Gyasi Ross: Finding a Skin for dating and mating

"Procreating with someone other than a Skin was never really an option for me.

Having said that, it’s very difficult to find a suitable Skin mate.

See, my mom was lovingly prejudiced about me and my siblings’ mates. Now, she wasn’t “prejudiced” in that she hated anyone or she made inappropriate gestures to mock other races. Never that! Instead, she was prejudiced in that no one, of any ethnicity, was good enough for her kids. However, she was openly very suspicious of non-Skins. Therefore, my family’s mantra was, “date who you want, but when it’s time for the pitter-patter of little feet, do the right thing.” And in my family, “the right thing” meant having bushy-haired babies with a Skin.

Oh yeah, to my mom, not even all tribes were created equal for baby-making purposes. Like I said, “lovingly prejudiced.”

So, to the women in my family, “the right thing” meant that I was going to marry a Skin. It was a protocol thing; since these wonderful Skin women – my sisters and mom – sacrificed so much commod meatball stew and fruit cocktail to raise me they figured I should reciprocate by being with someone who looks like them. Still, growing up in a family with a single-mother, two (very strong and belligerent) older sisters and umpteen girl cousins, I would be lying if I pretended there wasn’t any element of physical intimidation involved. I feared for my life and safety, therefore the women in my family dictated a decent part of my dating/mating habits.

I was caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. Although there were only 16 Skins girls in the whole USA, I had to find one that was 1) hopefully attractive, and 2) matched my (few) morals and ideals. And music tastes. Consequently, I’ve been forced to do some ridiculously shameful/shameless things to ensure that I had a decent pool of Skin women with whom to socialize. I mean, Lord knows that it’s sometimes hard enough to find an actual, real life Skin chick in some of the cities I’ve lived in. What lengths will a man, under extreme pressure from his family, go to find a snag, mate, baby’s mother, girlfriend and wife (in that order)? The answer: A lot."

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Skin romance – if you like bannock. … and getting caught in the rain (Indian Country Today 9/9)

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