Sunday, May 9, 2010

Grappling with the Blue-Eyed Devil: Part 3

What can I say?  The man grew on me without my realizing it was happening and that night of our innocent dance I walked away from him and the club trying to understand why I felt close to him.  I could not figure it out and I still haven't completely, but the fact is that I wanted to get know him better then and unfortunately even now.  It is one of those days; the sort of day when I want to hurt my husband.  Anyway, he kept hanging around with a weird smile on his face until he asked me out and I reluctantly said yes.  In some ways it felt like I was going out with a friend of my brother's.  He seemed so familiar, but how could he?  He was white. 

The first time he kissed me I didn't like it, and I told him so, but he was an obedient learner and quick study.  Within a few months we were going steady and I was falling in love, but I did not want a serious relationship with him.  I broke it off although he told me I shouldn't do it.  I lasted a week.  The man walked past me without speaking and I almost fainted.  What could I do?  I called him, apologized, and he told me he figured he would be hearing from me.  There was nothing I could say, so I swallowed hard and nodded.

Jake recently supported me through college and it is funny what I learned. I had a professor who is an eighty-something year old nun. She told our class that people did not see her. They saw an old spinster. Looking more closely at this woman, I saw a very intelligent, sarcastic, computer savvy bitch whom I cannot help liking and admiring. If she reads this, I'm in trouble! I guess we are always putting one another into categories and sometimes those categories are an uncomfortable fit.

What  I was reacting to and grappling with all the devilish cultural messages I had received all my life.  The struggle inside myself has been harder to deal with than the negative outside forces.  There were people who told me they felt sorry for my son, as if he were a diseased hybrid of humanity that was not meant to be  Some people refused to associate my husband and I because we did not meet their standard of what a loving couple is.  The hardest part of my life with Jake has been to keep those toxic outside forces from leaking into my own personal thinking.  I can see Jake from a cultural perspective and then from the reality of our lives together.

Here's the thing: Never have I felt that I was a part of a mixed couple. Jake never was different from me other than being a man and I think that that is a huge difference. Maybe we are a mixed couple.:)  From time to time I look at blogs that advocate for the legitimacy of mixed couples, but their beliefs do not fit me.  They seem to see people as black and white entities that have a certain right to intertwine and synthesize.  I do not see us as special or less than anyone else.  Jake is my husband and we have raised a child and spent most of our adult life together.  I do not know anything else.  Our marriage does not seem different from others: some years have been better or worse.  We compromise, love and sometimes irritate the hell out of one another, and there are some things that we do not like about the other.  Will our union last?  I don't know, but I hope so. 

Jungle Fever?
We never had it, but say a prayer and maybe we will get it.  I think Jake got my attention by his direct approach.  His courage intrigued me.  I fell in love with him and he is a man with light skin who ancestors were European.  And I love it all because it is who he is.  I like being with him most of the time.  Isn't Sara Vaughn adorable?

1 comment:

  1. I love your definition of "mixed couple" - and I think it's the truth! I just hope and pray that others will come to see and understand things in the way that you do...

    Also love that Sarah Vaughan clip...

    much love to you, Jake and your wonderful son!