Oh My, you don’t say…

Part 2 of How Interesting…and the plot thickens

My mouth dropped open…and it stayed open for at least 5 seconds, an uncomfortable 5 seconds. Long enough for it to be noticeable, but not so long that anything could fly into my mouth. After about 4.5 seconds I realized my mouth was still open and I shut it immediately. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what the proper response should be. I looked down into my lap and repositioned my napkin. More so to give myself a few moments to determine what I was going to say next. Should I play off my surprised mouth drop, lie and say I knew, or completely change the subject? I was embarrassed over my open mouth and I am sure I was turning pink. It wasn’t that he was Philippino, it was that I had no idea, and I had to go and act all surprised. I didn’t know if my look was oh wow or oh no. It was definitely oh wow, but sometimes my facial expressions don’t cooperate with my emotions. I would have never guessed it. He doesn’t look it. His eyes aren’t really hooded (of course on second inspection I notice that yeah they could be considered hooded) and they aren’t slanted (well very slightly on second inspection). He has a creamy tan color, one that looks like he lives in the south like every other southerner. His head is bald, but he does have a very short mustache, but the hair didn’t give any hints either. I’m just thinking wow this is crazy. I had not a clue. Nothing in his conversation alerted me either.

“You didn’t know. Did you?”

I look up from my lap. Now I’m inspecting the features of his face looking for the dead give-aways.

“[He] didn’t tell you did he?”

“Nope.” There is a pleasant smile on my face as I shake my head no.

“Is it a big deal?” Now I’m thinking omg my face probably looked hectic if he asked this question, and now I have to assure him that it was more that I had not a clue.

“No, not at all. It’s not even an issue. I just.” I let out one of those flustered crazy sounds when you blow air through your lips while they are still together and shake my head. “It’s just I couldn’t even tell. I would have never suspected anything unless you said something.”

“I always bring it up, people aren’t always cool about it. I feel it’s important that I share it with women I chose to date.”

“Well I appreciate your honesty, but it’s not an issue. I’m actually very intrigued.”

I kind of giggle thinking in my head that fate decided to send me out on an interracial date without my knowledge and despite my hesitations. This alleviates the pressure to make a decision, the decision has been made for me. We were technically on our second date And it wasn’t the least bit complicated, confusing, or even different. It was like any other date I’ve been on, only difference I was really interested. I guess it’s true you will attract what you think about or maybe life has just given me a little push to be open.

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How interesting…and the plot thickens…

The other day I posted that I was ruminating over the idea of going out with someone of a different racial background or trying Something New. The idea is in heavy rotation in my mind. Thinking and pondering is what I do when I’m considering making a change with anything. Sometimes it takes me months, even years to decide. I’m notoriously indecisive, but I’m actively working to change that. Mostly because if you think about something to long your reasoning becomes circular and you come to the same conclusion even if you think you analyzed it differently. In some ways I am strangely fascinated with the idea of it, but on the flip side I’m very nervous. It’s like I’m anxious to find out what will happen because I think it will be different. Why I think it will be so different? I do not know.

So while my decision to date outside “my kind” is simmering on the burner, a friend of a friend offered to introduce me to someone. I think this is an excellent way to meet people so I agreed to the introduction. The introduction turned into “Hey, we are going to go hang out meet us downtown for drinks.” This was perfect because there’s no real pressure and we can both decide if we want to pursue this. I arrived late, but it gave me an opportunity to check him out before I approached the group and I liked what I saw. After sitting down, the group dispersed and it was so high-school everyone shot me side winks and thumbs up as they left. He was great, a professional, cute, no kids, never been married, in my 35-45 target age bracket and funny. I was thinking wow when I left and hoped that he felt the same way. We exchanged information and I wanted him to reach out sooner rather than later. I almost broke the cardinal rule of making the first call, but decided to hold myself “Whoa Kimosabe!” I was just going to call and tell him I really enjoyed meeting him, but I didn’t want to seem too eager.

To my delight he called the next day and asked me out on a real date. We decided to meet up after work for dinner. Our dinner conversation was of the second date variety, since we had pretty much asked all of the basic getting to know you questions when we met. However he decided to ask the question that I hate “So what are you looking for in a man?” This is the most generic question ever and I generally give back a very generic check list of ideal traits in a man. He laughed at my facetious responses which gained him an extra 25 cool points because he got my humor. Then he said,

“Okay enough with answering a question you obviously don’t want to answer. How do you feel about interracial dating?”

He instantly has my attention because Hello! this has been the topic of intense mental debate. So I respond, “I’m open to it.” And I responded like it’s the most natural and sensible thing to do.

“Have you ever dated someone?”

“In college, I went out on a few dates, but nothing serious.”

“But you’re open to it?

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” I was so wrong for acting like it wasn’t an issue, but he didn’t need to know that.

“I’ve met a lot of people who are close minded about interracial dating. Before I invest myself in getting to know someone I like to make sure they are cool with it, so it won’t become a problem in the future.”

“Okay, I’m cool, but why does it matter? I mean I embrace diversity.” I’m trying to figure out the correlation in my mind with us and what this has to do with anything. Is he going to draw some type of conclusion about how I feel about say hunger from my response.

“You know I’m Philippino, right?”

My mouth dropped open…

Continued tomorrow

Something New…

I know that love can come in all different shapes, sizes, sorts, but am I ready to cross the color line? This weekend I saw a movie called Something New on Oxygen that explored the topic of interracial dating. I know, I know it’s 2009, America is a melting pot, Obama is president and clearly race is becoming irrelevant, but I still see rainbow hues. 

I’ve always thought that culture, environment and upbringing determined a person’s color identity. This is how I explain for example “White” Asians, “Black” Whites and “White” Blacks. Despite embracing diversity I have never seriously considered dating anyone outside of my race. In college, I did go out with a few guys (all blind dates), but I’ve never really took them or the date seriously. I never even went on a second date with any of them. I must admit that I have always assumed I would be with someone of the same race. Up until recently it was not even a possibility because I was never approached by men outside of my race. I’m not sure what has happened, undoubtedly something has shifted in the universe, or maybe it’s because I smile more, but it has been a rainbow coalition of men approaching me.

I have not really been sure how to handle it. I initially felt uncomfortable, that word may be too strong, I initially felt suspicious, like maybe I was on some hidden camera show. When I have been approached I’ve always turned to look behind me to see if I was indeed being spoken to. Even though the experiences seemed odd, but flattering, it has made me very aware of the interracial possibilities. What is crazier is that in the past two months no one of “my kind” has approached me, so if I want to date right now I’m going to have to entertain the idea of crossing the color line.

But I have my concerns…

I do believe there will be difficulties. I know that people who don’t share the same cultural backgrounds may have trouble finding common ground. I think that is what concerns me most.  I also think there may be some barriers to understanding one another because we are from different backgrounds. I also wonder if the individual really finds me attractive. I don’t want to be exotic, I want to be what they truly desire no matter what the color. I also wonder if I will be self conscience of what I say. I am generally the least concerned with what people think of or assume about me. It’s my world and everyone else is just in it. However, when in like and in love, I know I would want to please and definitely not offend. I know I would have to watch my mouth. And if that’s the case, would I be able to truly be myself? I also worry about the identity of our children or should I say possible identity confusion. Although I’m sure well adjusted mixed race children do exist, as well as parents of mixed race children who do provide a culturally enriched childhood that draws on both backgrounds, but all the mixed race children I know have issues. Most of them identify with one side and it’s generally the one they look most like and aren’t some type of a cultural hybrid. They also tend to have identity crises that manifest themselves in college or during their early adult life, which causes them to shun the race they identified with before the crisis and cling to the one that has long been ignored. I know I shouldn’t be concerned about children when dating, but I am.

Despite my concerns I am really thinking about going on a test date. Plus I know being open minded will ultimately increase the number of suitable suitors, but am I really ready to try something new?