while i was sitting with a female friend last week at my favorite place to people watch and steal wi-fi, an interracial couple (think of a much shorter, darker-skinned isaiah mustafa¹ [the old spice commercial guy] with a younger, curvier, taller, and straighter² mariska hargitay) walked in, ordered a couple smoothies, and left.
my friend, who’s usually all kumbaya when it comes to interracial dating, watched them leave, punched me in the shoulder and said:
“champ, if this were a tyler perry movie, this is when my character would roll her eyes and ask you something like “what the hell do brothas see in becky’s?” Then, a keyshia cole song would come on with a slow-motion montage of black men and white women ice skating and eating ice cream together while a group of sad-looking sistas drank mojitos at the bar by themselves.
anyway, omnipotent relationship guru: even though this aint a movie…give me four good reasons why he’s with her instead of all of this nubian loveliness.”
my answer? (paraphrasing)
1. your breath stinks
2. you just used “nubian” in a sentence
3. she probably smells like almond torte cake
4. he already was with you. you’ve just been with so many men that you can’t remember
although my friend and i were obviously joking, her question stuck with me.
i mean, even considering the fact that you can’t possibly know why some anonymous person chose to be with someone else, and that we all know that black men are much more likely to date black women than “others,” if i had a dollar for every time i’ve read or overheard the “why is he with her?” discussion, i’d have enough to buy the winter olympics a dozen token blacks.
usually, the answers given range from insulting (“cause educated black bitches ain’t shit“) to just plain freakin weird (“white woman never run out of syrup“), fitting into whichever pre-conceived accusatory racial or sexual narrative is popular that week.
but, in every discussion i’ve encountered, they always seem to ignore the three most common (and practical) reasons why he is with a white woman:
1. she (the non-black woman) was around. you (the black woman) weren’t.
when talking to the black male friends i have who’ve dated interracially, the vast majority of them end up saying the exact same thing in regards to their dating habits, a thought process that represents the biggest difference in the way a (typical) black man and (typical) black woman approach “dating out.”
of course i’m attracted to sistas. but, honestly there just aren’t that many where i happen to work/live/go to school.
basically, the typical relationship-minded sista forced to live in place where brothas are scarce will do one of three things:
a) do the half-assed long-distance relationship thing with the last black man who took her on more than one and a half dates
b) save so she can travel whenever she can to places where black men might be
c) not date
on the other hand, the typical brotha might do the “damn, where the hell are all the sistas???” mope for about three weekends, until he finally relents and accepts his co-workers invitation to polka karaoke night.
after the third jagermeister, all bets and loyalties to AKAs are off.
2. he’s very much attracted to black women. but, the black women he’s able to attract and date aren’t as physically attractive as the “others” who are attracted to him.
whether it’s because of their personalities, interests, occupations, or whatever, sometimes educated black men end up dating “other” women because they’re better looking than the sistas he’s able to bag. mind you, this isn’t suggesting that other women are inherently better looking than black women, just that, for whatever reason, some guys aren’t given access to pick-of-the-litter sistas, and they would understandably rather be with an other “9” than a black “6.”
lemme put it this way: because of his height-issues (dude must have been 5’3”, tops), there’s no way in hell that the aforementioned old spice guy doppelganger would have had access to a sista as tall and attractive as the woman he walked into the coffee shop with. take that however you want to.
3. they’re actually meant for each other.
i know it seems odd, but in my many travels i’ve found that it is actually possible for a black man and a non-black woman to be genuinely attracted to and compatible with each other and that it’s also possible for that attraction and compatibility to be completely devoid of any undertones of interracial fantasy.
¹on the somewhat racist list of “famous black guys who have names that make them sound much more “black” than they actually look”, barack obama is 1st, isaiah mustafa is 2nd, denzel washington is 3rd, and farnsworth bentley is 224th
²i know she’s not gay, even though my mom still swears that she is