by today's Urban Chameleon contributor
A few weeks ago I attended a wedding upstate New York. Now when I hear, “wedding,” I naturally begin to think about what special outfit I’m going to wear for this special occasion. Going through my closet, I identify my Diane Von Furstenberg dress as the joint to hit ‘em wit. It’s a beautiful long, silk, mint color number. And with my gold heals… WHAT WHAT! Watch out now!
When my date and I arrive at the location, after the 3½ hour drive from the city, I was floored to learn that the wedding was taking place on a Farm. A Farm! Who gets married on a Farm?! Certainly not Caribbean people. Even if I end up marrying a white farmer – the idea of me telling my Haitian mom that the ceremony will be taking place next to animals – let’s just say that it would not be going down. You know what she would say? All my life I have worked so hard for people not to look at us like animals and you want to go and have your holy matrimony next to some? Is a cow going to give you away too?
Regardless of how I was feeling about the location, I was dealing with the physical challenge of my Loubiton heels sinking into the grass as I tried to mingle. My date, who was decked out in his Burberry tux, was damn near carrying me, Diane, and Loubi to prevent us from being covered in manure, which was everywhere.
Of course, we were the only Black folks at the wedding and the only people that were dressed up. Don’t you know that there were some guests wearing sundresses and flip-flops! Who does that?! Certainly not Caribbean people. We dress UP and come with it like’s it’s the Oscars. Besides, are we not celebrating what’s supposed to be a once in a lifetime affair?
I think what catches many Caribbean people off guard, is that we are bred in a culture that has made us feel inferior to white people as if they all come from castles with golden fountains. Therefore, when the time comes to be in their presence, for what we think is a celebratory event, we are dressing up to say we belong in this castle too. The irony of this is when this irony is flipped on you; for this Farm was no castle.
My date and I tried to let loose, which meant taking two vodka tonics to the head before getting out on the dance floor. Despite the location, they still played Michael Jackson. Can’t have a wedding with out MJ. We started gettin’ down. Next thing you know, a group of older white folks, who were definitely alive during Jim Crow, began to watch us dance as if we were entertaining them. Why did we suddenly begin to feel like we were the Minstrels at the show?
What made matters worse, is when the mother of the bride came over to admire my dress. I was surprised she could still see it, as most of it was balled up in my hands to keep from touching the grass. After she told me how beautiful I looked, she then asked if I had any friends for her single son who apparently likes the darker kind. WHAT?! Who actually says that? Was this woman really referring to Black people like the meat selection on a buffet table- light or dark meat? I was done. I grabbed my date, wished the wedding couple well and we were out.
After the wedding, my girlfriend and I traded stories about our white wedding experiences. She told me how a couple of weeks ago, during a bachelorette party she attended, the bride’s cousin brought black and brown penis cookies for the party-gals to munch on. The cousin was so delighted to find this bakery website, Mandingo, that specializes in ethnic dicks. My girlfriend said she thought to herself, now wait a minute, the bride is marrying a white man why couldn’t there be a white dick included in the selection? The cousin went on to explain to the bachelorette party, who were all white with the exception of my girlfriend, that a Mandingo is apparently a very large Black man’s penis. What she failed to mention is that it’s also a derogatory term! My girlfriend said she could either:
A) Slap this woman upside her head B) Excuse herself from the party or C) Tell me about the story so I could write about it here.
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