He had every right to be sad, angry, pissed off, frustrated, or just instantly “over it”.The conversation quickly fizzled and I walked away knowing my pain was now his too and there was nothing I could do to fix it.I’ll never forget the day I was walking to my car at work and spotted a tall, dark, and handsome guy walking towards me dressed in all black. As he got closer, I realized he was a former college classmate and coworker that I had known casually for years; Aaron. I was nervous and excited to bring Aaron over to meet my family. I’m a deceivingly outgoing introvert, but it was noticeable that I became withdrawn.They had met him before through some work functions and he had attended one of my dance performances earlier that year, but this was long ago, and now we were an item. I spoke to my mom the next day and she said my dad had pretty much gone off the deep end and I needed to let him cool down. I thought he would trust my judgment and know that since I’ve only dated a handful of people that this person was special to me and would make the effort. I had no appetite, no interest in going out, being with friends, and definitely neglected my boyfriend in pretty much every possible way. I cried and cried and cried ahead of time both by myself and with friends hoping to ensure that I wouldn’t have a complete meltdown in front of Aaron.Our father-daughter relationship was more like a typical father-son relationship. I was also a dancer and heavily involved in the performing arts which attracts a wide variety of characters.My mom hated seafood so we would often go get fish together and make fun of people at work, school, etc. I always made sure everyone felt welcome and included.Your parents are supposed to be the only people you can count on to love you unconditionally.And yet here he was, proposing ridiculous conditions in order for us to even be in the same room together.
All of the key players in my life had very different reactions to me having a black boyfriend. My sister pulled away from me in a big way after this incident fearing also being exiled by my father.The truth was that our relationship would never be the same so I thought it pointless to agree to live with racism, rules, and unhappiness just so that we could all spend Christmas together.The email felt more like a heartless business proposition.He shared some of his negative experiences with African-Americans and how they treated women in the Marines and what he felt the view of white women dating black men was.The email contained conditions for us working things out beginning with “you have to agree not to engage in this kind of behavior again” meaning that I would have to agree not to date black guys.