Blast from the Past!
Brought back for our current audience to read & comment on.
Originally published on May 30, 2010. _________________________________________
Most of us have been there–the old white lady in the walker whose false teeth smack to the sidewalk when you walk by hand-in-hand with your non-black boo. What do you do? Smile politely and try not to notice the string of spittle webbing from her bottom lip like that of a teething baby?
And how about Ku Kui and Um Fu Fu snickering, fat gold earrings clanking maniacally, as the two of you walk past Abercrombie at the mall? Or…and here’s the worst: the knot of brothers threatening to smack you to your senses with their enormous Mandingo penises.
And if this hasn’t happened to you yet, keep living–those folks are waiting on you.
I remember while dating my husband I was hypervigilant of people who might be checking us out. Remember that girl in the movie, Something New, how she felt like she needed to speak to every brother in the coffee shop just to prove she was still “down with the struggle?” Yep. That was me. I also recall feeling a little confused when a very dark chocolate man shook his head in disapproval at me and Michael at a restaurant whilst sharing his table with a woman who had only about 1/1000 African American blood–maybe her great-greater-greatest-grandmother might and been…Creole? BUUUUT, I guess that was black enough for him!
So next week I’m tackling a chapter about how best to handle outside scrutiny of interracial and/or intercultural relationships, and strategies on how not to let it negatively affect the relationship. In the meantime, I want to hear some of the coping strategies you all have employed to keep the disapprovers at bay. Based on the poll I posted, most of you don’t let curious onlookers get to you, and coming in at second place are those who know people are looking but just keep the blinders on.
But what keeps you from feeling self-conscious, angry, or hypervigilant? What strategies could you share with others so that they can better handle the pressure?
Let talk! And stay tuned…next week I dish about what the experts have to say about all this.