Tag Archives: girl talk

Girl Talk: My Boyfriend’s Parents Were Racist

“My parents are racist,” my Filipino boyfriend Edward said, sounding defeated.

My heart made a sudden jolt and then quieted down in my chest. I knew there was something off about this man. Our six-month relationship had been bliss—he was funny, whip smart, and, well, perfect. His quips matched mine and what he lacked in social skills he made up for with his love of conspiracy theories and the ability to play eight instruments. He wrote me two songs and told me that when he looked at me, he heard music. I should have guessed that all his wonderful traits were overcompensating to make up for his family.

“It’s pretty bad,” he said. “They think dating someone black is downgrading. They say I shouldn’t date anyone darker then a paper bag.”

“Trust me; I’ve tried to talk to them. But they are stuck in their ways. They grew up in another time,” he said. “It was different when they came here from the Philippines 30 years ago. “

A California native and newcomer to New York City, I had never personally met any civilized people who were openly racist. When I thought of hate-spouting rhetoric, my mind instantly conjured up images of inbred monsters with a love of banjos and moonshine in Kansas during the 1940s—not an elderly Filipino couple in New Jersey in 2009.

I could think of reasons why a significant other’s parents wouldn’t like me, but color was never one of them. Yes, I blurted out random thoughts whenever I pleased, mostly of the unsolicited advice variety. I could be argumentative and was always positive I was right. I bit my nails. I left toothpaste smeared in the sink. But how could anyone dislike me not knowing these little things?

I glanced over to see Ed staring at me with apologetic eyes. What started out as a lovely morning in my sunlit Queens bedroom was turning into a nightmare from a made-for-TV movie. “Well how bad are they?” I asked, trying to sound optimistic. “I mean there’s the KKK and then there is Archie Bunker.”

“It’s pretty bad,” he said. “They think dating someone black is downgrading. They say I shouldn’t date anyone darker then a paper bag. They would prefer me to date someone either my own race or a white girl. I’ve tried to explain to them that interracial children are genetically superior to single-race kids.” He gave me a sheepish grin.

I pictured Ed going on a Darwinian rant to his religious folks. I struggled with what to say next, contemplating my skin’s proximity to an item used to hold groceries. Cruel words formed in my mouth as I held back the urge to yell. My family is pretty much like the Obamas. My dad has a master’s degree and a good government job. My Creole mother is a registered nurse for a plastic surgeon. My younger brother is studying to be a doctor. My mom and dad were constantly kissing and hugging each other, and I only heard my mom and dad argue once. I talked to my mom almost every day and my dad sent me a text at least twice a week to say he loved me and was proud of me. I realized I was the lucky one. I had come from an accepting brood that would never pass judgment on anyone.

I glanced at Ed and felt suddenly sorry for him. “You have to tell them about me,” I said “You can’t lie. If you’re that embarrassed then we have to break up. I can’t be a secret.” Ed pulled me closer and held me. But I wasn’t so sure he would ever tell his parents about me.

A month later, he and his family went on a matchmaking get-away disguised as a church retreat. Upon arrival, he was introduced to every eligible purebred girl in the parish. When he returned from his holy adventure, he revealed that he had finally told his parents about me. “Every time I turned around, I was being introduced to a nice Filipino girl,” he said. “So I decided to tell them. They where dismissive, but they got the point.”

And all of a sudden, I realized that what his parents thought didn’t matter at all. I reached out and grabbed his hand. Our skin melted, and you couldn’t tell where his stopped and mine started.

Girl Talk: I’m Turning 30, So What?

In three weeks I am turning 30 years old. This is apparently a big deal, or so says everyone around me, and I am feeling a lot of pressure to celebrate it as such. But for some reason, I can’t really get worked up about it — either in a positive or negative way — and I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: I Was The Other Woman — Should I Tell?

As many times as I’ve tried to recall the evening, I don’t remember the first time I met Marc*, although he seems to remember it well. He claims we met in a hot tub at a party that my then-boyfriend was throwing. Apparently, he thought I was “hot,” but I only had eyes for my BF Rick*, who was a friend of Marc’s. That was six years ago.

Marc and I saw each other again many times over the years. He was a peripheral part of my circle of friends — one of those people that pop up in your world every once in a while. The first time I actually do remember meeting Marc was at a get-together at a downtown NYC bar. It was a few months after the hot tub night. Rick and I were still madly in love. Marc showed up at the bar alone. I was wearing a short skirt – it was a humid summer night. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Is A Lack Of Physical Attraction Really A Cover-Up For Other Relationship Issues?

On yesterday’s episode of “The Tyra Show,” Tyra spoke with a married couple who were barely having sex because the woman no longer felt attracted to her husband. She said she wasn’t attracted to him since he put on weight and admitted that when they did have sex, all she could think about was getting it over with. The audience seemed to be expecting a big ol’ whale when her husband walked out on stage, but the guy was actually pretty average looking. As a result, the experts on the panel concluded that there must be other issues in their marriage, if the wife was that repulsed physically, and the audience agreed. So do I. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Why Are Men Reluctant To Date A Woman With A Disability?

I recently met David through my blog. He was charming, witty and funny. After a bit of friendly Twirting (flirting via Twitter, the equivalent of computer footsie), he said he thought I was pretty funny too and even admitted to being a bit intimidated when I told him how strong my physical disability, Freeman-Sheldon Syndrome, had made my arms. This bone and muscular disorder has resulted in more than 26 surgeries to correct joint contractures, scoliosis and to straighten my leg muscles. You’d be amazed how strong my arms could get just from using a walker for 20+ years. They’re like giant muscles of steel, only smaller and dotted with cute freckles.

Well, this was a first, so feeling a bit bold, I asked him to guest-post from the male perspective on a question that has nagged me since my days in high school when I’d look at other girls and how the guys easily flocked to them. The question: Why are guys so reluctant to date – at the very least, approach – a woman with a disability? Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Is It Evil To Talk A Friend Out Of Getting Married?

If you thought your friend was about to make a mistake—say, buy a computer that gets a ton of viruses or stay in a really dodgy hostel in Rome—you’d try to convince them to do something different, right? Well, I feel a little guilty because I have a friend who might be making a mistake by getting married this summer and I tried to talk him out of it. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: When In A Relationship Do You “Let Yourself Go”?

My plane landed after midnight last night. I could use about six more hours of sleep, and I’m not sure where, exactly, I stashed my hairbrush or my deodorant. Maybe I took a bath two days ago, but I honestly don’t remember. In any case, I haven’t shaved my legs and armpits for a week and my werewolf-ian brows need a good, thorough tweezing. But no matter! I’ve got on my leopard-print leggings and a hot pink t-shirt to, uh, deflect attention from all that.

I wouldn’t go into the office looking like this. Hell, I wouldn’t leave my apartment looking like this. So why is my boyfriend—the person I regularly depend on for oral sex and foot rubs—sitting just 10 feet away from me? Because I have gotten comfortable in our relationship. Perhaps too comfortable. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: What Happens When You’re Just Not Into An Amazing Guy?

Aren’t we single ladies always on the quest to find the perfect man? Just yesterday, I was on that quest. And then I met him. For the sake of this post, let’s call this perfect man John. John is smart, nice, good-looking, Jewish (which matters a lot to my mother), and would spoil me rotten as my boyfriend. He’s not just your average amount of smart; he’s employed at a top web company (one you use on a regular basis) and is destined to be more successful than anyone I know.

He’s not just your average amount of nice; he has mastered chivalry to a T and is so caring that it makes my judgmental soul squirm. And he’s also not just sort of good-looking. Rather, every time one of my friends meets him, their first response is: “Wow, John’s hot.” I can totally tell they’re eying him for themselves. Oh, and did I mention that John’s after me like Tyra on the search for “America’s Next Top Model“?

I should be in heaven, right? But I’m not. Because as perfect as he is, John just doesn’t make me want to rip my clothes off. And I don’t know why. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Guys Versus Men

Because I’ve been single for so long, my married friends often like to give me unsolicited advice. “I know what your problem is!” Elinor had a sudden revelation as her newborn baby suckled at her breast. Now that she is a wife to a man and a mother to a boy, her new favorite thing is to live vicariously through my love life. But what seems titillating to her is just plain old depressing to me.

“What is it?” I replied.

“You need to start dating men.” Keep reading »

Girl Talk: When (Rape) Fantasy Becomes Reality

Two weeks ago, my gentle and loving boyfriend of three months held me down and forced me to have sex with him against my will, and then told me I had asked for it. And technically, he was right.

Jacob and I had only been dating about a month and a half when I intimated that I had a rape fantasy. Over the years, I’d had my share of experience with role-playing and rough sex. I vividly recall a male friend of mine in college telling me that I had a distinct air of “sexual prey” about me, and me thinking that this was a huge compliment. Being dominated and playing the innocent who secretly wasn’t had been my currency and had guided the sexual dynamic I forged with partners for the last 10 years. But only for the last few months had I allowed myself to entertain what I considered to be the final frontier — a simulated rape. Keep reading »

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