Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I understand updates. People move so they need to update their address. Sometimes we change our phone numbers because we’re tired of having a recycled cell number that used to belong to a drug dealer. Call: “Yo, baby, I need a score.” Response: “Pardon me, I didn’t watch the Superbowl. Perhaps you have the wrong number.” I can see the need to update your phone number.

But the other day Luke and Ariel both received an email from the university they attend. It requested that they “please update your race and ethnicity.” Luke snorted, “Idiots.” After all, it isn’t as if they’d left the answers blank.

Then I got to thinking. Update your race. This is interesting because for years Matthew never understood race. Maybe it was part of his autism—that he didn’t distinguish between races. Until a few years ago, he thought my Chinese sister-in-law was my sister—after all, we were both girls, we both had long dark hair, and we both liked salty food. African-Americans were just people who had darker skin than he had. I have darker skin that he has, so it’s all the same to him. Maybe Luke and Ariel could update their race to “human.”

Update your ethnicity. I’d like to join a people group who believe chocolate ought to be prescribed for stress. And who think a thunderstorm is the greatest special effects event ever. And who think puppies were created to remind us how to giggle. And who think the snuggliest thing is being under a down comforter on an icy night with a warm husband next to you.

Okay, okay, way too much info for my teen male readers. Let’s just say, race—human, ethnicity—happy. I know that’s not a cultural group, but I have to break a rule every now and then. Besides it’ll drive the statisticians crazy, and that’s always worth doing.


  1. I say go for it--according to all the bioanthropology courses I took in college, race is a social construct, not a biological one. So a race of snuggly, giggling chocoholics is completely academically sound!

  2. Oooh! I want to join the chocolate group!

    the snuggly thing is a little premature....for me at least. maybe my mom will join!

    Grace Duke

  3. Why would you even have to update those to begin with? Do they seriously change all that often..?

  4. I don't know, all I know is that I had to fill out that form online.