When I first met my husband I didn’t think about us having different skin colors. I just saw him as the person he was. But after being married for 9 years and together for 13 years, we’ve had our fair share of moments where it is clear we are in an interracial marriage.
Here’s a glimpse into my family’s life.
My personal favorite, and the most common assumption when we’re out, is how my husband gets mistaken as a family friend.
We were out to dinner on New Year’s Eve and the waitress welcomed us. She made a comment about how nice it is to spend time with family and friends…specifically looking at my husband when saying “friend.” I just laughed, but my mom was quick to respond that it was all family at the table. It never fails–whenever we are out with my family, my husband is labeled as the friend.
This past summer, I was often mistaken as my daughter’s babysitter when we’d go to the pool. (The perks of having summers off?!) This often happens when the person she knows from school has never seen me. I take it as a compliment since most of the time when I’m teaching, students ask me if I’m 60 years old.
It was very common when my husband and I lived out west to receive looks from of our both cultures. We received blatant stares and head shakes. I used to get uncomfortable. If we went out to eat at a sit-down restaurant, we were often sat in the back corner of the restaurant. Fast forward six years and moving back home to Iowa, times have changed. I personally don’t notice it as much. If I do notice stares, it’s likely to happen when we are around a majority of one culture.
Which then leads me to the next topic: questions.
Answering questions comes with the territory. I have had a lot of practice, and now have a standard answer for when I get asked the following:
Will you teach your children Spanish?
Does he speak Spanish?
Does he like Mexican food?
Will he eat Mexican food?
Is he willing to speak Spanish?
I used to get upset and offended. Now I just see it as an opportunity to teach others who may have not met a person in an interracial marriage.
Having spent 13 years together, we’ve learned to laugh off any of the situations I’ve shared. I see no reason to take offense. Personally, I think my daughter has the best of both worlds by getting to experience two different cultures in her own home.
If you’re in an interracial marriage, have you had any funny moments? Please share in the comments.