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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Part 1: The Pregnant Trophy

After my last post, I have done some self-reflection. I asked myself the same question I posed in that post; What poem do I find myself writing over and over and over and why? For me, there are a few, but this has been on my mind for the last two and a half years.

I have written countless poems attempting to sort through the situation, my feelings about it, and the ultimate effects it has had on my life, but I have not been satisfied. After reflecting I have concluded that maybe I just need to tell this part of my story, no metaphors, no finesse, just the straight forward truth, so that is what I am going to do.

Before I begin, I want to say that I don't plan on telling it all in one post. It is too long and at moments, too hurtful, so this story will be told in parts. This is part one. 

There is also some background information you should know. First, my husband and I are in an interracial relationship. He is black and I am white. We have had a variety of experiences with people who don't necessarily agree with us being together, but my immediate family has always been supportive and have welcomed him into our family with open arms, as has his immediate family with me. 

Second, when I was growing up, I had no contact with my dad's side of the family for about ten years. To this day, I still don't know exactly what led up to this, but after the story I am about to tell you, I think we can all take an educated guess. When I was entering high school I lashed out at my parents, blaming them for the lack of contact with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was this argument that played a hand in regaining contact with them. I feel guilty about being the one to initiate the rebuilding of those relationships every day. After you hear this story, I think you will understand why.

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Part 1: The Pregnant Trophy

I was still a student and gave tours of the college. It was a weekday and I had just gotten into the office, greeted my coworkers, and went into my boss's cubical to find out what the plan was for the day. She wasn't there yet so I sat in her cube and checked my cell phone.  On the screen was an alert for a message. Assuming it was from another tour guide, I opened it.

The message read something along the lines of: What is with the comments on Facebook from Brandon (my husband, then boyfriend) about you being a white trophy girl and pregnant? Are you pregnant?

At that moment about a million questions ran through my mind. The first was who is this and what are they talking about? I immediately forwarded the message to Brandon with a question mark and went to check my Facebook.

At first, I didn't know what this person was talking about. I had no notifications, let alone any from Brandon about me being a white trophy and pregnant, but eventually I came across a picture we had taken together that weekend. It was posted to his page and there were lots of people that had liked and commented on it. All were very nice and respectful. One of the newest comments, however, read something along the lines of: Nice picture with your white trophy girl, bro. So when are you gonna be a pops?

BUT it wasn't from Brandon (as I had figured) it was from someone I didn't even recognize. Brandon texted me back. He was horrified with the comment. It had been a cousin of his who he hadn't seen in years, but still remained friends with on Facebook. He told me he had deleted the comment and apologized.

Still not knowing who this person that had texted me was, I sent a simple message back explaining the situation. No, the comment is not from Brandon. He hadn't even seen it until just now. It was a cousin who he had not seen in years and was probably just trying to be funny. No, I am not pregnant. 

Time and pain have blurred certain parts of the story, one of them being the texting conversation that followed. Eventually though, I realized that it was my grandmother on my dad's side, which brought up a variety of other questions.

Since when does my grandmother text? How did she find the picture on Brandon's page? She wasn't friends with him so why had she been searching his Facebook? What had she been searching for? What was an eighty-something year old woman doing on Facebook at all?

I contacted my mom to explain the situation because, knowing my grandmother, within a few hours the rest of the family was going to find out about the comments and our conversation. I didn't want my dad to find out from her and get a twisted version.

For a while, nothing happened. My parents were not worried by the situation, knowing that the comment from his cousin was in no way a reflection on Brandon's character. Brandon was horrified that my grandmother thought this way of him. He even deleted his Facebook saying that if someone could warp his image so quickly and by just a simple comment, he wanted nothing to do with it.

Unfortunately though, that was not the end...

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