30 January 2007

"Debbie or something"

I just wrote to the Westword food writer about my experience visiting an Indian restaurant he reviewed recently where the owner said to me, dripping with disdain, "You probably named her Debbie or something," and how despite the food being great I don't go there so much.

I feel the same way about returning to that grocery store way the hell down in Little India, in Artesia, in south L.A., where I've gone when visiting my mom. This stout fellow with thinning, greasy hair stopped me when I was with my daughter and said so where did you get her? "I adopted her from India, from Calcutta," I said, pronouncing it the Indian way. "Oh, so you bought her? How much she cost?" I had read about this question in our preparations for adopting a child, but I had never actually fielded it until then. Of course I just insisted that we adopted her and there were adoption fees. This fellow was not interested in the vagaries of nonprofits and international adoption laws, however; and I found I really didn't want to invest too much mental energy in someone who thought white people could just buy brown people and who wanted to know exactly how much buying a tiny brown person would cost.

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