Tuesday, November 29, 2005

hardheaded bet on the black...

i was gonna put a disclaimer on here, but that's not like me to be apologetic for the way i feel. and since i got some years in learning how to love myself despite what people think about what i think, i might as well sit up straight and tall at this keyboard and get my word on.

my word today is about a certain preference of mine when it comes to who i decide to allow to court me. date me. spend time with me. et cetera and ditto.

the setup: i am with my best friend and her sister among others at a public event. i'm chilling minding my own business, and this young man approaches me. he seems about my age. and even though this was some time ago (as in not yesterday) i can see his face as i type this. it's making me smile as i imagine it. he was quite handsome. bright beautiful eyes, proportionate facial features, welcoming smile, cool demeanor, reliable job. we talked for some time about some general matters and a little bit about ourselves. i got the sense that he was intelligent, friendly, energetic - all good stuff, right? he was drawing me in a little. so i pulled back - excused myself to break the momentum, and found something to do somewhere else. when i came back, my best friend and sista friend had a sidebar with me. eyebrows raised, nods of approval, they encouraged me to take advantage of the full court press the young man was giving me...

naw, that's aight.
no, seriously - he's cute!
yeah, i know, he really is... but come on, i don't go that way.
awww, glory that's not right. you could at least get to know him. it's just dating.
like i said... i don't go that way. i don't see the point.
ain't nothing wrong with it - i've done it before.
yeah, okay but that's you. i don't get down like that.
you could be missing out on something special.
that's a chance that i'm willing to take.

i stuck to my guns. the rest of the afternoon passed uneventfully. he and i spoke again here and there, but i gave him none of the my-number-is-yours-if-you-want-it vibes. i told this story to my homeboy later. he is disappointed in me. he is frustrated that, knowing how ready i am for showtime, i would take the chance on passing up what could wind up being good lovin, just because a guy is white.

now for everybody else on this planet, i am cool with saying go for what you know. if you like it, i love it. people are people, love is love. i have several cousins in interracial relationships that i have not challenged. i have several mixed family members. my dad dated interracially before meeting and marrying my mom. but when it comes to me... i'own know... i just have this kneejerk "no" reaction to it. i don't see the point in dating interracially knowing full well that i have absolutely no intention to marry interracially.

i have always pictured the man i marry being black and nothing else. black features.

like some shade of coffee

skin like some shade of coffee. hair that doesn't blow in the wind. a black voice to whisper to me at night in the tones and rhythms that have comforted and and fed me all my life. i have always pictured little, brown, fuzzy-or-nappy-headed babies whose hair i could shear like sheep or cornrow. and i would hate to get my (and some innocent man's) emotions all caught up in something that i have such a huge reservation about. i really don't feel like dealing with everybody worrying us over why we're together, why i didn't get with a brother, what church could we both feel comfortable in, worrying about whether his family accepts me cause they like me or cause they just don't want to be accused of being racists, worrying about explaining my husband's white privilege to our black children. or if he isn't white, explaining how regardless of whatever other people say, both their cultures are embraceable and claimable, even though they'll always be seen as black. however, i know that plenty of interracial couples live life everyday, happily and without angst. i'm tough like a day-old, air-exposed biscuit, forget a cookie. i could handle it just like they do.

what really worries me are the cultural differences. i'm attracted to a certain type of black man. (hope that i can describe this well... here goes...) i am well-educated, book-smart, articulate, et cetera and ditto. i'm charming in an evening gown, i know which fork to use, and i'm a good tipper. but i am also street-smart/working-class(/country even). hip-hop generation. urban. i'm a little bit of a chameleon - many black folks who are new arrivals to the middle class through

i need a man who can

relate to who i am

education can relate to this. but when i'm at home... when i'm letting it all hang out... i need a man who not only understands my duality but who can relate to who i am when i'm not trying to make money. glory of the irreverently imperfect grammar. glory who does her own hair in the kitchen sink instead of paying the hairdresser. glory who loves f.un di.p and quarter bags of barbecued d.ipsy do.odles from the corner store. glory who prefers to live amongst brown people like herself instead of being the only darkie on the block. shoot, there are a lot of brothers who can't hang with me, either because they never left the hood and don't fly at my altitude, or because they've never been to the hood and would be too scared to visit my family there with me after dark. i want a man whose relaxed diction and demeanor don't remind me of work or school (or the folks i work for), but who doesn't resent (and can even appreciate) the fact that i've studied and appreciated william faulkner and cornel west in addition to malcolm x. a man who isn't annoyed by my possible use of a double negative and an s.a.t. word in the same sentence. a man who i don't have to explain thanksgiving dinner to because the menu in his mama's house is the same as in mine. i don't want a boule bound son of a link. i don't want a brother who idolizes jay-z and is lost once outside the city limits. and to be honest, based on experience, my prospects are slim among brothers, let alone among white men... *right eyebrow raised, lips pursed.*

well, time waits for no (wo)man. my friends have a point. i could be delaying happiness for myself by cutting out a whole swatch of the eligible male population (the one with a better life expectancy and earnings potential, to boot. damn!) but my preference is my preference. a beloved uncle of mine told me to never, ever, settle. a schoolfriend of mine is happily married to a white man. she didn't seek out a white man. but according to her, he came correct and the brothers who were approaching her did not. she wasn't settling. she was just open to the possibility of love, wherever it came from. perhaps i have something to learn from her.

but on the real for real? for now, i'd rather be hardheaded with my preferences and take the chance.