One obvious truth about being Asian in Kentucky is that you are surely a minority. There are simply not very many of your fellow people living here. Herein presents a case of simplified supply and demand, specifically in social interactions. Let me be specific. I don’t go out much. When I’m not studying on a Friday night, I love nothing more than staying in with a mug of tea and as many Hint-of-Mint Newman O’s as I can shove in my mouth whilst watching Scandal. But every now and then I get the urge to act my age and venture out to some bar or club. One of these rare urges happened a couple weeks ago, and I found myself with a few friends at a hip bar, complete with faux taxidermy and $10 cocktails.
Later into the night, a guy came over, wingman in tow, and pitched a really gentlemanly proposal of buying our entire table a round of drinks. With no strings attached. WHAT. He specified he would act as our personal butler and just take our orders, deliver the drinks, and then go on his way. Again, WUT. We were all pretty flustered, so he switched gears, and got straight to the point. “Well… the real reason I came over here was to actually buy you a drink,” he said while staring at me. Hold up, what is happening?! After his continued spiel about the no strings attached offer, I eventually said we were leaving soon but thanked him anyways.
Truth be told, I wasn’t used to attracting attention from grown ass men, much less a man with enough money to throw down for bougie cocktails for an entire table just to talk to one girl. To be even more honest with you, I was newly single and didn’t know how to react to drink offers from strangers. Perhaps another post is required on notes-to-self about fielding drink offers, but for this post, let me focus on the fact that this gentlemanly, financially stable(-ish), adult male was Asian(/-American). Part of me wishes I would have said yes because he was Asian. Is that weird? Probably. I felt as the only other Asian-American twenty-something there, I had the responsibility to support this guy’s move. (I mean come on, it takes some confidence to come over and introduce yourself cold turkey). Maybe because I was the only other Asian in the room, he felt like I was the only person he could buy drinks for? Is this thought process race-contained racism? I don’t know. Supply and demand, guys. It messes with my social cognition. For a split second in that bar, my inner thought dialog was that he might be one of the few Asian-American guys I’ll meet in Kentucky so I should probably just say yes.
Ethnicity aside though, he had the thoughtfulness to ask permission before condescendingly sending drinks over (like some masochistic guys do), was incredibly gentlemanly, and had that classic nice guy look. I think his name was Steve? Steve, if you ever read this and find me in a bar, try that offer again. Because I believe I’ll say yes. Not because we’re both Asian, but because you were a nice guy with good manners. A lady appreciates that.