Friday, January 6, 2012

One of Our Favorites: Ms. M 100% Mutt

This has to be my all-time favorite post, because we have met so many people that live parallel lives through this one post. Plus, it gives some personal detail that we don't readily divulge in our other posts. We will resume updating our blog on Monday. Happy New Years!


This past weekend, A's family was in town from Memphis for our belated wedding reception. The last time they were in Chicago was about 10 years ago, so we wanted to show them everything Chicago has to offer. Coincidentally, Kip Fulbeck's Part Asian, 100% Hapa solo exhibition was at The Field Museum.
A and I wanted to see this exhibit for awhile and with A's parents in town, it was the perfect time to go. For those who do not know, A is Jewish and I am Korean-American and we eloped 7 months ago, which is why the wedding reception was belated.
When we first started dating, both sides of our family, mainly our parents and grandparents, were disappointed and disapproving. Over time, both sides of our family have accepted and even embraced our relationship.
So we thought it would be interesting to us and A's parents to visit the exhibit to see what our kids could possibly look like. Hapa in the Hawaiian language, pidgin, means half and refers to an individual of mixed descent. In the past the term was derogatory, but now it is embraced as a term to describe individuals whose mixed descent includes Asian or Pacific Islander.
We don't think A's parents liked the exhibit as much as we did, b/c we don't think they understood why we were so excited, especially when we were looking at pictures of 1/2 Asian and 1/2 Jewish individuals.
Though we went to visit the exhibit to see kids that were half Asian and half Caucasian or hapa haole, the exhibit raised some very interesting points. Many people of mixed descent are asked "what are you" and often times they have to pick one race as their identity over the other. Though not the same, but somewhat analogous, we are often asked about Ms. M's genetic makeup.
The main guesses of her breed has been Boxer, American Bulldog, and American Pitbull Terrier and people like to point to specific phenotypic features to support their guess. On the other hand, Ms. M could care less about her genetic makeup, she just knows that she isn't human nor a cat and maybe not a basset hound. While some people see her as a vicious pitbull, she just thinks of herself as the cuddly, lap dog Ms. M. I realized that our future children could have some racial identity issues, and Ms. M would be a great role model. Hopefully they realize that labels that people give them are not important, it just makes it easier for certain people to use their preconceived notions to judge them, just like certain people can blindly judge Ms. M and Mr. B without meeting them.
And like Ms. M, hopefully our children could care less about their race and those of others and approach every person openly unless that person gives them a reason otherwise.

34 comments:

Sam said...

Ms M would be a wonderful teacher. I would have loved to have seen that exhibit. I'm not sure if I've said it before, but congratulations! My husband and I eloped and it was the best thing we could have done! (...and yes, my family had the same reaction!)

Sam

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

This is a BEAUTIFUL post.

Antoinette Errante said...

Your kids will be wonderful because you two are wonderful. And like Ms. M, I think your kids-- like all kids of multiple ethnicities - won't be half anything but double!! Gorgeous post!

aheartbeatatmyfeet said...

I am in LOVE this post! I'm a Caucasian mutt and my hubby is South Korean. We often wonder what our kids will be like...if we ever decide to have any without fur! Miss M - and you two - will be great roll models!

bigalrlz said...

I so often get asked what kind of dogs my pups are. They are ALL various mixes of this and that, so we always respond "Just Dogs" with a big smile.

Sometimes if folks ask if they are 'pits' we point at our chiququa and say "Yep, he's all pitbull" and laugh :)

waldobungie said...

This is one of my favorite posts, too!

Harper said...

I would've loved to see that exhibit! I'm 100% Asian and am dating a Caucasian. A lot of people say part-Asians (or any mixed-race individuals) are good-looking, so I'm sure when the time comes, your children will be beautiful!

mayziegal said...

Oh, yes! This was one of my favoritest posties, too. Cuz I can SO relate! I dunno why humans get so hung up on looks or labels. Believe me, sniffing somebuddy else's butt gives you a whole lot more information abouts who they are than what they look like. I dunno why peoples don't do that.

I bet your human pups are gonna be GAWJUSS!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

I love this post, and am so glad you refeatured it because I hadn't seen it before. The connection between preconceived notions of racial phenotypes in humans and canines is an apt one, and I'd never thought about it that way. Thank you again for sharing it. And also-- your wedding photos are amazing.

RuthieJ said...

This is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing the personal information and thoughts. It's good to have a reminder that we all would do well to embrace each other's differences and learn to live together happily.

Kara said...

What an awesome post. I think - how boring the world would be if we were all the same.

Katie Lime said...

wonderful post with very wise words that everyone should live by!

Jacquelin Cangro said...

We have so much to learn from our dogs!
A&E: you both looked so lovely on your wedding day. :)

Christine said...

So cool! Miss M is such a great teacher, and you guys look adorable on your big day! Next walk I need to show you a photo of my new, 5 month old niece. She is the same mix your future kids would be and is just the absolute cutest.

Trissi_V said...

My friend actually got her dog DNA tested...we all thought for sure that he was Jack Russell/red healer mix. Ummm, not so much...straight up Basset Hound/Australian Sheppard (no other breed present). So you never know, Miss M. may have a little Basset in her after all. ;-)

Happy Friday!!!

3legs2ndcity said...

Aw...this is a wonderful post! I missed it the first time around, so thank you for sharing again!

Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

Fabulous post - and your SanFran photos are fun, too.
A cousin and his fiancée, in the midst of elaborate wedding preparations, eloped years ago and never regretted it - my aunt did have a reception for the couple, though :).
I have a house in MT rented now for 17 plus years to a mixed race couple - black and white. They are about my age; I always wondered what it was like for them to marry longer ago. They are still in love and are dog people :).

goosie mama said...

Amazing post!! Loved reading it!

Two French Bulldogs said...

What a great post! By the looks of you two your children will be beautiful. Hope the every buddy liked the exhibit, BOL
Benny & Lily

Kim @ Yellow Brick Home said...

Awesome post! Your kids could look like... me! Hapa Kim.

It's very true - I've been asked my whole life "what are you?" and while I could take offense, I know it's curiosity so I try and take it as a compliment. When asked this, I give BOTH halves - Korean and Italian. A 50/50 split.

I love this, and Miss M is a wonderful role model of course!

LibbyD said...

100% Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

jen@inubakablog said...

amazing post - thank you for reposting!!!!!

jet said...

is it uncommon to have Asian-Caucasian descent in the USA?? it's something that's so common here I'm not sure the kids get asked 'what are you' anymore. But I could be wrong, I am not one of them!

Brenda said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing it. I love these that I have not seen before. Your wedding photos are magical. And I love the photo of Miss M by the white fence - so pretty, she could be a doggie model!

parlance said...

That's an inspiring post. Perhaps racism is on the decline in the human sphere - let's hope so - but it is certainly alive and well in regard to dogs. Breed specific legislation has finally arrived in Australia. Sad.

Tanaya said...

I <3 this post so much. I am hapa! In fact, I am 1/2 Korean and 1/2 white. But wait there's more! My husband is 1/2 white, 1/4 Chinese 1/4 Hawaiian and we both spent part of our childhood in Hawaii so we really know what hapa means.

When we adopted our pit/mutt three years ago, I totally fell in love with her for so many reasons, but mostly because I knew exactly what it was like to be her.

Mutts, don't always have it easy, and we are often judged by our covers and not our content. But I can tell you from experience, being hapa/mixed/biracial/multiracial is an amazing experience. We have an opportunity to see with more than one set of eyes and to understand the experiences of other people so much more deeply because we know that two different worlds can be vastly different but also exactly the same.

I love coming to your blog for great stories and helpful advise on being a pit bull owner. So I'd love to return some of that wonderfulness. If you have any questions on being hapa please don't hesitate to contact me.

http://facebook.com/lawahine

Tanaya said...

Oh, there is also a group on facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/halfkorean/

Lindsay said...

Congrats on your approximate 1 year anniversary, if I am reading this right! My fiance and I are going the simple route as well with our wedding in June. I have no desire to plan a big wedding - way too stressful. I enjoyed this post as well as the post on your marriage in Calif.

Karen Kelly said...

Half-breeds aren't so bad :-). Wish I would have seen the Hapa exhibit. I enjoy the experience and culture having a Korean parent has brought to my life and try to share as much as I can with my daughter.

jen and grant said...

just found your blog but WOW! I'm a hapa and I had no idea there was this amazing exhibit of "my people"! i love being hapa. it stimulates conversations, makes you an open minded, diverse person, and gets you lots of compliments! your children will be beautiful and cultured! my husband and i just adopted a "pit bull mutt" and while i have been struggling with how to answer all the "what is she" questions, this post as brought me back to the reality which is, it doesn't matter! she is a "beauty." :)

a lil bit of Sarah said...

I'm going to quote another comment because this post is absolutely beautiful!

Jenna Nicholson said...

I just found your blog and love it! My husband and I adopted a small dog from a rescue last September. They told us she is a pug mix. To us she looks like she has pug, beagle, terrier, chihuahua and who knows what else. Rather than call her a mutt, I refer to her as 'shelter special.' A little mix of everything and perfect in our eyes!

thegirlandherdog.com said...

This is my favorite post yet!!!

Andrea said...

Love this post. I have two daughters: half jewish and half Korean too!

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