You don’t know me

The concept of car insurance is very foreign to me. I didn’t have a driver’s license until early this year and thus have never driven cars… at least legally.

But since my office is 30 mins drive away, I had no choice. I had to learn how to drive, get my license and actually buy my first car.

The first three steps were relatively painless. I past my driving test without even being tested (that’s another story…) and boyfriend J loan me his car for the first few months.

But since he moved back to California, I have bought over his car and assumed ownership.

The only thing missing is the auto insurance. A bullet I have refused to bite for 6 months because Boston auto insurance prices are insane for a first time driver. At 3000USD a year, I can use that money to buy a brand new car in 3-4 years. It’s just nuts.

But boyfriend J is getting very impatient with me and I found myself making an appointment to go down to the insurance agency last week.

I told my boss that I needed to leave early to do my insurance and he didn’t understand how I could be driving without an insurance. At first, he thought he heard me incorrectly, thinking I needed to correct a feature within my existing insurance plan.

No no no. I don’t have an insurance. “None, zero, nada.” I told him.

He didn’t believe me for 10 seconds and when he finally did, he was blown away by the fact that I have been driving for 7 months without insurance. He looked at me like I was actually a murderer/rapist/child molester he unwittingly hired without knowing my heinous deeds.

But what really pissed me off was what he said next:

“Oh wow, I never knew you were the dangerous type! You look so proper, buttoned down and quiet. I would have never imagined you to be so daring.”

I wanted to slapped him when I heard that. He probably didn’t think it was offensive but the audacity to pigeonhole me. Just because I don’t come into the office everyday and do the innane American “Hey Jimbo! How was your weekend? Oh mine was fannntasssticcccc, went with Laura and the kids to…” banter doesn’t mean I’m “proper, buttoned down and quiet”.

How dare he presume he knows who I am?

Boyfriend J always had racial baggage about being the model minority in America and I can see a glimpse of the pressures Asians feel here. It’s not discrimination but there are stereotypes that are so pervasive in the office space.

Asians are smart. Asians are hardworking. Asians are thrifty. Asians are quiet. Asians are polite.

Asian are not creative. Asians are not leaders. Asians are not entertainers. Asians are not risk takers.

So when my boss said that, the feeling of being “not American enough” surfaced again so strongly that inwardly I became Angry Asian Man. If he wanted stereotypes, I could karate chop him to death and serve him a fortune cookie while mouthing kungfuisms (“Grasshopper, you shouldn’t have presumed to know me, you are but a white man trying to understand chop suey…”)

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But of course I didn’t. Being the “proper, buttoned down, quiet” Asian I am, I smiled and told him “then you really shouldn’t be around me when I’m drunk.”

How’s that for a come back?

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One response to “You don’t know me

  1. Pingback: Auto Insurance » Auto Insurance July 29, 2007 12:27 am

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