"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Monday, February 14, 2011

Zebrahead - La Couleur de l'amour (the color of love)

I met my beloved Peter 25+ years ago at a high school dance. It was 1985. We were both 16 year old high schoolers. I am African American, Peter hails from Irish-German stock. All I remember about the moment I first laid eyes on him was that he was tall, had piercing green eyes and was fine as hell! Someone introduced us, and from the moment after he looked at me, smiled and said hello - that was it. He was/is my Mr. Gorgeous. Thinking back on it now, I don't know what 'it' was. All I did know was that I was going to belong to him, and he was going to belong to me. About 5 minutes after that first meeting, Peter made it clear to me that he felt "it" too. And so our 25+ year long love affair began.

Little did Peter and I know that falling in love with each other would result in a lot of fallout - from people he thought of as friends, and from complete strangers...

Zebrahead film poster (1992)

Zebrahead (1992) - is an indie film about a red-headed Jewish high school boy from Detroit (Zach) who falls in love with the new girl in town, his best friend's cousin (Nikki). They're aware that their relationship is going to cause all sorts of problems - with their friends and family. But they don't care, they're in love. All sorts of craziness insues. Rent the movie if you can. It's pretty 'old' and will probably be hard to find, but it's worth the extra effort.

New York, late 1990s
When Peter and I heard about this movie, we couldn't wait to see it. We saw it at the Esquire Theatre in Chicago the day it was released. There were many aspects of the film that did not fit our experience - neither of our families had a problem with our dating each other. And neither of us gave a flying hooey what anyone thought, including our friends and family. But many aspects of the film spoke directly to, and reflected, our experience(s)...

Junior Prom, 1986
We are barely 17 years old in this photo.
How did we have the stones to not care what anyone thought?

Rome, Italy - 1990

Where ever, when ever, we went people felt compelled to come up to us and tell us what they thought of us being together. If I had a dollar for everytime someone yelled "nigger lover" or "traitor" at us, I'd have enough money to take the family to Paris for one month with plenty of spending money left over. Years later, Peter confided to me that he lost a lot of friends in high school because of our relationship. But he didn't care. He loved me, he loved us.

Renewing our vows on our 10th wedding anniverary - August 2007

I don't know if people just chilled out or Peter and I just stopped noticing the stares - probably the perfect combination of both - but we just continued to live our lives, reach our goals and love each other fiercely. We partied with our small, close-knit group of friends, called the "United Nations" (I'll blog about them soon); travelled as much as we could, and just...loved each other fiercely. Eventually we got married and had some beautiful babies. And through it all, the good times and the bad, we clung to each other. My being Black and he being white just didn't matter - not for the things that really count: family and love. It may sound corny, but it's true - for us, Valentine's Day is every day. Peter, you are my soul mate, my life mate - you are my Mr. Gorgeous. Happy Valentine's Day baby.

Vivre, rire, aimer!


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. Wishing you & yours more years of bliss.


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