“The One with What I Learned from Dating a Black Man”

These stories are inspired by Felicia’s colorful 2017. If the reader prefers, the short stories/blogs or parts of it may be regarded as fiction. But as Ernest Hemingway said, there is always the chance that fiction may throw some light on what has been regarded as fact.

I’m hoping you have read some of my past blogs already. Otherwise, you may be lost in this one. For a little background, I suggest to read blog entry, "The One When I Spent My First Weekend in Hartford."

 “The One with What I Learned from Dating a Black Man” 
Old Title-
“The One with the Academy (Oscars) Awards”  

I always struggle with what to blog about next. As unreal as it may sound, I let my day or week tell me  what I should write next, which explains “The One With The Black Panther,” “The One With The Valentine” and “The One With The Summer Surprises.” I love that Facebook has this time travel feature. Once again, it directed me to a time where I can share a Bye Felicia, Hello Life moment. Here is  a photo of what was displayed on the newsfeed of  “On This Day.”
It was the 2016 88th Academy Awards show. This particular Oscars show was special. It was controversial. It was the year that there were no black nominees in any of the major categories,  the year that Will and Jada Smith and Spike Lee got mad and sort of boycotted. My John did not want to watch it either. I, however could not resist. It was also the year that Chris Rock, my 3rd favorite Oscar emcee is hosting. (My first is Billy Crystal and my 2nd is Whoopi Goldberg!)
Although John also "boycotted" the show, we had many conversations about the Oscars. I told him about Chris Rock’s monologue. How funny it was, yet you can see how uncomfortable some of the white people in the audience were. I mean, Chris said things like,
“Now the thing is, why are we protesting? Why this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. O.K.? I’m sure there were no black nominees some of those years. Say ‘62 or ‘63, and black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.” -Transcript from NYTimes
As funny as Chris Rock wanted  that part of his monologue to be,  I understood what it meant. It’s funny... but not...but funny...but not...if you are racist.
John told me that this controversy sort of happened before with the movie, The Color Purple (Spoiler Alert: “The One With The Color Purple”) In 1995, this amazing movie failed to win any of the 11 major categories it was nominated for, making the record (tie with 1977's The Turning Point) for the most Oscar nominations without a single win.  I would have not known about this beautiful movie had it not been for John. I actually refuse to watch sad movies. And even if I hesitated each time John asked me to watch “serious” movies, I always gave in and ended up loving it! We saw movies like “12 Years a Slave,” “The Butler” and more. John may have betrayed me multiples times, but he taught me many things. He also opened my eyes and my mind. I really appreciated how I became less ignorant, and how more open and accepting I had become because of John. Not that I was racist or prejudiced, I just did not know how deep and real racism was and still is.
I may have lost John, I may have lost the Smiths, but one thing I will keep  is my new awareness, appreciation and admiration of black culture and black history. But then again, maybe I have some black in me. Karen, Rebekah and Marie, three of my best friends are black, and my black students in my  predominantly white classes seem to like me a lot. 

John does not know this, but when we were still together, I read interesting articles about black history in my own time. I have googled Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks. I started quoting Maya Angelou. I looked up all the characters after watching the 2008 musical biopic Cadillac Records.  I paid extra  to watch “42” (Jackie Robinson’s bio)  on a flight to California.  I’ve watched a few videos of Jesse Williams talking about racism, equality and why black lives matter.I worry about David (John’s son) and I get sick to my stomach every time I see George Zimmermann (Trayvon Martin’s murderer)  in the news. I shed tears when I saw Philando Castile shot in front of his girlfriend and her 4-year old girl  on Facebook Live video  (Spoiler Alert on Future Blog: “The One When We Got Stopped by the Popo”).  Because of John, I know who Kalief Browder, Harriett Tubman and Thurgood Marshall were.  See, before John, there was only Martin Luther King Jr., Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Motown  and the NBA! Well, there are more, but you get my point.
Now back to the Oscars… 5 more years back.
Around this time in 2013, I watched the 85th Academy Awards with John. I was hoping it was going to be a very good one, since it would be our first Oscars together. But Seth MacFarlane hosted it (sorry).Well, at least he did way better than James Franco in 2011.
We watched the Oscars at a Holiday Inn in Hartford, where John had been staying for about 2 weeks.  He moved out of that beautiful house in the suburb. You know, the two-storey, 3 bedroom house, with the 100-foot long circular driveway surrounded by snow covered pine trees. You know, the one that Marlene owned. (See blog entry, “The One When I Spent My First Weekend in Hartford”) John said his lease was up and he was waiting for this house in Ludlow, Massachusetts to be available. He told me he chose this house because it was just off the highway, and that it would cut our 2-hour drive distance by 20 minutes. (Spoiler Alert: “The One With The House in Ludlow”) I believed him, especially after I learned that this house has 4-5 bedrooms! Why would a bachelor rent a house with 5 bedrooms, when he has 2 kids, Nadine and David, who only spend the weekends with him? Oh, wait... I have 2 kids, Brian and Samantha! Could that be another reason? Although we’ve only been officially dating for 2 and half months, I had a feeling this house in Ludlow would be my second home!
I was going to end this blog with that happy thought, but I know some of you are waiting for "the other woman's" name to show up, so here it is. 
Now, I look back.  Did John really boycott the 88th Academy Awards, or was that just another excuse not to be with me? After all, that was already in 2016, when he started getting “busy.” Was it just another excuse so Lili can spend the weekend in, at that time , “our” place in Ludlow, a place I considered my second home, my supposed future home... which turned out to be just a house, and nothing close to a home. I know it is not good to assume, but realizing how immoral John had become (or maybe, always was), he is someone who does not find anything shameless with bringing another woman to the house that was meant for us, even when his son, David was around(Spoiler Alert). Remember, back in 2013, he brought Lili to the same house he brought me in, the house his ex-girlfriend, Marlene owned and could not kick John out of. 

Now back to the Oscars...again.
This year, I am going to watch the 90th  Annual Academy Awards on my new 65-inch TV, with a few guests, with my mom and sister on Skype,  and “Horse” on my lap. (Spoiler Alert: “The One With Our Puppy Named Horse”) I hope Jimmy Kimmel will do a great job hosting, and I can’t wait to see what Guillermo is up to.

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I remember the year of the boycott! Great story ♡
Isadora Pissolato said…
I look forward to the next one!! I can already see it like a movie!
Unknown said…
I believe that everything we go through in life is for a reason and for a season, and the pain is given to the strongest survivors. The pain that you have endured and freely speak about is causing someone else’s healing too take place. Call yourself Wonder Woman Felicia because you are a woman of power , dignity, and self respect. I would love to say that “weeping (crying, pain, sorrow) May endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning” You will be victorious Felicia.

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Anonymous said…
This is about the Oscars, but not really about the Oscars. It's about "Felicia." You found a way to write about what is trending, just like "The Black Panther. " This was beautifully written! Keep writing, please! -PM
This was great read. I believe that things happen in life for a reason. We may not see the reason until much later and when we do, it all makes sense. Keep being strong and keep writing.
This was written very well! Unfortunate circumstances and I hope it never happens again!
Mermama said…
I’m so sorry that that happened to you but I love the way you write! I hope you enjoyed this years Oscars and that they will hold new memories for you!
My ex cheated on me as well, so I understand your pain. And I agree with one of the above comments that things happen for a reason. I just needed to trust God in making that decision for me to be happier in my life than it would've ever been with my ex. I hope you're able to get to that point as well. And that you can make new and a million times better memories on all the next go-rounds! :)
Unknown said…
I really love how you make your blog writings relevant and relatable to current events. This one was so well written that you are really taking your readers along for a ride in the front seat of your memories. It’s also great to see you end this one with a happy thought about the future.
Anonymous said…
I love this! I want to spend all day wrapped up in your blog!!! This post was so informative and comical! Thanks for this. I loved it!
You're a great writer and really take us into your story. What strikes me is that I know some of the places you are talking about like Hartford and Ludlow as I live in Western Mass.
Mom Knows Best said…
What a powerful title. It sure made me want to read and know more.
AiringMyLaundry said…
I enjoyed reading this. You're such a powerful writer.

The Oscars can be an interesting show to watch. You never know what'll happen.
Sarah Bailey said…
What an amazing story, you have such a way of retelling things, it really comes alive.
Unknown said…
Love your style of writing - it really puts the reader right into your story. Not a good feeling to be cheated on at all, but I echo the commenters above that everything happens for a reason. Hope you enjoy the Oscars this year with Horse (:
Yuli said…
Hope you have a lot of fun watching with your family :)
Ally said…
I really love your writing and writing style. I never normally watch the oscars, watching celebrities praise each other just isn't my cup of tea.
Lasha said…
What a powerful story. I'm glad you are able to tell it and share your experiences.
Jocelyn said…
Thanks as always for continuing to share your experiences. I remember the boycott surrounding that Oscars season.
Akamatra said…
I was captivated by this story. I don't live in the US but the Oscars were always fun to watch (the next day due to time difference).
Lyndsay said…
amazing but sounding like an unfortunate story. I will have to read more of your posts and I will because you really managed to captivate my attention. I want to know more. Thank you for sharing your story! I look forward to reading more.
Unknown said…
The oscars, i tried to not watch but I just wanted to see who would boycott or not lol. Great writing style, everything happens for a reason. Thanks for sharing
Unknown said…
thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. you have an incredible writing style. you never know what is gonna happen at the oscars.
Fely said…
Wow you had me hooked! Things happen for a reason and things will get better. Everything will align itself perfectly
Unknown said…
I remember that year too. I also didn't support that year. I am excited about this year's awards ... I love Jimmy Kimmel!
galatealily said…
I've been enjoying your posts. Keep on keeping it real! :) xo, Suzanne
Unknown said…
It's interesting when we want to believe the best. However looking back we can see clues. I'm sorry this happened!
Unknown said…
Such a powerful story! I truly understand and feel your pain.
Kiwi said…
Wow so much to unpack. So I feel like you learn a lot about dating a black man by entertainment purposely mostly. If it was on a tv show, movie or on television is that how you realistically learned about dating a black man and more about black people. I think its very brave of you to have a blog and be this vulnerable about your past relationship, but let me tell you - no matter how many movies, tv shows and even tragic events you got to OBSERVE on a screen isnt enough to really know about black people and more importantly struggles as an African American in America. I am not sure if any of that got brought up in your relationship often just how much John struggled as a black man, in society but from my perspective he didnt share enough. That is not enough and yes the Oscars in 2016 were EXTREMELY white...and I will tell you he probably really didn't watch it even if Chris Rock was the host, that doesnt make a difference. Sorry John hurt you but I definitely think he failed you if this is what he taught you about dating black men...thats unfortunate.
Lavanda Michelle said…
Your post just keep getting better and better! This was a wonderful story it really brought about some emotions for me, thanks for sharing.