So Valentine and I have hit a few snags. I think it's pretty normal. There has to be a huge learning curve to relationships over 40. I was so mad at him the other night when we were talking to him on the phone that I put the phone down and walked away for a few minutes. I don't think he realized I was gone he was so busy telling me what I should think about a certain subject. He did realize something was wrong when I told him I was hanging up and didn't respond to email, text or IM the rest of the night.
It occurred to me that it might be the end of "us".
After a day to cool down we talked. We discussed why I was so angry and what he had done. We agreed that I'd call him out on it next time it happened. I did and he backed off immediately. I also admitted that maybe it's very possible that my past has made me over the top sensitive about this kind of thing.
Then last night we had a conversation that kind of broke my heart in a good way. You see, Valentine is retired Army Reserve. It's huge with him. Nearly every aspect of his life has at least a hint of his past service. I thought it was over the top and was a little annoying. So when he told me why he is that way I was taken aback.
He feels that because he lives in a predominantly white community that he is looked down on because he is not white himself. His display of the military stuff is his way of telling people that he is not less because he is not white skinned. He even said he considers himself a person of color.
It had never occurred to me that he would consider himself a person of color. I've seen him as this guy who was born and raised in San Francisco and as all american as any of the million or so other of that city's residents. I mean, I know he isn't the same skin shade as me, but I am always a little envious of people with some warmth to their skin shade.
It never ceases to surprise me that people still see the shade of a person's skin and draw any sort of conclussion from that. It offends me. I realize that he will have to deal with these feelings himself. I just hope that I am patient while he figures out that anyone who would see him as less because he's not caucasian is not anyone who's opinion he'd value anyhow.