You know, I used to loathe being a Vietnamese American. It’s a complicated, bittersweet, ongoing story I’ll have to share with you another day. Anyway. One of the things I hated most was wearing traditional Vietnamese clothing. I just didn’t like ao dai gowns — I thought they were tacky, unflattering, and wholly fashion-backwards. I suppose my feelings towards the clothes really were more about my conflict with my culture than anything else. In any case, though, I can appreciate now the slender, flowing silhouettes and delicate, richly patterned fabrics found in Vietnamese clothing. I’m hoping it means I can also be truly grateful for other, larger and more significant parts of my history.