My wife and I have been together for nearly eight years and for me, it seems like we’ve just started dating. These past eight years have gone by so fast with so much happening that I was in shock when I realized how many years it has actually been.
The other day, my wife was standing at the bathroom mirror, primping herself and adding make-up after fixing her hair and i casually said; “Why do you do that?”
“Whaddaya mean?” She asked, looking at my reflection in the mirror.
“I mean – You are so beautiful, why do you feel you need make up?”
She glanced up at the mirror image of me and half smiled as she replied, “I don’t like my pot marks.”
I was confused by her reply. I remember my right eyebrow nearly forcing my eye closed as I furrowed my brow. “What the hell are you talking about?” I said as I put my hands on her shoulders and kissed the back of her neck.
She used her index finger and then pointed to her cheek, where she has some minor scarring from her younger days dealing with acne. “This is what I mean.” She said with a playful, sarcastic tone.
“I have never noticed that before.” I stated honestly.
My wife immediately spun around on her heel and threw her arms around my neck. “That’s why I love you.” She said before planting a kiss on my lips.
I watched her apply her make up and the few, tiny little scars disappeared behind the magic of her little brown sponge. Her marks are not big and they do not draw attention away from her natural beauty. However, I’m sure she sees things differently since she goes through such great lengths to cover them up. But for me, it was never an issue because I honestly had never noticed anything on her face until she pointed it out to me. That’s because I didn’t fall in love with her because of her face. I fell in love with her laugh. I fell in love with her heart and all of her inner beauty shined brighter than what she sees in her own mirror. This got me to thinking about other things that I don’t see when it comes to my wife.
A few months back, I was sitting at my desk in my office when a cleaning woman came in and asked if she could do some high dusting and vacuum my carpet. I was happy to let her, since our regular cleaning guy would just bust in with the vacuum and start cleaning without so much as a warning. The woman was short and stout. She was in her late fifties or early sixties and had certain motherly qualities about her that made it easy to move out of her way and let her do what she needed to do. Just as I was about to exit my office for the men’s room, I heard her call out to me. “Oh! So you’re married to a sister.” I froze for a second and then turned around to see her glaring at my wedding photo. “Excuse me?” I said. I wasn’t exactly sure I understood what she was saying to me.
“I didn’t know you was married to a black woman.” She said.
I thought about her words and was about to say, “I didn’t know, either.” However, I didn’t want to come across as sarcastic, so I simply said, “Oh.“
These things help me to realize that seeing a person for who they are rather than what they are makes for a wonderful relationship. When it comes to my wife, I don’t notice her skin color unless it is something that she and I are talking about. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t look over and see a black woman in my bed. I see a beautiful, amazing woman who gave me the privilege of being her husband. I see a woman who has a heart of gold and I thank God for every day he has given me with her.
Recently, the movie “LOVING” premiered in theaters.
It is the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court. Since this movie came out, it had me thinking of how awful it must have been to live in a society where mutual attraction and love of a man and woman was actually restricted to race and skin color. What was it that caused our society to see this as anything other than people in love? It is my belief that fear is what causes people to act so irrationally when it comes to interracial relationships. White men fear they are losing their identity and that soon, there will no longer be white people as interracial breeding will create a generation of black and brown children with blue and green eyes. Or perhaps it is simply due to the fear of the unknown. I know for myself, I wondered if a black woman’s kiss tasted differently than a white woman’s kiss. I discovered (at a very young age) that all the kisses taste the same! And it’s not just white men who think this way. I’ve over heard a white woman tell another white woman that she should not consider pursuing me as a date because she wasn’t the color I prefer. I immediately let it be known that I heard what she said, and I let her know that it has never been a matter of preference for a certain color. My first wife is Filipino and my second wife an IRISH heritage white woman. In my youth I dated Asian women, Black women, White women – I didn’t date them because of their race, I dated them because I was attracted to them. When I me my wife, I didn’t say to myself, “I think I want to marry a black woman.” At the time we met, I had just broken off a relationship with a woman who was whiter than me! It just so happened that we didn’t get along with one another, so I moved on. Fortunately, I met my wife on an internet dating site. I didn’t ask to only meet black women. I left that selection open and waited to find the one who was right for me. It just so happens that that women happened to be black.
Dating someone of a different race gives you and your partner opportunities to break negative stereotypes about your respective races. Providing a counterexample to ignorant and hateful stereotypes helps others become more open-minded and accepting. I’m not just talking about cultural stereotypes either. My political affiliation suggests that I should be a racist, homophobic simply because of the letter “R” on my voting card but that isn’t true at all.
Not only are you likely to experience some racism and stereotyping from your family and friends, you’ll probably experience this in everyday society, too. People may be surprised to see you are a couple; they may treat you differently, judge you unfairly or make inappropriate comments. I can’t tell you how many times people have gawked at my me and my wife. One would think we were an animal exhibit at a zoo. This gawking came from older white couples; however, most of the disapproving looks came from black men. You see, there aren’t just racists of the white persuasion; there are black racists who are just as appalled when they see a white man with a black woman. The comments received by my wife are not actually mean, but just plain stupid. A co-worker of my wife once asked her if I actually glowed in the dark.
There are all types of stereotypes for all races of people. We shouldn’t allow these stereotypes and racist attitudes keep us from finding someone who is the right fit for us. If you limit yourself to one race in your search for the perfect spouse, you are cheating yourself. Be stronger than the narrow minded and open yourself up to love from anyone. You’ll be surprised at what you will learn about them. Not to mention what you can learn about yourself.