DaisyWinnefred, of Animated Stardust relates a hilarious experience with an off kilter heterosexual. Her grace and humor in an intolerable encounter certainly are lessons in humility and kindness. I wish I could be so charming and tolerant. But, I guess, what else can you do in such a situation?
Reminds me of a story my mother told me of when I was a baby in Hannover, Germany. This was back in the early 1960’s, when Hannover harbored precious few dark-skinned creatures and just seeing a black or Asian was as rare as flamingos in the Black Forest. My father is a Filipino/black American while my mother is a cream-skinned German. The resulting cocktail is an olive-skinned mutt who can pass off as Mexican, Nepali, Turkish, Iraqi, Brazilian, Italian, Indian, Spanish, even Portuguese (all of which I have been mistaken for). Suffice it to say that in Germany, in the small city of Hannover, in 1960, I was pretty much an organic representation of an exclamation mark.
Anyway, my mother told me, she and I were taking our leisure in the hallowed walls of the hospital where I was born, waiting for my checkup. There were a few tables lined up against the wall for mothers to attend to their babies and my mother stood beside one, changing my diapers. Another mother with her little, curlicue-haired, blonde baby was changing his diapers, so that he and I could begin our first jaunt into urinal bathroom comparison rivalry. I’m not sure if I initiated any undue cause for attention, but the woman leaned toward my white mother, gave her a rundown with her eyes, switched headlights toward me, this swaddled muffin, lightly browned, gave me the once down, glanced back at my mother, then me again, all in head-cocking appraisal, before standing up straight and inquiring, in all earnestness:
“Please, tell me. How did you manage to get that particular shade of skin tone? My son’s skin remains as pink as when he was born. What do you do? Feed him carrots? Do the carrots make a great difference?”
It wasn’t my fault! I do happen to like carrots. I often wonder now if my affliction could have been prevented with a bit more forethought on my part. A bit more whole milk, perhaps. Or maybe tubs of yoghurt. Marshmallows? Or how about Cool Whip?