A WASP to the Core
My childhood was days spent riding our bikes to JnB’s convenience store to purchase Sweedish Berries, playing hide-and-go-seek in cornfields, and being ushered across the street to school by Fred, the towns friendly crossing guard. It included all the charms of small town living. Not included was a healthy dose of ethnic diversity.
It wasn’t until my twenties I learned from my Italian friends in Niagara Falls It’s not spaghetti, it’s pasta, and cottage cheese isn’t the main ingredient in lasagne. Upon ordering Chinese food in Vancouver with my first Asian friends, I was shamed with dirty looks when I asked: “where are the egg rolls and chicken balls?” And Indian curry does not require one to curl their nose and cringe with disgust (who knew?).
One in Every Country, One in Every Colour
Moving into my thirties, I started to realize how uncultured I was. It was time to diversify not only my financial portfolio but my roster of friends. I made Vietnamese, Malaysian, Greek, Russian, Somalian, First Nations, French, Brazilian and Pakistani friends (to name a few) both in and outside the bedroom ;).
Once day scrolling through my list of Facebook friends, it hit me. I’ve somehow neglected to make any black friends. What the hell? So, I did the sensible thing, I meditated and asked the Universe to bring into my life some amazing black people. Four months later Carla was delivered.
It was a cold January afternoon when Johnny and I decided to venture out to the dog park. I was cranky and bitter after being ghosted after what I thought was three successful dates with a semi-hot lawyer. Johnny was full of energy and ready to play. Together we were a dangerous combination.
It was one of those days where Johnny joined a friendly pack of puppies for a game of chase, nip, and slide in the snow. I was left to stew in my discouragement with gay humanity, a feeling wich would be plucked from me quicker than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.
She didn’t introduce herself, she didn’t ease into small talk, she didn’t keep a safe boundary. And thank Jesus, Mary, and Joseph she didn’t, she’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met…and…she’s black.
Her name is Carla. Our first conversation jumped from topic to topic, the Buffalo Bills player she recently broke up with, an education on weaves, proof that Oprah and Gayle are not lesbians, and how her dog Blueberry (a Boxer mix) howls every time she boots Drake up on the stereo.
Smacked, Shaken, Stirred
I don’t see Carla often, but when I do I drink her in. She’s like that returning guest star on your favourite TV sitcom who should be a regular but won’t limit herself to a contract. Her energy is intoxicating. The minute I see her swagger into the dog park my head fills with Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough and I have to do everything in my power not to swing my right hip to the side and my head to the left.
The best part about having Carla as a friend, I’m reminded how white and devoid of culture, booty, soul and swagger I am. Carla pushes me to break free from my reserved, polite and judgemental WASP upbringing. Every chance she gets she smacks the judgement off me and puts me in my place. I love her, and yes, lots more to share with you on Carla in future posts.
Until next time, peace out friends.