My dad wasn’t a fan, but I knew he wasn’t going to truly like anyone anyway as no one would ever be good enough for me in his mind. He was Italian, passionate, and handsome with dark features. I explained that my parents weren’t coming to California for Christmas because our family dog needed emergency eye surgery.We had a great run together, but in the end saw our futures differently and went our separate ways. He was on my level: we owned our own homes and cars, were hard working, had good jobs, and were involved in the community. This was true and may have delayed their visit, but not the real reason for their absence.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.Your parents are supposed to be the only people you can count on to love you unconditionally.
He had real questions; What kind of support will we have? What is everyone else thinking when they see us walking down the street?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.My brother stepped up and tried to be my pseudo Dad by doing things like fixing my broken faucet and expressing his discontent being the executor of the will now that my name was removed. I think she feels like my Dad’s intent was to protect me from a bad situation, but also acknowledged that Aaron was a good guy and I was an adult capable of making my own decisions. They were surprised by both my Dad and Aaron’s reaction.The reactions of my black friends and coworkers were the most interesting.