Oh, sister. Wait, I should’ve said sistah. I’m still grappling with this whole “correct way to be” thing. But to answer the loverly blog Jennifer (hmm, then that should really be Jennifah…) wrote: I have had my share of fun times with race. I’m gonna share a few really splendid ones in the hopes that any parties involved may someday stumble upon this post and truly see themselves as I have. As idiots.
(Not horribly) Recently, I ran into a former high school teacher of mine. We had never had a falling out but apparently it got back to her that I questioned her humanity (i.e. I was pretty sure she was prejudiced and didn’t know it/would deny it). Well, we spent a pretty good amount of time talking that day (which I later realized was solely for her benefit). We somehow got on my husband, his family, the day of our wedding. I recounted it all with enthusiasm. For you see, I was talking. To someone. Of real-life events. Also because I rarely remember the events and so I’m sure they overflowed from me in the surge of recollection. At one point, she tipped her head – as though sadly or sympathetically – and told me I had to learn to let things go. Look how it was still – five and a half years later – affecting me. I cocked my head to the side involuntarily, as I do when someone has happily missed the point or the motivation. Wow, I thought. This from the woman who cut me off in the catch-up portion of our conversation (the guise under which she began our very long dialogue) to come back to how I’d told someone else I thought she was prejudiced. This from the woman who, in fact, had already segued the conversation back to her own feelings of offense once before. This from the woman who told me in the same breath (a) how much it bothered her to hear because that’s just so not who she is and (b) then immediately turned her nose up (literally!) and said, “But I let that go a long time ago because life’s too short”. *shattering glass*
But what of that blessed day of union!
It wasn’t on that day that I was called “Whitney Houston”. No, that occurred when I “sucked it up” and attended the Christmas party of a slack jawed-yokel to whom Josh’s maternal aunt was married. I’d already discerned – within seven seconds of meeting him – that he was a nazi. No, wait, I mean a Confederate. With all the dignity and class of the defeated. No, wait, I mean pwned. I very nearly slapped his spouse when she – without having the balls to tell me why it was such a big deal – exclaimed how much he “really liked” me. Lemme do a handstand because Boozy McMullet wants to masturbate to my likeness. (Oh no, is that evidence of it still affecting me?! Or, perchance, of me being real and my opinion having never been disproven. Spanks.) Aaanywho. So that my husband could see his sister, I accompanied him there. Not only was I greeted at the door as the Bodyguard warbler, skip to my attempt to exit without saying goodbye. I “whispered” to Josh that I would not hug the man, who then loudly proclaimed, “She has to hug me, ’cause I wanna feel”. When he threw himself around me and I was forced to feel his coarse, beer-drenched beard penetrate my shirt, I vowed to call off the wedding. Of course, I later opted to just disinvite him. His wife made the very hard decision to stand by her man-lush. We got over the disappointment. Did I say, disappointment? I meant glee.
The actual wedding related stories begin with an actual Morrow (ie, the only “in-law” family I acknowledge) looking around me as though waiting for Josh’s fiancee to be revealed. That was. Awkward. And then the day of (1) being told during the procession (albeit by a child) that white people were supposed to marry white people and brown people should marry brown people and (2) a drunken cousin (did I mention ours was a dry reception? meaning…no alcohol was served) told me to take care of Josh. Because he’s a Morrow. When I answered that – hi, friend – so was I, he scoffed, “I meant by blood”. We’ll pretend that one had nothing to do with race. He could just be a tool. Not surprisingly, there are many people who have not and will probably never meet Ezra. That’s the price of being a horrible example and potentially scarring moron. We’ve been accused of “keeping them out of the loop”. I’m totally not doing that. Because you were never a part of our loop. *three snaps in a circle*
Three months married, walking the magnificent shopping strip in Waikiki, three men waited until they were directly beside us to announce, “She’s one of those.” The hilarious part is that nowadays that wouldn’t even register. But the previous six months had been all race-alicious with Confederates every which way I turned. It’s actually wonderful how things aren’t a part of my world anymore. The fervor with which I speak is in jest or in honesty. (When I’m the angry Black girl, you’ll know it.) These people really are idiots. Just not the kind of idiots who matter.
*Update: I may have to do a whole series. There are way too many long-forgotten little tidbits on the subject! ‘Member that chic who said Ezra had the prettiest eyes she’d ever seen that weren’t blue?!? Stuff like that!