Please bear in mind that while Daryl totally supports my blogmanic blurbs on our co-named site (after I post them of course), that I should have a disclaimer somewhere on it that states that my opinions are NOT necessarily his.
Oh well, my bad.
Daryl and I have very little quality time together as most of you are aware. That being said, when we ARE together, prancing ourselves around in public as a happy go lucky interracial gay couple living in the Republican singed suburbs of Philadelphia (whew, more labels there than a “can-can” sale at Shop Rite), there are subliminal public observations that I tend to notice. It could be a wave, a gesture or a tone of voice… but there is one observation that is different… one that is frightening… one that I call…
… the “Negro NodTM.
Now I realize that I’m using an N word (as opposed to the N word) that is racially reserved for those of color, but frankly, this is my blog and my subject matter and I’m an adult of the utmost maturity, so there.
I didn’t notice “the nod” in the first stages of our budding relationship. Hell, we were in the throes of romance, and passion, slathered with loads of ubiquitous sex. Our eyes never left each other in the first few months (although I don’t think Daryl actually realized that I had blue eyes until our fourth date) and we were newbies and fresh and still discovering all of Daryl’s quirks and issues that I had to deal with.
Then, one steamy summer evening…
… while we were at a local mall shopping for candles, wine glasses and most likely underwear, I realized that there was a code… a secret code that I was not privy to. I was not a part of. Whenever Daryl and I would walk past another Black couple or family, the male would make eye contact with Daryl only and nod ever so slightly. I was confused at first. I smiled at them too, but they would only nod at Daryl. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t polite. I felt invisible. I felt… what’s the word I’m searching for…
I wondered if perhaps it was just a onetime thing, then I noticed it happening in other public situations like grocery stores, bars, movies, bars, the wine store, festivals and bars. I was appalled at how casually I was ignored by the men in Daryl’s race. No nods for me. What did I do to deserve this rude racial behavior?
Was it like some secret handshake between “brothas” that I was to never know? Was I being paranoid? Was it a silent symbol of solidarity that meant that someday the Black men would take over the world and I would be the one thrust into slavery forever? I felt panic and despair rise within my gut and then I thought…
Maybe I was over analyzing?
Daryl and I have discussed it in length. He says that I’m over reacting again and that “you Crackers do your own nodding too” but I still think I’m missing something. It’s as if he’s hiding a long guarded secret from the Mother Continent.
As a pasty White man, I don’t ever remember that sense of connection, or camaraderie with other White guys. I wasn’t a part of that fraternity. Then again, I didn’t really play a lot of sports, and I DID find my girl cousins a lot more fun to hang out with than the guys. I still sometimes attempt to do the “high-five” but I never really get that quite right either. I usually miss, or have my palm get slapped so hard I can’t use it for days. Not that I USE my palms for days mind you… sheesh… I’m digging a hole here.
Perhaps I could possibly lessen the significance of the “Negro Nod” by going into the secret signals and nods of gay men, but frankly that would be redickulously complicated and overwrought with more dramatic definition and flamboyant flair than I have time or patience for this afternoon, so I’ll save that for another day.
In the meantime, you just watch… you’ll see. Watch the interaction between Black men in public locations. Try to ignore it. I dare you.