Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

Silver Swirling: Why My Mother Won’t Ever Do It, But Not for the Reason You Might Think.

Me and The Hubster herded all the kids into the Honda Pilot for a trip to see Grannie Mommie (a moniker my mother insisted we use to distinguish her from the mere “grandma” because she wanted to be distinct) so we could cook, clean, and do basically all the stuff we do at home but just at her place because she’s, well, lonely. Plus there’s the breast cancer thing…

And while my mother goes through chemo–and this might shock some folks but she has absolutely no nausea–she has lost her hair but has a rocking new wig that she wore with a rackish black and white scarf and I couldn’t help but notice that at almost 73, my mother is beautiful in her way. She can be krazy with a K because of her undiagnosed anxiety disorder, but all the stress hasn’t hurt her looks none. She has hardly any wrinkles, except for the turkey waddle she always complains about and even that’s not bad. She honestly looks like she’s in her late 50’s, which bode’s well for moi.

It’s been 2.5 years since Dad passed away, and my mother is in want of a partner. She did see someone for a while–a fellow widower who never called her and she always had to call him for a date, and who decided he was having more fun getting laid and straight out told my mother that he wouldn’t get serious with her unless she gave him the poonahnah. Good for her that she refused (who knew there could be geriatric players?) but she was heartbroken nonetheless that he broke things off. I asked her why. I mean, he was such a jackass. My mother cooked a huge spread once for me, the kids and “the dude” and he never showed up.

“Because there just aren’t many single black men my age around here.”

I blinked, and said in her general direction: “Well, why don’t you open up your options? I’m sure there’s plenty of rainbeaus at the senior center who would be interested.”

“Oh NO! I couldn’t do that. What would we talk about?”

“Uh…same stuff all the folks in their seventies talk about: the latest ache or pain, gout, maybe?”

“Well I just wouldn’t feel comfortable.”

I knew what she meant. Her whole life she has thought that white people are superior to blacks, that her dark skin is ugly, and nobody except for another black man could ever understand her. Back when me and The Hubster were dating, I’ll never forget the look on her face when he sat down to eat with all of us. He might as well have been the sitting president at the time, George Bush’s father, George Bush.

What to do when a black woman who’s got a decade of good years left, is lonely, but is willing to put up with a piece of old raggedy black man (up to a degree) and won’t entertain someone new because she feels so inferior?

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