Actually, I AM an American
[Editor's Note: It's the time of year when people talk about how proud they are to be American. But what if your "American-ness" is constantly questioned? Check out this excerpt from House of Peanut and tell us how you would deal with these kinds of comments. --Grace]
When someone asks me where I'm from, I tell them I'm originally from Pittsburgh. As any ethnic-looking person will tell you, this elicits a variety of responses. Thankfully in culturally-aware Seattle, that's the end of the conversation. In previous locations, I got my oh-so-favorite rude followup - "No, I mean, where are you REALLY from?" Because brown people can't actually be from Pittsburgh, right?
When I was younger I was too nice to be confrontational and was trying to fit in, so I'd say something like "well, my parents came here from India" which is apparently the "real" answer they were looking for. And then the questioner would compliment my English. Sigh. This really pissed me off for a long time and now that I live somewhere that people GET IT, I can finally laugh about it.