I’ve got an old girlfriend who fancies herself some kind of matchmaker. Every few weeks or so she throws me an electric missive to let me know about a guy she thinks would be perfect for me. I admit, a few times I’ve even gotten caught up in her enthusiasm and agreed to meet up with one them. I don’t anymore. I just can’t figure where she finds these men, but I suspect she picks them at random…bus stops, late night laundromats, insurance symposiums. Don’t get me wrong, the woman is a font of good intention, but she don’t know shit about matchmaking…or maybe she just doesn’t know me. It’s a depressing thought, considering she’s been my friend for 30 years. She’s worried about me and doesn’t want me to wind up alone, I can dig it. Every conversation we have is tagged with the same predictable line: “You deserve to be happy, Crystal.”
To tell you the truth, it gives me a royal pain in the ass.
Lately I’ve been feeling a bit down. It was my birthday recently and though I’m not overly morose about getting older, I’ll admit…I don’t know, I was just feeling lonely, that’s all. So, when she texted me last week I suppose I was more disposed than usual – or maybe more desperate.
“Hey Crystal, there’s a new guy at my job I think you’d really get along with. He’s tall, handsome, he loves music and you’re a singer. I’ve got a feeling about you two. Can I give him your number?”
“What does he look like?
“So handsome. I told you!”
“Stop it, you know what I mean.”
“He’s medium brown, maybe a little darker than you are.”
“Do you have a photo?”
“Fuck Crystal, I don’t know why I even try. You’ve got some kind of thing against black men. I can’t with you.”
Yeah, I like white guys, it’s true, but I don’t have a thing against anyone. I’ve gone out with men of all different races and ethnicities…Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Latino…Germans, Italians, French, Swedes and Jews. I’m telling you, my hooha is open to more colors than Bennetton. Still, growing up in an all-white environment, I guess I got imprinted on that lighter shade of pale. I mean, who else was I supposed to date?
My first kiss was on white lips. My first sex was with a white…you get the picture (we’re still great friends to this day).
I’ve had relationships with black men too, they just haven’t gone particularly well. Most of them ended in a low down and shady fashion. I don’t know. My father wasn’t a great role model. He lied, cheated and broke my mother’s heart. That’s part of it, I guess. In the end, it’s just a preference. Nothing more, nothing less. I prefer dating white guys, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Of course, I am still…alone.
I just turned 52. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may be single forever. It isn’t the end of the world, not really. I’ve got my music and my writing. I’ve got so many friends, good friends, you know? I’ve got plenty of love in my life. I can’t help it though, I just love being in love. I miss it. It’s like that old Nat King Cole song, “Nature Boy”…”the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
Is it my fault I’m still single? Who knows? I’ve heard an earful about it over the years from some of my black friends, I will say that. I’ve heard it all…
“You hate yourself!”
“You’re turning your back on your race!”
And of course that old chestnut…
“You’re a wannabe, and you need to get over yourself.”
It’s 2017 and interracial dating is still a hot topic in magazines like Essence and Sister 2 Sister. They’re so cutting edge, always offering up thought provoking questions, like, “Is it okay to bring a white boy home to your parents?”
Talk about some mad backwards thinking. What kind of answer can you even give to a question like that? Maybe something along the lines of, “I guess it depends on whether the ‘white boy’ like chitlin’ and pork trotter?”
The current season of The Bachelorette (she’s the first black woman in the long history of the show) has raised a fury of debate on social media about whether it’s wrong for black women to prefer white men. I’ve seen a couple of episodes, she’s definitely got a nice potpourri of hotness to choose from. Her cooch seems just as colorblind as mine. It’s just hard to see it as an issue. It is, though…still an issue. It shouldn’t be though. It’s sad that it is.
We’re all just trying to make our way in this world as best we can. It’s nasty, brutish and short. We do what we can, everybody’s got their something.
Oh…about that guy my friend wanted to give my number out to? Yeah, I texted her back about him tonight. Turns out he has a girlfriend…and she’s white.
You can’t win for losing…but at least you can keep on trying.