Studying me from across the room, she stiffly straightened her back and pursed her lips. From the moment our eyes met I knew what would happen next, but Trey didn’t. Still smiling valiantly, he gave his mother a nudge and extended his arm towards me. “And this,” he beamed, his green eyes twinkling in the light, “this is my girlfriend, TK!”
Still reaching for a handshake, I parted my lips into the biggest smile I could muster without hurting my face. “It’s so nice to meet you, Carol!” I chirped in the sweetest voice imaginable. “Thank you for inviting me!”
A sudden look of disgust washed over her as she glared at my hand. She tossed a furtive glance to her son and the valiant smile evaporated from his face. By the way his eyes fearfully looked up at me, I could easily guess what his mother’s look had meant.
Throughout the eight-hour drive to Memphis from Dallas, I had mentally prepared the lines I’d say. I had literally spent hours memorizing every aspect of my boyfriend’s family to make a good first impression. Every outfit in my suitcase had been carefully scrutinized before packing. But as my hand still waited for her handshake, it suddenly occurred to me that none of that mattered anymore, and I smiled despite myself. The irony wasn’t lost on me.
Regardless of what I wore or said—to this woman, she couldn’t get past me being black. More specifically, she couldn’t get past her white son dating a black girl.
Carol mustered a wobbly smile and half-heartedly shook my hand. Without speaking, she retreated to the couch and looked away to the wall. Nobody spoke for several long seconds as the three of us fidgeted uncomfortably in her oversized living room.
“I’ll go put my stuff upstairs and go to bed,” I announced into the silence. Without waiting for a response, I shouldered my bag of belongings and started up the staircase to my room. I was irritated but not surprised. More than anything, I was angry that this late in the 2000s I still had to deal with this.
As I neared the top of the stairs, I could hear her hissing to her son; “Just what were you thinking, honey?! Why didn’t you tell me before you came?!” Rolling my eyes, I continued up the steps.
The house had three attics, at least seven bedrooms, and the biggest outdoor pool I’ve ever seen. As an anesthesiologist, she could afford to buy a house with all the pomp and splendor. She decorated all the rooms with ancient Chinese pottery and oversized Victorian beds. Millionaire or not, the house was just too big for one person. The lavish decorations only annoyed me further as I scrutinized the first room along the hall.
Since her other sons hadn’t yet arrived, I used Eric’s room—my boyfriend’s middle youngest brother. After showering, I crawled into his huge king-sized bed, pulled the satin covers over my head, and dozed off. I knew Trey and his mother would be down there for a while and after spending eight hours cramped inside a little car, I was too tired to wait up.
Several hours later, I felt a hand shaking me awake. I awoke, blinking, as my boyfriend pulled me into his arms. My glance towards the digital clock on Eric’s nightstand told me that it was a little after 3AM.
“She’s…disappointed in me,” he lamented, burying his face into my hair. “She told me that she went wrong raising me …and kept asking me if I knew what I was doing, or if I was acting out!”
In the dark, I could see how upset he looked. I had never seen him so angry, and one of the things I loved most about him was his laidback personality—it took a lot to make Trey upset.
“Let me guess, it’s because I’m black, right?” The question lingered in the air for a moment, and after I had said it, I couldn’t help but laugh.
Below is a fascinating documentary about racism from the caucasian/white person's perspective. I believe people of ALL RACES can learn something from it and can appreciate the message of this film. There are five parts (9min 30sec each) but I have looped the entire sequence here. When the first part is finished, the second part will automatically start. All you need to do is click PLAY and listen. Comments/reactions are welcome but anything racist/derogatory will be deleted, unread. If you're going to comment, I will only allow intelligent/civil discussion.
For white folks reading and watching, I imagine this documentary could (potentially) offend or disturb you. You may not want to watch the documentary in its entirety and that is OK. But if you chose not to watch the whole thing, ask yourself WHY. You don't have to explain yourself here, I only ask that you think about it. I don't wish "existential crisis" upon anyone, lol, so if the video is too "raw" and "distressing" do not torture yourself by watching the whole thing! However, this documentary is MEANT to provoke a strong response. It is MEANT to challenge your existing cognitive-schemas, so go into it with that expectation. For all the people of color reading and watching...this documentary is nothing new to y'all! :D With that disclaimer out of the way, please enjoy the film! :)
Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible
THIS IS GREAT!!! Read all the way to the end.... This took a lot of work to put together!!!
You think English is easy??? Read to the end . . a new twist
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce .
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row ...
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented inEngland or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guineanor is it a pig..
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people not computers and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why when the stars are out they are visible but when the lights are out they are invisible.
PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?
You lovers of the English language might enjoy this .
There is a two-letter word that perhaps
has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'
It's easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?
We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warmUP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stirUP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP . We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UPabout UP ! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UPalmost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP , you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP .. When the sun comes out we say it is clearingUP ...
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP .
One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP , so.........it is time to shut UP !
1. ``Nigel lifted his Mont Blanc pen and held it in brief repose as he gazed past the conflagrative crackling of the fire in the hearth, through the triple-plate bay window, watching the incandescence of the twinkling stars like the detonation of a million flashbulbs, and the preponderance of frothy snowflakes blanketing the earth as creamily as marshmallow fluff, then, refreshed and inspired, he began to compose his annual Christmas form letter.'' From Linda Gauer, Norton, Ohio.2. "Ace, watch your head!'' hissed Wanda urgently, yet somehow provocatively, through red, full, sensuous lips, but he couldn't, you know, since nobody can actually watch more than part of his nose or a little cheek or lips if he really tries, but he appreciated her warning.'' From Janice Estey, Aspen, Colo.3. Following the unfortunate bucking of his horse when it was startled by the posse's shots, Tex who now lay in a disheveled heap in the sagebrush pushed back his sweat-stained Stetson from one deep-set eye, spat a stream of tobacco juice at the nearest cactus, and reflected momentarily that the men approaching him with ropes probably weren't just out for a skip, and if they were his freshly broken ankle would have to cause him to decline any entreaties to join them.'' From Becky Mushko, Roanoke, Va.