I remember one day, I was sitting in my dorm with my roommate and some friends. They were talking about boys, and yes of course one of them have to said to me, “You know what Mai, you never talk about boy.” I laughed and answer, “Yeah I know, and FYI I’m not a lesbian and I’m 100% sure about that.” Of course I didn’t tell them so much about why I don’t talk a lot about boys beside that they can become a chaotic problems, just like girls. I actually told them, “I’m a girl and sometimes I don’t even understand girls.” It’s really funny, but my story that I’m gonna tell you is kinda like another version of Romeo and Juliet, except without the family feud and suicide. Actually I don’t know if you’ll call it Romeo and Juliet.
When I first started kindergarten my first friend was a White boy name Tyler Butler. We got along well and he helped me with some of my English words. However, in second grade we weren’t that close anymore and of course we were in the same schools and graduated together. If you’re thinking that he was my first boyfriend, then NOPE, of course he’s a boy and a friend, but we ended up not so close. I don’t know why we ended the way we did, but we just did. Even when we were in senior English class together, we never once said “Hi” to one another or even when we were in the hallways and we always walk by one another, we never stopped for a nice chat. I don’t know how we ended like how we did, but we just did.
Throughout, my school years starting from 7th grade I had a lot of good luck with white boys asking me out. As for Hmong boys, I never had luck with them. Speaking about Hmong boys, most of them preferred pretty Hmong girls that are skinny. I’m NOT SKINNY FOR SURE. Most of the white boys that asked me out, I’ve always told them “no” that was because I didn’t really like them like that. I only like them as a friend. So then how about the ones that I really really really like?
Well, one summer I remember that my parents went to a cousin’s of ours wedding. It turns out that that cousin was getting married to her longtime boyfriend, who is White. Of course, my father wasn’t so happy about it, because she graduated with a Bachelor of Science and yet she’s marrying to another culture. My father came back home and called for a family meetings (Sometimes I feel that these family meetings can be annoying). The first thing that he point out is that me and my sisters better not end up with a non-Hmong boy, this is also due to culture differences. Even I feel that if I married outside of my race there would be a lot of pressure.
In sophomore year, one of my friend asked me out. Now this one, I really really really really really like him. I was so happy and excited when he asked me out. I almost said yes, but then I thought of my parents and told him “no.” I explain the situation to him; feeling sad, he tells me that he understands my situation and walk away back to his table with the other football players. Of course, through out the whole entire day, most of my fiends were asking me why I denied him. Even some of the football players that I was friend with asked me the same question. It was hard trying to explain to them, but they all understand the situation I was put in.
The next day, he came back up to me and told me that he was still sad about our two whole different cultures, but we still remained best friends. However, later on he moved on and I can tell that he moved on (it’s one of those moments between friends when you know that your best friend is doing great). However, he passed away during freshmen of college; rumors has it that it was because of his current girlfriend, but I don’t know. I was quite sad at first because he was always a happy guy trying to make a joke out of everything to cheer up a person, but then again everyone is different. Although, I did regret not saying “yes” to him.
My junior year in high school, a Hispanic boy asked me out. I really liked him too because he has an outgoing personality and easy to get along with. Of course, like the previous situation, I also told him no. He smiled at me and told me that he understands because his parents told him the same thing. I gave him this funny look, and he laughed saying, “we are just gonna add more heat to both our parents and to ourselves.” We still remain good friends and recently I have just met him and his girlfriend.
Now to the Hmong boys, I did have one Hmong boy that asked me out a couple of times. We met at my mom’s sister’s house. We talked to each other and we were getting along well. Then some of my cousin came over and started talking to him, telling him that I was still single, then he told me in Hmong, “Ces kuj ua kuv tus hluas nkauj,” (Why not be my girlfriend?) I told him, “not now since we’re both still in school and I’m pretty sure both our parents wants us to focus more on education than being in a relationship.” He smiled and agreed with me. Of course we met a few times and he kept asking me, but each time I denied. Then I never met him again. If you’re wanting to know if I like him, then yes. I really like him a lot too. There was something about him that just charms me.
Some of my friends tell me that I don’t understand the feeling of really liking someone. However, I do understand, a lot actually because there were so many different guys that walked in my life and I denied every single one of them. Each time it was either due to the differences of the culture or listening to my parents’ words about getting a degree and job first. Moreover, ever since I started college in Raleigh which is pretty far away from home (3 hours), I have been on many of dates. So at least I got some dating experiene. I just never really had a relationship before. Even now if I can go back in time, I wouldn’t probably want to change my answers because in my opinion dating secretly is more worse than being single and everyone knows about it.