Hello Ladies and Dudes,
This is one of those stories/interactions that occurred many moons ago. It’s still one of my favorite stories to tell. I had been dating this girl for maybe a month or so. She and I had met at work and hit it off after a bumpy start.
We were out for the day, enjoying the beautiful California sun. If I remember correctly we were at Disneyland. I can almost smell Main Street, even now.
As we people watched I noticed a beautiful woman of color walk past us. Keep in mind that she and I were in a poly relationship and weren’t offended by public displays of interest in other women.
I turned to her and said, “Isn’t she beautiful?”
She scrunched up her beautiful face, “She’s dark.”
“Yeah,” I said, “So?”
“I don’t like them dark,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow, “So you have a preference but it’s not like you’d never date a woman of color….”
She shook her head, “No color. Just white.”
“You only date white girls?”
“My guy likes it that way,” she said, “My father likes it that way, so yeah, I guess I like it that way.”
I was floored, which I’m sure showed. I took in a deep breath, “You do realize I’m Middle Eastern, right? Like my parents are actually from Iraq. My family still lives there….”
She shrugged, “Yeah, but you pass. You don’t have dark skin.”
“So it’s not even about blood or religion or culture. You’re that worried about skin color? That’s doesn’t make any sense.”
She shrugged it off like we had been discussing the importance of ice cream flavors.
I can’t remember much after that, but needless to say I was not pleased. I’m almost not offended on my behalf. I know I pass. I know I receive many of the benefits of ‘looking like a white girl.’
I think it annoys me because people like my sister, who does not pass, are possibly seen as less to some. My sister is clearly not white. She has beautiful dark hair, olive skin and a prominent Middle Eastern nose. She’s often mistaken for Hispanic, which are many of my relatives.
The worst part: As I got to know this girl, and I call her girl though she was old enough to be considered a woman, I began to realize that her concepts of the world were based in the realities of her WHITE father and WHITE boyfriend (her mother had passed).
We broke up after a month or so of trying to figure things out. I wasn’t going to be the person to show her a ‘brand new world.’ I can only hope that she’s met people who’ve helped her see that living a world with such limits can be a waste.
The point is this: You never know who you’re dating until you take them to Disneyland and point out all the attractive people walking by.