Well, after a series of events that I will most likely share at a future date (or right now), I have come to the conclusion that I will marry a man with either black or brown skin.
I wish I had known this earlier in life, as it appears I have wasted years thinking white men liked me. But they don't. Of course, how was I to know? The states I have lived in (California, Utah, Idaho) all have a strong white boy presence, and not a lot of black or brown to get any good research done.
Anyway, you may wonder how I have come to this conclusion. It's simple: White men NEVER talk to me, while brown and black men frequently talk to me, frequently check me out, and frequently hit on me and try to get my number.
This realization began about two months ago. (I should have known for much longer, but I suppose the absence of dates with white men wasn't a red flag for me, I just figured the right white man hadn't come along yet. I've got a news flash for me: He's not coming.)
I was living with Wendy in my summer home and I was on my way to work on a Saturday. I left her place, hit the main road, turned right to head one block to the bus stop when I felt that maybe someone was behind me. A quick glance showed a big black guy in a blue polo shirt, baggy jeans, and white un-laced sneakers walking a half a block away.
No big deal.
I reach the bus stop and sit on the bench. I get out my phone to track the bus. (FYI, you can text the stop's code to BusTracker, and they will text you back the next two arrival times for all buses at that stop.) I hit send and the guy in the blue polo shirt sits down on the opposite side of the bench.
Stranger Danger Choice: Keep phone out so as to appear busy and not open for conversation; put phone away so he can't see it's an iPhone and choose to mug me.
I keep my phone out.
He looks at me, and asks, "Does this bus go to the blue line?"
Well, that answer is tricky, cause it stops one blockish away from the blue line, and you have to follow the diagonal street until you hit Western Ave, and then cross the street to get to the entrance.
I explain, in a rather poor form. Then we stop talking.
He says, "How long till this bus gets here?"
"Well, bus tracker said 5 minutes, but I think it's been longer than 5 minutes."
"That's Chicago for you."
"Yeah, right? Sometimes they can be accurate, I think." (I really don't think all the buses are on weird timetables, I just think some routes are wonkier than others and I really didn't agree with his sentiment that all buses in Chicago are late, but I tried to keep it in.)
"So did you grow up here?"
"Where did you grow up?"
"Out West." (Even though I know they won't know where Atascadero, CA is, and that my hometown is safe from the strangers I meet, I still like to be wildly vague so as not to give people any ideas of where they can find my family to rob or kill them. Chicago has toughened me.)
"Oh, really, where?"
(Dang it. I can usually proclaim being a westerner and all inquiries stop. I don't know what they are afraid of, but usually people choose not to ask follow up questions about the West.)
"Well that would explain your accent."
(For the record, this guy didn't have an accent, and I also feel like I have a certain way of speaking that is in no way an indicator of my homeland.)
"Oh yeah, you think so? Where did you grow up? Did you grow up here?"
"Well, I was born here but I grew up all over."
(Further inquiries proved him to be in a military family, and he listed countries of residence that I can no longer remember.)
He then asks me, "Have you been in this neighborhood long?"
"Um, about a month. I just moved over here, but I like it pretty well. It seems like a cool place."
"Yeah, have you been to the Puerto Rican festival yet?"
"No, but I had some awesome street meat a few nights ago."
(Street meat= Meat cooked out in the streets. Guys buy BBQ carts, then set up shop on a street corner for a day or two and sell meat. I had a kebab. It was really good. Side note, a black guy who was there walked up to me while I was waiting for my meat to cook. He says, "Hey, do, uhh... do I know you?" I looked at him and was certain I had never met him before in my life. I say, "Oh, I don't think so, you don't look familiar." And he says, "What's your name?" I answer him and he says, "Ah, I think I was getting you mixed up with someone else." And he puts out his hand and says, "My name's Black." -seriously-and I shake his hand and now we have officially met.)
Back to the bus bench.
"Yeah, I was thinking of maybe going to the festival sometime."
He pauses," My name's Jeremiah. What's yours?"
I tell him.
He smiles and says, "Myriah and Jeremiah, that kind of rhymes."
Ha, yup, they kind of rhyme. I'm sorry you're nervous and have to say things like that.
Out loud I say, "It's nice to meet you."
He asks, "So, uh, do you have a significant other?"
Sigh. To lie or not to lie. Which is best? I can never decide, but truth is always my fall back, so I choose not to lie.
"Nope, I do not."
As with every answer, truthful or not, I must be prepared to answer any subsequent questions.
He says, "Well, can I get to know you better? Is there any way I can contact you, like a phone number or something?" He looks at my phone.
Crap. I really appreciate that he is interested and that he is doing something about it, but I am not interested, and I don't want to lead him on, but I want to be kind.
I end up saying, "I don't... think... so... But you are really nice." (What the heck was that response? I don't even know.)
Jeremiah says, "Alright, I hope I didn't make you feel uncomfortable."
"No, you were fine."
And then he starts talking about the weather.
Thankfully, the bus comes. I stand up. He stands up. I walk to the bus doors and he stays still. I look back at him and he says, "I just wanted to make sure you got on the bus okay." And I smile, thank him, and tell him it was nice to meet him, and that was it. I got on the bus and he walked back the way he came.
And that's when it hit me: No white guy has ever or likely will ever go out of his way like that to try and get my number. And, obviously, you don't marry men who don't have your number.