“Don’t come home with a black boyfriend,” my dad said in a raspy whisper as he pointed one finger unintentionally at my heart and gestured towards my co-ed dorm. A perpetual comedian, my dad’s parting words were not unlike his jokester self.
When I first got braids a couple of months ago, I was riddled with compliments.
It was a huge change from the curly auburn afro I’ve been rocking for the past few years, so it was easy enough to see why people were excited about the change. Getting weird looks from old white people walking down the street.
Sometimes there are moments where you are super aware that they are white But hey, let’s try to make this work, right? Have you experienced any general interracial relationship weirdness?
The first involved age — no going on dates until I turned 16.
The second was about sex — no boys allowed in my bedroom. The only boys that ever saw where I slept were glossy ones I duct-taped to my bedroom walls from magazine cutouts. So did a third (and final) parental limitation on dating.
It was freshman move-in day at my large urban university in North Philadelphia.
I’ve never heard him raise his voice, but I have heard him tell many racist jokes— jokes which I very vocally disapprove of and have asked him numerous times to stop telling.
I know that out of respect, my dad would never say anything degrading or offensive directly to someone of another race, but it’s a different story when he’s sitting in his living room. And for good reason.” He then proceeded to explain that the people he’s come in contact with over the years have only thrown fuel on his racist fire. I work with some nice Black and Hispanic guys, too. Just don’t marry any of them and we’re good.” The irony was, I was dating Don at the time, who is black.
After my fair share of empty make-out sessions on the weekends, I started fully embracing singlehood without much concern over finding a boyfriend. He cooked African cuisine and introduced me to plantains for dessert. Throughout my relationship with Qinisela, I lied by omission (the worst kind of lying, in my opinion) every time his name came up in conversation with my parents. I was running my student magazine, planning photo shoots and designing advertisements.
One summer night after my junior year, my girlfriends and I went to a bar known for its outdoor deck and dance scene. College ended and I was back home with my parents in-between four years of make-believe independence and a lifetime of uncertainty.
He never went to college, and instead, opted to attend trade school, where he learned to work with machines.