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Name: Alvin Wong
Ethnicity: Chinese American
Occupation: Business owner and Happiest Person in America
According to data collected by Gallup over the last three years that was then plugged into a formula called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the statistical composite for the happiest person in the U.S. is:
…tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children,
gets lei-edlives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.
Alvin Wong, a 5’10″, 69 year-old health care management business owner, fits that bill. But is he the only one? I mean, how many tall, Asian American, observant Jews 65-and-over do you know?
(In light of the fact that the median income for Jews and Asian Americans is not only similar but exceeds the national average, the $120 thou a year part is a given. Jews are reputed to have slightly higher divorce rates than non-Jews, while Asian Americans have slightly lower divorce rates, so when combined the marriage thing is a non-factor. And remember, this is all junk science, so no emails about this being junk science and stereotype-dredging. I mean, duh.)
Since Diana and I both suck at math, I had a Physics professor friend of mine–not my Hardass Asian Dad, incidentally–crunch the numbers for me. Here are his findings based on the data I provided for him:
Filed under: Alvin Wong Happiest Man in America, ASIAN JEWS, Gallup Poll, Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Happiness, Hawaii, Hawaiians, Judasians, Junk Science, Men Are Happier than Women WTF, Statistics, Tall Asian American Jewish Men Are Happiest, What Is Happiness
Why is some asshole young’un always stealing my gosh-darned thunder?
First it was that little tramp* that beat me to the punch on a landmark Jewsian Bat Mitzvah–complete with glorious photos and full NYT coverage.
Now, it’s some little brat* that’s trying to beat me out on my dream of making my mark as the second coming of Neil Peart.
Um, trying…rather, er, successfully.
*Not actually a tramp. Actually the most adorable little Jewess you ever did see.
*Not actually a brat. Actually a total freakin’ genius and my hero.
So I got all excited when I found out that I had an Amazian to root for on the new season of smash-hit reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance?
The Jewish Daily Forward notes:
“Just six years ago, when Hanna-Lee Sakakibara plunged through the floor of a Jerusalem wedding hall in an infamous disaster that left 23 Israelis dead, it was unclear whether she would ever pirouette again.”
“Born in Jerusalem to a Japanese father and an Australian mother, Sakakibara was only 16 when the floor of the Versailles wedding hall, where she was working as a dancer, suddenly collapsed. A fellow dancer found Sakakibara, her legs pinned under rubble and her face shattered. Lying in a hospital bed, with metal plates in her face, the Christian Israeli dancer asked for divine intervention. “I just prayed as I lay in that bed,: ‘If you let me get out of this, God, I will pursue dance until the end.’”
AHH! A good Isreali girl with twinkle toes and a divine comeback? Of course I love her.
Alongside this discovery, I also happened to discover the MOST INCREDIBLE ROBOT DANCE EVER, which happened to surface in the next night of SYTYCD auditions. The moves were exhibited by a fellow named Bryan Gaynor.
HOOOOOLLLY CRAP. Bryan is an HONORASIAN, dude. Nobody does the robot like we do.
The NY Times published this feature today on Cecelia Nealon-Shapiro (a lovable Chinese orphan with adoptive Jewish Parents) and her induction into what I often refer to as “The Tribe.”
For those who don’t know, I have long sought entry into the Tribe. I attend Passover Seder. I host many a Shabbat dinner. I make a mean apples and honey plate. I may or may not spend hours creepily lurking on J-Date (doesn’t hurt to look).
No matter what, though, I’m never really in.
But little Cece is.
Here’s the thing. It’s a beautiful story. She was but a tiny, unwanted, unloved babe without mother or milk in her homeland of China when the country sanctioned international adoption and she was scooped up by the Nealon-Shapiros. She has spent the last twelve years and seven months coming to terms with her unique ethnic identity, one that melds both an acquired history of a perpetually persecuted people and a personal history with the land that had to let her go. She’s done the work. She’s eaten the gefilte fish. She’s practiced the Hebrew. She’s found her Torah selection. She’s ordered the ying-and-yang yarmulkes for the party. I adore her.
The doesn’t change the fact that she basically taken the steam out of my plan to have the world’s first and most and only balls-out, dim sum/pho tai/egg rolls bat mitzvah celebrating the fresh adulthood of a jew-adjacent Vietnamese woman creeping towards thirty. The theme: skulls and polka dots. The decor – streamers and balloons. The entertainment – Blonde Redhead would perform! We’d kick open an 80-year old bottle of scotch!
I’ve had this thing planned out for some time. And I was going to submit my request for a Saturday at the temple but nobody called me back, and then I called them again, and then I missed their call when they called back, or something like that, and blah blah blah.
Now I fear my Mitvah is going to end up as a miserably small event in a dismal rec room: me, Rabbi Frankel, and three sad 13-year olds that didn’t get invited to any other bar(t) mitzvahs this year because they snuck a meal on Yom Kippur.
Sigh. Anyway. Congratulations, cutie pie. You deserve it. I wish you long life of bagels and self-loathing.