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.
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.
Aside from the occasional comment on the freeway my dad never said anything about race. He responded saying and there was no point in trying to correspond with him. There was a pause, followed by “I wish you wouldn’t have told me that so I would still think the world is a cool place”.
More awkward silence, lack of eye contact, blank face.
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.
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.
Some shrugged it off as being a typical reaction and just part of the everyday racism they experience as a people.
Others said Aaron and I should have known what we were getting into.
After a few hours of intense conversation he ultimately decided that this relationship was not for him.
He had real questions; What kind of support will we have? What is everyone else thinking when they see us walking down the street?