Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Forbidden Fruit

With so many blogs coming out and promoting IR dating and relationships, I watched carefully to see who would bring out the "other side". The not so good side about it all. I am sure IR relationships get enough flack from all the mammies, BM nay sayers, enablers, etc. That is not what I am talking about. I mean for those in an IR relationship, what is hard about it.

Well, I can only speak for myself. Its really good to know oneself, that's FOR SURE! Because, even though one can't spend years upon years trying to better oneself BEFORE getting into a relationship, one CAN at least know oneself enough to be a work in progress.

What I mean is, if one is coming into a relationship knowing say, 'I know I have mammy tendencies and have to double check my actions or words' that is a good thing. Or, if one comes into a relationship knowing that they had had hate towards white folks, once upon a time, then knowing and being aware of that is important so it doesn't rise up in words, deeds, etc.

CULTURE DIFFERENCE

One main problem that I personally encountered was the way we were raised. Ever heard the phrase 'spare the rod, spoil the child'? Well, that was my parents motto. It was definitely made SURE that I was not a spoiled child! LOLOLOL

Whereas, my husband on the other hand, never got hit. Ever. There was this one time, but that only served as an exception and not the rule.

I couldn't believe my ears when he told me this. I could not even fathom an un"rodded" child lol. I had to teach myself that not being hit, didn't mean not being punished. And just for my own satisfaction, I needed to hear how he got punished when he did .....anything wrong.

Another difference was our eating habits. Because of my caribbean background, I was just used to rice. Rice on Monday. Rice on Tuesday. Rice on Wednesday.... you get the picture. Although in the beginning, I tried to cook American style, It just didn't feel right!

OUTLOOK

One major difference, which I'm glad we can laugh about is our outlook. I guess because of his background, hubby would more likely trust someone rather than suspect them. Whereas I am the other way around. First, I distrust, then okay you'll be on the "suspended distrust" list. Only after some time, you get into the "trust" list!

INTERESTS

Right now, I am VERY interested in all this BW movement as of late. the charge that I get from blogs such as What About Our Daughters, Date a White Guy, Evia's E-zine, Chola, and the new Black Women Vote! all get me so excited. I know hubby has a passing interest in these, but I can't expect otherwise. Whereas he comes home crazy happy about a new rabbi that he met and how knowledgeable that rabbi is, or some new thing that (I must admit, I want him to teach me too!) he just learned and can't wait to share from Talmud, Zohar or whatever he's studying at the time. However, most of the time, its hard to pretend like I'm AS excited. LOL. But I am excited for the most part. (gulp!).

TENDENCIES

Unfortunately, because of many things that I went through in my past, I suspect I do have mammy tendencies. Maybe not quite mammyness, but a tendency to negate myself. That is a big NO NO!!!!!!!. I can't stress that enough. Because being with someone who is used to looking out for himself and his own. I know I have to do my part and not let my "wall" crumble against outside enemies.

One sad example, when we moved into our new place, hubby was voted (by both of us lol) to go forth and buy furniture. He went to IKEA and got such beautiful furniture!! What taste! Wasn't he worried about looking vain? Where was his humility and shame! I actually thought those things!

Time went by and we had to get screens for our windows. The workers came and hubby was not there. They worked but couldn't get the screens just right. Finally they said they were done. Although I could see that the screens were not just the way we wanted, I was too negating of myself to protest. I conceded. I have been kicking myself ever since. At least, this served as a catapult to insure that I never want this to happen again. I must not let my faulty self esteem crumble my side. I know many BW get this faulty self esteem because the media, neighbors, practically everyone beat us down. But If I could encourage anyone, I'd say realize this, and try to not let it dictate your actions. Even if you have to go into another room and think while others are left waiting for your decision.

Well, as you can see, none of these are color related. I don't know if its because I am not in the USA, but once a relationship is established and folks hunker down into family making and home making, color hardly plays a big role.

12 comments:

CW said...

I have often thought about this...Imagine your lil bundle of joy 'mouthing off' and not smacking his/her lips off...lol..BUT...if future hubby insists...there are other ways to may the childs lil life miserable...And there are other obstacles, I know...However, we can overcome...


BWDB http://thecwexperience.wordpress.com

CW said...

correction: make the childs life miserable


lol...fat fingers




BWDB http://thecwexperience.wordpress.com

Miriam said...

Hey CW,

Well, i came up with a compromise. I give them "spankings" which are just as hard as someone would pat a kid on the head. However, with my angry face and reprimand, they get the messages --and even cry!

Me said...

Hitting is a touchy subject because it crossed the line many times with me and especially my brother. As an adult, I now know that some of the things people in my extended family did to us would land them in jail for years yet I carry the shame and scars. I look at my 6, 7 and 8 year old cousins now. I can't ever imagine laying a hand on them, let alone stripping them and breaking branches on their bodies for taking my soda or belting them for not clearing the table fully.

Grata said...

Being the youngest I was rarely hit at home but was at school. It was allowable then to beat kids at school.
I kind of have a bad temper so I would steer away from hitting. I believe in the British way of the sliding scale. Hitting should be the very last option of 10. In otherwords it should almost never happen.

Miriam said...

Me,

I hear you. I too have a very similar background. Mine also included belts and name calling.

I don't think I could go on with even my soft-style spanking once a child becomes reasonable age (5,6,7,etc) But while they are young (2 1/2, 3, maybe not sure yet 4) my words can't seem to get through to them.

Grata,

I agree spanking should be the last resort.

Randi523 said...

Miriam, this was a very good post. Being someone that is currently single and belonging to a church with majority White membership (but I love my church!), I've been wondering if I will be dating/marrying interacially. My dad has already said that he would not be happy at all about it, but he would have to accept it. I think it is a brave thing to do, going for what YOU feel and being with who YOU want to be with, regardless of skin color.
The issues that you brought up in your post are important to consider before dating/marrying interacially also. Just like with a relationship with anyone of any color, one must know herself/himself in aspects.
Thanks for sharing this info about your marriage.

Tania said...

I have those negating tendencies too! I have to fight against them everyday, it's how I grew up, watching my mother still to this day negating herself for my father's needs. Still to this day he will wait for her to come home to serve him his dinner, there's no "honey I know you're tired, let's go out to eat instead". This is a woman recovering from cancer and still working hard doing household chores, it's so ridiculous! she plays the mammy role to the upmost and this is what I have to fight against in my own marriage.

Miriam said...

Randy -Thanks. I also think it brave considering i'm not the Alpha Woman type. I had to really stuggle with my self to believe that I deserve a good loving husband.

Tania -Its so great that we are at least aware of it! That's half the battle right there.

Liz said...

Growing up, my black mom came from a very abusive beat-you-with-extension-cords and vacuum cleaner parts type of family and she brought that into raising me and my siblings. I love her dearly but that's what it was. She worked hard to overcome it and so I was lucky to not get broken arms and black eyes like my cousins did. Even so, she'd beat the heck out of us for random stuff. Now, my white father had never been spanked at all, but he just went along with it because he figured she was the mother and that was that. I think it caused a lot of resentment with me and my siblings as we got older because we always felt like he should have stepped in and checked the craziness right away, but he didn't. I think my sister especially feels like if he'd married a white lady and had white kids, maybe he would have been quicker to say it wasn't cool. I don't know and I've never asked him.

Anyway, in the present day, my husband is black and he was never ever spanked growing up and he was concerned that I would be a spanking type of mother since I'd grown up like that. But, I believe hitting your child teaches them that violence is an option, and when I was a teacher, I couldn't hit kids who misbehaved, so I don't spank my boys. Sometimes they ask why I don't spank them because they have friends at school that get spankings at home and they hear stories about it. They think it'd be fun to get spanked... and that's when I know they have such a different upbringing than mine.

Sorry to leave such a long comment but you really have me thinking.

Miriam said...

Liz,

I've bantered back and forth about this spanking vs no spanking. Its really hard to gauge when coming from the type of background we have.

Do you have any tips on correcting children since you've worked in a school?

Again, spanking is rarely done in our home, and its definitely not the first resort. But at times it seems that they can't hear anything else!

Soila. said...

I wasnt spanked just out of the bues. My mum and dad spoke first. Once they did. Twice they did. The third time, there was nothing to talk about. No point of repeating the same point thrice. The third time, flip flops came in handy. They never called us names but as they spanked, they would remind us that had we listened the first two times, this (spanking) would not be happening.

My parents are no nonesense so I never made them repeat anything twice. Whenever they got to the point of the flip flop, I would be so terrified that I would literally sit on their feet and shake, cry and pee uncontrollably.

I never liked that so I made sure to understand that if they didnt want something done they didnt.