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"You're going to end up pregnant before you're married," she once said. But my grandfather—my mother's father—wasn't too fond of my dad.My dad knew that in order to ask for my mom's hand in marriage, he had to have a house ready for her. He also knew that the American Dream was the dream he wanted to achieve for them. She's always said that he's 'mi media naranja' (a Spanish saying for soul mate).Once, in 2011, my then-boyfriend and I left a photo of us, taken at an event, at a bodega by accident.When we came back to retrieve it, the guys behind the counter, which looked to be Latino, handed it to us ripped in half.I can't pinpoint physical features or characteristics of black men because that's not only wrong, it's just not the entire case. Have I come across one that's caught my attention? I have strong Mexican men in my life, too—my father and my two brothers—that I hold close, respect, and admire.What I'm attracted to can be found in men of all races: strong arms (sense of protection), a great smile, nice build (healthy), ambitious, passionate, a sense of humor—a touch of sarcasm helps—and a kind heart. My brothers never seemed to have an opinion as to the type of men I dated, and were only concerned with how each guy treated me. My dad has always been a quiet man, and his only insertion in conversations about my dating life: "Are you happy, ?Thirteen years of dating boys outside my race and it took sitting down to write this essay to have the first, real conversation with my parents about interracial dating.I used to say I didn't have a type, but if we go off consistency, I do.
And those misconceptions were directed at me from men of all shades.My mom knew her father wouldn't approve either way. She knew if she wanted to be with my dad, she'd have to runaway with him. Despite not knowing she was pregnant with my older brother at the time, she hid in a bunk in the back of my father's van and they crossed the border together.They settled in a largely Mexican neighborhood in San Jose, California.Stories, which laced with racial stereotypes, were told continuously that they became truth.Those "stories" tell of black men leaving their women, and of black men being promiscuous and violent. While problematic, my parents' thinking was the thinking of their time.