Full disclosure: I have an affinity for the dark. I enjoy dark clothing, dark chocolate, dark humour, and yes... dark men. Yeah. I. Said. It. For the the most part, I am attracted to men of a similar complexion as me, or darker. In a perfect world, my dude would share the top three traits as my favourite cup of coco: hot, dark and entirely too rich for my own blood! Yummmm.
Soooo, when my sister casually blurted out one day (during one of our random Sister-Sister talks) that she thinks I'm going to end up with a white guy... I was like:
I then followed up that reaction with a befuddled "why would you say that?"; to which she simply shrugged, laughed and replied: "because it's the opposite of what you want and that's how the universe works sometimes". And, therein lies the basis for today's post and question: Am I a swirl kinda girl? Could I see myself in an interracial relationship, or as some folks like to phrase it: could I be down with the swirl?
On the one hand - the question seems rather laughable. I mean - the first Black president of the U.S. is a product of said swirl. Furthermore, my first best friend/partner in mischief (at the tender age of 5) was a little white boy, named Samuel. And it's 2016. And I live in Canada: the melting pot of all melting pots! And interracial couples are everywhere for goodness' sake! Therefore, it seems fair to say that the chances of involving myself in an interracial relationship as an adult are not exactly one in a million. In fact, I have been in one before; but that relationship was a bit different, in that we were both visible minorities, just from different backgrounds. The particular swirl I'm referring to today, is more so of the chocolate-vanilla variety... ya dig?
As I said - mixed couples are everywhere: In the coffee shops, at the book stores, on TV, on my timelines... even within my own extended family! Black-White interracial couples are pretty common across the board nowadays. I do, however, remember a time when the only relationships of that nature that I would see were Black men dating White women. And, I also remember silently wondering to myself (as undoubtedly, many Black women did or do): "What's that about? What's wrong with Black men dating Black women like myself? Is it an optics-thing? Is it a status-thing? Like... WTF?" I vividly recall feeling that pang of confusion, mixed with equal parts self-doubt and frustration. I didn't understand why all of a sudden, a staggering number of Black men were choosing to date Caucasian women instead of women of colour. And to be honest, that's a question that has lingered. But, after several years of self-reflection and self-acceptance, and after damn near perfecting the subtle art of "minding my own business", I've come to understand that at the end of the day - it's a choice. It's a preference. And everyone has the right to their preference, regardless of the reasoning behind it. Just as I prefer an Idris (slurrrrp!), someone else might prefer an Angelina.
Still... I wonder if Black men go through even half of the inane thoughts that some Black women do, when contemplating the idea of dating a White person.
Thus - I present to you:
"MY RATIONAL & IRRATIONAL BLACK GIRL CONCERNS RE. THE "SWIRL":
- What if he (let's just call him "Bradley") can't get with my hair texture? Or worse - what if he cuts off one my locs while I'm sleeping, because he's just so transfixed by them and wants to examine one to see if it's the source of my Black Girl Magic?
- What if Bradley has an unhealthy fetish/fixation for Black women? Translation: He wants to put the cream in the coffee because he's heard from friends that black coffee is hella-good... even if he's always been a warm milk kinda guy himself.
- Will I need to bring my own Lawry's seasoning salt and Diana Sauce over to Bradley's place if he decides to cook me dinner? Sometimes the standard Shake & Bake packet just isn't enough flavour for me...
- Should I or should I not have Bradley watch a few staple YouTube videos such as "Shit Jamaican People Say" or "Shit Black Girls Say" to give him some reference points?
- Am I going to have to throw Bradley out of my moving vehicle if an unedited version of "N!ggas in Paris" comes on and he fixes his mouth to sing along to the N-word?
- Just how deep into Ancestry.com will I have to dig before I find out that Bradley's great-great grandfather was an OG Klan member?
- If we go out to a predominantly Black club, will Bradley understand what "bubbling" is and how it works? Will he have to Google it beforehand and practice alone in the bathroom mirror before we head out?
- When I meet Bradley's parents for the first time, will they ask me if I know "Leroy" at Home Depot (you know, because Leroy is the only other Black person they "know" and because all Black people must know each other).
- How do we work around the fact that my full-bodied lips will undoubtedly overpower Bradley's incredulously thin lips when we kiss? Will that make him want to get lip-fillers like Kylie Jenner? Will he resent me for this?
- What if Bradley turns out to be, in his heart of hearts, far Blacker than I; and then to compensate for his surprising wealth of Black knowledge, I have to move to South Africa for five years to get "more cultured and rooted". Could our relationship withstand the long distance?
As ludicrously exaggerated (and borderline offensive?) as some of these thoughts may seem, they are on some level justifiable to me. I'm sure I'm not the only brown-skinned girl on the Internets who ponders in this way. And, furthermore - I'm fairly certain that many White guys have their very own lists of borderline-absurd concerns re. the prospect of dating a Black woman for the first time. The swirl struggle is a real thing. And truth be told, it's often what keeps women of colour like myself from "swiping right on white". But like I mentioned before (in my previous post "That Dreaded 3-Letter Word")... I'm currently in my phase of 'yes'; and so, if the right opportunity presents itself (or himself!)... I might just be ready and willing to saunter slowly into the swirl pool.
What would help tremendously though, is if the local eligible bachelors were somewhere in the vein of the celebs on my personal "Lucky 10 White Chocolate List". See (in no particular order): Channing Tatum, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Jared Leto, Michael Fassbender, Charlie Hunnam, Jake Gyllenhaal, Scott Foley, and Bradley Cooper.
Ergo, until that tall drink of cool almond milk arrives at my door, I'm perfectly content to continue sipping on a piping hot mug of 'chocolat chaud' ;)