It cracks me up every time I read an argument against dating outside my race because I may have to answer some questions about my hair. Hell, I still have some questions about my hair; I’m much more concerned about some other cultural differences I’ve come across in my interracial searches to find Mr. Right. When you order your copy of Swirling: How to Mate, Date and Relate, Mixing Class, Culture and Creed from Amazon.com, you may also want to include a copy of Stuff White People Like by Christian Lander. His book is more about poking fun at a certain class and culture than it is about race, but I a few of the characteristics discussed in his book have certainly shown up in my Match.com searches on a regular basis. Check out these snippets from some of the profiles I’ve received in my Daily Matches and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about. (And follow the hyperlinks to stuffwhitepeoplelike.com to read the full entries of Lander’s humorous observations.)
“My dog is named Beau. He is really sweet. He turns 13 on July 7th. Taking hikes with him on some of the local trails is one of my favorite things.” (Insert photo of dog with or without owner in profile)
Stuff White People Like #53- Dogs. The truth is, I don’t like dogs. However, I’ve found that if I say anything derogatory about dogs around white people they tend to look at me like I’m the Anti-Christ. Why people love dogs even though every story I’ve ever heard about them usually involves them getting sick, destroying their property and costing a lot of money I’ll never understand. I don’t hate dogs, but I have no real affinity for them either. What are worse are the dog owners that insist on treating their pet like a human being. I don’t believe that dogs should eat from their owner’s dishes, sleep in their beds or be forced to wear tiny sweaters. Besides that, the aforementioned dog “Beau” shares the same birthday as I do and I’m sure he’d get a lot more presents. Who needs that kind of competition?
“Before I moved back to DC for grad school at Georgetown and began working in the foreign policy field, I postponed the “real world” to travel abroad and work out west as a rafting and fly fishing guide. Some of my favorite trips for fun have included backpacking around New Zealand, scuba diving off the coast of Borneo, going on safari in Tanzania, and sailing around the Galapagos Islands.”
“Traveled to Papua New Guinea, Russia, France, Fiji, China, Australia, and just about everywhere in between…Went diving with sharks, and bungee jumping, spear-fishing…adventurous. Earned my captain’s license to navigate yachts, and love to sail…”
Stuff White People Like #19- Traveling. Sorry guys, but the man from the Dos Equis commercials has already been deemed the Most Interesting Man in the World. I love traveling too, but the mere thought of backpacking through a foreign country sounds more like punishment to me than a vacation. My idea of traveling is staying at an all-inclusive resort, eating enough food to sustain a family of six for a week, getting a little tipsy by the pool, ocean and/or hot tub and, of course, shopping. Call me mundane if you wish, but actually enjoy being a tourist. I think it’s silly for someone to plan a trip to Paris and purposely avoid the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe in search of a more “authentic” experience off the beaten path. The men in these profiles apparently won’t be satisfied with any travel experience unless it requires an exotic locale in a Third World country and a slim chance for survival.
Athletic and active. I love sports and anything outdoors, everything from mountain biking, whitewater rafting, golfing, swimming, and boating. I like hunting, fishing, hiking and skiing. I’m an easygoing guy and just want someone I can enjoy all these things with who enjoys it as much as I do.”
“It would be great if you could be a cultured, artsy and a mountain/beach action girl who looks great in Carhartts, Gore-Tex or Patagonia underwear! Thinking of taking a leave of absence from my summer rangering job and walking the high line across the Pyrenees this summer if you would care to go. Will take 45 days give or take. Or, might stick around and make some money fighting the fires that will break out!”
Stuff White People Like #128- Camping. My friends who know me well are getting a real kick out of me working at a rustic campsite in Colorado this summer. In the past I’ve also been persuaded into hiking, biking, tubing and skiing, so at least give me credit for trying.(Stuff White People Like #9-Making You Feel Bad About Not Going Outside.) It’s not that I can’t appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature; I just prefer to appreciate it from the inside. And take my word as a costume designer, no woman looks especially fetching in Carhartts, Gore-Tex or Patagonia underwear. These guys might want to re-examine their expectations. Just how many great-looking artsy, cultured women also enjoy hunting, fly-fishing and fighting fires? Honestly, I love shoe shopping, pedicures and taking Zumba classes but those aren’t the activities that I’m hoping to share with my future husband.
All jokes aside, of the 137 items on Lander’s list of Stuff That White People Like there are quite a few that I too enjoy including #126 Vespa Scooters, #25 David Sedaris and #63 Expensive Sandwiches. Likewise, I don’t mean to imply that the men that wrote those passages are undateable either. They may not be the one for me, but they all sound like they live very rich and rewarding lives. They probably just neglected to create the time, space or necessity for someone else along the way. Similarly, black women are so frequently bombarded with messages that tell us that we don’t need a man in our lives to be successful or feel complete. We go about filling our lives with so many goals and activities until we completely convince ourselves that maybe we’re just better off alone. While that may be true for some, don’t let your cup runneth over with self-sufficiency if love and companionship is what you truly desire. Do as the man in the Dos Equis commercial says and “Stay thirsty my friends.”