I was 16 years old, and it was my first semester at my boarding school in western MA, USA. I was cold. I was always cold. I’m from the tropics so even though it was only fall, it already felt like winter to me.
I sat in the corner of the US history class that seemed to offend me for some reason I could not yet consciously articulate. And I kept catching this guy peering over at me.
I recalled that his name was ‘Jon’ and I remembered he was from China. No. Not Asian-American, but an international student like me.
Once we locked eyes and he gave me a quick half-smile. I felt frozen in my sweater slow so I was slow to react, but I did warmly smile back.
Finally, the bell went off for recess. I gathered up my over-priced textbooks and started to make my way back to my dorm room.
“Zara….” I turned to see Jon hurriedly walking up to me. I was surprised that I even heard him since all the other students were rushing by. A couple of my class-mates had also made their way over to where I was. I peered at Jon expectantly.
“Hey Z, what are thinking of writing your paper on?” Kira, a multi-racial girl from New York blurted out before Jon could say what he had wanted to say to me.
“I don’t even want to think about it…” I muttered unpleasantly. I hated writing papers. Ironic that writing is a huge part of what I do for a living these days ….
“Haha…yeah, it’s rough!” a white guy named Jon guffawed. “Do you want to join the class study session? It’s not mandatory, but we usually get together at the library. It’s cool. We are thinking of meeting this Thursday? Just to share the load….”
Hmm….I contemplated, having temporarily forgotten that Jon was there. Then he spoke,
“Do you think you’ll go?” The other two darted him pointed glances.
“Um…I don’t know…” I just wanted to curl up under my warm duvet and forget about this cursed weather.
“It might be a good idea.” He had a bit of an accent. So cute. I smiled. He smiled back.
Then I felt an ‘off’ energy from the other two. Or three now, another white guy with a baseball cap had joined us.
“If you decide to go, let me know. Or, I could send you a message” we had an internal messaging system at our school. “Would you write down your full name for me, please?”
I felt a bit taken aback, but he just seemed so warm and sweet. I started to scramble through my too heavy backpack for a pen somewhere. He handed me one and I began to scribble. He continued,
“Or if you don’t want to meet at the library, we could do something else.” I looked up. He smiled again. I felt shy all of a sudden.
“Okay, cool….” I noticed that the others were exchanging weird looks between them. The white guys seemed amused.
And then Jon really went for it,
“I just think that you’re really pretty, and nice. I would like to know you better.” I was so blushing under this brown skin. He was paying me a compliment, and wanted to know me!
“Oh! Thank you, Jon.” He beamed at me. The two white guys erupted into exaggerated laughter.
I felt …affronted. I could not put my finger on it. But it was like there were making a mockery of our, otherwise pleasant, exchange.
Four other students came over – it happened so fast. The laughter had inspired curiosity.
“What’s going on?”
“The Asian dude just asked out the black chick.” Whoa. Now I felt humiliated.
“Nah uhn….” …. “Sweet!” ….“
I wish I could tell you how Jon was taking it. But I could no longer bring myself to look at him.
I just wanted to leave. I felt so, wrong somehow. Almost dirty and ashamed.
I didn’t even say anything. It was kind of out of body. I just remember that I wanted to be back in my room. I later pushed it all to some dark corner in my mind.
And Jon and I never got together, or got to know each other better. We never even became friends.
Years later, and I now understand what happened.
The un-loveable black girl, and the undesirable Asian guy never had a chance in the racist US society.
I was too ugly, manly and aggressive to be compatible with an effeminate, meek, puny Asian guy.
They tell us that nobody wants us, but don’t seem to want to see us happy together either.
And so, as ‘societies’ rejects’, we also inadvertently reject each other. So as not to confirm what they say about us. We would rather be alone, than ‘admit’ that no one else wants us by getting together in a ‘misery loves company’ kind of last resort. We let the prejudice and ignorance of others deny us our right to be loved by one another.
I know that there are black women Asian men couples out there. I’m not sure that they are all that common, though.
Or what do you think?
What is your take on all this?
The way certain western societies label us as romantic rejects.
The way they say black women are too ‘masculine’ for the average man, and Asian men are too ‘feminine’ for the average woman.
Would you be, sincerely, open to seriously dating an Asian man as a black woman?
Bio: Zara Chiron is a multicultural, multilingual African woman in Europe who creatively – and candidly, explores the collective ‘Afro’ Experience in writing, image and video via her website.
tags: #blackwomendating #interracialdating #blackwomenandasianmen #interraciallove #blackwomenasianmendating