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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.
My dad is tremendously funny and a phenomenal story teller. I wore the same pair of vans tennis shoes to school for 5 years straight, had long un-brushed hair, and wore oversized sweatshirts and jean shorts to school. Because I wasn’t popular and because I was picky, I didn’t go on a single date until I was almost 20 years old. I thought it best to not deal with this all in real time in hopes that my Dad would come to his senses.
I think I always had a high bar when it came to dating because my dad really had it all; he was tall, dark, and handsome, educated, successful, ethical, funny, athletic, and handy. He was a tall, blonde, surfer that ended up moving to San Diego for college and that was the end of that. My aunt, however, told me both Aaron and I were welcome over for Christmas so I jumped at the opportunity.
I had a lot of attention growing up being the baby and all, but my main source of affection came from my Dad.
My mom began studying for her Bachelor’s degree when I was 2 so I spent most of my free time watching WWF and eating Doritos with my Dad for nearly a decade.
After a few hours of intense conversation he ultimately decided that this relationship was not for him.
He had real questions; What kind of support will we have? What is everyone else thinking when they see us walking down the street?
So here I was, 28 years old, and I had had 2 boyfriends and been on dates with a handful of others. was ever going to be in the cards for me as it seemed like it was working out for everyone else except me. Long story short, we began talking, hanging out, dating, dating exclusively, and after a pretty significant period of time, he asked me to be his girlfriend. My palms were sweating the entire time I was packing, but at the end of the weekend I kept thinking “these people are way too freaking cool”. His mom didn’t look a day over 45 (she was 60) and was super warm and welcoming. My parents had retired to Las Vegas a year or so earlier and were expected to come home for our annual Christmas Eve celebration. This only made me feel worse and as the holidays grew to a close, I felt incredibly depressed despite a pleasant experience at my Aunt’s.
My dad wasn’t a fan, but I knew he wasn’t going to truly like anyone anyway as no one would ever be good enough for me in his mind. He was Italian, passionate, and handsome with dark features. I explained that my parents weren’t coming to California for Christmas because our family dog needed emergency eye surgery.
We had a great run together, but in the end saw our futures differently and went our separate ways. He was on my level: we owned our own homes and cars, were hard working, had good jobs, and were involved in the community. This was true and may have delayed their visit, but not the real reason for their absence.
Aside from the occasional comment on the freeway my dad never said anything about race. He responded saying and there was no point in trying to correspond with him. There was a pause, followed by “I wish you wouldn’t have told me that so I would still think the world is a cool place”.
More awkward silence, lack of eye contact, blank face.
Some shrugged it off as being a typical reaction and just part of the everyday racism they experience as a people.