Asian Girl Problem #111: The Elusive American Sleepover

I call myself an adventurous eater. I’ll enjoy a fish eyeball, shrimp head, chicken feet, lizard or fried grasshopper anytime. Though not as tasty as the aforementioned, I’ll even eat pork blood, slimy sea cucumber, bitter melon or durian if it’s offered. But there are plenty of American food experiences I’ve never had, but crave, such as getting a pizza delivered. Never ordered food delivery, period. The way it’s engrained into American life and has more apps dedicated to it than any other service is literally hard for me to swallow.

When I was young, journeying to a restaurant and eating there was half the fun–my parents made a freakin field trip out of McDonald’s. Eating in-store meant wedidn’t have to dirty dishes, could enjoy free water, and stuff a bag with napkins and ketchup to use for the rest of the week. The common reasons for food delivery were lost on us. No car? Walk your ass there. Too late at night to walk? You shouldn’t be eating anyway–go to bed. And obviously, we weren’t aware of the culture which gave rise to “late night munchies” and “wake and bake.”

Most of all, my parents couldn’t fathom the concept of paying a delivery fee or tip to receive an asinine service, although more than once, my dad considered getting a second job as a pizza deliverer. While my mouth watered every time we saw a Papa John’s car roll through our street, he dreamed about cashing in on the suburban laziness surrounding us.

The one place I did wrap my mouth around some delivery pizza would be at sleepovers, although I spent more time watching them on TGIF than attending real ones. Because there is nothing as terrifying to the Asian mother (or just mine?) as The American Sleepover.

American kids can go from zero to spending the night in the time it takes to make a short phone call, because their sleepovers are dependent on just two factors:

1. Is it okay with Suzie’s parents?
2. Is it a weekend?

For Asian parents intent on defending their daughter’s chastity and pathetic social standing, more need answering:

1. Has it been at least six months since your last sleepover?
2. Will any sentient being with a penis be at Suzie’s house?
3. Does Suzie’s mother have a good job, and know the harmful effects of artificial ingredients?
4. Have you finished all your studies for the next week?
5. Are you working on a group project with Suzie, and can you incorporate piano practice into the sleepover agenda?
6. Does Suzie get better grades than you?
7. What do you do at a sleepover that you can’t do during the day?
8. Why are you not as obedient as _________’s daughter?
9. We need to find you more extracurriculars if you have an extra 12 hours to spend at someone else’s house.
10. Why can’t Suzie stay at our house?

Suzie can’t stay at our house because we don’t have a dog or video games and we can’t mention any boy names. But mostly because we eat fish heads instead of pizza.


One thought on “Asian Girl Problem #111: The Elusive American Sleepover

  1. Beebe, you’re hilarious!!! Also, I feel like this list totally encapsulates the Asian American sleep over experience. My mom flat out rejected my first sleep over because she thought I was going to get raped and murdered. Only after having a fit was I allowed to go. Maybe it was because I was older, but sleeping over at my Korean-American best friend’s house was way less of a big deal…

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