Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Where is He?" (Purging for Space)

I see the comments...I'm happy to have them...I'll get to them soon...

Right now I'm just purging stuff from my brain so I can have mental space to study for midterms, the first of which is in less than a week...

We had a school event to celebrate a milestone in the program, and I was not really all that interested in going. It was on my usual work night and I had waited to the last minute to ask someone to cover me because I wasn't really sure if I was going anyway. I got the coverage and ended up going, mainly because I wanted to be supportive of U, who was delivering the speech for the evening. I left quickly afterward, no need to stay for schmoozing, wine, and food. Plus, I had already celebrated this milestone last summer, and that was plenty sufficient...good times, good times. I wanted to get home to the man who was celebrating a milestone himself- one full year of full time work at the same job. His first. EVER. He is so not a 9 to 5-er. And I can appreciate that. I'm not either. To get up and go to work every day to a job that you don't care about one way or another...a job that has nothing to do with your passion in life...a job that doesn't give a damn about you or even tries to purposely bring you sucks. hard. So I wanted to acknowledge his committment... sacrifice... that allows me to get the education to do my life's work. As far as I'm concerned, he can't get away from this kind of work fast enough. We're working on a plan to align his passions with work that earns income. But in the meantime, he's chugging along. We're chugging along. So I couldn't get out of there fast enough. But while I was there, I was annoyed by how often people wanted to know where he was and why he wasn't there to "support" me. Couples, both hetero and gay, were all over the place. It was freaky to a dog and pony show, or a contest. Couples, arm in arm, hand in hand, beaming. Scary beaming. Yeah, they were happy, but it was off. Like, look at us...we're a couple, a happy couple. This is what love looks like! There was one woman who asked me where he was and I said "oh he's at home" and she said "why didn't he come?" and I said "because I didn't need him to" and she said, "oh, we'll talk after!" cause we were leaning over someone else having this conversation. Needless to say I didn't have a conversation with anyone "after." She was not at all unpleasant. I was just sick of the question. It was almost like I wasn't supposed to be seen without him, unless I had a good excuse. Like, yeah, no one brings their mate to class or to work with them, but every where else...well, where is (s)he? Ugh. This only mattered this time because it's happened SO many times before...all kinds of events, especially the ones where partners are invited, especially parties, people wanna know why he didn't come with me. When I got home I was telling him about it, and we wanted to know if I wanted him to make an appearance...probably because I was going on and on. No. Of course not. I do periodically check in as to why he doesn't want to go to a certain thing, because I want to know what he's thinking about, are you angry at someone who's going to be there? Do you need time away from me and just aren't admitting that? Are you intimidated? Bored? He's internal, sometimes I check, a LOT of times I check in. Anyway, he said something about my ranting that hit me hard.

"I think you think that because they never see us together and keep asking about it, they think we don't love eachother, and I know that that would really piss you off if they thought that."

Bull's eye. Damn.

(I can't stand you, maaaan. lol)

Now the question is, why do I care?


Dark Daughta said...

Okay, you've left me with blogger blue balls. ;) Just when I was getting started, getting into your groove, you finished. That's not fair. Where's the rest of it? C'mon! Can we talk about love now? Hee, hee, hee! (big grin)

Loving Pecola said...

LMAO! I don't know what's up...I talk about love sooo much, I'm such a romantic, but now when it comes time for a critical analysis I stop short. LOL but it aint funny. YES YES YES we will get all up into this love thang...I ainnn runnin from you darkdaughta! LMAO And what has taken me so long will surely be part of my end of the conversation!


Dark Daughta said...

Good luck on your mid terms. Study hard.

Emory Student Midwife said...

Good luck on midterms too!

And I get this question as well, although I don't have a husband, but a girlfriend. My schoolmates frequently ask after her if she's absent from school events or social events. We're a pretty independent couple who spend time apart easily. She gets bored at my nursing functions because (understandably) we manage to spend most of our time talking about clinicals, or classes, or horribly disgusting things that only nursing students can handle. Plus she works and I do not.

Dark Daughta said...

I'm not going to get all up in deconstructing this here. But L.P., And Emory Student, I think what links the two experiences is that knee jerk understanding that says an adult isn't enough on their own. They're extra special when they're partnered whether it's to a person of the opposite gender or to a person of the same gender. Coupledom is of massive importance. It signifies a whole bunch of things to different people. When you don't represent, many people feel let down. They want to know when they can next count on you to tow the line and be part of the iconic, oppressive, monogomously coupled show. They want to make sure you haven't fallen off the wagon. L.P. especially as a heterosexual woman, they want to make sure you're still performing love and affection via your male partner. Are you still a woman who is loved by her male partner? Are you still playing your role as a woman attached in ways they will make assumptions about to a male partners? That's why the conversation has been so crucial for me. When they see me with Papi they assume that I have made particular concessions. They assume that I am good with all what heterosexual patriarchal relationship entails. They smile and nod and give a check mark. If I had not done damage to that grading system in blogland I would probably have way more Black wimmin, way more white married birthing types, too visiting my blog. I did harm to it in the hopes that I would weed out those who would come reading being partnered to a man in a particular way. I did damage in the hopes that I would be able to still read as queer to political queers in certain ways. When you came asking about "love" there was no way for me to explain what you couldn't have understood about what "love" is forced to mean in heterosexual, patriarchal, coupled, monogamous circles. There wasn't a way to have the conversation without pulling the veil off in certain ways and letting you see what you could, what you would.

The two married feminists both seriously play down the importance of the presence of their male partners. They move through the city and through events mostly, often without them. I remember not understanding when I was a young dyke how a woman could marry a man and then seemingly render his presence so unimportant. I was like: Why would you get married and then treat him like an occasional appendage? I didn't understand the interplay of resistance and affection. I didn't understand the sheer impossibility of being that conscious, heterosexual, having a feminist critique and choosing to be in a relationship that people would want to code and filter only in a very narrow variety of ways.

Now I do. So, :) I really am hoping we can talk about "love" in a way that contextualizes what you experienced, which is only a tiny down side that only hints at the scope of the larger picture.

Dark Daughta said...

I meant to ask, how is your grandmother? I remember the car she was in was hit by a police cruiser. How is she? Has she recovered?