Guess Who’s Coming to dinner:A peek into my interracial relationship


In case you haven’t noticed, brazilian jiu-jitsu has hijacked my blog so here’s something from another facet of my personal life…This past thanksgiving I conquered unchartered lands by *que dramatic music* bringing the boyfriend home to meet the folks. Bless his heart.

I had never taken anyone home before for a holiday before so I was just as nervous as he was…well maybe not that nervous.  I already knew the age difference was bothersome (7 years my senior to be exact) but there was also just a wee little difference we also shared that for obvious reasons didn’t go to the top of the “Reasons to keep him from ever meeting my family” list, to be honest it had almost slipped my mind that we also happen to be an interracial couple.

Maybe it’s the fact that I stare at him everyday and neither of us comment on it all that often so to be honest I forget.  Luckily we have quite a bit in common, but anticipating the cultural differences did cause some strain. The number one thing on my mind was I didn’t want him to be in a situation where he would undoubtedly feel awkward or uncomfortable.  Granted meeting the parents, sucks as it is, being the minority in any situation sucks especially when you’re not used to it, but pair all of that together with the age difference…oh I could only imagine what was going on through his mind, probably something like “F* My Life”.  Luckily my immediate family is fairly open-minded.  I will say that compared to the earlier times I’ve seen white men, we’ve got it a little easier in the public sphere.

My first semester,freshman year at Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY) proved to be trivial when it came to dating.  The black guys didn’t so much as approach me on account that the white guys were getting to me first.  They were the ones that treated me best so they were the ones that got the time of day. Seems pretty clear cut right? WRONG.  People used to yell things at us at the campus restaurants, during homecoming, or at tailgating events. One time I was with a caucasian man and we were walking back from a  party and people were literally stopping their cars in the middle of the street yelling threats at him(off campus).  Till this day he still recounts it as one of the scariest days of his life.  He never responded to the threats he just held my hand tighter and kept walking.  Once we approached campus even if we weren’t holding hands, so much as walking close together elicited more snide remarks, and obscene comments…and this was late 2008 lol.  Luckily campus has calmed down in the last few years but I’m glad more people have adopted the “To each, his own,” concept.  I’m glad interracial couples are becoming more common. I think some people just weren’t accustomed to seeing a little black girl on the arm of a white man in bowling green, ky but I enjoy our cultural differences.  I feel like those subtle differences allow us to continue to explore more about each other.

scene from "Guess Who"

Not to shine any harsh light upon my family because I love them to death but upon my arrival on thanksgiving, I got on the phone with a grandparent and the conversation went something like this…

Her: “You brought your boyfriend!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

me: “Yes, grandma”

Her: “The white one?!?!”

me: “yes, we’re still together”

her: *long pause* “hmm..well..WHY didn’t you tell me..I would’ve been sure to be in louisville.”

 

us on halloween 2010

The earlier time me and this specific family member spoke it was right when we had first became serious and the conversation went about the same lol.  I can almost anticipate that awkward pause before they go ask “Is he white?” I know they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just not that common in our family.

But not to stray from the topic at hand, took him home & not only did he eat good, and i mean goooooood, but my family seemed to like him so it went well.  I was worried about the food though, I figured this is where the biggest culture clash would take place lol For one I nearly had a heart attack when he told me he didn’t eat greens (collard greens). To which I responded, “Well maybe your family doesn’t make them right.” lol

–Sidenote: there are few things better than my mother’s greens, she puts the ham and bacon in them, man oh man it’s like love in your mouth.–

Luckily his nap halfway through the football must’ve been some indication to how well he ate.  I try not to write too much about my relationship on here because I’ve found if you let people into your personal life they don’t always like to leave when they should. SO i’ll keep it as private as possible while respecting his privacy in the matter.  However, if i’ve learned anything from these past few months with him its…

1.)SPACE, have plenty of space, don’t suffocate each other, you’ll only nitpick at trivial things and end up pulling away.

2.)Sometimes NOBODY wins in an argument. Be wary of what you say in heated moments, because once it comes out there’s no taking it back.

3.)It’s all about the little things.  Gifts are great and all, but there’s nothing better than a thoughtful gift.  Nothing like being greeted by some feel good food after a shitty day.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Guess Who’s Coming to dinner:A peek into my interracial relationship”
  1. slideyfoot says:

    Wow – the reaction you and your boyfriend at the time got in 2008 sounds pretty shocking. I didn’t realise that sort of thing still went on: are interracial couples still that rare? Perhaps it happens here in the UK too and I’m just naive (as a fairly sheltered white guy whose girlfriend is also white), but that surprised me.

  2. Megan says:

    Yay! Another lady training BJJ!! I’m off to comb your blog for BJJ posts:)

    @Slidey, considering the region of the US, it didn’t surprise me at all. I’m down in south Florida (where nobody can tell where anybody’s from) and have been out with just about every race under the sun and haven’t had anything notable happen. I imagine it’s not the same farther away from the coasts though…

  3. slideyfoot says:

    I guess it is easy for people here in the UK to treat the US as a single, homogeneous country, when it’s actually very diverse, both in positive and negative ways, as appears to be the case in Western Kentucky. I’ve been told about how it’s all different by my father before (as he goes to various bits of the US on business fairly regularly), but still sometimes forget, hence surprise. 😉

  4. shakiaharris says:

    yea it’s not so bad anymore, we’re more “uncommon” than anything so we get a lot of stares but Megan i’m glad you find my blog, I look forward to reading your posts as well.

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