by Zach Smith
It was a gamble,
brining her home. I was worried my parents might
embarrass me somehow. It was a surprise too, I
didnt tell them in the letters I sent home
that I had a girlfriend, and with a 3.7 GPA there
was no reason for them to question what else I
might be doing at college. She was Chinese, and
her parents still lived in China, but she had a
student visa. I didnt want her to be alone
for Christmas, so I took my chances, and took her
was warm when she saw me, and then I introduced
her to my lover.
Oh, what a
wonderful surprise, she said.
She asked her a
few questions, where she was from, how long
weve been together, and so on. She had a
smile that told me something embarrassing was
We put our things
in my old room, it was slightly cleaner then I
had left it. I say slightly, because my parents
had moved some of their collectables or junk into
it, keeping it almost as messy as I us to do, but
they couldnt blame it on me anymore.
I gave my lover a
tour of the house, starting with my room we
weaved our way threw room after room while I gave
an inaccurate history of the house. She had a
good sense of humor, laughing at the
progressively more ridiculous stories of each new
room. The tour ended at the Christmas tree, my
wooden train set ran underneath, a plain white
blanket maid a snowy town in miniature beneath. A
house, hand stitched out of a potholder, was the
This is neat,
she said as she reached for the house. How
is it propped up?
remembered, under the house was a role of toilet
paper in a thin cardboard box, called fortune
cookie toilet paper. There was an offensive
caricature of a Chinese man on the box, yellow
skin, bucked teeth, black pigtails. Each square
of the toilet paper had text printed on it,
Confucius jokes such as: Man who stands on
toilet is high on pot. Sometimes equality
offensive fortunes or anecdotes, toilet humor, in
many layers. My parents got it on a trip to China
before I was born. It has always been one of my
favorite Christmas decorations, but I would
forget about it for the rest of the year.
I tried to stop my
lover from unveiling the less then tolerant
family heirloom, but I was to late. She held the
box, neither of use spoke, she looked amazed.
believe you have this, she said.
sorry, I tried to stop you but...
No, no, my
father invented this in the 80s, he said it
was a huge hit with tourists and thats how
he could afford to send me to school in the
states, but I never believed him.
Get the Hell
out of here, I said.
But she never did.
Was it confuses who said that all good
relationships have a great meeting story? I
dont know, nor do I know of a meeting story
better then this one, and thats why I