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Meet The (White) Parents

by Lucas Molandes

I’m currently dating a white woman, not because I have a type, but because that’s how it happened. And let’s be honest. In my life, it has happened a lot. I’ve talked about being from a small, mostly white town, and so that’s just how the dating odds were stacked. I’ll admit, my skin color does have its advantages with white women who are incapable of being in the sun without burning. They know Latinos produce some cute kids. Anytime I want to manipulate my whiter-half, I’ll point to a Hispanic child and say to her, “Maybe one day, if you are lucky…”

No matter what kind of relationship you’re in, there’s always the formality of “meeting the family.” I recently met my girlfriend’s parents. And while the experience was actually fun and welcoming, as a teenager, meeting the parents was always an awkward roll of the dice. This event usually happened right before some high school dance. I’d wear some baggy suit, sporting a bad haircut, wearing enough cologne to rouse a New Jersey housewife from her oxycontin induced slumber. Now you throw in the fact I was one of the only brown people in town about to meet the parents of a white girl? Oh, Donna, you’ve got some splainin’ to do!

Guess who's coming to dinner!

Sometimes, the parents would look at me as if every report they’d seen on FOX NEWS was now standing in their living room, one arm around their little princess, and another arm extended for a sweaty, limp handshake. For those parents, I’m sure shaking my hand was along the lines of making a Faustian deal with the devil. Sure, they were polite in front of their daughters, but they could fill their glares with more threat than their limited vocabulary would have allowed anyway.

Other times, parents were too enthusiastic about the color of my skin. They were excited their daughter had embraced their liberal upbringing and her bringing my brown skin home was somehow their trophy for their tolerance. And that brought on a new feeling of otherness. I’m sure those parents envisioned a day where their daughter and I had produced some vaguely ethnic child that would really challenge the ignorance of that small town. Then they’d take our baby to Wal-Mart, and complain about the lack of vegetarian options and how the free-range chickens weren’t free-rangey enough for them.

 image via

And then there were the parents who were almost…afraid of me. When I’d come over, they’d act as Lot did when he offered up his daughters to the angry Sodomites so they would spare what was really important to him. “Take my daughter, just leave our collection of monster truck hats and our way of life alone!” they would say. These were the kind of people I would jokingly tell, “when la revolucion comes, you will be spared. I told my father to put your names on the list.” And you could see it in their eyes, the profound appreciation they had for me sticking my neck out on their behalf. Idiots.

I’m sure I’ll deal with meeting my kids’ boyfriends/girlfriends, should I ever have them one day. But skin color will never be the issue. I’m okay with anyone dating anyone, as long as their foundation is love. We all have those things that initially attract us to one another, but beyond that, there must be the depth of love to help you maneuver the highs and lows of any relationship. I think Billy Bob Thornton summed it up best when he slammed it into Halle Berry’s business end in Monster’s Ball. Love is a gamble. But that gamble is what makes the human experience worth it. And that’s the lesson I’d like to pass down to my kids one day.

Lucas Molandes is a stand-up comedian that has made appearances at the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” and CNN”s “Not Just Another Cable News Show.”

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