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On Being Racially Ambiguous and Dating as Nobody’s Type

September 18th, 2013 12 comments


This is not the 2013 version of the
Tragic Mulatto.

I am not the archetype for such a story. I have experienced devastating loss and heartbreak, but tragic wouldn’t be an accurate word to describe even the most difficult times in my life. Furthermore, I wish my story was as easy as being black and white, but it isn’t. It never has been and never will be. I’m mixed, and I’ve been mixed for 32 years, but I’ve only gotten used to how that sounds for like the last three or so years.

But let’s not start there. I want to go further back and discuss what it means to be a mixed race boy who liked girls and wanted girls to like him.

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The Second Date Is Her Turn To Ask Me Out

September 12th, 2013 1 comment

The first date was a car show, because in the city of Detroit, that’s a good date. I learned this quickly, when I moved to the D in the Summer of ’02 to do an internship at the Detroit Free Press. She was a hairstylist, because in the city of Detroit, a good woman does some hair (even if it’s on the side of whatever other career she has) but she just so happened to do it full time.

We met through a coworker of mine who was a friend of hers. I just wrapped up writing a whole package on the car show, which made my date activity choice even more impressive. On our way there, I told her about all the things they had going on at the show. “You did your research on this car show, didn’t you?” she asked. “Well, I wrote about it actually, it’s in today’s Free Press,” I said.

Points, baby. Count those.

In Detroit, everyone is either very into cars or into cars. No one is not into them, at least no one I met, and this girl was no different. She knew her stuff and as much as I wrote about that car show beforehand, as we were walking around, she became the brains of our operation. She could spot 18s, 20s, and 22s without a ruler. I was impressed and for whatever reason, falling for her.

While we sat down to eat some typical festival fare, two gunshots rang out. We got up and ran to the nearest exist, equally fast, and when we got there, slowed down to a speed walk holding each other’s hand. In spite of that brief brush with gunfire, the two of us had a great time. We said our goodbyes, I got a kiss on the cheek, and I went home high on this new girl.

I was 20-years-old at the time, still preoccupied with silly things like not trying too hard, and appearing as though I’m just chilling. This meant I didn’t call her for the rest of the weekend, even though I wanted to talk to her the next morning. Instead, I waited until Monday, after work, to ask her out on date number two.

No sooner did the clock on my computer hit 6:00 did I gave her a call. “Heeeey,” she said. She was happy to hear from me, I could already tell. I, of course, acted only mildly enthusiastic. “What’s up?” I said. After catching up on each other’s weekend, I was ready to deliver the request for a second date, but she stopped me. “So listen,” she said. “I don’t know if you’re free this coming week, but there’s a cookout, and I’d like you to come with me if you can.”

For the second date, she was asking me out. I was shocked. This was unprecedented, and because it was coming from a girl I was actually digging, I think I said “Yes” at the same time she said “can.”

Since I know you’re curious, that date went well. A couple of other dates followed and those went well too. It wasn’t a full Summer romance, more like a June one, and it was fun while it lasted.

The only reason why I’m telling this story is because it was with her I discovered a distinguishing mark of a mature woman: The fearless approach to asking a man out on the second date if the first date went so well.

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