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Old dog, new trick.)
One of my favorite television shows is Say Yes to the Dress. As far as reality shows go, it is about as distant from my reality as one can get. Spending $10,000 at Kleinfeld’s on a Pinina Tornai is a fairy tale. I fell in love with the first wedding dress I tried on—it was an off-the-rack sample dress that cost less that $400.
While enjoying the gorgeous gowns and gasping at the price tags, the dynamics of the bride’s family is an annoying distraction. The influence family has, not only on the dress, but on the overall marital relationship, is something I can relate to.
Joe and I have been married 19 years. Many members of Joe’s family have lost money on our solid union. They collected a pool.
They were gambling on how long our marriage would last.
I think the average bet was five years. I have no idea who won, or the specifics on how the system was set up. It doesn’t matter now. To me they all lost. (Unless someone bet 20 years. Joe and I have two teenagers in the house, so we are struggling!)
My side of the family gave us our share of grief as well. Joe is Hispanic and my family is… well… um… white. I should state up front that my family now LOVES Joe. They like him better than they like me. If we did ever divorce, they would embrace him. I would have to find somewhere else to spend the holidays. However, upon announcing our engagement, we were met with following:
“Are all of his friends Mexican?”
“Well, at least his last name is not obviously Hispanic, like, Gomez, Gonzales or something like that.”
“He is going to want you barefoot, in the kitchen, and pregnant. If you do not make his sandwiches correctly, he will beat you.”
“After you get married and have children, he will kidnap them and take them into Mexico and you will never see them again. I read a book about that.”
And my all time favorite:
Church elder’s wife: Is it true that he is Mexican?
Church elder’s wife: Well, your children will have no problem finding a job.
Me: [silent freak-out!]
I did not even have kids at the time, and where she got that resentment toward Hispanics I will never know. How does anyone, much less a “spiritual” person, have that much resentment toward children that are not even conceived? I think I am getting of topic. (But I do remember your name!)
Another concern expressed by a family member was how being biracial would effect our kids. Turns out that we picked a great area for our kids to be raised. The cultures in our community are diverse economically, racially, religiously and financially. Several of our daughter’s friends, both at school and church, are biracial. I overheard Olivia telling a friend last Sunday, “Later, Whexican!”
Joe and I have typical problems, but our marriage is sound. What we went through in the beginning drew us closer. We want our daughters to marry strong, kind, ethical men. Race is not an issue. That is something we will always agree on. However, if they think we are flying to New York for an appointment at Kleinfeld’s, they have another think coming.
But those Panina’s are so beautiful…