Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!
17 June, 2008
Searching for Dan B. - Part Two of the "Can White Men Jump?" Two-Part Saga
Alright folks, so there I was, minding my own business and half-ass searching for Dan B., and here she comes. Running up on me from out of left field and carrying on. I really had no choice but to pick up a copy of her book, since I kinda brought this on myself - searching for Dan B. like I was, and all. But all I ever really wanted to say to the guy was, "I'm sorry, dude." - or something to that effect. I wasn't trying to be all like her main character, Victoria Small, who came to the conclusion that white men can indeed jump. I was gone stop at "skip". But, like I said, she comes running up on me and, being the southern genteel woman I was raised to be (I was really raised in the hood, okay?), I offered to let her have her say. But you just know I tried to light her little, boardroom, limousine riding, pulling all the men butt up, right?
Let's take a moment to reflect on exactly how many times I said 'but' in the previous paragraph....
Then let's get down to business. Me and Victoria Small, star of Trice Hickman's "Unexpected Interruptions", fell all the way out and I'm the Rhona Barrett of the Blog-Zine Scene, so I'm serving it up instigator-pot-stirrer style. Check us out.
ME: Alright, Ms. Small, you’ve got a white man and a black man vying for your affections. I guess you think you’re cute now, right? This is what I want to know, though. Didn’t your mama ever tell you, "If he can’t use the comb, don’t bring him home?" If she did, why, and if she didn’t, why not?
MISS THANG: Terra, girl you are funny, and oh-so-on-point! (Trying to butter me up, ya'll) My mother never stated those words directly, but both my parents, and even I, took for granted that I’d bring home brothers…period. Black men were the only men I’d ever dated. I was raised around successful, educated black men and women and my parents instilled a sense of community and pride in me. I guess we were all a little shocked about my developing relationship with Ted, and believe me, it took a minute for my Mom and Dad to warm up to it; the thought of their only child dating a white man. But you know what…it taught us all that sometimes it’s okay to color outside the line.
ME: Do you really expect us to believe you and, Tyler, that fine, educated and endearing best friend of yours, never hooked up? You really believe men and women can be just platonic friends?
MISS THANG: Yes, I really do believe that men and women can be just platonic friends…but I also know that it’s not the norm. It’s an unconventional concept. My relationship with Tyler is unique in a lot of ways, and that’s what makes it even more special. It’s a beautiful thing when you find someone of the opposite sex who wants nothing from you but friendship and the very best that life has to offer. That’s what Tyler and I are to each other. It’s hard for a lot of people to wrap their brains around it, and so many people don’t believe us when we say we’re just friends. I remember one time he and I were at a party and I overheard one of his friends say to him, “Man, don’t lie, we all know you’re hittin’ that.” And believe me, some of the men I’ve dated in the past couldn’t deal with my relationship with Tyler (aka Steven the asshole), but it’s all in how you approach things. If you have a supportive, mature and confident mate, it makes it easier.
ME: A lot of black women might scoff at dating outside their race, mainly because of societal issues and familial reactions. Plus, let's keep it real, shall we? Some might say that can't nobody do it like a brotha, for real. How did you go about making the decision to buck the machine and consider dating a white man?
MISS THANG: Honestly, I used to be one of those sisters who was against dating outside my race. I thought it was fine for other people, but interracial dating was something I’d never even considered. And honestly, once I did start thinking about it, the societal and familial pressures did get to me. I was like, hey, all I want is a good black man…you know what I mean? This is still a very race driven society in many ways. Falling in love with Ted was something I hadn’t expected, but when it happened, I had to look deep inside and dig down to the core of what was going to make me happy…
ME: You always hear people say, "You can’t help who you love." What say you, Ms. Small? Can you?
MISS THANG: Well, Terra, I actually think you can, and let me explain what I mean. I think you can “help” who you let into your life, who you allow to affect you, who you allow to get close to you, who you allow to love you, and ultimately who you allow yourself to love. It’s about choices and your willingness to act or not act. We have control over so many things in our lives, it’s just up to us to recognize it. So yes, I think you can help who you love and who you don’t.
ME: So now, having read Part I of the "Can White Men Jump?" Two-Part Saga, the one where I discuss my boo-boo with Dan B., what do you think? I was "torn", if you will. Just like you’re torn. I know why I was torn, but why were you torn (between following your heart and following your mind, that is)?
MISS THANG: I was torn because Parker and Ted were both terrific men, each with their own set of good qualities and human flaws. They both loved me and cared about me, and I loved and cared about them. Parker was my dream man; a good, solid brother who was responsible and loving. He was my black prince, and girl, when you find a brother like Parker, it’s like hittin’ the lottery! He was what my parents, friends and family expected me to be with. Ted was very unexpected in so many ways and he opened my eyes to a new way of looking at love…love without boundaries (it goes back to the coloring outside the line thing!). I was torn between my black prince and my unexpected interruption partly because of societal pressures and partly because of my love for them both. But in the end, even though the heart holds a huge capacity for love, I knew that I had to make a choice and I couldn’t have them both. I’m a firm believer that you have to go with what’s in your heart because your heart is your core…I went with my heart and I’m happy as hell!!
ME: Give it to me straight, no chaser. Can white men jump?
MISS THANG: Ha, Ha! (Is she laughing at me?) Not only can they jump, they can dunk and hit the damn backboard, okay!!
See? I told ya'll she thinks she's cute, didn't I? Too damn bad she makes a little sense here, too. I was all ready to be like, "Whateverrrrrr." But (here we go with the 'but' again), at the end of the day, I believe you really can help who you love and sistas need to start helping themselves to whomever treats them like a queen. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I mean, I'm looking for Dan B. so I can soothe my conscience. I'm grown now and I can admit when I'm wrong and sista was way wrong back in the day - if nothing else, on a basic, anti-mistreatment of other people platform. In the here and now though, and I know because somebody told me when I happened to ask that the little pink bunny doesn't just keep going and going and going, stumbling upon Mr. Right would be right on time, right about now. Or so I heard...
So Miss Thang, lemme ask you this: Does this Ted fellow have a brotha? I mean, brotheerr?
Sistas, what say you?