**Author's note: This is one side of an argument that has so many sides and tangents, it could take many a beer summit to figure out. This is just one side and it may or may not be entirely mine. Enjoy**
This weekend, I got a phone call and yet another friend from high school is engaged. I say yet another because pretty much all of my high school friends are set to walk down the aisle or already have. Some are even pregnant or have toddlers running around their McMansions in our same suburb we grew up. I hung up the phone with him, yes, him, and trekked over to my facebook page. I needed an actual count of how many had actually jumped the broom or were on the way over it. But then I realized something. There'd be no broom jumping. All my high school friends are white. They're the ones getting married. Not my black friends.
Now before you start commenting that your black friends are getting married too, let me stop you and say that I'm aware they're getting married as well. I have friends and family that are yanking their brooms out. This is just my observation based on much of society and my black and white friends.
See, somewhere along the line, whites are taught to settle down. Taught that these twenties are about finding a wife, getting a career off the ground, so that your thirties are about the suburbs and raising kids. The girls go to college and come home with boyfriends who become fiancees, they plan weddings at the age of twenty-four and any friends who are almost thirty and unwed are considered spinsters. But switch lanes to the black community and the numbers are enough to make you want to play for the other team (not chicks, other races). In our community, men are taught to run rampant, have a blast, get it in with as many as they can, get so many notches on their bedpost that it looks like Kunta's back in Roots (bad joke, I know). Somewhere along their matriculating line, black men are taught that marriage is what they do, finally, when all the fun stuff is done. They are taught to man whore like crazy and then finally "settle" when their good and "ready" (or maybe even not, hence cheating and divorce). It seems finding your career and getting married for white men lines up, coincides, but with black men, it's all about getting theirs before caring about anyone else. It happens eventually, I suppose, but men used to be ready at 25. Now, it's more like 35 and that's just because they need to pump out some kids. Nobody plans on sixty with a three year old at home.
I don't get it. Or maybe I do a little bit. While white people have been given a slightly easier road historically, and I say that with all the sarcasm I can muster, they have nothing to fear, nothing to want generally and are taught that they can have it all. People of minority descent have been on a bumpy ride since the boat ride over here and consequently have to fight to be free on a regular basis (from society and themselves). So maybe that has something to do with it. They don't want to be held down. They want to experience a life that eludes them. The sparkly, shiny one that was promised on the journey over or when Abe said we were free. So they do what they want, plant their seed so they can leave a life line, but not a legacy or something that matters. My generation isn't totally to blame though. The example isn't set. The black family is a flailing one. The white family has been intact since 1802 and has been perpetuated through Leave It To Beaver and Family Ties. It's all they know generally speaking. On our side of the fence, families are comprised of single-parent households and grandmothers raising black men who will never see what it means to be a married father taking care of his family. The only way to get black family examples is to be black family examples and well, there just aren't enough. There are a few black examples in the ever present media, don't get me wrong. There are some that are NOT the Huxtables. What about the Winslows? Or...um, help?
I have an astounding amount of respect for black marriage-because it's kinda like Haley's Comet. Something big and exciting that is so rare, you have to hold onto it cause who knows when you'll see it again. And while I haven't dated a white guy in forever, and laughed at my friend who was saying he was heading for the slopes, I might join him. Not because I want to get married, but based on this crazy argument I'm having on this blog, I should have jumped ship long ago.
to be continued, I'm sure...