in my head i imagine our relationship to be a buddy buddy, older relative/younger relative relationship in which i answer her questions and dispense advice about life, people and the world at large, spoken or otherwise, in a non-judgemental, easy to understand, informative, entertaining way. and to her i am someone who is easy to talk to and trustworthy, admirable, cool. but really, right now, i'm her quiet, awkward, older tomboy of a cousin who has tattoos and lives 200 miles away in Seattle.
in hindsight, i can easily see that she was making a sweeping generalization about his perceived innate abilities and the color of his skin. and a simple, leading question like, 'well, why do you see that as unfair?' would have opened the doors for a rich discourse on racism and how it's not ok to make fun of gamer nerds. had she been some a-hole dude, or even a peer at a party, i (would like to think that i) would have no problem calling them out on what they said. but having the source of those words be a cute blonde blue eyed blood relative is a little disarming. i couldn't even bring myself to say, 'well, i can name like 5 asians i know right now that are not good at a lot of things.' which is, to be quite honest, the first retort that sprung to mind.
as we continued to play, i kept trying to figure out how to pull the convo back to the subject of ASIAN CHILD PRODIGIES. which is hard enough as is without having a stream of colored dots coming at me in a slightly predictable manner. all i could think of was to ask her if she's read the Joy Luck Club. but when you know the answer is already, 'No'...
so we just played. talked about video games. in the quiet spots of our conversation, i resolved to myself to in fact be that older cool relative who gives sage advice and challenges your ideas of what those billions of people whose descendants look nothing like you are actually like. next time, i will be prepared, have responses lined up, maybe even see it coming. but as of right now, in this very moment, i suck at this game.