I left Aaron alone for a while both because I wasn’t sure what else to say and because if it were me, I would have wanted time and space.About two weeks later I asked him to come over and talk.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.Some shrugged it off as being a typical reaction and just part of the everyday racism they experience as a people.Others said Aaron and I should have known what we were getting into.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”.
The email contained conditions for us working things out beginning with “you have to agree not to engage in this kind of behavior again” meaning that I would have to agree not to date black guys.
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?
My brother stepped up and tried to be my pseudo Dad by doing things like fixing my broken faucet and expressing his discontent being the executor of the will now that my name was removed. I think she feels like my Dad’s intent was to protect me from a bad situation, but also acknowledged that Aaron was a good guy and I was an adult capable of making my own decisions. They were surprised by both my Dad and Aaron’s reaction.
The reactions of my black friends and coworkers were the most interesting.