Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We are big green monsters from a different planet

Looking funny is a tough thing to deal with in today's world.  If you don't look like everyone else you are out of luck.  What's even more challenging is being an interracial couple.  If you think funny looking people get all the crazy stares, think again.  Mixed couples and families get them too.  I have been the lady half of a mixed couple for the past 10 years and I can tell you, it has been interesting.

Of course to hubby and I, we just love each other, have a lot in common, and communicate pretty well with each other.  These are some things that are important in any relationship.  To some people, we are like big green monsters walking around with like a large yellow eyeball and wearing bright red lipstick.  We can't blend in or go in disguise.

Big green monster with yellow eye ball minus bright red lipstick
What alerted me to write this post was two recent consecutive visits to Sam's Club.  Note that I am not upset while writing this, I am just noting my thoughts and reactions.  I'm not angry, I actually think it's quite interesting and somewhat funny.

So, we live in one of the southern states in the US (not that the reaction would be much different in the northern states).  We visited Sam's Club about a week ago so we can stack up on some goods, since I detest food shopping.  With all the stares that we got, you would have thought we were some famous celebrity (like Dolly Parton--lol), or rather two strange creatures from a different planet (like the green monsters mentioned above). 

We got stares from the "normal" looking folks and other funny looking people.  I thought it was particularly hilarious when a dwarf looking person (no offense) and his very tall wife of the same race was staring.  It's so funny because we were staring at them too.  I bet they were probably saying, "well heck, we look normal compared to them."  And trust me, we were saying the same thing.

I know that people stare for various reasons including: curiosity, to give approval/disapproval, to intimidate, or to find a defect in either of us.  I'm sure there are other reasons too that I did not mention.  Regardless of the reason, I think staring is kind of rude but as I said, I do it too.  I guess I try to do it in a more subtle way.  Most of the time we don't notice the stares unless it's very obvious. 

I usually respond by either staring back or exchanging a friendly smile (usually while waving).  I must confess that when the person is obviously rude, I do "unleash the beast" (as I mentioned before in my "about me" section).  My husband usually is very positive about the situation--he smiles boyishly and says, "honey we are superstars."  Every time he says this I laugh my butt off, because I know he really feels that way.  LOL.

I am not complaining because I know that things could be worse.  We could have been born a few years before and it would have been illegal for us to be married in our state.  Also, I know that this is a choice that we both made and we are both very happy with.  I just thought I would post about it since it's fresh on my mind. 

So what are your experiences? As an interracial couple/family, do you get stares?  How do you respond to the stares?  If you are not in a mixed family, do you stare?  If so, why?  I'm curious. 

Mrs. K


  1. First and foremost. Thank You so much for the blog award! It really made my day :).

    I live in Brooklyn, NY and there are a lot of interracial couples and families but typically the man is black and the woman is white. I haven't done any large scale studies but this is mostly what I see. People stare when we go to nicer restaurants and I'm the only black person there or if there's another couple of color at the restaurant and they are both black they'll stare. I also stare back or smile. I think the most important thing to do is stay cool and then maybe these people can see that you are in a relationship that's not too different than theirs. I have to admit I did have some reservations in the beginning and worried about being judged but I am so glad that I let love into my life. The past five years have been say the least.

  2. Awww,don't you just love the stares. Just wait till you have children then you will get more stares. I can imagine how much more stares you get for being in the south. Seeing one of "us" is very rare especially down there.
    We use to get stares in the beginning now I just don't notice anymore.
    However I've noticed where I live now there are A LOT of black men/white female relationships, so maybe that's why people aren't staring as much. However those couples do look at me & Jason & we look back too. I guess they are admiring us & our kids & we do the same, it's funny to look at how one couples kids look different from the next. I love how the white women tell me how much black features their children have, but that's a whole other topic.

  3. Oh yeah thanks for the blog award

  4. Thanks for sharing :) Of course you know I'm not in an inter racial relationship, neither have I ever been but I admire all couples, because I think they are all special in their likeness, just like mine is and always will be. I can however relate to the stares... In my experience, people stare for all sorts of reasons, sometimes they stare at the way my hubby and I chit chat like siblings, and some even say I look like my husband, when people hear an accent they even stare harder, one asked if we were first cousins and it was ok to marry each other from the place we came from. wow! we thought...but then of course answered them nicely. Sometimes we get stares because some think we cannot afford a plate at the expensive restaurant or maybe we can afford to pay but not tip the waitress, some have even found the courage to ask what we do for a living. We have driven across states and at wal-mart got stares and wondered why, only to turn around and realize there was no one else like us in the store. It doesn't bother us because we grew up in a place where no one made you feel different because we were all mostly the same. So a lot of the times my friends usually has to tell me it was a racial stare or comment but most of the times we are too distracted by each other to even care to notice :). I'm glad it doesn't make you angry, we all stay but I do agree that it is rude to stare enough to be noticed.

  5. Interacial families don't get my stares since I come from one. I stare at babies, beautiful people, people that dress weird, and people that are loud and drawing attention to themselves. :)

  6. at first i was expecting a lot of stares but we don't get them very often. we live in NY so that might be the reason or it could be that we really pay no attention ... :)

  7. Thanks for sharing ladies. I appreciate all your comments.
    Monique: I do notice more black male white female IR couples also. Also, I'm glad that you took a leap towards love. It's sad that so many ppl may be missing out on their "one true love" because they are not willing to do that.
    Keya: I can only imagine all the stares we will get when we have kids and especially all the comments. I hope I continue to see the bright side of things to help me deal.
    Cheech: LOL at looking like J. That is too funny. I guess Jon and I will never have that problem--just kidding.
    What I did today: Thanks for dropping by and commenting. LMBO at your comment--"people that dress weird or laugh loud" I completely agree with you on that one.
    Faith: I'm glad you don't get the crazy stares--because sometimes they are difficult to ignore. I've lived in NY and I think ppl don't care too much. I think they are too busy worrying about their own affairs. LOL

  8. Like Monique, I had many mixed feelings about entering into an interracial relationship when I first started dating my husband. Obviously I overcame them, and I'm glad I did, as I would not be where I am today if I hadn't. While there were some negative reactions that I remember from those early months of dating, for the most part, what I imagined would happen were far worse than the reality. I can't remember the last time I notice any negative feedback from anyone for reasons I thought were due to our races. And frankly, once I knew our family and friends were cool with us, that's pretty much all that mattered -- we can't please everyone, and it's never been our job to do so.

    Of course, now that we're overseas, I do notice stares and quite often. But, I never know if people are looking at us because 'we don't match' (as I sometimes put it), or because we're Americans -- we stand out either way!

    I can admit though that I often gets mixed race couples a second look. It's just something that I find myself noticing because I'm in one, too. That means that sometimes I also find myself taking a second look at mixed race families, but again, it's generally to admire, not to be rude or to gawk, and I try not to be obnoxious about it. I also find myself looking at babies -- all babies -- quite often. I can't help it -- I've got baby fever, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Looking at babies keeps me from going crazy :-)

    I'm fully expecting people to look at my family once we have kids, but as long as they keep their curiosity under control, I'm not going to have too much of a problem with it. I think it's natural for people to notice what's going on around them, and since I personally notice more and more mixed race couples and families all the time, I expect that eventually there will come a time when such things will be so commonplace that there won't be anything to notice!

    What I will have a problem with is rude comments. For example, I'm dreading the day that anyone mistakes me for a nanny, which I hear happens a lot, and I don't think I'm going to handle it very well.

  9. I agree with you Jay--I also dread the day when I will be mistaken for the nanny. I hope that I will be in a good mood on that day so I can take the chance to educate or create humor from the situation. I guess we just have to wait and see what happens, huh? :)


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