"Please don't set me up."
"It can't hurt. You never know!"
When I ask for more details (you know, what he likes to do, what his politics are), she has no information. All she knows is that he is a doctor and he works out a lot.
"Sounds pretty boring to me," I say.
"Boring is OK," she insists.
"I'd rather be alone than bored to death."
"Well, you never know. Now, can I give him your email?"
Sometimes the best way to deal with a parent is to take the path of least resistance. After triple checking the spelling of my email address, she adds "If you talk to him, don't be weird."
"So, you're telling me to not be myself."
"Oh, and he lives in Sacramento."
Sacramento? When there's an available Chinese American doctor, it doesn't matter if he lives hours away, or what his politics (if any) may be, or whether he has the personality of a box of rocks. These things are overlooked with one magic word. Apparently being a doctor is all one has to accomplish in life. Mothers everywhere will throw their single children at doctors.
When I shared this story with friends, some had similar stories to tell. One friend, after being pestered for months by her mother, was subjected to dull emails (and terribly unflattering photos) from a doctor who could not carry on a conversation. Another had to fend off efforts by her mother to set her up with guys who lived on the other side of the country.
Many of these friends are Asian American. Now, I doubt we are the only people beset upon by desperate mothers who are having old maid panic attacks on our behalf. This happens in any small community. Matchmaking is a time-honored tradition. Still, it seems like a very second generation immigrant experience to have your parents go through their small networks to find their children dates, sometimes over our objections.
Personally, I could not imagine my parents choosing someone who is right for me. But others are pretty comfortable with it. So here's a question for you: Would you be OK with your parents playing matchmaker? And does this happen to men too? It still seems less accepted in our society for women to remain single.
Oh, and the doctor in Sacramento? He emailed me two days later and turned out to be just as uninteresting as I had feared.