In a recent entry entitled “The Book Club Ladies,” I lamented my status as the lowly initiate in a group of women who had been meeting for over thirty years. I was presumptuous enough to think they would embrace me simply because I wanted to be embraced, or by virtue of my multicultural journey. It was a bitter disappointment, and the resulting poem speaks for itself:

Book clubs may be circles of learning and sisterhood, but they are not for me. My previous experience was, in fact, worse than the one that prompted the poem. We were reading a book by an author whose hero called himself the “Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien.” Let it suffice to say that when the conversation turned to how this one woman “married someone from a cold climate” and the other “had been married to a South American but that didn’t work and now she was back to normal,” my blood boiled, and then it froze.

Would someone please care to define “normal” in the context of intercultural marriage? The comments were not directed at me as a personal slight, but they might as well have been. Would all the women who, like me, proudly celebrate their unions with men from a “warm climate” please come forward?

In the meantime, I will return to my reading like the Vermeer Girl and my manuscript that describes women like me who fully embrace other cultures, marry into them and carry them forth.