Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Leavin' On A Jet Plane...

Today we are flying to Chicago! The girls are so excited. I think they mostly just want to ride on an airplane again. The Dragon doesn't really remember it, she wasn't even 3 the last time we flew. I'd have to look through a bunch of photos, but it is quite possible that she wasn't even TWO!

It's going to be an interesting trip for me. It always is, for in a matter of minutes, I become the only white person in my family. I'm not complaining - this isn't a bad thing - but boy, do I get teased a lot. Ebonics is the 'norm, along with a lot of slang that gets tossed around, and I may as well be blond because I have no idea what they are talking about. And, well, that makes me a target. A well-loved target. *smirk*

Another interesting aspect is that we will be meeting The King's mother. I've never met her. Neither have the girls. Another interesting aspect is that we will be meeting one of The King's grandmothers - another woman whom I have never met. And again, neither have the girls. As I said, it will be interesting. You know that Michael and I have been married for 10-years, and have known each other (dated) for almost 16-years, right? Um... yeah.

And on Friday, the family is having a big BBQ. The one thing I know I can count on is LOTS of good food. Yum. The interesting part will be all of the "family" that is going to come to the party. Probably half of them will be no relation to anyone there. I think that's cool - but I'm always trying to figure out who is related to who, and when I don't know three-quarters of the people there, and then one-half of all of the people there aren't even blood relations - well, it's mighty tricky. LOL!

It should be a very interesting trip!


Blogger gorillabuns said...

Interesting not meeting his mother before now.... Good Luck with your visit!

7:10 AM  
Blogger King Isepik said...

As a result of some horrible history between us when I was in my teens, my mother and I haven't exactly been on speaking terms before about 2 years ago. She made contact and we've been working towards friendly terms towards one another. It's a work in progress and we don't know how it's actually going to turn out.

Her mother, the other person the Queen and the kids will be meeting for the first time, wrote me off when I told her I was marrying a white woman. That relationship has been bandaged a bit to the point where the Queen and the kids will be meeting her.

It should be interesting to say the least.

1:05 PM  
Blogger dubby said...

phew! This will be strange. Congratulations on the work you have done to mend these tough fences!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Old Man With a radio transmitter in his car said...

The generation ahead of us had actually made progress in this area compared to their parents, and their parents had progressed beyond *their* parents. Our generation still has some traveling to do down that path. But it is nice to see the progress being made, however slow it seems to those of us affected by it.

My own family has never lived north of the Mason-Dixon line (which today's kids have never even heard of!), and when I brought Debbie to the family reunion before we were married, my own grandfather pulled me into the back bedroom, and told me, quite seriously, "son, I've been talking to that little red-haired girl you brought. Do you realize she's a YANKEE?! Son, you don't want to get mixed up with those people. They don't eat like us, they don't talk like us, they don't think like us... son, you're just asking for trouble by affiliatin' with those kind of people. You don't want to do this to yourself."

He wasn't being malicious ... he was just trying to look out for my welfare. He was operating through the lens of his culture and upbringing.

My grandfather had inherited strong feelings on north and south, white and black, rich and poor. As a result of his upbringing, being southern, dirt poor, and white, he felt that "he knew his place, and everyone else knows theirs, and as long as we all stay in our own place, we'll all get along just fine." He didn't see himself as being mean, or even prejudiced, he just was a self-imposed prisoner of his culture. It takes courage, and lots of hard work, and real sacrifice to break through your culture, no matter what it is. By so doing, you lose friends (and yes, some family, too) when you forsake their culture for something new. But the word sacrifice means giving up something good for something better.

Fortunately, each generation has a few courageous individuals who don't mind reprioritizing, and who place their culture a little lower on the scale than some other priorities (such as love, education, etc.) and help drive the rest of society, kicking and screaming, into a better world.

This is EXACTLY why my all-time favorite movie is Fiddler on the Roof. If you haven't seen it, you've got to see the full-length (3-hour) movie version. It is about the conflict between cultural traditions, love, and societal progress.

My hat's off to you. Meeting an in-law is always nerve-wracking, no matter how supportive your spouse is, and even under the best of circumstances. Under cultural differences stresses, it can be even more fearsome. However, keep in mind: love conquers all, and having a devoted and loyal spouse who is willing to choose you over cultural mores says a lot about you both. Congratulations on 10 years, and may the next 50 be just as good.

Oh, and always remember, your children will live in a better world (however slightly) because of what you are doing. Lots of work still needs to be done, and it won't be finished in our lifetimes (or even theirs or their childrens') but every little bit helps.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Sherri - KaysvilleMomma said...

Have fun!!! I can't wait to hear about it when you get back!!!

7:28 PM  
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