Saturday, January 2, 2010

White Bread Anyone?




Happy 2010 everyone! Hope your holidays were wonderful. Here's to a new and amazing year for everyone!

This Christmas my husband, daughter and I went to Oregon for the first time in 2 years to spend Christmas with my side of the family.  We had such a great time filled with laughter, tears, fun, late nights, and so much more!  My parents live in a town outside Portland and it's just beautiful.  Part of the days were spent at the lovely outdoor (COLD) mall shopping and seeing movies.  However, the funny thing that I noticed at the mall, standing in line for the movies, in the movies, at the grocery store, driving around, wherever we were...there were ONLY white people.  It was the weirdest thing!  I didn't pay much attention at first and then once I noticed this I kept looking around and every where we went, low and behold....only white people!  It's funny because my husband needed to go to the grocery store and he made the comment that we needed to go out so "he could put some color in the town."  I laughed and said, "Yeah right!"  Well he WAS right!  I mean not ONE black person to be seen!  Not one.  Coming from California and So Cal at that, this is amazing to me.  We live in the biggest melting pot and have a rainbow of people around us every single day.  To not see anyone that even resembles my child and hubby was just bizarre. You forget how different it can be.  My Sister even made the comment that when she was reading the local paper there were no pictures of any black people either!  Apparently I'm not the only one to notice these things or maybe I've just ingrained it into every one's brain. =)  To some this might not be so weird, but to me I can't even imagine not living around a rainbow of people.  Mind you the town is beautiful and my husband and daughter didn't get treated any different than anyone else, it was just strange.  My husband already sticks out as it is because he is a big, tall guy, so you can imagine in a sea of white people...HELLO...stick out, sore thumb, him!!!  =)  Needless to say we always have a wonderful time with the fam, but it's great to be back to our "wheat bread."  There's no place like home sweet home!

14 comments:

Madelyn said...

Glad you are back. I felt the same way you did in Portland when I moved from Clairemont to Santee. We lived in low income housing and then bought a house where I could afford a starter home. I bought the house in the summer and when I picked Ryan up at kindergarten the first day, I was shocked to see only little white kids. I will never forget it. It was so strange to me. so in a sense, I knew what you were feeling.

"J" said...

HAPPY 2010!!

No black people? That would feel odd. Even the tiny farmer's community I come from, has coloured people(Heck, how could I have met my BFF if it were not so!) The daughter of our Pharmacist is f.i. married to an Ugandan man, and no-one batted an eye when they started dating years ago..

However, I DO believe it is different in Portland-cty. Being an avid follower of the cycling culture in America and in Portland especially, I noticed quite a few tan faces amongst the biking-crowd. By the by, it could have been the cold. Overhere, Blacks are also mostly absent in the inner-city when it's cold.
Peanut's(my mixed BFF's nickname, because her Dutch name rhimes with the Dutch word for peanut..) sister adamantly refuses to go outside if it freezes(or rains...THE HAIR!! THE HAIR!!), as does her brother. Peanut herself does not mind, she's an avid skater and loves it when it freezes..
Her African family is even worse. They were here last summer and wore woolly hats and braided sweaters!!..It was like 22 degrees Celsius !! But they insisted it was "cold as hell".

"J" said...

PS I have to agree with Madelyn though, the amount of "tan" faces in Portland was tiiiiny, compared to an average pic of, say, LA..

"J" said...

Oi, I keep "spamming" :lol:

I suddenly thought of something: You should check the YouTube-channel of "MIXooNooMATCH" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR_J_KDDJj8) She's a mixed kid with an African Mom. She lives in an almost white community(in WA., I believe) and has some really interesting and intelligent, well thought-out observations&commments about that.

By the by:Poor kid got quite some nasty flak online when she observed that most whites around her couldn't care less about her fenotype, but self confessed "full-black" AA, weren't accepting that she considered herself "mixed, not "Black", and they were constantly, aggressively, throwing the "one drop-rule" in her face.
Warning: When looking at her video's, be prepared to read some really unnerving, hateful comments.

Strange world... All this noise and nastyness about the colour of one's skin.

Amy said...

Maddie,

Happy new year!! Loving the work your are doing in Perris!! Loving it!!! Oh Santee now that's a world unto itself isn't it! Portland is a fairly mixed bag in the city but my parents town is sooooo not and it's only 15 minutes outside Portland. So bizarre. Like I said it's beautiful there and everyone is very sweet and kind it was just odd. =)

Amy said...

Well happy 2010 J! It's been a while!! How are you? Hope your Christmas and New Years was fantastic! I miss your comments! I have to be better about posting too! The holidays, life and work took over for a while. =)

Yeah, the no black people thing was a trip! Portland itself is quite mixed but the rest of Oregon not so much! I love OR, it's where I was born and I LOVE going back, but I look at things so different as an adult in a mixed race marriage. I remember in high school the only black people in school, and I mean only a couple, were bused in from Portland to play sports! So weird!

Funny that you mentioned the biking. As we were driving to the airport in the snow storm I said, "How on earth is this city one of the friendliest biking cities in the country!?" Rain, cold and snow constantly. Those are some determined bikers! Also funny that you mentioned the cold and the hair! As my hubby, daughter, and other relatives were taking a walk in the 20+ degree weather, my hubby said, "How can anyone live here it's soooo cold!!" We are a little spoiled in So Cal! Then when the snow started my daughter said, "My hair!" You hit it on the nose J! Hilarious!

My husband and I lived in Portland for a very short time when I moved back to be closer to family and I remember he used to say, "We need to go to Southeast Portland to the mall so I can see some black people!" That was in '92 and it has changed since then but I will always remember that. =)

I'm not sure if I can watch the you tube video. I can't deal with hateful comments when it comes to race. That's another post for another time.

And yes it is a weird wierd world we live in when the color of one's skin still matters.

Amy

Madelyn said...

Speaking of the hair issue..Alot of our homeless /partially homeless friends in Perris are black. And I know things are bad when a black woman's hair is not perfect. I was thinking later of trying to find someone that styles hair to help these women with their hair. There is one woman in particular that I just love. i would like to take her to get a makeover(listen to me..I am like the plainest person ever! But it isn't that important to me).

"J" said...

Heya,

yeah, well, "The Hair Thang" One does not live years and years with a mixed BFF and her family, without picking up on some standard "hangups" :lol:
Peanut has done countless things to her hair,even went all "Solange Knowles"(looked sooo cuuute...), but she NEVER changed the natural structure of it, and she doesn't care about humidity or whatever, while her older sister obsesses about her straightened hair like you wouldn't believe...

The Mad Bikers..Ah..Now, well there, I am one of those "Crazy Bikers" We had 12inches of snow for the first time in 11 years. Yet, I still rode my bike to work, a 10 mile round-trip. Only when it got to 15 inch, I took my ATV out.....and ended up the only one still driving. Busses stopped. Trains became stuck. Transit came to a screeching halt. Cars skidded off, became hopelessly stuck and people generally decided to stay home, but my trusty Triton-quad chugged on & on.

I got to work in the end, together with two collegues who live nearby the company..that was it..A whole IT-helpdesk reduced to three men.. Great fun though.

On the video's, please ,Just watch MIX's vid's She is a very well spoken Young lady, but for heaven's sake do not read the comments. Some of them made me actually Physically sick to the stomach, especially some really nasty ones from sc. "Black Supremacists" As a European I can smell Nazi's, whatever colour, from a mile away. Our countries have been devastated by them between 1938 and 1945 .Their Legacy of hate&propaganda is taken by those Supremacists and turned around inside-out. They hate EVERYONE that is not full-Black and they hate mixed peeps even more than Whites... Ugh!

I am quite sturdy as far as hatred directed towards me goes, but those people.....[shiver].. Im cannot hate them though. I can only wonder: "What made them like that?" You and Your Hubby had Your share of nastyness, but as far as I can see, never gave in to hating. How come some people then do? Is it jealousy? Or simply mental lazyness?

"J" said...

PS I "went" to Portland via Google streetview, some time ago..I already picked a house....for when I become a Billionnaire(yeah, rrright..) :LOL: There is this small Villa neighborhood somewhere in a park on a hill..can't remember the name, I would loove to live there, surrounded by green... "Arlington heights" or sump'tin'?

Portland is a pretty city ,almost somewhat European here&there .Seems a nice enough place to grow up.

Amy said...

Maddie,

That would be such a great idea! Black women can't just get up and go they need the hair done. I am sure there is a salon in town that would maybe donate a couple of hours a month to take care of these women. Like I said before....keep doin' what you do! Love love your big heart!!

Amy

J,

Isn't it amazing that so much conversation can be had about hair! I remember this was one of my first posts and it always comes up. I soooo take my hair for granted! 5 minutes each morning to do mine!

Biking in snow...okay you ARE determined! That's great though!! Healthy, healthy!

Okay I will check out the videos but I won't read the comments. People can be soooo hateful. It's such a waste of time and energy. My hubby and I just accept people for what they are and it's their problem and their loss if they choose not to know someone based on color. Big loss! I can't stress enough that if everyone just got to know everyone's heart and look past the outside the world would be a much better place! So I wonder, does a blind person hate? How do they know what color someone is? Don't they just get to know someone? Hmmm? Maybe the rest of us should just close our eyes and open our hearts once in a while! It's a thought.

In regards to Portland it truly is a beautiful city. Very green, very healthy, very arty, very cool, just too much rain for me! Jamie and I had a loft in downtown Portland when I moved back for a minute and I loved the loft and being downtown but I couldn't take the weather and headed right back to So Cal!

Again great to be back in touch J....

Amy

"J" said...

Portland's rain wouldn't bother me .The Netherlands have about 250 rain days a year on average ,so, I'm used to it .We do not have beautiful rolling hills like Portland has (except for some humps in Southern limburg, close to belgium)

On my lack of comments: I have been up to my neck in paperwork for he inheritance I told You about. The farm could not be sold for the life of it! Thank the crisis. The maintenance started to eat away at my, and my sis's budget. In the end we decided to put it up for closed auction: No bidders whatsoever..quite shocking. The farmhouse ain't that bad, we thought. It has half an acre of land. The house is very big though: 12 meters by 28 meters(something like 30 yards by 14yards).That scared some buyers away.

In the end, advised by our realtor, we put it up for open auction. To our astonishment it started a bidding-war between a couple of realtors and some private buyers.

It's officially sold now, but the taxation papers have to be filled in, the inheritance papers have to be filled and filed etc. etc.. Luckily my sister's wife has real pleasure in fiddling with the details of taxation.. :lol: Well sweetie, go ahead, indulge yourself.. hahahaha. All in all it's a heap of paper-work before we actually see one penny..

It left very little time for on-line activities.

Amy said...

J...that's a lot of rain! We went over 160 days without rain! The exact opposite. =)

I am so happy you were finally able to take care of getting rid of the property. What a pain that can be.

Glad that you have a "little" more free time so we can catch up again! Sometimes it's also good to step away from the computer and talk to humans face to face once in a while! LOL!

Talk with you soon...Amy

Anonymous said...

Madelyn - hi, I am Amy's sister and I wanted to share with you an idea that might help you help some of the women with their hair. If your town has a technical college with a cosmetology program they might be interested in providing a day of hair care to women for the benefit of the experience for their students. I work at a college with such a program and every year the instructors and students donate their time to provide the service to the homeless women (our barbering program does the same for the men). Anyway, just an idea!

Amy said...

Lori....great idea!!!