When Supporting AM/BW Couples Goes Wrong

25.2.12 ShaSha LaPerf 17 Comments

You're standing in line at Barnes and Noble to buy The Hunger Games. Although you have a Nook, you decided you needed to get out the house and finally pick up the novel that your best friend has been harassing you to read. You're taken aback when the gorgeous Asian guy behind you strikes up a conversation. It's not long before he's asking you for your phone number and giving you call to set up a date.

Saturday afternoon comes and the two of you meet at Starbucks for coffee. You look hot, rocking a pair of skinny jeans, under a dark green sweater dress and low-heeled wedges. And the look on his face shows his own approval of the outfit and your hotness. He buys you a cup of coffee and a piece of lemon pound cake. It's a nice day so the two of you decide to sit outside.

Although you're interested in his hearing story about the time he and his friends got drunk and misplaced the neighbor's cat he was babysitting, you notice someone staring at you. It's an intent stare, so intense that you feel naked. You try to turn you're attention back to him, but you can't get that stare out of your head.

You feel a presence near you and your and your date look up. The person that was just staring at the two of you has approached the table. Your guard is up and your heart starts pounded faster. You're thinking, "dear lord, I don't want to embarrass myself by kicking this loser's ass if they say something stupid?"


The person opens their mouth...and out comes a smile. A big smile.

"Oh my god! This is so beautiful! I just love see couples like you! Interracial power! I'm taking a picture, I need to add it to my Facebook page!"

You stare at disbelief, not really sure of what just happened.


Haha, I bet some of y'all were expecting this to be either a steamy sex story or a heart thumping suspense right? Or about people that attack those in interracial relationships right? Well it is a bit related to the latter. You see, there are people that hate interracial relationships and will stare at them, glare at them, shouts names at them. It's disgusting and humiliating.

However, there's a group of people that do something similar, yet they're usually not called out on it as much. I'm talking about the people that support interracial relationships--in this case BW/AM ones--and think it's okay to simply walk up to one and gush over them. While I'm sure they don't mean any harm, it doesn't make it any less annoying and creepy.The problem isn't that these people want to support your relationship; it's great that there are people that do like to see IR couples. But actually going over to some to bug them about their relationship is a bit over the top. Some couples are happy in their relationships, but don't have much interest in discussing the IR aspect of it all the time. Whats if a couple is on the outs? Hell they might not even be a couple at all and could just be good friends. It could just result in a very uncomfortable situation for all parties in involves. If you support IR couples and see them, just keep it moving. I supposed a smile wouldn't hurt if you're really that excited (though they might be thinking, "the fuck is she/he smiling at!?" but the important things is to keep it moving.

Some people try to be a bit stealthier but they're still in the creepy category. I came across a BW/AM topic on a website and someone posted a photo of a blasian family eating dinner. The poster said he spotted the family and just had to take a picture of them and post it. The family was clearly eating, not facing the person who took the picture. I wondered if the poster had actually asked if it was okay to take the photo and post it online. There are some people that are in IR relationships that do this, but it's their choice to do so. In this case was it really in the hands of the family? Some people are very wary of pictures of this children people posted online. Shen out I go out pretty often (LOL we're going out tonight actually, been a while since we've had a "date") and made me wonder if people are snapping pics of us as while we're out on the town. Discussing seeing the couple on the board is okay because it's still anonymous. Saying "oh yeah I saw a cute blasian family today" is vague, but still makes a point of what you saw that day. But pictures--without the permission of those involves--is a whole different story.

Shen and I have had some an awkward moment or two. One time we were grocery shopping. This was a store we went to quite often, and it wasn't uncommon to see interracial couples there. Anyway Shen was heading to the check out line while I ran back to get something I'd forgotten to pick up earlier. A woman approached me. She hesitated for a second, then pointed at Shen asking me if he was my "friend." I think she actually wanted to say "boyfriend" since she hesitated so much at first. But I didn't think to much about it and said he was my boyfriend. She seemed rather excited to hear this and I got the sense that she wanted to ask me more questions. But she suddenly changed the subject to talk about how great it was to meet a woman with natural hair, pointing to her hair. It's easy to find women in the area that had natural hair. It was a strange change in topic and I politely told her I needed to go since Shen was in line. I told Shen about it when I met him in the check-out line. I wasn't mad at the woman, but it was definitely a strange situation and I'm not sure how long I would have kept my cynical tongue from slipping out had she asked me more questions. LOL, I don't think she snapped a picture of us as I walked away.

I get that it's while IR is growing seeing BW/AM relationships in the states still aren't as prevalent. And I'd much rather have positive reaction over my relationship with then negative ones. Even when we had that incident with a silly woman at another grocery store, I can't say she had a negative attitude towards us. And not every experience has been like the one I mentioned above. When Shen and I went to an event being sponsored by his alma mater, we struck up a conversation with a woman that also seemed amused at us at a couple. Not overly excited, but more of a "well isn't this nice and something you don't see every day." She didn't actually have to say this, though the look on her face did. However she never broke conversation with us and we all exchanged business cards. I didn't mind this situation because that's what an event like this is for: meeting people. It wasn't stopping us while we're at the mall to ask questions. And note I'm specifically talking about people approaching to gush or ask questions about your relationship and not say when they're lost and need help finding a location. Shen and I have been asked about finding things in the area and it was no big deal. Maybe some of those people approached us because we were an IR couple. Or maybe because we looked like we knew the area; either way, they didn't try to pry. So I didn't have issues with that either.

But hey, I can't say I'm not innocent of doing a double take when I see another BW/AM couple. I remember one time when Shen and I were out at a restaurant I spotted a young couple finishing their meal. It was surprising to see since the area we were in have few Asians in general. Now I could've done a lot of things. I coulda drag Shen over to their table and introduced us. We could have walked by their table and just gave a head nod--though it meant going out of the way of the order counter. I coulda snapped a secret photo of them and posted it here. But me being a person that likes to mind her own business, I let them be. Okay, did discreetly point them out to Shen, but we just sat down at the first available today and ate our food. For the most part I'm not the type of person to just approach people anyway unless it's a happy hour type situation or I need help with something. They didn't acknowledge us either and I'm okay with that. They didn't know what our deal was and we didn't know theirs. It's pretty strange to just roll up on a couple you don't know in a crowded place just because you think you have something in common.

This post is a bit longer than I expected so I'm ending it here. Again if you get happy seeing IR couples, that's great. If you're happy for that couple, that's great. But unless they give you signals, don't bother them when they're at the mall, or in the grocery store, or on the train. Don't follow them and be all paparazzi on them and shit. Just smile and leave them be. If any of you have been in these situations let's here about it. Were you the one in the relationship being approached or attempted to approach a BW/AM couple? How did you reaction to the situation?

17 comments:

  1. That reminds me of the time when my guy friend Daniel & I were eating @ the Union Station food court. This black woman & her male companion came up said we were cute & asked how long we'd been dating. We told her that we were just friends, then asked her how long they'd been in a relationship. They weren't a couple. She ended up making some silly small talk and leaving. Awkward. Later I was wondering if she approached & questioned every assumed IR couple she saw. If so, that must have been exhausting, because DC has plenty of them.

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  2. Crackin' me up! It happens to me often and once with just a friend, but some older guy he knew was like, "Oh wow! Your girlfriend? You should be thinking of marriage anyway." ...I'm too young~~~! lol Well at that time that was my only thought.

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  3. Well, Im not going to kid you. There are mixed couples where I live. There are some mixed marriages in my family and some of my blood kin are Asian. Yet, I still look at mixed couples,not meaning to seem like I've never seen one before,but in admiration.The few AMBW relationships that I've seen are no different. I admire them as well.

    I've only recalled one incident,but it was nowhere near the stalking that some of these AMBW/IR couples faced. Mine was with a White guy I knew from a place I once worked at,but we never dated. We both caught the train together, sat next to each other and talked for a while until we got to our destinations. Some of the people on there just stared a little harder,but it was no cause for concern it was business as usual.

    If I was in a mixed relationship, I will expect for people to stare. Some will do it out of respect, others will be like OMG,but it wouldnt surprise me at all. I guess some of those guys act like that because you don't see a lot of AMBW's around like you do with other races of couples, though they have been a fixture through out history. As some people ,say it gives them hope in being in one.

    Staring don't bother me,but it does only if it becomes a threat. Some people just go to far with their "love"..their expression of them doing that is just outright scary and should be cause for concern. What that guy did with the pictures of the Blasian couple could put all of them in danger.That an invasion of their privacy. Even if wasn't the case for them, I don't think that I want to be constantly be treated like a circus freak. They maybe of different races,but they are people just like they are.

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    1. A few years ago a friend of mine from Japan came for a visit and we definitely got more way more looks than a same race couple. It's funny because I don't think we even gave off vibes that we were dating, but on the train, I noticed some eyes all on us.

      Picture taking is definitely the limit. LOL I may go off on someone if I spot pics of me and Shen online. It's one thing if someone asks for it, that doesn't bother me as much as a stealth shot.

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    2. Just the idea that you are walking with each or sitting next to him will give the impression that you're mixed couple. When I was on the train, my co-worker, discussed his wife and what he was going to take out to dinner.Still people was just staring.

      When I was in college, I would often see a Blasian/Blindian couple in there. Now I admit to staring at them a little more, only because in comparison to Asian men being from East Asian, I very rarely see any from South Asian being in them( maybe if I was in Trinidad, England or Guyana, I might see more). For the last 5 years that I 've see him, he always dated Black women. With the exception of one guy( he was east Asian.. or appeared to to look like he was), most of his crew were Black people from all parts of the world. I stared at him. I could imagine how many others may have feel from their chairs looking at him.

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  4. Wow. I get psyched when I see an IR couple of any combo (been seeing a lot more AM/WW) but I never EVER thought about going up to chat! Just boggles the mind. Wow! I can understand the excitement but it's still rude.

    Peace

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  5. Jeez, now I want to go and find the blasian family pic and see if it was MY family :S

    I have given big happy smiles to an AM/BW couple only once. The girl gave me the meanest look on the planet like I had called her a bad word! I was just honestly happy for them both. I felt bad to have ticked her off.

    However, I do understand where she is coming from... because I have had white women smile at me with a very sappy condescending smile soooooo many times, and it makes me feel grumpy too. It makes AMBW seem like some freakish odd thing. Nobody smiles at Asian women with White men! It's par for the course, so nobody feels compelled to comment on it verbally or nonverbally. By making a big deal out of AMBW couples, it's othering them.

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    1. LOL maybe she thought you were checking out her guy. Still, smiles I think are pretty harmless.

      I'm with you on the idea of othering AM/BW couples. It's a conflicting thought, reminds me of being tall. On the one hand, I'm tall and I know it and I'm not bothered by it. On the other hand, it bugs me when people tell me I'm tall. LOL I don't need to be reminded about it, it's just a fact. I feel the same way about AM/BW couples. Ugh, does this make sense? I've been all over the place today. >_<

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  6. I don't think I've given a lot of reactions to IR couples outside of a double take depending on the type of relationship. DC has plenty of BW/WW couples and I hardly blink at them. I have seen quite a few AW/WF couples, including three yesterday while I was out in Virgina shopping. That AM/BW couple I saw at the restaurant is probably the first time I really was like, "oh snap another couple!" But it just seems to weird to just walk up to someone and discuss their relationship. It's funny because Shen and my friends really haven't asked us about our relationship. We've gotten some eyebrows because we met online, but none of them have ventured into "it's so great to see more IR couples" territory (we both have friends in IR relationships though, so maybe that's a difference). But random strangers, just want to know all your business!

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  7. Being a person that has basically only grew up around blacks and whites I can definitely see why the person would be overly excited. Seeing as, I'm one of those people. But to walk up to a couple and gush is a bit much for me..
    BUT I can be a weirdo sometimes so I might be that creepy person now and again because I've loved Japanese culture since I was 14 and fell in love with asian men as the time went by so if that person had the same amount of love for asian men and blasian couples as i do...i'd totally get it.

    Ahh but I'm just pacifying myself and justifying weirdness.

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  8. To be honest,I don't approach or talk to people I don't know.

    I do recall seeing a BW/AM couple in HS. My first thought was "Oh I didn't know they were dating" and I kept on moving. I knew them so seeing them holding hands and being close didn't cause me to linger or be surprised.

    There is also a coworker of my mom who is Filipino with a Black wife. My mom is a friends with him and he is nice ,(Spoke to him when I visited my mom at work). I did not ask about his personal life because I don't care.

    Like others mentioned , a couple is just a couple, they don't do weird random things and shouldn't be made a spectacle of.

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  9. Blasian makes me think of food every time.

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  10. I had a huge "dumbass" grin on my face when i saw a couple at school today (considering it's a schoold where black people occupy 4 per cent of and asian people...barely one). to conseal it, i practically had to cover my mouth with my cellphone while pretending that my "boyfriend" sent me a funny ass message.

    that was the weirdest 2minutes of my day.

    i dont usually do this really.

    btw i love your blogs. you are just so darn funny.(posting on old blog...seems like i am going backwards on your timeline)

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  11. I actually try NOT to stare at IR couples (and treat them like any body else) because they are not the norm where I live and yes I do live in a metro city. I just guess that they get stared at all day and I just act like they are normal, run of the mill couple...

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  12. also, i think it's so ridiculous how people stare when a man and woman of different races are just INTERACTING in a social manner (I expect it's even more with a black person and a non black person). It just shows how segregated our country still is after all this time.

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