not so wonderful

yesterday a colleague decided to change an upcoming meeting from a regular infrastructure meeting into an infrastructure meeting with potluck. but not any potluck. a holiday/international potluck. and we're all supposed to bring something that represents our culture and heritage. um... culture? i grew up in south florida, which is known for its latino flair, and i can merengue and salsa, but that's about it. my family didn't identify with any specific ethnic group, and at school, we had a semi-diverse student base (nicauraguans, brazilians, peruvians, cubans, puerto ricans, colombians, argentinians, chileans, swedes, british, irish, french, spanish, japanese, chinese, indian, and canadian, to name a few), but i was more in the general white catagory.

however, i work at a very diverse, international organization, where unlike many of my coworkers, i was born here in the US (chicago, to be exact), and so were my parents (not in chicago). in fact, the majority of my grandparents were, too. being asked what i would bring to this international lunchtime affair, i sat there confused, and even over the phone, i think the general feeling of "huh?" was conveyed. to assist me in my mental transition to address my lack of ethnic association, my supervisor provided a vivid example: one of our chinese colleagues feasted on mice when she was younger, and her suggestion was to bring in a mouse dish (yes, little mousies) reminicsent of her childhood. i just sat there stunned. dumbfounded, even. hello, not only am i vegetarian, but that's just wrong. run, little mice, run for your lives! after this mental torment, when she asked what i would bring, all that came to mind was white bread.


James said...

Being caucasian and from the south, I would probably bring fried cornbread. Have you ever heard of that? My grandmother who lives in Florida use to make that when I was a child. I am sure she probably still does. In the south, at least in my family, EVERYTHING was fried.

Becca said...

south florida, though, isn't really considered the "south." no collard greens or fried catfish on our dinner tables. fried cornbread sounds yummy!