Sunday, July 29, 2007


my process for coming up with my blog posts:

i have a thought

i temporarily dismiss it and go on with life

i recall it and think about it/analyze it

blog about it.

i'm not walking around as this big ball of negativity unable to enjoy life and people. the race issues i bring up are purely thoughts. it doesn't affect my interaction with people. you'd never know what i was thinking if you'd seen me at the pool with the other black mom (besides the fact i didn't walk up and introduce myself).

the only difference between me and the readers who have scolded and berated me about what i blog about is that when i have a raw thought, i don't just dismiss it to never be analyzed ever again. i think know that everyone has those raw thoughts everyday, and if you stopped and actually listened to yourself, you'd know it. it just so happens i'm blogging about my (raw) thoughts on race- and race is a touchy subject.

i'm not some demented person. i'm just like EVERYBODY ELSE. i go here, i go there, i work, i socialize, i eat out with friends and family, i work in my garden, i chat with my neighbors, i go to costco, i go get coffee, etc, etc. the comments from my last post led me to believe people think i'm sitting in some dark corner -like Glenn Close in fatal attraction- writing this and waiting for the comments to pour in. like i'm some nut.

coupla things:

a) i don't claim to be brave by posting what i post, as one commenter suggested (although it takes some bravery to read some of the comments and emails).

b) i was very ashamed of the feelings that prompted my last post. but, why shouldn't i blog about it-for self analysis if nothing else?

c)there are plenty of sick and demented people thinking WAY worse thoughts out there than i. just turn on the news. at least i'm not trying to hurt my children or small animals or anyone else for that matter.

d) i honestly don't know how african americans can not be negatively affected or brainwashed by society and the commercial media. i believe that i think the way that i do because of our society. why should i bottle it up? i am acknowledging that my thinking about race is off.

but who do i have to blame for that??

it's not my parents, they are successful and educated and race was never a factor growing up.

i guess i'm finding it really hard to believe that my readers don't ever have an insecure thought, or ever think negative things (wrong or right) about others from time to time.

Friday, July 27, 2007


i'm ashamed to even admit this. i know that i would never, ever, EVER utter what i'm about to say to another living soul. but the original point behind why i started this blog was to talk about those exact things. i don't know you (readers), and you don't know me. so somehow i feel okay to blog about it.

for the past couple of weeks i've been taking my girls to swimming lessons. the pool we go to, unfortunately is lacking in the number of black patrons . however, there are two other black parents there with their children for swimming lessons at the same time we're there.

first let me say that i hate the relationship that WE (black women) have with each other. i notice white women will strike up a conversation with one another white woman whom they've never met all the time. they are so unguarded. unthreatened. they've even struck up conversations with me without knowing who i am. but other black women? forget about it. it's as if we feel threatened by each other. we can't just say hi and strike up a conversation. it's weird. like we have something to prove. especially darker skinned black women (IN MY EXPERIENCE!!)- i don't know if they feel threatened talking to someone who is light skinned, or what?

last summer while taking my kids to library storytimes, another mom who happened to be mixed and married to a white man befriended me out of the blue and offered to do things with our kids together. the only other black parent who struck a conversation up with me without knowing me was also a light skinned black woman married to a white man. but i digress.

so i've been at swimming lessons this past week with another black woman who is dark skinned who has children swimming and we've sat right next to each other without her saying a word. maybe i'm intimidating. or maybe she just couldn't care less about having a conversation with a stranger. but i find that kind of hard to believe.

so, i've been in this mind frame that it's okay that she doesn't say a friendly hello or smile because- well... look at my children. look at my mixed, very fair-skinned girls (with an OBVIOUSLY white dad). i must be slightly better in some way----well, that's what i'd want her to think. so what that she makes me feel sad (for lack of a better word), or disappointed by not being friendly. it's okay, because, look what i have.

i obviously have the dream, i must have what you probably want, right? because i'm married to a white man, which you can clearly see by the way my children look.

it's horrible and i know it. what's funny is that i had this kind of "attitude" subconsciously up until today when i started thinking about the fact that i sit near her almost everyday without so much as a hello. and then i suddenly realized it about myself. i know i've been doing this at other times and places, too.

i know, i'm just perpetuating the whole black women and friendships thing- i know.......

Saturday, July 21, 2007


last night i went over to the Nob Hill neighborhood to a restaurant called Papa Haydn's. if you live in portland, you know what a great place it is. my brother, his wife and i went out at about 10 pm for some dessert. we waited about 30 minutes and then we were seated. the hostess sat us in the very back.

i always notice where i'm seated in a restaurant. if i'm with my husband and we're seated in the back, i have to wonder if maybe it's because we're interracial, or just because at least one of us is black. i can't help it. and you'd never know i was thinking this. i just play along. despite how my thoughts in this blog may portray me, i truly don't walk around with a chip on my shoulder, honest.

my dad used to have this thing whenever we'd go out-he NEVER wanted to sit towards the back, or by the dirty dish carts. i think he was grossed out by it but i also think it was a possible racism thing. and if we were seated there, he always made a big deal out of it and insisted the server seat us elsewhere. he never mentioned race but i think it was a factor in him being so picky about where we sat.

so last night, my brother insisted we sit somewhere else-at another table so he could sit by the window,he said. although i took note of us being seated in the very back, i was content to just sit there. it was crowded, busy (but there were other tables available), and i was too tired to care. my mom never brought up race and the seating but i think deep down maybe she wanted to see to it that we were not seated in the back.

white people never have to wonder about why they might have been seated where they're seated. if they're seated in the way back, it's just because that's what was available. end of story. but, i've never worked in a restaurant, so it's possible that's there's some method to the seating and i don't have a clue. if i'm not careful, i can read racism into lots of things. i try not to. i'm not even suggesting that it was racism last night. i don't know. but i also try not to overlook obvious racism it if i can help it. i think the desire to get a 'fair shake' despite being black is just ingrained in me, so i'm always aware of the little things.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


yesterday, i took my kids to swimming lessons. another(white) mom and i struck up a conversation while we were watching our kids in the pool. she seemed really nice until we started talking about hair. she says to me that oh my god, her hair is JUST like black peoples hair-it gets all kinky when it's wet, is so unmanagable and 'it sucks' she says.

"uhmmHmmm". i say. i was dumbfounded. i could have explained to her that it doesn't necessarily "suck". that, her hair wasn't 'just like black peoples' hair, she just didn't know how to tame it obviously. and so on.

but i didn't. i just sat there. and ignored it. it didn't upset me. it made me feel kind of superior, that i could see how ignorant and stupid she was, but she couldn't. and that at her age, she doesn't have a clue.

this is what i'm talking about, people. portland white people like to think they're so diverse and progressive, but they're really not. they just want to be.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


howcome (it seems like) the only white guys who are intersted in black women, are the wanna-be ghetto, vanilla ice/k-fed type? i mean, seriously. i just see that a lot. i guess if a white guy is all into hip hop and the ghetto slang, etc., it goes without saying that he likes black women too?

are there white guys who resemble Chandler or Ross or Joey and don't listen to HIP HOP that like black women? now that seems rare to me. at least in MY neck of the woods. i bet that in california it's not that way, as the demographics are waaay different. but here in portland, chandler-type (white collar, educated, well-traveled, etc) white men aren't exposed to black women enough.

i met a friend downtown for lunch today and afterwards we stopped at old navy. there was a really cute black girl with a little mixed baby and a white guy. she glanced at me and smiled a funky smile as if to say, 'look what i got'. maybe that's not what she meant at all, but it sure seemed like it.
anyhow, her man was one of those guys, the white hip hopper, wannabe ghetto gangsta type. at least, that's how he appeared.

my theory is that people generally dress like the musicians they like. i mean, can't you usually tell what kind of music someone is into by the way they look? for example, when you see those goth people with the painted white face and all black with black hair and black lipstick, you know they don't listen to Jay-Z. so someone like that's not likely to be hanging out at places where there are lots of black people and undoubtedly date a black girl. or how often is total rocker dude smitten by a black girl who loves hip hop?

in my opinion, if a black girl wants to date a white collar white guy, she has to act white collar (i.e. listen to white music, be thin, speak proper english, etc.)
i know there are black women with white men who are not the hip hopper wannabe but from what i've seen in portland, the former is what's pretty typical. it's probably a little ironic that i'm even posting about this because my husband is a *reformed* mild wannabe hiphopper. i never liked when white guys would act that way so as soon as we got together and got serious, i changed his look REAL quick. now, after a few years he's just a white collar guy with some flavor.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


i try not to lie. i mean, that's my big thing. to me, lying is wrong. if someone asks me something that i don't want to answer, i'll figure out a hundred different ways to say it without actually lying.

but. when it comes to my husband's CAREER, i do lie. i think that of all our many friends, only one or two know what his job is. and the friends that know it are only the friends who are worse off-jobwise. my parents don't even know what he does. our good friends, especially with impressive jobs don't know what he does. they know who he works for, but they don't know his job title.

honestly, we rarely talk about what he does when we're with friends. if the conversation is steering toward that direction, you can count on me to help steer it somewhere else.

am i ashamed of my husbands job? i wouldn't say ashamed. no, that's not it. disappointed that he doesn't have a more prestigious career? maybe. there's nothing wrong with his job,really. it pays OKAY. it pays our bills. it's not a bad job, but it's nothing to brag or be excited about. pretty close to an entry level type postion. it's an honest living, but nothing special. at all.

i guess i expected him/us to have a great career by our mid 30s, and he doesn't. when people ask what he does, i just say that he's a project manager. that's kind of a general, vague answer. i usually don't have to go into detail. usually after i tell them that, they don't ask for specifics about it. i guess it gives them just enough to form an opinion. at least i don't have to reveal his actual, mediocre, non-impressive job to anyone.

my parents know which company he works for but they never ask what he actually does. deep down, i think they probably think it's not so important or maybe they think they're sparing me the uncomfortableness of me telling them that he has an uninspired, dull office job.

i am proud of the fact that we've never had to borrow money from anyone in the past 11 years we've been married, and that we have perfect credit. so what if i don't tell the truth about what he really does?

when people ask what my husband does, do they really care? are they just trying to make an assumption about us based on what i tell them? i don't believe that our outwardly appearance gives any indication that we don't make a better living than we actually do, so what difference does it make? i'm just being hopeful.