How to miss a fortune cookie

I know it’s wrong to make generalizations about people based on their culture or race… I’ll just tell you this story and let you make your own.

A few weeks ago Dave and I went to our favorite local Chinese take out restaurant. They have the best lo mein around. Trust me, we’ve tried the lo mein at every take out restaurant within oh, at least 30 miles. And this particular restaurant is only 1 mile from our house. Bonus.

As we walked in, the young Chinese girl behind the counter smiled at us, did a double take (yes, that’s an Asian guy with a white girl), did a triple take (yes, the white girl is very pregnant) and then smiled at us again. And then whispered something in Chinese to the older lady next to her. We smiled back at her and gave her our order.

“Your wife?” she asked Dave as she wrote down our order.


“Having baby? Congratulations!” More smiles. We smiled back at her. She turned and smiled at the older lady.

As she rang us up she asked, “What is it?”

Not wanting to go into the whole “We’ve had 5 ultrasounds and 1 said boy and 1 said girl and the last 3 were inconclusive so we’ve pretty much just given up and are going with girl because that’s what the ultrasound tech said” story, I told her, “It’s a surprise.” She smiled and nodded like that was cool. Very smiley, this one.

Dave added, “But we think it’s a girl.”

Her expression changed. No more smiles.  Disgust crossed her face. “How you know? Guess?” she asked with contempt. She wrinkled up her nose like she smelled something bad and spoke to the older lady in Chinese. That lady stopped smiling too.

“Well, we don’t really know.” Dave tried to save the situation. “Maybe it’s a boy.”

“Yeah, maybe boy. Boy is good.” The girl tried to smile and nod again, but she was still recovering from her shock.

“A boy would be fine too,” Dave said with a smile.

The girl looked at me one last time, and tried to give me an encouraging smile. The older lady said something in Chinese.  The girl handed Dave his receipt and looked one last time from him to me. She gave 1 more half-hearted, worried smile and said, “Good luck baby. Congratulations.”

We sat at a back table and waited for our lo mein. We could hear the girl talking about us to an older man. He walked right up to us, looked us over without saying anything, and then went straight back to hear more about the crazy mixed couple who thought they might be having a girl. We enjoyed the attention at first. It was too ridiculous not too. They were talking about us, and we were talking about them. After a second man walked out of the kitchen to take a gander at us, (don’t they have any work to do back there?) we were happy when our food was ready to go.

“I hope they didn’t try to poison us for being crazy and wanting a girl,” Dave said as we got into the car.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I laughed as I opened the bag to check our order. “They didn’t poison us, but they did short us a fortune cookie.”

“What?!” Dave was amazed. “I’ve never only gotten 1 fortune cookie.”

“Well, you’ve never told a bunch of Chinese people that you hoped you were having a girl either. That’ll teach you.”

“Yeah, next time I’m telling them it’s a boy. Way simpler. And they’ll probably give us more food that way.”

Ahh, that’s my Dave. Always thinking with his stomach.

    • Kali
    • August 26th, 2010

    This made me laugh out loud! Hilarious 🙂

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