1970 passport photo:
I've debated even writing about this but it's just lingering in my head; sometimes writing THROUGH something is easier than writing ABOUT something.
On Sunday we had to take my mom to the airport for her trip to see my younger sister. She stayed with us for a month and we were able to enjoy some great Japanese food and spend time with each other. I still haven't picked up my knitting as much as I'd like, but it can wait.
Since she needs a wheelchair at the airport, I typically ask a ticket agent for a pass that will enable me to accompany her to the gate (I've done this a few times in the past with no problems). One of the Continental Airlines employees pointed me towards a set of three ticket agents who were free and I approached them and asked them for a pass -- I gestured toward my mom who was waiting on the other side of the ropes (in her wheelchair) and I asked for a pass to go back to the gate with her. I explained that I was her daughter and the male ticket agent looked at me -- then looked at her -- and I said, "She's Japanese." The ticket agent said, "How do I know you're her daughter?" (Obvioualy, since I'm married, I don't share the same last name as my mom). I told them my mother's name and where she was traveling and he just looked at me and said, "So you're HALF-Japanese?" He didn't believe me. He pointed at himself and said, "THIS is what half-Japanese looks like." And, actually, I could tell by looking at him that he was, in fact, Japanese. I asked him what the other half was and he said, "Dutch." (My other half is Irish-American, but he never asked me that). He very RELUCTANTLY gave me a pass to go to the gate with her and . . . I understand that it's his job . . . and I know I don't LOOK half-Japanese. I don't speak Japanese. I don't read it. I can't even use chopsticks. I didn't have anything on me other than my phone and my driver's license. I thought I was going to have to wheel my 78-year old mother to the ticket counter and let them interrogate her. He must have been feeling charitable -- he let me go to the gate.
I would love to go back and prove it to him, but I won't. I'm sure he's already forgotten about the 5'2" non-Japanese looking potential troublemaker. I had nothing other than my sincere insistence that I was being truthful and genuine. At this point, I'm just glad I didn't have my double pointed needles with me or they'd never have allowed me to go back with her!
Some things have happened recently that are making me wonder if I've given people the wrong impression or offended somebody in some way. I'm typically unfazed by what others think about me (you're free to not like me!), but it would really bother me if I have hurt somebody's feelings or offended them. Those of you I call my friends are those to whom I lend my full support -- and sometimes I'm overly enthusiastic about that. And because I know myself and I realize I'm NOT likely to ever go back and talk to that ticket agent (even though I could . . . and have had imaginary conversations about that in my mind), then it's highly likely that those whom I've offended will probably never tell me about it. That's okay too. Just know that I'm sorry.
By the way, if you're a reader, please know that you're allowed to lurk here and I'll never force you to comment; no delurking contests here. The comment approval system is in place so that when I hit "publish" and step away from my computer for the afternoon, I won't find a lot of spam comments or trackbacks when I get back. (I can count on one hand the times I've had to delete an offensive non-spam comment).