Transplanted Life
Friday, August 25, 2006
Explanations which I don't like
It's a bit of a kick to make people cringe when you approach them via entirely non-physical intimidation. Sure, guys can and do occasionally confront each other the way I confronted Carter yesterday, but there's still the implied threat of an ass-kicking. It's a reminder that women by and large control the social network when we want to; I really can't do much to him other than say mean things, but that's enough.

I knew that between meetings wasn't going to be enough to say all that needed saying, so I went to the office kitchen the same time he was there, crossed my arms, and stared. He blushed a little, looked away, and muttered "so, I guess you've talked to Kate, then." I nodded, still not speaking. This leads to "look, it wasn't something I wanted to do, but I had to." I think I throw him a skeptical look at that point, and he says look, I have to be in another meeting now, but meet me at five-thirty, I'll explain everything. I grumble a little, but I did corner him. Really, what I want to do is say screw that, I just came to tell you that you're on my shit list, but that's not really an option. At the very least, I told Kate that I'd try and find something out.

Six o'clock rolls around and I get into his car, my hand on my pepper spray just in case one of Kate's more paranoid theories actually has some merit. He doesn't do anything threatening, though, and pulls into a Waltham Central Square restaurant's parking lot. I say something sarcastic about how he hadn't even dumped Kate a week ago and he's already trying to buy me dinner, and he responds that it's neutral ground to talk on and he's hungry. I suppose that's true, and it beats talking in the car. It's a casual dining chain, Margarita's or something like that and I figure if his goal was to seduce me he'd try harder.

Even though we're hear to talk, he tries to avoid conversation by looking at the menu, but I'm not really having that. I put down my menu and just go at it: "So, why the hell does someone dump Kate? I've used that brain, so I know you're not stupid."

He laughs a bit, nearly choking on his water, and says, no, there's nothing wrong with her, and he probably can't do a lot better, but she's not the girl for him. I say that doesn't make any sense, and he says he knows but let him try to explain.

A couple weeks ago, he says, they were eating at S&S, and Kate saw something in the window at Stellabella that she thought Eloise would like. So she bought it, called Jen if she was busy, and when Jen said no, they came over. He goes off on a tangent about how maternity leave was driving her stir-crazy and her entire life now being about Eloise would drive her crazy if she weren't the greatest thing in all the world, so it was great to have visitors, and (this is me) get to the point already! Right, so, he's looking at Kate playing with Eloise and he realises that if she's not ready to start a family now, she will be soon.

And you're not?

No, he says, he looked at Eloise and Jen and Carlos and realized that that's what he wants, too.

I'm stumped. Apparently, I say, having had your brain doesn't mean I understand how you think.

He sighs, and looks relieved when the waitress comes to get our orders. After she leaves, he says he's not sure how to say this without it sounding terrible. I say don't worry, my opinion of you is pretty low right now anyway. Okay, he says, and then as if to stall, says he's glad I'm the person he's telling, becaues maybe I could help him explain it to Kate. I'm like, whoa, you're not really still stuck on me, are you? He's like, no, I mean, I still like you, even if I'm over you, but you're not right for the same reasons as Kate.

I'm still not getting it, and I'm getting frustrated. Just what are you saying? He looks uncomfortable and says that he looked at Jen, Carlos, and Eloise, and they looked like a family, and he knew that if he settled down with Kate, they'd look like one, but not his family.

It takes me a while to get it when he stops there. "You're not serious. You're dumping Kate because she's not black? That is the stupidest..."

I guess he's expecting that, because he's ready to throw it back at me - my last couple boyfriends are and have been movie and sci-fi nerds, and that was one of the things I'd liked about him. I say that's just common interests, but he says that's only part of it. It's natural, he says - we want to propogate ourselves into the next generation. That's part of the reason that people tend to date and marry within their own ethnic group - we want to try and reproduce ourselves; it's natural. And our self-image, what we're trying to bring forward isn't the bodies we're in.

I say that may be true, but if you know it, you don't have to be a slave to it. He says he knows, but he doesn't think it's a bad thing. His body's dead, and even if he can't extend his original family, he can at least try to approximate it. It's something he feels he should do.

Look at it this way, he says - if he were to go to a sperm bank and make a deposit, so to speak, with instructions that it was specifically for me without any strings attached, would I tell them to destroy it? I admit, the question stops me. I've thought about this, actually. But, still, I don't think I'd throw out a good thing for it, let alone just the idea of it.

But I can understand it, damn it.

This is great
Woah. That's... interesting. Indeed, slightly disturbing. I mean, what does it say about how Carter feels everytime he looks in the mirror? If Kate's not it, becuase she's, well, too white for him, then isn't he, well, just a wee bit too white for himself?

And, for added sport, if Kate's too white for him, isn't he going to find that any woman who hits his ethnic vibe is going to say, "hey man, to white for me?" Zoinks. Danger, Danger Will Robinson.

- Z
One possibility to consider: Carter's excuse is just there to make you quit looking for more nefarious explanations. After all who would question an admitted rascist motivation?

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