2/08/2011

Yup, I Brought Home a White Guy...


And a Mexican boy and a crazy Dominican/Brazilian one, too...probably would have brought home a Korean boy if that had been possible at the time. I wonder if 2011 will be all up in black women's love life like 2010 was. I guess time will only tell, but I've had some thoughts brewing about all the "interracial fervor." I guess my only question is really "What's all that fuss about?" It's like aliens landed in 1954 and "race-mixing" is suddenly taboo again. I've expressed and demonstrated my thoughts on dating outside of my race before so no sense re-hashing all that. What strikes me about the rhetoric nowadays is a decidedly desperate spin on dating out. I have a fabulous group of young, black professional women friends here in DC. I love them all dearly and we have commiserated about dating around these parts. Some of them have dated out and others have not. One day we had a particular email chain going in which one lady expressed her thoughts about it. In response to yet another article about lackluster partnering options, she concluded that she may really have to start dating white guys if things didn't change soon. Talk about striking a nerve with me - the only female in the group who happens to be booed up with a white guy. She and I have since cleared the air and she clarified what she meant by her statement, but it all got me to thinking: Since when did White guys become the cure-all consolation prize for love-wounded black women? Did I miss an all-important memo? Is dating out considered settling because a girl couldn't find a good, black man to be with? Recent media reports would have one believing that, but I wholly disagree.

I was telling Meeka one time that my childhood crushes reflected an early predilection for different flavors - White, Black, and Latino. Those were the boys in my neighborhood and I found something attractive in all of them. I put them all on the same level and this is, perhaps, where my ideas diverge from the majority. I kinda just had an "ah-ha" moment as I wrote that. I never really believed that a Black man would automatically be the best fit for me just because he was Black. There was potential for everyone to be a good match for me, in my mind. There was no pedestal for Black men in my world despite being surrounded by many exemplary models. As I read article after article about our love woes, I also checked the comments section. Some of the things that people were saying about dating out were downright vitriolic. One woman declared adamantly that she would never date "pink meat" and she wished people would stop trying to force Black women to do it. Another woman insisted she only wanted "chocolate babies with nappy hair." I just have to hang my mouth in disbelief a little bit because I can only imagine the type of backlash White people would face if they said things like that.

When I reflect on my checkered dating past, I realize non-Black men are beginning to outnumber the brothas. Is that weird? Not to me, but perhaps for the conservative-minded it might be. The bottom line is that I am attracted to guys who are attracted to me. When I first chopped off all my hair, I got ZERO (I mean, ZERO...not even a "sup ma") attention from Black men. Was I just surrounded by whack guys or was there something more to it? One of my coworkers (who probably had a crush on me pre-chop) threw a hissy fit when I came in with my short 'do. And from that point, the attention came from White guys and so it has continued. My personality and values stayed the same yet Black men remained elusive. So, I say that to drive home the point that there is nothing wrong with me for having dated non-Black men. There is nothing taboo about dating out and I wish people would give it a rest. If you are going to do it, do it with your head held high instead of feeling like you came in second place at a track meet. At the end of the day, we are all better off for having loved and being loved - no matter who is providing it. I'm hoping that in 2011 more people expand their minds - not just dating wise but in general. Try new foods, watch new films, see new places, push yourself in ways that your mind has yet to conceive. I don't know about yall, but I've only got one life to live and who is anyone to tell me how I should do it?

Until then,

J