The email contained conditions for us working things out beginning with “you have to agree not to engage in this kind of behavior again” meaning that I would have to agree not to date black guys.Your parents are supposed to be the only people you can count on to love you unconditionally.They had met him before through some work functions and he had attended one of my dance performances earlier that year, but this was long ago, and now we were an item. I spoke to my mom the next day and she said my dad had pretty much gone off the deep end and I needed to let him cool down. I thought he would trust my judgment and know that since I’ve only dated a handful of people that this person was special to me and would make the effort. I had no appetite, no interest in going out, being with friends, and definitely neglected my boyfriend in pretty much every possible way. I cried and cried and cried ahead of time both by myself and with friends hoping to ensure that I wouldn’t have a complete meltdown in front of Aaron.
My mom began studying for her Bachelor’s degree when I was 2 so I spent most of my free time watching WWF and eating Doritos with my Dad for nearly a decade.
There are a lot of “Daddy’s Girls” out there, but I am not one of them.
My mom hated seafood so we would often go get fish together and make fun of people at work, school, etc. I always made sure everyone felt welcome and included.
My dad is tremendously funny and a phenomenal story teller. I wore the same pair of vans tennis shoes to school for 5 years straight, had long un-brushed hair, and wore oversized sweatshirts and jean shorts to school. Because I wasn’t popular and because I was picky, I didn’t go on a single date until I was almost 20 years old. I thought it best to not deal with this all in real time in hopes that my Dad would come to his senses.
I think I always had a high bar when it came to dating because my dad really had it all; he was tall, dark, and handsome, educated, successful, ethical, funny, athletic, and handy. He was a tall, blonde, surfer that ended up moving to San Diego for college and that was the end of that. My aunt, however, told me both Aaron and I were welcome over for Christmas so I jumped at the opportunity.
My dad wasn’t a fan, but I knew he wasn’t going to truly like anyone anyway as no one would ever be good enough for me in his mind. He was Italian, passionate, and handsome with dark features. I explained that my parents weren’t coming to California for Christmas because our family dog needed emergency eye surgery.And yet here he was, proposing ridiculous conditions in order for us to even be in the same room together.The truth was that our relationship would never be the same so I thought it pointless to agree to live with racism, rules, and unhappiness just so that we could all spend Christmas together.The reactions of my black friends and coworkers were the most interesting.Some shrugged it off as being a typical reaction and just part of the everyday racism they experience as a people.The conversation quickly fizzled and I walked away knowing my pain was now his too and there was nothing I could do to fix it.