I was born out of wedlock in Minnesota, to a white mother and an Afghan (not the blanket, the country) father. It was considered pretty scandalous for my mom to be a single mother with a brown baby back in 1979 in Minnesota.
My mother had been with my father off and on for nearly seven years before I came along. Just before my conception, Mom had “escaped” down to South Carolina to stay with her sister after my father informed her that he was already in an arranged marriage with his 15-year-old cousin, who would be arriving soon from Afghanistan. My father’s family had arranged the marriage before relocating to the Unites States; apparently, they felt the need to bring tradition — the child bride tradition—along with them.
You can’t blame my father for wanting my mom for the time that he did, though, as his intended wife was a nine-year-old in Kabul when he met my mom at a Twin Cities bar in 1973, coincidentally the year Roe v. Wade was decided. Still, just before his teen wife was to arrive, my father drove all the way from Minnesota to South Carolina to conceive me in the back seat of his Camaro. Keep reading »