Category Archives: love

SHE speaks!! (Well, writes anyway)…

Hello to all (2 of) our readers!  (You KNOW who you are!!!)

Has anyone out there seen Chris Rock’s movie, “Good Hair”?

When I first saw the previews for this movie I thought, “Jay (the white stripe in the relationship) has got to see this!”  I thought maybe it would help explain the many BLACK WOMEN’S HAIR questions he’s had throughout our nine years of ZebraBliss:  Why do you wash your hair so rarely?  Why all the trips to the salon?  How and why do you sit for nine hours getting braids sewn and glued in?  Why are you constantly changing your hair style?  Is that your real hair?  What about hers– is that hair real?  It’s a seemingly never-ending list of curiosities he has about my (our) hair.  Worst of all, he says my natural hair is GREASY, and he mostly avoids touching it when I come to bed with it tied up.  (White people wash their hair most every day to get that greasy feeling out.  He doesn’t get it that that is natural and healthy for our hair.)

I’m really hoping that this movie gives him more insight into the issues and complexities of African-American women’s hair.  If anyone’s seen this movie, please drop us a line.  We’d like to know your thoughts on the movie, hair in general, and how other IR couples tangle on this subject.  I’m happy Rock made this movie.  Just seeing the previews made me realize how much time and money I was wasting in the chair, and on fake hair.

So I’ve decided to go natural and get locks– Thanks to Chris Rock…. and my husband!

Any of you ladies going natural too?

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Filed under black and white, interracial, INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE, love, Relationships

Moving on… some random INTERRACIAL stuff

As promised, I’ve returned to Zebra-Press to get a few thoughts down.  One of the problems, and reasons our posting slowed waaaaaay down, (okay stopped) was that issues, topics didn’t pop to mind often enough.  If this was a blog about, say, Michael Jackson— coming up with stuff over the last bunch of months would be easy.  But our topic– Interracialism isn’t exactly on everyone’s minds these days.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, Topic shouldn’t need to be on everyone’s mind– just some local loyalists. Oh.  You’ weren’t thinking that?  I guess that was me then.  Then I agree with me.  How very astute I am!  This is a blog.  It needn’t have “mass” appeal.  Just appeal enough for the good few who check in here.

My apologies again for the aloud thinking… and for yet another public apology.  But I did want to sort of warn that today’s (first real) post (back) may be a bit of a winding road.  So off we go…

My wife and I are considering writing a book about: 1) Interracial Relationships, and 2) our Relationship, although we haven’t yet decided which, (1 or 2) we will focus on more.  We have begun some preliminary research, and there is no shortage of material “out there,” difficulty will be sifting through it all; finding our focus (and voice); and, this should come as no shock– staying on track!  Yeah good luck on that one I can almost hear you saying.  Oh– that was me again.  Oh, okay and you way over there in the corner in the U.K., I see your cyber-raised hand.  Yeah, I know it’ll be  a stretch for us.  But we’re supposed to stretch in life.  Helps us live-grow-thrive.

I mention this very stretchy, lofty goal of ours not to make the public commitment goal-gurus suggest we should make before embarking, but because I / we’d love to have some of you come along with us on our book journey; that is, there might be a place in our discussions for a story of yours– or an anecdote, or, (with your permission of course) your accounts about what a “Zebra” life is all about.  And what it’s not about.  Who knows?  Maybe the opportunity to share 5-minutes of your passion as we do here, and hope to do on a little bigger scale someday soon.

As I’ve said, we’re really in the very early stages of thinking and working on this.  And admittedly, this has to be something mostly from us.  But I can not envision such an effort happening without significant input from others like us.  I’m thinking that effort might be in the form of survey questions, funny or uplifting stories, maybe an ugly scary story about racism.  From the get-go here we’ve welcomed your input on all of this– that will continue– with arms wide open.  If you are interested in possibly sharing a line or two for inclusion in, who-knows-what-we-may-end-up-with, please contact us via e-mail at: zebracouple@comcast.net

In the meantime, while that is simmering, we are serious about reviving ZebraCouple’s (Blogging in Beautiful Blah-Blah-Blah) Weblog.  That will continue.  Hopefully we (looking not just at you know U.K., using super-cyber vision to look all around the globe <wow!  Lots of Interracial Couples on the planet.  WOO HOO!  Way to go!!>) can build this spot back up, and even stronger, bigger (faster) (Remember Lee Majors as the Six Million Dollar Man?)  Sorry.

We can do this.  All of this.  Refocusing now, (like the laser beam that threatened Earth in that one $6mm Man episode) Sorry again.

One last FYI and note:  Previous posts have discussed some…. welcomed I’m sure…. and certainly never discouraged ANYONE from visiting and commenting here in ZebraLand.  Inclusiveness has to be a hallmark of this site.  But I’d like to spend a line or two (or three) at this point on a caveat:  Going forward, I’d really like our blog to stick to her Black-White Roots (Thanks Alex Hailey)– that is– we are an Interracial couple of the Black-White variety.  I learned very early on here that that means so much more from that global perspective.  And I’d never really thought about that before, what with my little Mid-Western perspective here.  I am thankful for the many comments and check-ins we’ve received from everyone… from all the different colored Dots and ethnicities around the sphere.  Going forward we’re certainly not going to close anyone out.  But while (I suppose) there are Interracial issues everywhere, the kinds of issues we know, and seem to discuss here, (Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle, L.A., etc) — I don’t believe anyway– are the kinds of concerns or topics a Japanese woman with an Englishman– or an Indian woman with an African man for examples would care much to discuss.  Again, I for surely wouldn’t discourage anyone from checking us out.  I just want to reiterate that the focus here will be back to Black and White (you know– like the Zebra) issues.  Not to be snobbish, or divisive (if that’s even possible in an IR Blog), it’s just what we know best.  We’ve said this before, we’re neither relationship nor Interracial experts.  But we’re learning.  So much for that.  (Kicking the soap box back into the corner.)

We have some other thoughts and ideas about Black-White Interracialism in our heads too that we’ll be working on, but as always, please send us your thoughts on ANY of this dribble.  Your ideas, comments, and suggestions too on how we can make this a better place in cyber space for people who don’t have the same color face.  Ha ha– a little bad poetry for enjoyment before I go.

Thanks for checking us out.  Thanks in advance for taking the time to leave a comment or three.  Don’t be such a stranger!  Come back.  Take part in this.  It’s the Internet for Pete’s sake, it’s supposed to be INTERACTIVE.  (Okay, maybe not quite that “interactive.”)  ZebraCouple’s Weblog: Interracially Interactive & Intelligent.  There.  Now I can leave you with a joke:  What’s black and white and has three eyes (“I”s)?

You know how some people close notes and letters with the word, ‘Peace?  I’ve just come up with a totally unique and appropriate closing for our posts…

Stripes Everbody,

Stripes

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Filed under black and white, interracial, INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE, love, race, RACE MIXING

CHURCH: HIS OR HERS, BOTH….. OR NEITHER?

Quick question for you all today: 

Any of you have any issues when it came to choosing a church home?  Until recently we’ve struggled just a bit to find a place that splits the balance between the type of church & service I was accustomed to, and the kind my wife was most comfortable / at home in.

I’d like to hear your stories.  Have you had to compromise or settle?  Or did everything fall into place for you, no issues whatsoever?  How did you resolve any issues, such as: too white; too loud; too quiet; too “crazy;” too much or too little of this or that?

I’m thinking about writing an article to help those, like Que & I who had to search a bit for “just the right mix.”

Please, let’s hear from you………

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Filed under black and white, CHURCH, God, interracial, love, stereotype, WORSHIP

Family Friendly? Or not-so?

I know I’ve said before that Que’s African American family really loves me, cares for me as much as they can, given the fact that I’ve come into their already-pretty-well-developed-lives just within the last decade.  I mean, it isn’t like we all grew up together and bonded that way.  They love me as I love them, and as much as we are capable with our limited histories together.

The family members I’m speaking of here are those in our lives pretty much daily.  Her Mom and sisters, nieces, and Dad, for the most part.  My sister and my kids love my wife as her people love me.  A lot.  They love her because I love her.  Her relatives love me because she loves me.

Move beyond that inner circle though, and things change quickly.  And the Interracial-ness of us just may be the reason why.  I’ll explain.

I don’t usually go to too many larger gatherings of my wife’s family and / or friends.  I just don’t feel all that welcome there, when the core group– that “inner circle,” (IC) either isn’t there, or is preoccupied with aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, and grand babies they don’t see as often.  When that happens– when that inner circle of those who genuinely care for me forget about me (and of course this happens, I don’t expect them to babysit me!)  When they move about to mingle, I’m kind of left there by myself.  And every time this has happened, probably a half-dozen or so in our history– no one has come forward to talk to this light-skinned stranger to the rest of the family!

I used to sit looking as confident as I could at first, self-assured; don’t need anybody by me, talking to me to enjoy myself.  That lasts about 5-10 minutes.  I’ve already started sending out friendly smiles left and right to curious people who are looking at me, but who never come over and chat.  What’s up with that!?  There are far more of you, than there are of me– and I’m the new person in the family– am I wrong to hope that others will approach me?  Will see that I’m floating there all by myself in a strange and dark sea?  I’m shooting out the friendly inviting smiles.  Do I have to do all the work?!  Well I really don’t have the confidence for that.  (I really don’t have the confidence to even sit there.  That was an act, you knew that!)  

Sometimes, if there’s a punchbowl or a buffet line, I’ll go back and grab another something to nibble on…. (pretty sad, huh?) just to busy myself.  Pretty soon after all of this, somebody from the IC usually returns.  If it’s my wife, I dryly say to her, “Thanks for not leaving me alone,”– a reference to the unfair promise I usually wrestle from her before agreeing to attending said event.  If it’s anybody else, they’ve usually come back because they’ve seen me floundering there by myself.  They feel bad for me, and I feel bad that they’re leaving long lost relatives to pacify me. 

The way I deal with that now is, I usually don’t go to her family meetings with expected attendance of say eight or more. 

Okay.  You can say I’m being immature.  That I should grow up, get out and glad-hand, be bold and go around and introduce myself.  But that’s not who I am.  I’m really pretty shy ’til I get to know people, and they me.  And it’s one thing to say that– quite another to do it when you aren’t sure how people feel about you; how they feel about the whole dating outside our race concept.  Mom & Dad love that their daughter has a great guy– her true love and soul-mate.  The rest of the fringe family—– not so ecstatic I sometimes sense. 

My family’s too small to flip this around and see how it goes for Que.  We’ve never had a gathering of my peeps over six people really (Christmas).  I could maybe see the same thing happening to her if my old family (especially my older relatives.  Definitely old school.  Might have been pretty cold.)  But I always say that my Mom & Dad would’ve loved Que, just as I do.  I wish they could have lived long enough to meet her.

So what about everyone else?  How do our IR friends handle this social spousal separation, (or bf / gf separation?)  Am I the only one with this problem?  Do I need to, like I said you’d say– just grow up?  Or do some of you empathize with this issue?  Anyone else know this feeling, of eyes watching you, but not reaching out to try to get to know you?  Black people have HUGE families.  And HUGE family gatherings, way more often than most white people that I know do.  I think that it’s great.  I really miss the days when my family was big and the get-togethers we used to have.  White people may be starting to do family reunions more now, thanks to black people– but that’s another post.

Lemme hear ya on this issue of outer circle acceptance, rejection or indifference.  Inner circle = great people.  Beyond that, I don’t know.  Might be great people, might not be.  Should I push?  Or am I right to expect or hope one or two might approach me?  Should I just be happy that we’ve got a great IC, and let everyone else keep watching from afar?  What kinds of circles do you all have around you?  Big, friendly IC’s?  Big friendly OC’s maybe?  We’re curious.  Do you do that, “Don’t leave me alone here,” thing too?  Or don’t have to?

And what should I title this post– so that lots of curious people come visit, read and comment?  Because I think it’s a good one; an issue that has IR ramifications / complications written all over it.  What do you think friends?  Tell us your familial tales (yes, I think that’s a made-up word.)

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Filed under bigotry, interracial, love, race, Relationships, Uncategorized

Gone With the Wind or “ElastaGel’s Story”

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a wannabe writer / journalist.  As I begin writing this “Special Edition” post, (note that it’s today’s second) Que is doing what she can to stop the press, and supress free mediaUndaunted, my journalistic integrity is stronger than my fear of sleeping on the futon with the dogs tonight!  So I’ll continue as though I was writing this piece for my local paper…

Police are baffled by a gruesome discovery along State Route 50 this evening.  A man walking his dog near the road discovered what appeared to be human hair!  The hair, reddish brown and permed was discovered around 6pm.  Approximately 12-inches in length, it is believed that the dog was lured to the scene by the strong scent of geri-curl.  

This reporter has traced the hair back to “Que” (ZebraCouple, dark half).**  Witnesses say she was in the passenger seat of a top-down, doors-off south bound Jeep Wrangler around 5pm.  As the vehicle crossed over the Interstate, blustery winds whipped the loosely clipped hairpiece from the nub of her own real hair.  The lovely & lustrous locks did a single loopty-loop around the inside of the Jeep before going airborne.

“I thought a bird had flown into the car,” Que’s husband, clearly shaken later stated.  “I had a split second where I might-coulda grabbed it,” he added, “but if it was a bird, or worse–some kind of flying rodent— I didn’t want any part of it!  I offered to go and try to rescue the piece, but rush hour traffic that time of day would’ve made that a perilous mission.  In other words, hairy.” 

The couple was seen a few moments later pulling into the parking lot of the local hair store, presumably to pick out a replacement piece for the roadkill-locks.   

** The original owner of the hair is believed to be an Alaskan Inuit woman named ELastaGel which, translated means, “I have no need for hair, I’m an Eskimo.”

So okay, for comedic purposes I’ve buried my lede, and the whole “police are baffled” thing makes no sense.  And forget about the Inverted Pyramid.  It’s about as inverted now as that tire-tracked weave will be round about midnight.  Just having a little fun at my great-sport-of-a-wife’s expense.  We had a great laugh over the whole thing, watching it whip about, and then back into the traffic behind us.  It was gone with the Chicago Wind.

One last note.  This is a great little insight as to how people of different cultures EVENTUALLY come to terms and understanding of the issues of their partners.  About a half-hour earlier, I’d warned Que that she might need to press her head back against the seat to “keep it on” so to speak.  If we get any closer into one another’s bizness, we may even buy a weave we can share one day.

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Filed under black and white, interracial, love, Relationships, Uncategorized

Interracial Vacations

I preface what I am about to say with the by now familiar disclaimer, “These things are true of all relationships, not just interracial ones…”  But the vacation issue–that is, how to spend precious time off and much needed time away from work and worry– often is an area of minor disagreement for this black-white loving pair.

This author, (the pale half) leans to the outdoors; especially to camping, fishing, relaxing under the stars and, yes, sometimes the bugs and howling things.  Getting my wife (dark half) “out there” among the wildlife is like pulling gnat’s teeth.  Her idea of a vacation is an antiseptically clean hotel room, or better yet a cruise cabin where the only wild life one sees are the folded towel bunnies left on the made bed.  Waking up on a dry tent floor & rolling up my sleeping bag cost very little and make me a happy camper.

Don’t get me wrong– I’ve been on a couple of cruises; loved them!  But as we’ve grown older and further from our dating, “must impress / best behavior” days, I get my vacation-way much less than before.  In my mind, overnight and long weekend hotel stays outnumber weekends on the “wild” side at least two to one. 

The Zebracouple spent a few days in a semi-wooded, semi-residential area of south-central Wisconsin last week.  We enjoyed a beautifully appointed, tastefully decorated, quiet, clean cabin generously donated by a loving friend.  Within five minutes I announced to Que that I’d be returning this winter to pen my Great American Novel there.  (I later stated that I could live there.  Meant it.) 

I know she had a good time, (due in-part to the Direct TV hook-up), but she was freaked out by the caterpillars that crawled all over the outside (OUTSIDE) of the cabin.  Not a single caterpillar was spotted inside the cabin the entire time we were there!  Ants, yes, a few, but nothing else.  My wimpy Royal Caribbean wife was completely pre-occupied by the bugs whenever we left the cabin; couldn’t get to the Jeep fast enough to escape the danger! 

We both suffered a few bites of one kind or another.  One little something got her in the finger and the digit grew to about twice its original petite size.  Me, I’ve been bitten before, (even freaked out a little myself this year when a wasp or hornet stung me in the head); but this lil bug bite, whatever got her was just one more fly in the ointment- detracting away from the smell of the pine, the bright morning sunlight through the tall trees, the birdsongs, and the gentle evening breezes.  It was a beautiful relaxing setting and though there was a firepit, there was no way my African American bride was going to sit “out there” for any length of time.  “Too buggy.” 

There, I did it.  See up there in that previous paragraph?  I played the race card.  I made the point that my black wife is no outdoors—-woman.  It’s okay, I love her to pieces anyway!  Who knows, I maybe even love her in some weird way because she is a wimp about such things.  Makes me feel “MANLY.”  A little lonely sometimes too, truth be told because I do love nature a lot.  Wish she did too.  But I can still get some of that on the high seas whenever we can scrape up enough cash for a big boat ride.

Is the whole camping thing a black-white issue?  I have to say that I see mostly only white people when I’m tenting, or fishing.  Why is that?  I know black people fish.  We live in the suburbs of a large metro area and I see black men and women fishing often in forest preserve area ponds and lakes.  I never see them up in Canada or Wisconsin or Minnesota where I’ve fished.  What’s up with that?

Tell us your side of this.  Maybe you can help convert my wife.  Maybe your comments will only cement her belief that she ought not stray more than 20 miles from the nail or hair store.  But we’d still like to know– How will other IR couples spend their vacations this year?  Do you, becasue of the whole mixed ethnicity / culture thing, have any leisure / vacation time conflicts?  How do you resolve them or compromise?  Weigh in.  Looking forward to your comments.

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Filed under black and white, interracial, love, race, Relationships, Uncategorized

Involuntary or Premeditated?

Jay here again, (the “paler” half). 

I was wondering if any of my friends out there in Interracialand ever envisioned themselves in “mixed” relationships, (dating, marriages, children, etc) long before they happened?  In other words, was a relationship with a person of a different ethnicity in your plans?  Was it something you sought out?  Or did it just happen for you, out of the blue so to speak?

Me, I always had a kind of curiosity about black women.  It started when I was very young.  I really can’t explain it other than to say that I found women of color very attractive.  Hearing something like that said today sounds very strange– of course African American women are beautiful.  So are Asian women, Latinas, Swedes, Poles, Brits, and Eskimos women.  Well, maybe not Eskimo women.  Apologies to all my Inuit blogger lady friends.  *** Note, if you are Inuit and consider yourself an Ice-Hottie, please feel free to respond with pics.  ***  This is one post I’ll definitely have to “get wifey’s permission” to publish.  Either that or take my chances that I’ll be sleeping with the dogs tonight…..

Ahhh, feels good to be digressing again!  So of course women from all around the world are beautiful; no brainer.  But when I was a boy, (back when the Lovings were battling it out with Virginia) little boys didn’t say such things out loud.  Even as a young man in the seventies it was still a little rebellious to admit that a black woman was hot.  Obviously at some point, I got over it, and so did most of the rest of the world.

Still, I never really thought about “going out and getting me one.”  ***Now please don’t send nasty cards and letters saying I shouldn’t oughta talk that way– I’m being very, very, very informal– comfortable.  Okay here:  I never once considered seeking out a relationship with a woman outside the white-o-sphere.  Thought I’d be a closet “freak” all my life.  C’mon, you know what I mean!!! 

I know I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth repeating.  When the sweetest, nicest, kindest, warmest, most caring, loving, fun, exciting, interesting and adventurous woman steps into your life, it doesn’t matter if she’s orange.  My wife  rocks my world to this day.  I am blessed and would feel this way whatever color God painted her.  (Unless He painted her Inuit!)  What I’m saying here, in my usual round the world in 800-words way, is that my wife; the woman I call my “best decision ever,” came from out of the blue.  Now what about your Interracial partner??

Some might just consider themselves “open” to the idea of dating outside their race and culture.  Some may be adamant that they will ONLY date other ethnicities, maybe they’ve honed in on a specific race they’re “targeting.”  (All this sounds somewhat creepy to me as I type it, but I can’t really say there’s anything wrong with having personal preferences when it comes to appearances, personalities, attitudes and behavior, etc.  And that’s all this really is– we want the freedom to choose a mate with attributes that we admire.)  Wow.  This almost sounds like the perfect argument to use with someone who’s anti-“mixing it up.”

Who of you out there sought out, or is seeking out an Interracial, Intercultural, etc. relationship?  Who is open to the idea, but not seeking?  These are the folks we want to hear from– drop us a line or three if you have the time to weigh in on this.  We’d love to hear your reasons why only a man or woman of <insert color, religion, race, or nationality here> will do.  How do you explain your attraction, or lack thereof?  What attributes in members of other ethnicities do you find titillating, arousing, peak your curiosity?

If you’re open, but not seeking– what stops you?  Mr. or Ms. “Something New” just hasn’t stumbled into you yet?  Mom & Dad would go through the roof?  Hesitant that things might get…. complicated?  If that’s the case, know this: things get complicated whenever two people co-mingle.  It’s gonna happen if you survive long enough in a relationship.  So far, (eight years+) I can honestly say that the ZebraCouple has had no race-related “complications.”  We’re just two imperfect, Loving humans co-mingling the best we know how.

Or, how about this curve ball?  Are you open to dating outside your race, but only with a certain specific other ethnicity?  What’s up with that?  ‘Splain that to us all, would you please?

COMING TOPIC:                           

What’s in a name?  What are the socially correct names for today’s ethnic and racial cultures?  Because I grew up in a black and white world, I learned numerous names, labels, and some slurs of course.  In time, some of those labels vanished– new ones took their place.  Some of the slurs became acceptable, some are still guaranteed to raise (at least) an eyebrow.  Just what are the preferred titles for the people of the world?  One (not so) simple example: do people from England (or is it the U.K?) prefer to be called English, British, Brits, or another variant?  Here in the states, at one time, (maybe still I’m not sure) black people preferred to be called African American.  In the U.K., do they prefer African British?  Oh, this is gonna be good.  Confusing.  I predict approximately 12 digressions minimum.  Stay tuned……

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Filed under black and white, interracial, love, race, Relationships, Uncategorized