Happy Valentine’s Day, Swirlers!
I’ve been busy celebrating my favorite holiday and preparing for an out-of-town getaway.
Whether you’re single or boo-ed up, I trust that you love YOU and you’re making this an awesome day.
As a special treat we’re featuring another installment from our resident Swirlers Gene-Leigh and Seth Wheeler.
Today, Gene-Leigh discusses how she opened her mind and heart – and met the love of her life. Happy Reading!
How I Came to Swirl
It’s funny what you learn about yourself when you are willing to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. If someone would have told me 14 years ago that my husband would be a White punk rocker from a little hick town, I’d have labeled them insane and called for a psychological evaluation. Before my husband, I’d never dated outside of my race – so the experience was completely foreign, and I was a bit on edge. I’d explicitly gone out of my way to push away ALL non-Black men in an effort to remain true to my heritage. It was only as I grew in myself, and realized that I was hurting my chances of having a long-lasting relationship did I open my mind to an alternate point of view.
A Man – or a MATE?
I’ve dated Black men. Quite a few Black men, as a matter of fact. While each man had attributes that made them good men, they also had attributes that made them bad MATES. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT in ANY WAY bashing Black men–that would be generalizing a group of people based on the actions of a few (aside from the fact that my brother is one of the most amazing men I’ve ever known in my entire life). In these relationships in my early to mid-20s however, I was subjecting myself to unnecessary abuses to stay “within my race.” How many potentially good relationships did I miss out on because the men who approached me were the “wrong” color? I’ll never know. This isn’t to say that men of all creeds, colors, and races don’t come with baggage and problems (y’all know that Halle Berry went THROUGH IT with Gabriel Aubry) but to limit ourselves to only Black men because we feel we are doing our race an injustice is ludicrous, to say the least.
Seth and Swirling
Seth, on the other hand, has known he’s had a bit of a streak for Black women since he was a LITTLE BOY. Younger than 10, by the stories he’s told me. He remembers being a kid, and watching television shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and (gasp) Saved by the Bell, and being attracted to the Black leading ladies as well as their White counterparts.
His issue was that as a result of living in such a small cloistered community (only about 1,000 or so people) there weren’t very many opportunities for swirling, so he dated White women instead. Now don’t get me wrong—-my husband LOVES women no matter what color they are, and that’s what makes him so awesome. Surprisingly, he’d only dated one other Black woman aside from me before we met, and while the two of them got along well, her family would have been less than accepting of her choice to date and potentially marry someone who wasn’t Black. This girl eventually moved out of the area, and it crushed him, because he really liked her.
Well . . . her loss. Seth doesn’t see me as a “Black woman,” he sees me as someone who is loving, caring, supportive, and beautiful. The fact that I am Black is secondary to him which makes for interesting conversations with people who have never met me. Imagine their surprise when he shows off our wedding pictures!
Just Know that Men are Men
SN: As I’m sitting cross-legged on our bed typing this entry, Seth is hollering from our master bathroom about a plumber’s wrench he can’t find:
Seth: Dammit, do you know where that wrench is?
Me (typing): Seth I have no idea . . . .
(A few minutes of silence go by peppered only by my fingers tapping away merrily on the laptop. . . .)
Seth: Gene, hello?
Me (starting to get annoyed): No Seth, I don’t know where it is.
Seth (getting annoyed right along with me): GENE, DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE WRENCH IS???
Me (at the top of my lungs): NO! I SAID NO TWICE, CAN YOU NOT HEAR ME???? GOOD LORD!!!
See? Men are men no matter what the color—-they hear what they want, they want their tools, and they don’t listen J)
Seth, a MRI technologist, and Gene-Leigh, a family therapist, live in Pittsburgh, Pa. The couple describes themselves as “Two of the most down-to-earth folks you will ever meet although we are both a bit nutty.”
Stay tuned for more adventures from this lovely Swirl Couple!
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Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl, All rights reserved.