There are five of us. My sister, my brother, me, my mom and my stepdad Don. My step dad is both older and white, while as you may have guessed, the rest of us are black. As of this year, my parents have been married 10 beautiful years, so it’s only natural that I have heard it all when it comes to people who are taken aback or ignorant about interracial dating. As a millennial, I was lucky to be born in an era with a heightened sense of political correctness and diversity so interracial couples and families shouldn’t be a head turner. In a perfect world theory of course. I am a generally easy going person, and I actually like to talk to other people about my life and theirs. Nevertheless you never get used to the teachers who rush over to make sure your stepdad isn’t a kidnapper, or even sickos who take him as your sugar daddy while at lunch.
Who is that white man?
“No, he’s my stepdad but were close…ya know like my dad.”
“Oh. I didn’t know your mom liked white guys…”
This is the one I got the most of the time from my peers and usually verbatim. Not to say people shouldn’t have been curious about the pasty older gentleman who would speed up on his yellow Honda GoldWing still blasting Dwight Yoakam (seriously though, who invented radios for motorcycles) while on his daily kid pick up duty. I did an invisible face palm every time I had to squeeze that spare helmet over my head and climb onto the back of that motorcycle in front of kids who were staring both out of confusion and amusement.
Are y’all together?
Again, you can’t blame people for asking, but geez-o-peets did this get old. In any checkout line, queue at the bank or school function, adults all over town would give a confused look when I put my items on the same conveyer belt as his. “Are y’all together” they would always ask, and of course my stepdad would assure them we were in fact together. Suddenly the confused look would turn into that “Ahh, I see” look you become accustomed to. Sometimes though for fun, Don would say “No! I have no idea who she is” but only so we could later laugh about watching the cashier squirm at the idea of having to deal with this awkward situation.
Wouldn’t you like it better if your mom dated a black guy?
No!, and why does it matter anyway? Is the response I wish I would have given back in the day. Of course when you are 12 you just sheepishly ignore the question and thank god you can’t visibly turn red. Although I’m sure it was always asked out of the ignorance of childhood, it still always made you feel awkward about something that wasn’t awkward at all. It did teach me however that people perceived my mom differently after finding out she was married to a white man.
Maegan Skinner is a college student, freelance writer and barista who is passionate about education, writing and cooking. A lifelong Dallasite, Maegan’s writing focuses on food, health, education, local nightlife, and entrepreneurship for millennials. Her blog can be found at https://blogmaeganskinner.wordpress.com or catch up with her on twitter @itmemaeski