Merci, Marie! I found it validating to read about this happening to someone in another country. As a an American gal, I have been the recipient of this type of microaggression more times than I can count, and mostly outside of a dating context. Since white-looking people do not originate from North America, and we’re known as a multiethnic “melting pot” I find it’s much more about entitlement than origin. Person=white person, everything else=ethnic/exotic/from faraway. In a fun twist, I’ve often had white folks scrunch their foreheads and ask, “Are you from France?” and as a francophile, I’ve always found that a funny question (if they only knew…). Now it’s even more bittersweet.
A note to those who find this an innocent question, consider that she answered the question. It just wasn’t an answer that satisfied the asker’s need to KNOW her ethnicity. Which, sorry: is not a right.
Keep on saying, “I’m from France” and I’ll keep saying “California”! It’s the truth. :)