More Older Black Men For The Rest Of Us!

, , , , | Friendly | July 31, 2018

(I am out grocery shopping with my father. As we get in line at the deli counter, we briefly talk about what to make for dinner that night. I then go to grab a few things from a nearby aisle while my father waits for our order. A woman who’d presumably been standing within earshot follows me. Two important things to note here: one, my mother — who passed away when I was a teenager — was white, but my father is Native American; two, because my father has fairly dark skin, people sometimes assume he’s African-American, instead. It seems to be random whether or not people can tell that I’m of mixed heritage, so occasionally I’ve gotten surprised reactions from pointing out my father in a crowd, but THIS was definitely a first.)

Woman: *approaches me, leans in, says in a hushed tone* “You really shouldn’t be dating older black men.”

(There are about a dozen things I want to say in response, but unfortunately I suffer from social anxiety and am very, very bad with face-to-face confrontations, so all I can do is stare at her with my mouth slightly open in shock before managing to respond.)

Me: “That’s my father.”

Woman: *long pause* “Oh.” *quickly walks away*

(I didn’t tell him because of the awkwardness of having someone assume we were dating, although I later recounted the story to my brothers, who found it to be hilarious. But seriously, on top of everything else wrong with what she said, why did she immediately think that an almost 60-year-old man and a college student MUST be romantically involved just because they talked about what to make for dinner?)

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