I watch cooking videos on YouTube every night. I watch them in bed under the blanket wearing nothing but a tank top and underwear. The cooking videos I watch are of celebrity chefs who make dishes and meals the way I like it, with normal ingredients. Specifically, I watch this guy for his meats, this woman for her comfort foods, and this girl for her stir-fry. On most nights I start with the meats guy. He’s the same age as me and I’m curious as to how someone my age becomes a celebrity at our age. After I’m done with the meats, I move on to the comfort foods woman. She’s single like me and I’m curious as to how someone single becomes a celebrity by marrying and divorcing the right person. I save the stir-fry girl for last. She has a British accent just like the meats guy and the comfort foods woman but I can never get over Chinese people speaking British English like they are from another planet. Speaking of which, the stir-fry girl is from where I’m from originally and I’m curious as to how someone from where I’m from originally becomes a celebrity in anything at all.
Twice I could have been a dentist’s wife but I didn’t. The first one he was in dental school when I was in high school and his ma said to my ma in front of me something about me and him in ten years and waited for me to smile but I didn’t. His ma thought my ma and I would be impressed with him being in dental school but we weren’t. Years later when he became a dentist, including mine, I thought I would either get free or special treatments from him but I didn’t. He did, though, set me up as a guinea pig with his foreign dentist friend who fixed my cavity for free to pass his Canadian license exam in Halifax and this one he thought I would jump at the chance to marry a dentist but I didn’t. He told this to a group of women who would have gladly married themselves or their daughters off to a dentist and one of them who knew us told my ma who told me to think about being a dentist’s wife and having a good life but I didn’t. Back then I wanted to marry someone who couldn’t afford to go to a dentist but he didn’t.
Tiffany Hsieh was born in Taiwan and moved to Canada at the age of fourteen with her parents. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Malahat Review, Poet Lore, Room, Salamander, the Shanghai Literary Review, Sonora Review, the /temz/ Review, and other publications. She lives in southern Ontario with her husband and their dog. • Photo by the author