So, She’s With A White Guy, Huh?

***Hello, everyone. S. Nicole Brown is here again to bless the VSB pulpit. This time, though, I decided to add some, um, “notes” in red to her piece. Not certain if she’s going to appreciate that, but, well, it’s my blog and I can do what I want to***

“That’s your woman? That is NOT your woman. You know that ain’t your woman, man.”

The man was around 35, smooth brown face featuring a neatly lined goatee, cap to the back, Pepsi in his right hand resting on his denim shorts. Before inviting himself into our lives, he was just another black man at the park that day.

(This was her first mistake. Dude definitely sounds homeless. I mean, he’s chillin in some random park with a Pepsi and some demin shorts? In 2012? Come on, man! It’s her fault for entertaining homeless men.)

It took us a moment to realize he was indeed directing his doubting statements at us, and although he was correct in his assumption, I turned my head, eyes wide at his audacity. I could only give a bewildered laugh. The man walking next to me, around the same age as him, slightly spiky brown hair, affable blue eyes, and clad in a “Detroit Soul” t-shirt, turned towards the man, his face serious.

“No, this is my wife.” He wrapped his hand around mine casually, and we kept walking.

(Although the wife move was admittedly a smooth transition, technically your wife would also be your woman, and he should have known that homeless Black men don’t appreciate semantic tricks. He’s lucky he didn’t get spleen shanked.)

This response was met with hushed laughter from the men sitting with our new friend, along with his words trailing us: “I don’t see a ring. That ain’t your woman man.”

(See, I know that’s a lie. Aint no group of Black men in Detroit gonna know what a wedding ring even is, let alone know where to check for it. For all they know, a wedding ring is some shit you find at the bottom of a bowl of wedding soup. Why are you making shit up?)

I shook my head but laughed it off, still in awe.

This would prove to be only one of several instances in which a day at an outdoor summer festival with a friend turned into a social experiment for the writer in me. I noticed all the stares, the shoulder taps on friends sitting next to them, and the not-so-subtle pointing. I was amused and embarrassed by the random and startling honking by cars containing black men as they drove past us, their voices carrying things like “Whiiiiite boyyyy! Yeahhh white boy!” over the music blasting from their stereos.

(I’m not doubting that any of this happened. I’m also not a Black woman who has walked through a summer festival in Detroit with a White man. Still, I do find it hard to believe that this experience is the norm instead of the exception. I mean, I’ve seen Black women and White men together before in Black settings, and aside from random cats asking him to cosign on car loans, they were pretty much left alone. They even occasionally get props and nicknames. And yes, it still counts as a nickname if the nickname is just their first name with “White” added to the front of it.)

I was downright shocked and offended by the three black men who stopped us and plainly asked in so many words what I was doing here with him and why I wasn’t with someone of a brown hue, eyes connecting solely with mine, completely disregarding the white man next to me. I was too much of a “beautiful sista” as one man stated as we passed by his perch, to not be with a black man. I looked around, had to keep reminding myself that it was 2011. It was as if we’d walked into neighborhood full of Crips wearing bright red.

Slowly I realized that the general consensus of the men who’d expressed confusion for our assumed pairing was that I was too attractive to date a white man, as if there is only a certain type of black woman that can date outside her race. Even when I told a guy friend about my experience, his initial response was that “they only said something because you’re attractive. They wouldn’t have otherwise.” I don’t understand. I know more than a few black women who date white men. They’re all very pretty women. That couldn’t be it.

(As your pseudo blog mentor and a person who’s very adept at the ancient art of humble bragging, I just want to say that these last couple paragraphs brought a tear to my eye. Good job grasshopper.)

Eric, my friend, a man who is far more Elijah Wood than Eminem, and primarily dates black women, was baffled himself. “Lisa and I used to come down here all the time, and this has never happened. I guess you are so fly.” He joked about the title of my old blog, but I could tell he was genuinely confused as to why so many brothers felt the need to speak their opinion one way or the other about two people whose relationship had nothing to do with them at all.

(Full disclosure: I have seen Ms. S. Nicole Brown before, and she is an attractive woman. And, because she’s tall and has big hair, she can be rather striking. This being the case, I wonder if the attention she received was due to her being with a White guy or if it was just some brothas having a pissing contest because they didn’t feel like her friend was a worthy partner and thought they might be able to put a bug in her ear. I can imagine they would have acted the same way if she happened to be with a “lame” looking brotha, and I also don’t think it’s a leap to suggest that a Don Draper doppelganger wouldn’t have received the same attention.)

The day was interesting to say the least. From a redheaded little boy pointing out my blackness to his parents, to the unexpected running-into Eric’s ex (black) and her man (white) and the confrontation that followed between the two men (two very square white men fighting over two black women in a park full of people. You can imagine the looks), it was definitely a day of firsts for me.

(I’ve never seen two sober White men fight in public. I know that has nothing to do with the story, but I just wanted to put that out there.)

Frankly, I was shocked. As someone who has seen many, many articles and comments surrounding the supposed stigma of black men dating interracially, white women in particular, and reading complaint after complaint, opinion after opinion from those same men on how black women have an enormous problem with this, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of the issue conversely.

(I honestly think that women “against” interracial dating are more against the idea of it than the actual act. I also think that Wendy’s spicy chicken nuggets on a bun with some grape jelly is the best off menu fast-food sandwich you can buy. Whatever you do, though, just don’t try to order it after 9pm.)

I also can’t say I’ve ever witnessed a black woman blatantly confront a black man walking with his blonde-haired, blue-eyed companion, and impose her opinion of their coupledom on them, whether positive or negative. I’ve never seen a black woman say “oh you got you some soul alright” to them as they walked past, minding their own business.

(Of course she wouldn’t confront them in person. That’s what Twitter and blogs are for. Duh!)

I’ve never dated a white man seriously. I’ve gotten approached by my fair share, as the natural hair seems to be a magnet (lol but no, it really is), and had a few dates, but a relationship has just never happened. I love black men and I always will, but I can’t say I’d be opposed to dating outside of that if my feelings led me that way. I for one would not even be here if not for the lovely chocolate-vanilla pairing that was my father’s parents, and my family consists of quite a few mixtures of love, so interracial coupling is quite normal to me.

(This paragraph was sweet and shit. Also, it’s proof that we could never date. Although I’m not particularly racist, I do seem to be attracted to racist Black women. I don’t know exactly why — Maybe I want my kids to be racists? — but I’m beginning to suspect that “racist Black women” just equals “Black women.” Anyway, you’re a bit too post-racial and shit for me.)

If I decided to do so tomorrow though, I am now overwhelmingly aware of the fact that black men will not mind letting me (and my date) know how they feel about it.

(And, by “Black men” you mean “some homeless Black men at a pre-Calicoe concert cookout in Detroit,” right?)

S. Nicole Brown (aka “Muze”) is a writer of fiction, lover of words, and chronic reader happily living the clichéd under-spaced and overpriced life of a NYC writer. You can find her in 140 or less @muzeness or on her blog, Because I’m Write.

***Just wanted to take some time and thank everyone again for the well-wishes and prayers. Like I mentioned yesterday, she just needs all the positive energy she can get. Writing this and reading the responses has definitely helped me, and I hope it’s left me better equipped to help her.***

Never Scared, Until I Met You

There’s a fairly popular misconception and myth that most men are commitment phobes. We’ve somewhat dispelled it here by clearly outlining, stenciling, and color-coordinating that it isn’t that men are scared of commitment. Heavens no. We’re merely scared of committing to the wrong person, which I’ve gathered is something women aren’t so much afraid of. Seems that women are more afraid of losing out on the investment they’ve put in, even if it has yielded not so positive returns. Either way, there’s a disconnect there. AT&T.

But there is a fairly silent minority of women out there who have experienced a certain kind of commitment phobic man: the man who’s afraid of too much like right. While I generally frown upon women’s insistence that men are intimidated by their stature, career, Lladro collection, or faux Faberge egg prints (it’s never true ladies), there is one area where some men just might be intimidated. And that’s when a man meets the woman he never thought he’d meet before he’s ready to have met her.

Allow me to set the scene. Oh, you over there…could you turn out the lights, and light a candle. Tonight I’m in a romantic mood…girl let’s take…wait…where am I.

Sorry.

*ahem*

Guy is out at a swanky Detroit River cruise down Woodward Avenue populated by the kind of people who actually believe it’s possible to take a Detroit River Cruise down Woodward Avenue. We shall call him Guy. He sees a darling woman across the way and saunters over in the non-suspect way possible to said gal. We shall call her Gal. Guy and Gal strike up a convo that moves with amazing fluidity. I mean, this convo is fluid, Jack. Lighter. Wiper. Brake. It’s all of those wrapped up in one. They hit it off instantly and realize how many interests they share. Now guy is caught completely off-guard (as is actually how most of us end up with girlfriends. We’re rarely looking, we just happen to find the one of you that throws us off of our game and we don’t fight it. Real talk.).

Guy makes the determination that results in more marriages in the Black community: she’s different.

[SIDENOTE: Seriously, have you all realized that when a guy is in love with a woman, one of the first descriptors he uses when somebody asks why is "different?" We're all looking for the snowflakes that women all swear to be. We like snow. Which makes sense as to why we move so much of that white stuff.]

Guy is finding himself swooning over Gal. But there’s just one problem: he’s 25. And he’s not ready to be locked down. But he sees so much potential with her, except he knows that there’s no way he could be faithful right now because he’s got a few degrees and lives in Washington, DC. But the problem is, this woman is too much like right. She’s not only attractive, but she’s the marrying type. Something about her gives him insight into what his future could look like. He sees the picket fence, 4.6, 2.5 children and rottweiler-dalmation thoroughbred.

And Guy nuts up. He’s not ready for the future, but he knows if he continues to date Gal, he’s going to end up married. He’s got too much life to live and too many things to do before he’s ready to settle down for good. And be clear, I think a lot of us know, or at least suspect, when we’re going to end up married to a woman. If it doesn’t make it to that point, it’s as much of a surprise to some of us as it is to you all.

Point is, I actually believe in this. It’s part of the reason why some women end up messing with guys who go back and forth so much and cause so much relationship drama. The woman is ready to bet the house and the man knows that he should bet the house but he’s got one foot in a world that he’s afraid to miss. And it’s not always about chasing women. Sometimes it’s just the freedom of it all. But it happens all the time. Guy finds the different Gal, realizes it, but just can’t give her what she needs…but hopes she’ll still be around when he’s ready to move on to stage 2.

While this doesn’t pertain to all women – let’s be real, all of you all aren’t the “immediate proposal” types – I’m aware that this has happened to plenty of women…and men. Let’s be real, it’s scary as hell to realize that you’re staring the future in the face. Especially when you’ve spent so much time either assuming that you’d never find the exact woman you were looking for or never believed she could possibly exist so you settled for a makeshift Lauren London with good genes and an iPhone with a Wikipedia app.

I mean there’s a reason Guy named their album The Future, right? What does that have to do with the price of loincloth in the Bering Straits? I don’t know either.

Anyway, what say you, menfolks, are there women you’ve been intimidated by because she seemed too right? And ladies, do you think a man has ever dipped out because he couldn’t handle the fact that you two were too well suited for one another?

Is there a heart in the house? If so, stand up.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka SHUGGIE JACKSON aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

***Also, check out Panama’s post on Guyspeak, “Do You Have An Emotional Tampon, Ladies” and read some of P’s answers to about maid of honor speeches, pedicures, and all around gangstatry. ****