Yakkstr

Judgements and Assumptions

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.

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msbradford83 said over 2 years ago ...

When you are a person of color and being in settings where no one looks like you can happen.

msbradford83 said over 2 years ago ...

You get an assumption that people look at you because of stereotypes.

uniquely-learning said over 2 years ago ...

ms.b - I think some times people do make assumptions and stereotype. I think it's unfair but it happens. I also think if you know who you are, what others assume about you shouldn't matter to you.

msbradford83 said over 2 years ago ...

You are right, but that is something he would need to work on.

woman said over 2 years ago ...

You're right that you shouldn't care what other people assume or think about you but it's a tall order. Even when you've learned to handle situations with a brave face and a veneer of "don't care", hearts and feelings are tender. Ask my daughter. You've seen how she is a model of confidence and tough skin but I've seen her shatter with the wrong word or situation. She tells me that all past experiences come raining down on her in that moment. A lifetime of being judged second best. Be patient with this man if he has gone through the same.

uniquely-learning said over 2 years ago ...

woman - I'm trying to be. I recognize why he does it and do my best to let him know that he is never considered "less" by me.

lucyt said over 2 years ago ...

If you have had to fight for decency for most of your life then I understand what he has said to you, we don't live in an ideal world unfortunately.

Lucky for us though there are many people including you Uni that do not judge a person by the colour of their skin, their job etc.

I think both your weaknesses and his make a good match, you know why? he can see yours and you can see his, the key is to understand them, never use them against each other. Talk often about them and support each other in moving on from those perceived weaknesses.

:-)

uniquely-learning said over 2 years ago ...

lu - I do understand how he came to be this way. I just hope it doesn't become one of the things that defines him as a person. He's much better than that. Despite often knocking heads, we do seem to have good communication skills.

wombat said over 2 years ago ...

I don't foresee "stereotypes" going away in our particular culture anytime soon, even though most educated people know how to look beyond them. I wasn't even looking at that part of your post as the most important part, though. I was reading how you put the phone down when you felt you were being told "how to think." I guess that's because that's one of my pet peeves! I HATE it when people do me that way! So good for you on that. Sounds like you are holding your own here, in any case.

uniquely-learning said over 2 years ago ...

wombie - LOL I'm glad you caught that. I have a low bullshit threshold and being told that I was wrong when I knew I wasn't and being told what was right gave me the option to walk away or say something ugly. I chose to walk.

lucyt said over 2 years ago ...

better to walk and calm down than to fight it out and leave altogether.

I hope it doesn't define him either in the long run - we all have our quirks but some can get in the way of a good relationship.

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