White people love Armenians. Admit it. We look mostly white. We're mostly Christian. Our big noses and hairy forearms make us not so intimidatingly beautiful that you can't be friends with us. We have moms that bake you stuff even though they barely know you.
White people especially love having an Armenian at a party. We're as rare as Vulcans, and as exotic as bringing hummous to a potluck 10 years ago. We make you feel like you know something about the Middle East without having to deal with the awkward do-you-drink-do-you-eat-ham line of questioning you might feel compelled to have with a Muslim guest. We're usually pretty funny (like all persecuted people -- funny is a great defence mechanism). And for these reasons we often find ourselves to be the only minority at a jermag party.
White people love to show us off as their token ethnic person. "This is Nadine. She's Armaynian!" The response to this statement varies. In intellectual groups, we will be met with oohs and ahs. Inevitably, some grad student type will mention a class they took where they learned about the genocide. Which, you know, is a great party conversation.
Then there's that ice-breaking sentence all Armenians just love to hear: "Oh! I have an Armenian friend/neighbour/coworker! Do you know Shant/Raffi/Hasmig?" Um yeah, I know about 10. Do you know a white guy named Steve?
By far the worst thing you can say to an Armenian is, "What's Armaynian?" Are you kidding me? We're like one of the oldest civilizations in the world. OK, so our dry-clean-only homeland was washed in hot water and put through the dryer. Admittedly it's kind of hard to find on a map. But any Armenian would love to tell you that the Christian anthill surrounded by warring Muslim grasshoppers was once an enormous empire spanning from sea to sea.
Or better still: "Don't you mean RO-maynian? Maybe AL-baynian?" Um yeah, I think I know what I am asshole. And for the record dipshit, it's AR-MEENIAN.
We also LOVE to tell you about our famous people. Please, if you're next to us at a party, ask us about our famous people. Because sharing a nationality with them automatically means we're kinda sorta related. My personal top five would be: Andre Agassi, Andrea Martin, Atom Egoyan, Dodie Kazanjian from Vogue, Charles Aznavour... But also the guy who invented The Chipmunks! Alek Keshishian AKA the guy that directed Madonna's Truth or Dare movie! We'll even claim Cher -- although she's only half Armenian. (Of course we'll let the non-Armenian half take credit for those skanky outfits and all the plastic surgery.)
At the party, we're always polite and make great conversation. Because we are so used to parties. That's all we do. We find a minimum of five other Armenians and we have a feast. We're initiated into partydom from birth! But there's no way your party compares to an Armenian party. So we'll be totally nice on the outside, but rest assured -- we're going to go home and call our mom to tell her you that served sandwiches for dinner. (Shame.) Or that, God forbid, there were no olives, pita or feta cheese on the table. And oh, man, how you almost came close to running out of food and you sent us home without any leftovers. *gasp*
And then we'll laugh and forgive you, because it's not your fault you're not Armenian.
Now excuse me while I go knock on wood and compulsively perform Middle Eastern Voodoo to make sure that I don't get the evil eye for writing this post and tempting fate. Ptoo! Ptoo!