I was just talking to my friend about boys; typical topic. She said that she used to be into a guy from her hometown, but now that she had returned and had seen him she wasn’t quite sure how she felt.
“It’s alright,” I said. “You can always find a dude around here.” I finished smugly.
“Eh…” she answered with a roll of her eyes, a hint of disgust present on her lips.
“Hey! What’s wrong with local boys? Humph… I’m slightly offended…”
“They’re just… Wait… I could say the same to you! You like a boy who lives in Denmark. So what do you find wrong with local boys. My hometown is IN the states. Although it might as well be Denmark…” She paused for a response, waiting with her head slightly tilted and curiosity hiding in the arch of her eyebrows. I looked. I thought. I hesitated. Eventually I spoke.
“But that… that’s different…” I wasn’t sure I wanted to explain.
“How is that?”
“It just is…” I stared at my feet. She isn’t the pushy type so she let it be.
But I knew exactly why it was different. Why couldn’t I bring myself to explain my preference for foreign boys? Why was it that I couldn’t simply say that it was what it was? A racial issue.
It seems that I have never known an American boy to think of me as anything different than “the black girl”. To everyone I’ve ever known it’s always been “Oh, it’s my only black friend” or “the black girl who lives across the hall”. With men it’s always worse. How often have I heard, “You know, Faithe, you’re really pretty for a black girl” or the infamous “Faithe, you know that if I were ever into black girls you’d be the one I’d want? Right? Seriously though…” Oh yes, I knew you were serious. That’s what makes it worse. Why is it that I can never be just a girl? Why can’t they ever leave out the adjectives? Why is it that my race matters at all? Besides that, I’m mixed… Why is it that people think it’s as simple as boxing me up into one category anyway?
Because of my standing in the world, however, I’ve gained enough experience to be able to categorize boys in my own way. In the dating world, boys seem to come to me in three categories; black, non-black, and foreign.
“Black boys” are most often the ones that approach me. They’re drawn to me by social standard; “black boys” date “black girls”. To them, I’m just their type. I’m a decent looking “black girl” and they’re black as well so, somehow, it must mean that we share some type of unspoken bond that gives them the upper hand on all other races. Ugh… No. That’s ridiculous. I’ve never appreciated that mindset. It just never feels genuine. There’s a very big difference between being seen as a “beautiful black girl” and being seen as a “beautiful girl” and, to me, it seems that with black boys I can never be seen as just a girl because of this weird bond thing they think I share, and that’s not a relationship I prefer. They never understand this. “You don’t like to date black boys? Well, that’s just weird. I don’t understand… aren’t you black?” Sigh… You’re right about one thing: You can’t possibly understand.
“Non-black boys” hardly approach me. I find that there are three types of these as well. There is the type of non-black who wishes to make a statement about him not being racist, the type that just aren’t into “black girls”, and the type that just don’t want to defy social standards. I’ve met them all. They all equally annoy me. But the last two types are the hardest to tell a part. In a lot of situations you can be as charming as you want and still lose the boy to a white girl of lesser standard. Sometimes there’s a vibe you get when you know a boy just doesn’t find you attractive and that’s alright, but the problem is when you know they do. Then you know that either they “just aren’t into black girls” and only think you’re good-looking for you’re race or they simply refuse to admit that they like you. How ridiculously heartbreaking is that? Knowing that you’re losing a boy merely to the race you’re associated with? Talk about a self-esteem crusher…
“Foreign boys” will always be my favorite type of boy. These boys are from either out of the country or simply don’t follow regular American boy standard. They look at you as just “beautiful”, no other descriptive words are needed. It’s the exact categorization of that Denmark boy.
Usually you can see it in their eyes, you know? You can see what they think of you. Whether they think they deserve you or whether they hold reservations about you can be seen in their eyes. It’s something about the way they speak as well. It’s always very apparent. When Denmark boy first talked to me I knew he was simply charmed by me. Just me. Me and my humor. Me and my charm. He didn’t want me to make a statement, nor did he think that I was his birth right. He just wanted me because I was a “beautiful girl”. No other adjectives. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. That’s why it’s different.
I just wish I could have explained it to my friend earlier…