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I had a lot of attention growing up being the baby and all, but my main source of affection came from my Dad.
My mom began studying for her Bachelor’s degree when I was 2 so I spent most of my free time watching WWF and eating Doritos with my Dad for nearly a decade.
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.
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.
I left Aaron alone for a while both because I wasn’t sure what else to say and because if it were me, I would have wanted time and space.
About two weeks later I asked him to come over and talk.
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.