Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feature story: Show me the love

I love talking about relationships. If you and I have ever talked about your relationship, I've probably asked you how you met, how long you've been together, what makes your relationship tick, what ticks you off.

So I jumped at the chance to write an article about how Asian Americans say "I love you" in their romantic relationships.

I interviewed two couples in Milwaukee: Seng and Andrew (photographed with their son, Zach) and Young and Suzelle (with their daughter, Grace). Bill Zuback shot the beautiful portraits. Thanks, Bill!

And I visited L.A. in July so I could meet Lydia and Rohan (and their dogs, Ichabod and Lola) and Diane and Todd. My sister, Yukie Fujimoto, came with me to shoot photos. Thanks, Yukie!

The couples shared their stories — and there was so much more than I could fit on the page.

I think love is in the details, in the tiniest acts in everyday life. Like Seng's memory of her mom holding her hand at the dentist.

The way Todd touched Diane to fix her lipstick.

Listening to Young and Suzelle talk about their favorite fairy tales.

And in a story about a big moment: Rohan's description of his proposal at Staples Center — not on the Jumbotron, which was the plan — but near the downstairs elevator. (And Lydia's response: "What?" Over and over.)

I wanted to weave all of this great stuff — the personal details that make each story unique — into my article. It was a challenge to tell the story of each couple, maybe because there are so many different stories. And it felt like a responsibility, in a way that essay writing isn't.

Luckily, I had a lot of help along the way — especially from Allison, who had the guts to tell me that my first draft was awful, and Hal, who reassured me that my final draft wouldn't be.

But I digress.

Thank you for staying with me through this post and through the past months of writing and revision. If you'd like to read "Show me the love," you can buy a copy of East West magazine on the newsstand or order one online.


Bill Zuback said...

You did a great job Naomi. I received my copy yesterday. Have issues with how they cropped the images but your writing was right on the mark. Congratulations for a job well done. Dr. Naomi, relationship expert. Thanks for including me in your process.

Sarah Yost said...

Awesome post! And congratulations!

michelle said...

Congratulations! I will be ordering my copy, so I can read the final version! How exciting to see your by-line in such a beautiful publication. :)