Howdy! On my post yesterday I began a tiny rant about how people treat interracial relationships since I’m a card-carrying member of the “I Love Outside of My Race” club. It’s a somewhat frustrating existence, and frankly it’s only because I’m way too damn observant for my own good. Sigh.
Hopefully I can organize all of my thoughts, but don’t hold your breath. I can guarantee that words will be spelled correctly and you may or may not laugh. That’s all I’ve got!
The first time Dave and I went out in public and like really flaunted our relationship around, we weren’t officially a couple. A conversation about two weeks later revealed that we were both kind of coasting on the line of wanting more from each other but not knowing how the other felt because we agreed to keep everything casual. That day we spent in Baltimore at the harbor going to the Maryland Science Center and the aquarium because it was probably one of the last days of true summer the state was going to see for a while. It was glorious.
On a whim, mainly because it was what my heart told me to do, I just grabbed his hand. He kind of squeezed mine back in kind and we wove our fingers together so seamlessly as if we’d been doing it for years. It was a great feeling, one that was instantly followed by the realization that things were no longer casual. We weren’t talking about it that day though, and didn’t for two weeks, but it was a great start. The moment we held hands and were just enjoying each other’s company was about the time I started becoming aware of my surroundings. I was weird about PDA then and holding David’s hand in public like that was sort of a big deal for me. Because despite how uncomfortable I knew it should have made me, I felt nothing but rightness about the whole thing. But in that rightness and security was a threatening destruction of my joy from the long, and I mean LONG stares I would get from people at us. Asking Dave about it hours later at dinner he said he didn’t notice, but that was just the beginning of things Dave didn’t notice because he wasn’t as observant as me (sorry Boobie, haha).
It started with young black girls who I excused because with youth comes a bit of ignorance and an inability to think for yourself. Then various POC and Caucasians stared, frowned, did whatever, those I didn’t care about. What really began to grind my gears were the looks and head shakes of such aggressive disappointment we, or more so I was receiving from black males. Older black males, ones with their families or just ones alone hanging out on the street who should have been minding their business but were concerned with mine. One man who looked to be in his 50s shook his head as he was approaching us and muttered something to me as he passed by that I can’t exactly remember years later but it was peppered by a sound that resembled one of them “MNH! Damn shame” kind of sounds. If I weren’t with David that day riding the high of euphoria that we were, that man would have gotten a piece of my mind.
And you want to know why? Because all through high school as a dark brown girl, I was BOMBARDED with images of women who were being pursued and lusted by black men who I looked NOTHING like at all. Music videos didn’t represent me, television shows, movies, magazines, every bit of media I consumed was essentially telling me that girls that looked like me weren’t worth advertising and praising. Black athletes were marrying white/hispanic/light-skinned women and cheating on them with more white/hispanic/light-skinned women and I was completely baffled. I’d seen tons of women of dark complexion whom were beautiful, but they were supermodels, commodities. Their beauty was advertised as a mode of showing how awesome this piece of fashion looked against their dark ebony skin, advertised for the sake of the CLOTHING but they weren’t in CoverGirl ads or moisturizer campaigns. But even after all of this latent and manifested hate on dark-skinned women, I didn’t hate black men. I didn’t write them off as possible suitors because my father was a great black man. I knew that even if the majority felt a certain way about girls like me, there would be one that was as awesome and special as he was to love me. And the parallels between Dave and my father are amazing; he loves to laugh, he doesn’t try to take things too seriously, and he’s supportive of me and my ridiculous life decisions. So there.
So this old man making his sounds and sucking his teeth and trying to judge me over proudly holding the hand of this white man was a dagger in my side I didn’t need, let alone want, and would have sure enough thrown right back. Do not get it twisted. I’m not dating a white man because I self-loathe or I hate black men. I think when a black man chooses a black woman to be his love that it’s an acceptance and celebration of things we don’t see the media portray much. Thank you President Obama for showing the country that it’s okay to love a black woman! She’ll make you president one day(being facetious)! I’m dating a white man because he’s the guy who got me the best, who made me laugh the hardest, and who was so passionate about taking care of me when I let him that I couldn’t turn that away. That is love. And if I felt the same damn way, why would I reject it because when I looked at him I saw someone different?
Don’t go and tell black women how they’re worthless and angry and self-sabotaging and then chastise them when they seek a comfort that doesn’t look like you. Some women do purposefully seek relationships with people outside of their race because of stuff like that, and you know what, I won’t judge them. If that’s the new road they choose to find their happiness, then SO BE IT. Who are any of us to judge? Who are we as human beings to tell that “angry black woman” that she’s a hoe and then call her a race traitor when she escapes that cycle of violence? Are you seeing the correlation I’m trying to make? It’s abusive and counter-productive and it needs to stop.
I end this rant now to say that I’m not saying couples like David and I will change the world and end racism because in 100 years everyone in the world will be the same beige color. LOL. I’m not worried about those things with him. I’m worried about making myself better so I can love him better. I worry about not driving him away with my mood swings and integrating him into my family and making him laugh when he’s stressed and hugging him when he looks like he’s going to explode. And none of these things have to do with him being white. Find someone who makes you feel these things, open yourself to the possibilities and you’d be surprised at what you attract into your life.
Over and out.