Today at work someone said to me that they were sure that the sprout would be a beautiful baby.
I must say that I was quite bothered by the remark the individual made. Well, it wasn't the remark, but WHY they felt that way is what bothered me. Under normal circumstances, I would have been extremely proud to hear how beautiful my kid will more than likely be, but this comment was made AFTER seeing a photo of my wife. There have been many opportunities for the person to tell me how they felt, based on just my appearance, but because this person waited until seeing my wife to make the comment, my feelings were initially kinda bruised. Now I know that I'm not gonna make People Magazine's most sexy list, (although some of the entries are kinda suspect) but I also know I am NOT the hardest individual to look at. I guess I felt I deserved some of the credit for making a nice looking kid.
Ego aside, the fact that this person waited to pay their idea of a compliment after seeing my wife wasn't what Really bothered me either. It was what they said next. "Interracial couples always make the MOST beautiful babies. They seem to get the best qualities from each race."
O.k.- maybe I SHOULD have let them know how offensive it was to me, but the only response I could muster up was "thanks" and a half-smile as I walked away.
Maybe I SHOULD have explained that their "compliment" left me feeling that in their eyes, my relationship with someone who shared their cultural and biological makeup was the only thing that gave me validity.
Maybe I SHOULD have said "Yeah, the sprout will be one heckuva good looking kid, but not because I happen to be a brown guy, and my wife is a few shades fairer than I. Our kid will be beautiful because of the confidence, the honor, the love, the consideration for others, the sense and knowledge of self, and the strengths of our ancestors that we will express to and instill in them."
Oh yeah, my great smile will help too.