An open letter to the woman who interrupted the enjoyment of my slurpee
When I was sixteen, I walked to the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Mineola Boulevard and applied to work at the newly constructed 7-Eleven. It wasn’t my lifelong dream to ring people up for their coffee, cigarettes, or condoms, but it was close to my house and the money was enough.
I came of age in that 7-Eleven. I met my best friend, witnessed a man go to jail, and saw first-hand that yes, there’s always one person that pays in pennies. Some of my fondest memories are when Natalia and I would blast the best of the 90s pop and dance behind the register while sipping on Slurpees. Every now and then, I get the craving for the cherry Fanta one and I walk the five blocks to 7-Eleven to satisfy it.
Tonight, I got the crave.
But I was feeling lazy. It was late-ish, and I didn’t feel like walking. So, I drove, waited at the light, and parked my car in front.
I take care when making my Slurpee. A rookie mistake is putting the cap on after you’ve already filled it. Putting the cap on first gets you a better fill – I don’t know why…it just does. I thanked the man behind the counter, and came outside to notice a woman standing behind my Camry.
“Is this your car?” she demanded.
“Yes, it is.”
“You know what? You should go back to fucking China! If you don’t like being an American, then fuck you! We don’t fucking need your Chinky ass here. So just go back where you came from, you fucking Gook.”
She spun on her heel, got into the car next to me, and drove away.
For those of you who don’t own me, this might seem a little odd. Here’s a snapshot of my Camry’s gorgeous ass:
So, since I didn’t get the chance to say anything to this woman, I decided I’d write her a letter, and hope the universe, and the Internet, can find a way to get it back to her.
Dear Woman Who Interrupted The Enjoyment Of My Slurpee,
Hi! My name is Lauren Sharkey, and I am a Korean-American adoptee. I am so sorry that whatever educational institution you attended did not explain that one can be Korean and American – they are not mutually exclusive.
I’m also sorry you thought by having a bumper sticker that reads, “I <3 being Asian” means I do not love being American. While I have some serious concerns about the state of our country, I do generally enjoy being an American as well as being Asian.
Now that that’s out of the way, I have to be honest and tell you, you’re not the first person to tell me to go back to China. Tough break – better luck next time. In fact, I’ve never actually even BEEN to China, so it’s not exactly a place I can return to.
As far as everything else, you’re absolutely right – no one needs my Chinky ass blocking the entrance to 7-Eleven. I’m sorry I didn’t move, but you caught me by surprise. After you left, I did follow your instructions and went back to where I came from – the house I’ve spent the last three decades of my life in, with the people I love.
Thanks so much for your feedback – I am currently looking for bumper stickers that read, “I love being a Korean-American adoptee who has never been to China”.
Cherry Fanta Loving Gook