About two summers ago, I boarded a flight to New York City. Whenever I find my seat on a plane, only three things are on my mind: prayer, music and sleep. I do whatever I have to do to make sure that happens, including already having my earplugs in and sunglasses on (rain or shine). My demeanor always says to my seat neighbor: Leave me alone.
This flight would be no different, especially since it was nonstop and about five hours. To my dismay, the guy who would be my flight buddy, turned out to be a talker. Oddly enough, I talked back. It was casual conversation, then on to what we do for a living and what we were going to NYC for. He was actually traveling to his home in New Jersey for a quick trip during his six-month contract at our utility company here in Memphis.
The Sprites and peanuts must have gotten the best of me because before I knew it, I was sharing headphones with him while we watched Superbad. It was my first time seeing it, and I rolled! He seemed to find my random, loud outbursts of laughter cute (hilarious?), obviously. We finally landed, and just before we parted ways, he asked me for my number. I obliged.
Here’s the thing: He was Indian. Like born and raised for the most part in India (I forget where exactly). If you know me, you know I am about as pro-black as anyone can get. I’m the female equivalent of Michael Evans on Good Times, also known as the “Militant Midget.” I’m not down with “The Swirl” and even though a few white guys have tried to holler, I’ve never ever given it a serious thought. Give me the Black men, please.
Now here comes this Indian guy, and I gave him my number. I thought about the countless news stories and dating experts that suggest dating outside of your race as a go-to solution for being single. My first thought: Go ahead and try it. It’s not like he’ll call anyway. Was it that hard to believe that a non-black man would find me attractive?
I was wrong. Not only did he call a week later, but he’d also sent me a cute little text while I was in NYC. When I returned home we had a few phone conversations and even set a movie date. I went. It was okay. It was weird, too. What was more weird? Him trying to get fresh with me in the theater or the black guy who stared at me constantly, nudging his girlfriend to look at us.
Two things I learned after that brief dating stint: (1) A man is a man. After he extended an invitation to his house afterwards, I realized that wanting to have sex on the first date is universal. It knows no color (or gender, for that matter). (2) I am most comfortable with a Black man. Point black, period.Will I ever date another race again? I honestly don’t know.
This is my issue with everyone suggesting we just up and date interracially when we fail to be successful with our own. Is it done out of sheer chance of meeting, dating, being attracted to and falling in love with someone who happens to be **insert race**? Or is it done out of spite?
I have a problem with the latter. How many times have you heard or said this, even jokingly, “I just can’t deal with these black men/women! I’mma get me a white man/woman.” * When you do this, you’re dealing with the problem indirectly. Is going out purposely looking for something else changing/improving your or his/her shortcomings? Nope. Some people may be able to deal with flaws better than others, but a nag is a nag and a cheater is cheater. I don’t think race is the #1 determining factor in levels of tolerance either.
If the intent of interracial dating is to provide shock value and pat yourself on the back for doing “something new”, you’re in it for the wrong reasons, just as I was. I initially considered dating the guy as doing something out of the norm for me–something I could check off my list. It didn’t blossom into anything, though I’m not sure if I would have let it. (Just being honest) I still have the pom pons out for my black men.
What’s your take on interracial relationships? What have been your experiences, if any?
*I think every race is guilty of this, but since I’m black, I can only speak from that standpoint.