Archive | August, 2012

Interracial Dating and Why I’m Tired of Talking About It

29 Aug

This Monday I woke up to a frantic text message from a sophomore girl soliciting me for advice about a “very personal matter.” Worried and ready to come to the rescue of my younger-sistah-in-the-struggle, (that was the part where you don’t take me seriously) I let her know that I was available to talk after 11a.m. and would prefer to do so over lunch.

We met at the dining hall, engaged in small talk as we passed up the ‘Quesadilla Soup,’ opted for deli sandwiches, and found a table far away from the crowded entrance. I sat down at the wobbly table and barely spread the mayo on my turkey sub as she blurts out “I need help with dating outside of the race!”      *record scratch* (What?!) 

My stomach curls, my mouth clenches, and my no-this-trick-did-not eyebrow-raise is in full-effect. I was shocked… and annoyed. So much so, that although her mouth was moving at one-hundred miles per minute, I could only hear my inner-voice; “I thought this was something important!” “I know yo ass is on academic probation but I’m skipping weight-training because you want to snuggle with a brotha from the otha tribe?””  And lastly, “Why am I having another conversation about my ex’s race?”

As these thoughts went through my mind like clockwork, I sat there, uninterested, as homegirl went on and on and on like she was Erykah Badu with questions about how my (EX) man felt about my hair, what White guys on campus thought about my shape, and how she should read advances from her White male counterparts.  Pretending to be interested, I smiled -fighting the urge to make a snide remark about having her priorities in order- and told her to approach said white-chocolate-manchild like she would anyone else and just be herself.

Needless to say, Badu was not satisfied with my  response. Demanding that I tell her ‘how I did it’ and asking ‘what he was like’ (I’ll leave that for your personal interpretation) my friend refused to believe that my magical interracial relationship had ups and downs– just like anyone else’s.  I spent the lunch half-listening, half-eating, and completely tired of telling this girl that White men don’t come with a cape and superpowers. And she wasn’t the first person that I had to explain this to! I’ve been tagged as the poster-child for interracial dating by friends, I’ve been confronted at Black Student Union meetings for disowning Black men, and screamed at in class (yes, homegirl was ready to ‘put them paws on me’) just because I was dating a guy… who happened to be white.

Yeah, you read that right; he just so happened to be white. I hate to break it to those of you who, like Badu, think that White men are mystical creatures that require a life coach and secret potions to attain, or that dating White men or dating ‘outside the race’ in general will solve the Black women’s plight. Hey! Guess what, race had nothing to do with our feelings for each other. Sure, ish got real when I had to explain to him why we could only walk within a five block radius of my house when he came to visit and yeah, we endured some stares at the farmer’s market when I visited him in his uber-rural Vermont town, but, honestly, we were just two shy freshman on the Track team that liked Chilli-Cheeseburgers, March Madness, and each other’s company.  We were college sweethearts. Not a gimmick.

So, yeah, I scoff at the articles that encourage you to date Whiteboy-Bobby because Albert Haynesworth only dates White women, and I roll my eyes whenever my friends beg me for advice on interracial dating when they’re failing English101. I’m furious when you go out looking for a ‘Whiteboy’ because “Black men ain’t shit” because for every Haynesworth dating white women and believes in the Angry Black Woman stereotype, there’s a sweet boy from Vermont that will love you because your impersonation of his football coach makes him laugh. And if you pay more attention to the man behind the smile and less attention to that man’s race, you’ll be lucky enough to find the latter.

Peace, Love, & PWIs

-BlackGirl