I grew up in a wonderful and loving home in Southern California.
I had an older brother and sister 12 and 15 years my senior respectively, parents who were happy together, and my aunt and cousins lived one street over.
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.
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.
Though I was definitely willing to fight for him, I couldn’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be black or how he was interpreting any of this news. The email explained his feelings about black people as far as romantic relationships go and the culture differences from our own.
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.
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.
My dad is tremendously funny and a phenomenal story teller. I wore the same pair of vans tennis shoes to school for 5 years straight, had long un-brushed hair, and wore oversized sweatshirts and jean shorts to school. Because I wasn’t popular and because I was picky, I didn’t go on a single date until I was almost 20 years old. I thought it best to not deal with this all in real time in hopes that my Dad would come to his senses.