While checking the blog stats late last night, I noticed that the Latte Cafe hit an important milestone: The other day I turned in the one hundredth post. That is an important occurrence, but it passed without much fanfare. There was no party, speech or celebratory beverage to mark the occasion. (And the bottle of milk and cereal I prepared for Baby tomorrow morning doesn’t count!) Instead, I went about business as usual, looking for other blogs of interest to black women in interracial relationships, adding another link to the blog roll and scribbling a few ideas for future topics on a nearby notepad.
The unremarkable way in which this event came and went, the ordinariness of it, reminded me of a brief conversation I had with my cousin Melinda a few months ago when I ran into her at Penn Station during the evening commute. I walked over and said:
“Hi Melinda. What’s up?
“I’m going to kill Jeff,” she told me, wagging her head slightly and watching the board for her train. Jeff is her husband of nine or ten years.
“Because he’s a man.”
Poor Jeff had likely incurred Melinda’s wrath by leaving food on the stove overnight uncovered, failing or forgetting to do something helpful and responsible while playing with their 3-year-old son Walt or doing some other typical guy nonsense that no-nonsense women like my cousin find infuriating. I laughed slightly, knowing Jeff would find a way to make amends and live another day.
That is what is so interesting and ordinary about interracial relationships and mixed families—they are just trying to navigate everyday life like anyone else. Hubby and I juggle demanding jobs while splitting the housework, fret about backup baby sitters, do our best to coach my teenage sister to get better grades at school and gossip about our neighbors, many of whom are not interracial couples, but are extraordinarily peculiar! Although relationships like mine are as commonplace as ever, stereotypes about the people involved in them abound and need to be dispelled. So I intend to keep on writing about how I see the world, not casting people and situations in black and white or the rose-colored tint of naivete, but from behind the layered, textured, gray shaded tint of my cross-cultural existence.