're completely unaware and honestly think it's okay to say whatever because they are in IR couples. They'll try to flip the switch on you and not understand why you're offended..."how can you be upset, my husband is BLACK! He'd think it's funny!" People like that simply aren't worth my time and energy.

At the time we both laughed. We weren't laughing because we thought she was funny or interesting or because we agreed with her. We were laughing at how silly she sounded. Our response can probably be considered immature but basically we laughed at her. And we did call her some rather unhappy names on the way back to our cars. In retrospect I suppose we could put more effort into calling her out on her shit, but when you're in the heat of a moment, you do what comes to your head first. We were more concern with dealing with the drive back instead of the cashier.

I certainly hope this woman doesn't say any more ignorant shit to other couples at the store. They might not be as nonchalant about the situation as we appeared to be.


  1. " But it's in your blood. You make good

    If I was in Shen's place, I would be looking
    at her the same way. I would be wondering how
    much of her ignorance would have turned to
    closet racism?

    My ex was a native of Nigeria. Most times he didn't cook too much of anything, whether Nigerian or Soul Food. I only recalled one dish that he cooked.. it was a Nigerian dish.Maybe her husband knows how to cook it and like it,but Soul Food isn't a Nigerian dish( take away the cornbread that some of us may eat with it..that belongs to the Native Americans). Some of them may love it,but I've never seen fried chicken, macaroni and Cheese and collard greens as a part of their diet( now I've heard some African countries having this,but they do not cook in the style that African Americans do). As a matter of fact, if there is anything that African and Asian dishes have in common of that they are more healthier to eat then in the US.

    If I would have came across this woman I would have laughed at her myself. It's evident that she thinks that all Black cultures are the same.Unless her husband doesn't know how to cook Nigerian food, it's baffling to see how this woman didn't know that much about her husband.

  2. She just said her husband was "black African" so I'm not sure of where he came from; I was just using Nigeria as an example. Unless I'm way off, I've never heard any black Africans living in the states or abroad refer to their food as "soul food." Hell, I barely know people who really use the term nowadays as my family cook it but never really say, "oh yeah we're having a soul food meal tonight!" LOL I don't eat much of it though I have to admit I will tear up some chicken and mac and cheese. But yeah, the conversation was about food, but I also wonder if she would have said the same thing to another couple.

    Even now Shen and I still laugh at the situation. It was just so stupid that I actually don't find myself as offended as I should be.

  3. Encounters like this are so common as a minority. Like you mentioned, the time and effort it takes to educate people like this is just not worth it. They could even react negatively and defensively and think, "I was trying to be nice to these minorities and they just treated me rudely!" Usually if someone is friendly I don't want to kill the atmosphere.

    You are right that it can lead to closet racism though. It's still the destructive thought that all Asians / blacks / non-white group are all alike with no individual will, personality or life experiences.

  4. I decided to do a quick poll of some of my African friends. They come from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda. To a wo/man, they said that, no, they never call food from their countries of origin "soul food". EVER. They do occasionally eat "soul food", but only when they go out with friends to a "soul food" restaurant.

    Oh, and most said that they'd have called that ignorant cashier out right then and there, since they've gotten totally sick of American ignorance of African geography (thinking that the whole continent is one big country, for example).

  5. LOL at the poll! It's good to know that I'm not that ignorant then since the phrase "soul food" seemed distinctly American.