Him: [Posts casually racist thing on Facebook]
Me: That’s not okay, you’re better than this nonsense.
Him: [Blocks me on Facebook] We can’t be friends on Facebook if you’re going to react like this.
Me: The problem is not being friends on Facebook or my reaction, it’s the casual racism.
Him: [Here’s why it’s funny.]
Me: No. Here’s why it’s racist. Can you try to understand why I’m upset?
Him: If you’re this bent out of shape about a Facebook post, it’s not going to work out with us.
We are that couple having an awkward discussion on the sidewalk downtown. I’m having a slight out of body experience where I’m watching myself — a white woman — explain to a black immigrant why casual racism is a dealbreaker. This is not the lesson in intersectionality I signed up for, but I guess that’s the weird thing about racism, it gets in everything, in everyone. I feel like any minute he’s going to say “You’re getting on me about racism? Because no, you have no idea.” He’d be right, I have no idea. And also, yes.
A friend pushed a guy off the bus a few weeks back for hassling a woman in a hijab. He’s not a big tough guy at all, my friend, he was just hit with this overwhelming “Not today, not here, not on my watch” feeling. He stepped in between the racist jerk and the woman, and when the bus sereditipitously opened the doors, he shoved the guy off. My friend said it took him a long time to wind down from the adreneline rush.
I was feeling jittery as hell while we talked.
Him: I was looking forward to us having a nice afternoon together, but I’m just going to go home now.
Me: I was too. I kept our date because I was hoping we could talk this through, that you would understand.
Him: This is who I am, it sounds like you can’t accept me for who I am.
Me: [In my head] You’re really going to die on this hill, defending a casually racist Facebook post?
I’m fine. I wasn’t in love, I don’t have a broken heart, though I am disappointed. I didn’t see a future, but because the chemistry was so great, I was having a hard time calling it quits. Stupid dopamine, that shit is addictive. He saved me the trouble of breaking it off.
Also, I kind of want to send him a thank you note. This stupid ending aside, I’m genuinely grateful for the time we spent together. It’s been a long time since I felt, well, anything. This was thrilling.
They say it takes 40 to 60 dates, huh? I guess it’s time to restart the counter. Not today, I need a minute, a month, but here we go. Again.