I guess I was a dumb ass little kid.
The elementary school I went to was less than 10% white. It was also a magnet school for the more seriously disabled students in the district. The foundation on which I built my worldview was that this was the way the world looked. My middle school did nothing to discourage this worldview. My high school had a higher white population and the students tended to somewhat segregate themselves, but it was very liberal and we even had the good ol’ Westboro Baptist Church protest at it for our lgbt acceptance.
Let me tell you: I was not ready for the “real world.”
I was the kind of kid who preferred the company of the ESL kids (English second language). They tended to speak less and what they did have to say was interesting. Sometimes I sat at the “lesbian table.” (Which I didn’t discover that they were all lesbians until my senior year and which did not effect my friendship with them at all.)
In high school gym class, there was a young man with facial tics. He was very quiet and people tended to talk at him more than to him. We hung out. His name was Tyler. We started dating. Then one day, he brought me to meet his family.
Up until this moment, I thought that people like his family were a myth. A gross exaggeration used as entertainment on tv. As it turns out, they are very real.
As I stepped through the door, his older brother turned and said, “Wow. You brought a Mexican?”
For the record, I am actually not Mexican.
Tyler froze in the doorway in terror.
Tyler’s mother, noticing that there was a potential problem, interjected, “I think he just means that you’re not really the type of girl these boys usually bring home.”
This did not solve the problem.
Tyler’s father looked up from the tv and said to me, “It’s not a bad thing necessarily.”
As if I needed his reassurance that I wasn’t a bad thing. As if his graciousness assuaged my fears that, alas, even though I was a lowly, useless not-quite-white person, he would allow me into allow me into his home.
The problem continued from there. From confederate flag belt buckles to lifted trucks with smokestacks to spouted racial slurs and rampant homophobia, they were something straight out of an ugly fairyland.
When Tyler proposed to me a couple years later, only my mother knew beforehand. His father was furious. His mother was disappointed. I settled in for a lifetime of telling them to fuck off.
I helped Tyler find a psychiatrist who diagnosed his Tourette’s Syndrome and prescribed him medication to help control his tics. His parents didn’t “believe in” things like that.
My in-laws are willing to help us when we need it, but delight in hating everything I do along the way.
A couple weeks ago, my car’s alternator took a shit. It was towed to the nearest place it could stay: my father-in-law’s welding shop. A couple days later it was brought to my in-laws’ house where Tyler fixed it.
When I got it back:
Naturally, I was liks, “Who the fuck wrote on my bumper sticker?”
It was either someone who worked for my father-in-law (which is basically just his sons and nephews) or someone at my in-laws’ house.
But since I pointed it out, of course, I’m the bad guy. I’m “starting a stink and it’s probably about time you take that bumper sticker off now anyway, don’t you think? I mean, he’s not President anymore and you can just peel it off.”
Excuse you, bitch? Maybe your stupid fuck nephew shouldn’t vandalize other people’s shit.