One of the most popular questions I get as an Oreo is;
“You’ve never dated a black guy?”
And then when I ask them if they want to see my piccolo or otherwise try to change the conversation, the next question usually is:
“Piccolo? Is that a euphemism for something?”
And when I say no and smile inside because I think I’ve distracted them, they say:
“But wait. Really? Reallllly? You’ve…never…dated a black guy?”
That’s when I usually try to direct their attention to photos of me at a Renaissance Faire and ask them to help me pick out bodice patterns for next year.
“How is that possible…?”
First of all, I haven’t dated tons of guys who share individual traits with me. I’ve never dated someone from my hometown.
Maybe because I looked like this when I lived there.
I’ve never dated another Journalism Major from The University of Texas at Austin. I’ve never dated a guy who was 5’5” who wore a small in women’s blouses. I’ve never dated someone with a birthmark on his shoulder, a bellybutton ring or a hatred for the Oxford comma that rivals mine. I’ve never dated someone who’s the offspring of an engineer and an accountant and I’ve never been in a relationship with an only child.
Second, it’s not like there are all these hordes of black guys who I’m denying access from the top of my ivory tower.
Though if we do build an Ivory tower, can we use this pattern? (source)
Though if you know an ivory tower for sale, hook an Oreo up!
Honestly, apart from my own family members, I don’t even know that many black guys. And the ones I do wouldn’t be viable options even if they could sunburn.
If I were to try date a black guy (#spoileralert, never will, it’s against the rules) these are the only options I could choose from:
That quiet kid at work who sat down the hall from me last year – Much too young. I’m not opposed to dating someone my junior, but there’s maybe a 10-12 year age gap here, which—as you can tell by looking at me today—makes him like 12 years old.
That one guy at the office I see coming into the same entrance to my building – I think he’s gay.
That older guy at work who wears the fun t-shirts – Married
That guy who works one floor down from me – Moving to the northwest in a few months. I’m much too needy for that.
That guy with the round face and beard – I think he is also gay
That guy at swing dancing – We don’t even talk. He Balboas, I don’t Balboa. When we tried to dance once, he was so annoyed that I don’t Balboa that we nearly stopped dancing halfway through the song
My hairdresser’s son – He really is 12
That priest – He’s already pledged his life to someone else. Way to c-block, JC!
So unless I want to be a homewrecker, a Mrs. Robinson or an RBP, there’s no market for me.
Even when I was dating online, I was never approached by guys of color. All of my friends regularly got pinged by a Jamaal or a Kendrick or a Michael. But not me. It’s like they knew, nay, respected who I was.
…Could have also been the fact that I put that picture of tweenage me on my profile and that I talked a LOT about Renn Fests.
Who are the black guys you know? Do you want to date them? Let us know in the comments!
The good news is, I have been saying a lot about the ol’ GZ sitch. The less good news is that the conversations have mostly been in my head. And they’ve sounded a little like this:
TheOreoExperience: Holygoodness, I love me a singalong! And on such a lovely Los Angeles summer night! Ha! Summer days, drifting away to ah ah those suummmer niiiiiiights.
Inner Voice: Psst! Pssssst! Psssssssssssssssssssssssssst! Check your phone! Someone just got an AP Mobile update saying that the verdict has come in.
TOE: C’mon. I just got my goodie bag. There are bubbles in here. I guarantee you the verdict is not going to make me want to blow bubbles.
IV: Who’s Bubbles?
TOE: My bubbles, I just– hey! I see what you did there. Stop being a child. We are at a Grease singalong. This is serious business.
IV: Travolta’s tight pants are serious business.
TOE: Yes they are. So stop distracting me. I’ll deal with this tomorrow.
IV: Okay. Sure thing.
IV: He was found not guilty of all charges.
TOE: WHAT?! WHAT THE EFFING HOLY MOTHER EFFING EFF?! HOW IS THAT–
IV: We have to write about this.
TOE: I know, I know. But seriously, tomorrow. It hurts my self to think about this and It’s hard to put coherent satire together when you’re singing Beauty School Dropout.
Remember, kids. The moral of this story is something along the lines of become a slut to get the man of your dreams. Not gonna say it worked for me…not gonna say it didn’t. (source)
Every Day Since Saturday
IV: Why aren’t we writing yet?
TOE: Because…I just… I mean, have you…
IV: Oh, come on. You live for this stuff!
TOE: What a horrible thing to say.
IV: But it plays perfectly into your whole narrative.
TOE: It’s just too dark. I mean, as much as I like making jokes about this stuff, I kinda wish i didn’t have to.
IV: Yeah and I wish I had a unicorn right now.
TOE: Okay, fine.
IV: Wish in one hand, poop in the other, see which one fills up first.
TOE: I get it.
IV: When you wish upon a star, you look like a crazy person talking to yourself like that.
TOE: Okay!! You are not nice today.
IV: We’ve got things to do. Let’s hear what you’ve got.
TOE: Okay, well I thought about doing a piece about how a little Oreo fashion instruction could solve a lot of issues. Instead of hoodies, black folks should don turtlenecks and wigs–they keep all the brown from being seen, but aren’t as gangy looking. The right wig can also totally throw someone off the scene. I’m thinking a Whig era wig, you know. Also, I look amazeballs in a turtleneck.
IV: Hmmm, yeah, now all I’m thinking about is that poor boy. Fucking sad.
TOE: That’s the problem!
IV: What else ya got? I think we can still make something work.
TOE: Hmmm, I could make a list of names that were more likely to encourage a guilty verdict. I mean, if George Zimmerman had shot young Albert Van Beveran or little Larson Latimer or if he had murdered Mackenzie Morris, things might have been different. I could talk about how Oreos know this and so we’ll even change our last names if it arranges an anglo-tastic alliteration. Maybe throw in a list of things you can change your name to?
IV: Yeah, it’s still really just bumming me out right now.
TOE: What about–
IV: You know what. Why don’t we just call it a day maybe go out on a cat picture.
TOE: Sounds good! Can we do some kitten mittens?
IV: Wouldn’t have it any other way.
TOE: You’re good to me.
IV: I really am.
TOE: Thanks Craig for the tip on the gif!
IV: Who’s Craig?
TOE: This guy I work with. He’s cool.
IV: Right on.
TOE: Hey, IWS?
TOE: Is this maybe what’s wrong with, oh, everything by the way? The whole let’s just look at a cat gif instead of rising up and taking action as a society?
IV: It’s a really good gif.
TOE: Has everyone in my office seen me talking out loud to myself?
It’s hard to get much more Oreo than Geordi LeForge (I believe if you check the scoreboard, however, I still have him beat. Sure he taught kids to read, but he was also in Roots), but even Mr. Burton feels the need to disarm police by proving well in advance though he is black, he is not a threat.
He here is describing the rites and rituals he goes through when dealing with law enforcement. LB’s best practices include removing protective eyewear and hanging his hands out the window.
Equally as shocking as his cop stop ritual is the fact that this dude has a 33-year-old son! Seriously, we do not crack.
Between following safety tips related to being black and safety tips related to being a woman, I have a lot to do every day. In case you want to play along at home, here’s my daily routine that’s kept me out of harm’s way thus far. Let me know if it works for you.
0600 – Wake up and ensure that all doors are in fact still locked and that no one uninvited is in bed.
0620 – Refill outdoor fountains emptied by raccoons during the night so home looks functional and free-flowing, not ghetto and broken
0630 – Begin vocal warm ups so I can convincingly practice arias during commute
0700 – Choose outfit for work. Check necklines, hemlines and overall tightness of said outfit.
0730 – Change outfit just in case.
0745 – Do makeup
0750 – Remove some makeup just in case.
0800 – Stare at (gluten-free) bagel and wish that lipstick application was saved for later to avoid gross red ring around bites of bagel.
0810 – Think about the time my boss made fun of me a couple of years ago for wearing red lipstick the day we had a meeting with a celebrity. The day in question, I had actually forgotten about said meeting and was just trying to look like a professional human. The celeb wasn’t my type anyway (read: black dude). Wonder how often I give off that particular wrong impression.
0817 – Check calendar and see that I have an evening event. Practice holding keys in a stabby way between index and middle finger.
0820 – Look up prices for pepper spray online. Wonder if I will be tracked by some authority for trying to buy weapons online.
0825 – Practice jogging through the house in today’s heels to make sure escape is possible.
0827 – Practice answers to “…did you do something to your hair? It looks—“
0828 – HolycrapI’mlate! (Leave for work.)
0842 – Roll down windows and turn up volume on NPR
0850 – Accidentally make eye contact with man in the next car over. Smile because it’s polite, then call boyfriend on speakerphone.
0900 – Notice that after three turns, guy in the next car over is now behind me. Sweat about this.
0903 – Make a 4th turn and lose my tail. Wonder if he knows too much, anyway.
0910 – Arrive at work. Avoid eye contact with strangers on the way in. Feel like a jerk, but then at least we won’t have a repeat of the great “But We Were Just Talking” incident of 2012 or the “We’ll Just Find Another Department For You” incident of 2009.
0915 – Accept compliment on blouse and wonder if I chose poorly.
1200 –Run errand. Roll down windows and sing È amore un ladroncello to distract from the fact that skin is extra brown from 4th of July beach time.
1245 – Check email to see that there is a flurry of new video comments. Sort between the ones that say they like the video, so they’d like to do me and the ones that say they hate the video so they want to rape me. Put phone down for a while.
1835 – Leave office. Sing Ach, Ich fühl’s on the way to Ralph’s.
1837 – Feel guilty because yes, stranger in your snazzy polo shirt, I do have a minute for marriage equality, I’m just too hungry to take that minute right now.
1850 – Check messages. Stop at stoplight. See cop.
1851 – Reach into interior jacket pocket to get chapstick. Realize what this might looks like. Freeze with hand there like I’m Napoleon or checking for heart murmurs.
1852 – Crack windows and turn up Next to Normal soundtrack.
1853 – Smile at cop.
1925 – Arrive at venue.
1926 – Find parking spot near a light.
1927 – Exit car, check locks twice.
1928 – Call boyfriend and give him ETA while speaking loudly enough to be heard by passersby.
1929 – Memorize cars immediately next to mine.
1930 – Text girlfriends and mention my whereabouts.
1931 – Whistle and sing to myself while walking quickly, but with a casual air to appear unafraid.
1935 – Pay entrance fee with exact change
1940 – Start swing dancing like it’s 1939.
2035 – Take a break outside. Stand near entrance and several paces over from the man with the weird eyes.
2045 – Use monosyllabic answers to try to deter the man with the weird eyes.
2046 – Position body facing away from Weird Eyes
2047 – Loudly excuse myself and squeeze past WE to go back inside
2050 – Dance like it’s 1949
2230 – Collect belongings and position key in stabby position.
2231 – Try to shake instructor’s hand. Apologize.
2232 – Reach into purse to get cell phone. See cop up ahead.
2232 – Empty contents of purse on ground to prove their lack of threat.
2235 –Smile too big at cop. Unclench fist. Drop protective keys. Do an adorable, clumsy curtsey to pick up said keys and all purse contents. Hope that this near seizure of poise looks less suspicious than actual skin color. Ask cop what he thought about Britain’s historic Wimbledon win.
2240 – Finish explaining what I mean by Britain’s historic Wimbledon win.
2245 – Arrive at char. Check underneath.
2246 – Check behind
2247 – Check backseat
2248 – Check glove compartment
2249 – Dash inside and immediately lock doors
2315 – Pull up at house
2316 – Scan area for potential threats
2317 – Remove keys from ignition and position them in stabby position
2318 – Grab purse close, ensure that it’s zipped
2319 – Answer phone and explain to boyfriend why I’ve been sitting in the car for 5 minutes.
2320 – Exit car and speak loudly and clearly to thwart attackers
2321 – Enter house, say hi to boyfrizzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzz
2322 – Dream of a day when practicing proper precautions is less exhausting than 3 hours of swing dancing.
What do you do to keep yourself from being besieged upon by strangers. Let us know in the comments!
But, the woman should be given some credit. The wedding could have been a lot worse. Turns out, the plantation-style, all-black-servants shindig was maybe the best of the other ideas on the table. Here are a few more themes Deen had on the back burner that she hasn’t been able to do…yet
“Beads and Blankets Bonanza” – Guests will have the chance to purchase jewelry and couch throws at great prices! Hors d’oeuvres passed by the Chickasaw Nation.
Turquoise and tears. A perfect part pair!
“Model Train Mayhem” – Guests will sip turn of the century cocktails while watching interns an elaborate miniature locomotive track around the seating area. Special thanks to interns Deng Shu Chan and Zhang Wei Huang.
Bonus! The interns double as footrests!
“Rosie the Riveter Rocks!!” – Guests will don 1940s costumes and build their own metal works…including windows bars and a new lock for front doors that will be fitted on the graciously donated home of Mr. and Mrs. Nakamura. Don’t worry that they’re still inside and the guests have the key. That’s all part of the fun!
You CAN do it…for about 10 years before your staff finally wises up and reports you to the proper authorities.
They all sound like good ol’ fashioned grand times to me!