Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Are You Staring At? I'm Just Kissing My Husband Goodbye!

For those of you that know me, you know that my car has been in the shop quite a bit lately.  Because of that "fun" little fact I get the pleasure of my husband taking me or picking me up from work.  A few days ago he was dropping me off at my job and as I was getting out of the car he got out as well to say goodbye.  He hugged me and kissed me and as usual he was also being silly. Little did we know there was an older woman (white woman) walking into the salon next to where I work just watching us.  Well, her world must have stopped when she saw us kissing, because if looks could kill......let's just say, we would be very, very dead!  At first when I saw her looking at us and then me as I walked toward my work, it didn't cross my mind why she was giving me such an evil stare down.  Then I realized..."Oh my gosh, she was just mortified that we were kissing!"  Let me just clarify for the record , we were not making out like two teenagers in a parking lot. We hugged and kissed goodbye and laughed a little. Was she horrified that two adults were kissing each other goodbye?  Highly unlikely.  Was she was disgusted because a white woman and a black man were kissing?  Much more likely. How do I know this?  Because the look wasn't one of distaste from two people smooching,  it was a scary, I'm going to stare at you until you are gone because you disgust me look! There was no mistaking it!  She stood there and held the salon door, didn't go in, and then craned her neck to continue to give me "her look" as I unlocked the door at my job.  It was wild!  Trust me, I've seen the look enough in our 18 years together that there was no question in my mind what she was thinking of us.  If she knew we had been married all these years would it have been a different story?  Probably not.  In her mind "we" are not "acceptable."  Sad.  Had I been quick that day, and thinking on my feet , I would have gone up to her and said, "Oh honey, you should try it, you have noooo idea what you're missing!"  But alas, I was hurrying to work and so shocked that she was so shocked , my quick thinking was no where to be found!  Plus, I was raised to respect my elders and that would have been rude.  When older people react the way they do to my husband and I,  I just have to remember that "their" generation was taught that "we" should not be together.  Remember "we" were illegal back in the day!  Crazy!  Our generation has gotten somewhat better, and our daughter's generation is almost there, even though clearly we still have a long way to go.  I always want moments like this to be turned around and think to myself, "If only she knew us, and if only she knew how in love we are, maybe she wouldn't think that way at all."  I know every moment and every instance of racism can't be a teaching moment but I sure wish they could be.  However,  I'm sure whatever I said to her would not have changed her old school way of thinking, even if I said something as simple as, "What are you staring at?  I'm just kissing my husband goodbye."  So once again, my husband and I stand firm in our love and hope for the older woman that couldn't get "us" through her head, that she too, at some point, found this kind of love in her lifetime.  That is my wish for her.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How the heck did you two meet?!

The other day we were at a birthday party and Jamie's friend Byron asked the question...."How did you two meet? I mean she went to school abroad, and you, well, you're a fool!" The two of us died laughing! So, this is how the two most opposite people on the planet, met, got married, had a child, and lived happily/crazily after:

It was 1992 and I was driving up the 805 freeway in San Diego. I was with my "little sister" from the Big Sis/Little Sis program. As we were driving, multiple black sports cars, (all with black men in them), were in the lane next to us. My little sis started to wave at one of the men in one of the cars. I told her to stop waving because they were too old for her (she was 15 at the time) and were either a bunch of athletes or a bunch of drug dealers, and you don't want to mess with either! Yeah, I know, stereotyping at its worst. Bad!!! However, I wasn't was athletes and friends. So there! =)

Anyway, my little sis said, "No, I know one of them, he used to coach my basketball team when I was little." That coach so happened to be Jamie! I wasn't sure if I believed her or if she was just flirting, so on we went up the freeway.

A few weeks went by and my little sis was out and about, and who did she run into?.....Jamie! He asked her, "Who was that woman that you were in the car with the other day?" She told him it was her big sis, and then he proceeded to give her his phone number to give to me. So the next time her and I were together she gave me the phone number and told me it was from the guy we saw on the freeway. Well, I promptly threw it in the trash and said, "I don't call people that I see on the freeway that are complete strangers!" She said, "But I know him!" I didn't care, he was a stranger to me and you know what mom always says. =)

A couple more months went by and my little sis and I were driving around again and low and behold but who was standing in a friend's front yard talking?.....Jamie, again! Odds?!? My little sis says, "That is the guy that gave you the phone number." I said, "Oh my gosh, you have got to be kidding me!? I better pull over and say hi or he is going to think I am totally rude." We pulled over, he came over to the car and said hi, and then promptly asked why I didn't call him. I told him, "I don't call people I see on the freeway. Let's do this the right call's my number." He then waited an entire WEEK to call! I guess he was getting me back for throwing away his number! Our first call was on a Sunday and we talked for FOUR hours! However, we still didn't go out for another two months. We got to know each other over the phone, day, after day, after day.

Finally, we had our first date which was at his apartment where he made me dinner. I know it sounds bad, first date, his apartment. We had been talking for two months for goodness sakes, it was like we were old friends by now! No worries…he was a complete gentleman.

You would think the rest was history, but noooooo, that would have been too easy. We dated from that day on, but there was a slight snag in our future. I had already made the decision before he and I met, to move back to Oregon to be closer to my family. Soooo, we literally fell in love, and it was time for me to leave. I debated whether or not to go, but Jamie told me to go because I would regret it if I didn't. He said, "If we are meant to be it will work out. You want to be with your family, so that is where you need to be." I left. We wrote and called constantly. Distance, not so fun....four months later he moved up to Oregon! Then three months later we moved back to San Diego! Nuts huh!? I am a Cali girl, I couldn't take the weather. Love ya fam, but had to go home.

THEN the rest was history! We got engaged, got married in '93, had Tatiana in '94, and here we are today. So when anyone asks the did we meet? The answer is.....on the 805 freeway.....fate took care of the rest!