The truth was that our relationship would never be the same so I thought it pointless to agree to live with racism, rules, and unhappiness just so that we could all spend Christmas together.
The email felt more like a heartless business proposition.
I’ll never forget the day I was walking to my car at work and spotted a tall, dark, and handsome guy walking towards me dressed in all black. As he got closer, I realized he was a former college classmate and coworker that I had known casually for years; Aaron. I was nervous and excited to bring Aaron over to meet my family. I’m a deceivingly outgoing introvert, but it was noticeable that I became withdrawn.
They had met him before through some work functions and he had attended one of my dance performances earlier that year, but this was long ago, and now we were an item. I spoke to my mom the next day and she said my dad had pretty much gone off the deep end and I needed to let him cool down. I thought he would trust my judgment and know that since I’ve only dated a handful of people that this person was special to me and would make the effort. I had no appetite, no interest in going out, being with friends, and definitely neglected my boyfriend in pretty much every possible way. I cried and cried and cried ahead of time both by myself and with friends hoping to ensure that I wouldn’t have a complete meltdown in front of Aaron.
Our father-daughter relationship was more like a typical father-son relationship. I was also a dancer and heavily involved in the performing arts which attracts a wide variety of characters.
My mom hated seafood so we would often go get fish together and make fun of people at work, school, etc. I always made sure everyone felt welcome and included.
I had an older brother and sister 12 and 15 years my senior respectively, parents who were happy together, and my aunt and cousins lived one street over.
Some shrugged it off as being a typical reaction and just part of the everyday racism they experience as a people.
Others said Aaron and I should have known what we were getting into.
I politely responded saying that I appreciated the explanation, but that these were not terms and conditions I was willing to live by.
All of the key players in my life had very different reactions to me having a black boyfriend. My sister pulled away from me in a big way after this incident fearing also being exiled by my father.
How does he feel like the personification of why my Dad is not around? News reached my Dad that Aaron and I had broken up, and on the eve of my 29 birthday my Dad wrote me a lengthy email attempting to mend our relationship.