there and back again

(a hobbit’s tale by Jade Park)…

Woke up early on Friday to go to the airport and fly to Vegas to visit my parents. Of course, I’d gained 4 pounds in water weight over night (perrrrfect timing) so I was braced for weight-criticism (it did not happen–whew). I would be flying right back home to the Bay Area later in the day.

If I had been a plant, I’d have been traumatized. 62F in Oakland when I left. 110F in Vegas. And 62F in Oakland when I returned later in the evening. Lettuce would have bolted. Fruit trees would have dropped their blossoms. But I am not a plant–I’m a human being, so I did just fine.

It was a very pleasant visit. I giggled when my parents bickered and my mom and I went shoe shopping, and then we all had a late lunch. My dad’s recovered well from his heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. He’s back to his cranky self. Well, more than that happened, but that’s my 10 second wrap up.

By the time I was dropped back off at the airport for my return home, I smelled the pungent odor of mothballs. What the–? It was ME. I smelled like mothballs. My parents’ house is like, on Defcon 5 alert when it comes to moths because my mom feels they are the Mortal Enemy. (I told her that I’d heard moths don’t live in the desert and she said, “YES THEY DO! I HAVE HOLES IN SWEATERS!” Wow. That was one determined moth to get through the mothball defense). I bought her a new sweater and the first thing she did was pour a bag of moth balls on it before folding it up. Sheesh.

So anyway, I smelled like mothballs. I felt SO sorry for the chick who had to sit next to me on the Southwest flight home. I gave her my issue of People magazine once I’d finished, but still.

At the airport before my flight, I got asked by very nice middle aged Midwesterners headed back home to St. Louis about flight logistics (they were there WAY early for their flight). “Do you travel a lot?” they asked.

I hesitated, and then said, “Yes.” Because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to CHAT. And because I do. Travel a lot. We discussed which airlines were best (dude, I love Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic) etc., etc.–the kind of talk you make at the airport with strangers. I’d have preferred to read my People magazine, but oh well.

Then they looked at me slyly. “You say you travel a lot.”

I nodded.

“Are you freelance?” They damn near winked.

“Uh?” I wondered what they meant. “I travel for uh–work. And I do a lot of vacationing.”

“But do you work for yourself?” they asked.

What on earth were they talking about. “I travel for my company and I do a lot of personal travel.”

“Oh!” they said. “You look a lot like, I mean, we think you might be–”

OHHHHH. “Margaret Cho?” I asked.

“YES!” they said.

“No, I’m not her.”

“But–”

“I’m not Margaret–but you’re not the first to ask me.” (Seriously, I think I’ve been asked if I’m Margaret, like, hundreds of times thus far–by everyone except Korean people).

I don’t think I convinced them.

“Well,” one of the men said, “for what it’s worth, I really like her.” He nearly winked.

When I got home, I gave the hubby a big hug. He wrinkled his nose. “You smell like mothballs,” he said.

And there–now you know that Jade Park looks like Margaret Cho. Now excuse me while I deal with my nausea–these meds I am taking make me SO nauseous.

p.s. I am sooo waiting for Margaret Cho’s new show to premiere!

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8 Comments

Filed under Funny Stuff, Life

8 responses to “there and back again

  1. asianrandom

    omfg she did not say margaret cho. so sorry.
    seems like most famous korean americans are the ones you don’t want to be mistaken for.
    ugh.

  2. Well–Margaret is pretty cool as a person so I’m not at all sad to be mistaken for her because that means somehow, our energies are similar. As for whether or not I really do look like her–sometimes I do look like her, sometimes I don’t.

  3. Amyable

    Midwesterners (or other Americans that don’t interact much with Asians) also mistake me for Margaret Cho. It’s annoying because it feels like they are saying all of us Koreans look alike but what can I do about it? Not much.

  4. anonwupfan

    Jade: I can’t wait to run into Margaret Cho and say: “OMG, are you Jade from WUP?”

    Amyable: My cousin was mistaken for a famous American athlete when he was working in Japan. The unfamiliar can be confusing. Despite how it feels to you, I wouldn’t assume that they think all Koreans look alike unless they say something like: “You look like Marget Cho… or Michelle Wie… hmmm maybe you look like the lady from Grey’s Anatomy instead.”

    Also, living in the Midwest does not preclude interacting with Asians!

  5. Schmoo

    I wonder if somewhere on the Web some Midwesterner has just written that Margaret Cho was really pleasant and charming…but that she smells like mothballs. That would be funny. 😉

  6. Since I started chemo I am having trouble distinguishing faces. I have been mistaking people for each other. All of them were white people and most were Ashkenazim from Russian or Slavic backgrounds although I mistook a French professor for the South American husband of another professor.

    I don’t know why I mistake Slavic Ashkenazim for each other. I am married to a man who is 1/2 Russian Jewish and his mother & her family are 100%. I don’t mistake them for each other… It’s very disconcerting. I chalk it up to some kind of strange brain misfire. I am also not so quick with words as I once was, and sometimes can’t come up with the word I want at all.

    Chemo. What can you do. It’s better than croaking. But when I have an embarrassing moment with mis-recognizing people I just apologize and say chemo. Unfortunately it makes folks worry about me too much. I am otherwise not incapacitated.

  7. oh

    I’m a NYer in the Midwest (for nearly a decade and a half.) No, it wasn’t me at the airport, but I can totally understand the “mistake.” So many travelers come through STL on their way to somewhere else. Which keeps the Midwest busy looking for famous cosmopolitans and globetrotters. Everyone has a 2 degrees of separation story about a celeb they’ve sighted.
    All that aside, great blog entry (and title). A pleasure to read!

  8. Amyable: I think I actually DO sort of look like Margaret Cho, so I don’t feel like people think “all Asian people look alike” when they mistake me for her (in fact, I have gained free admission to several gay clubs in The Castro har har). But yes, it’s frustrating at times to get that sense–if someone were to tell me I looked like Kristi Yamaguchi, I’d look at them twice for sure! Like, “Uh–I am NOT a size ZERO like she is!” 🙂

    Anonwupfan: that would be funny. I have met Margaret in real life, and she has also said we looked alike. Who knows–I might even BE Margaret–I’m anonymous here! 😛

    Shmoo: that would be awesome. must google search for that.

    Leila: what an awful group of side effects. We can never anticipate what the things that are supposed to help us, bring along. I hope one day that something better than chemo comes along to fight cancer.

    oh: s’ok! When we were in China, all the Chinese thought that my husband was Nicholas Cage! Seriously–they STOPPED us in the street with awe on their faces and asked with trembling and shy voices, “I know who you are–you are Nicholas Cage…?”

    And that I was Nick Cage’s Korean wife (I was flattered because as far as I know, Alice Kim seems to be like a size zero or two–and I am…NOT). My husband does NOT look like Nick Cage though I see a resemblance…probably as much as Margaret Cho and I resemble each other.

    Now rumors will start that Nick Cage and Margaret Cho are having an affair.

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