‘Kay don’t judge me for this one. But get ready for a feel trip.
Shortly before I was with the wonderful boyfriend I have now, I had a thing for Japanese and Swedish men. Oddly specific, I know. Let me explain why. I’d studied Japanese language and culture for years, for fun, and had been to Japan and made Japanese friends. I watched Japanese tv; listened to Japanese music. So naturally, I developed a fondness for Japanese men.
When I started teaching myself Swedish (for fun), I mused about the idea of finding a Swedish guy. Then the inevitable thought popped up. “But… do they… do they even like black girls??” There was only one thing left to do.
TO THE INTERNET.
Some sort of weird dating profile thing came up for Swedes wanting to date blacks, so I clicked to look at it, for shits and giggles. It was mostly Swedish women wanting black men.
But there was one older Swedish guy. He was bald and looked like he was in his forties. His profile said something like: “Would like to meet a beautiful black woman to love. I have two children, and I have a big, warm heart.”
I closed my laptop, and I walked away.
I did not ask for those feels.
It kind of struck a chord with me because of a poem I read in one of my poetry workshops in undergrad like three years ago. I can’t find it now, but it was a poem of about four verses. Each verse was written like a singles ad in the paper. The first three were just screwing around. Business man not looking for anything serious. Biker looking for a good time. You know, that kind of thing.
But the last stanza was pretty serious. It was a Jewish mother looking for someone to love; she had three kids who she said needed a father figure.
Can you imagine? All these business men and bikers and Swedish women on ads like these get one night stands for fun, but people (with children!) who really want to find someone to connect with, and who couldn’t meet someone face-to-face, and had probably had accounts on sites like E-harmony, had been reduced to advertising the love they’re willing to give away in the newspaper (or in weird ass, oddly specific personal ad sites).
Meshed in with these “no strings attached,” “looking for a good time” advertisements, the real love that these single parents are offering has been cheapened. They’re not looking for a night of clubbing and drunk sex. They are, first of all, looking for someone with enough love to give a partner, along with said partner’s children.
Look. I’m only 23. (I just turned 23 yesterday, actually). I’m childless, and I don’t plan on ever having children. So, I can’t possibly understand what these singles are going through, but I can somehow feel a sense of melancholy emanating from them. Pain, hurt, desperation, hope.
The woman in the poem may not be real, but the inspiration to create someone like her must have come from somewhere.
And I hope that Swedish man and his children, wherever they are, are happy.