Hi Meltingpot Readers,
My business partner and I conceded that we can't do everything and hired an awesome intern to run our social media operations at Whatrugear.com. Sam Watson is Ukranian and African-American and has a lot to say about living the Mixie life. He posts a new essay every Monday on our website and today his post really moved me so I had to share.
Torn Between Two Worlds
"Being biracial can leave you torn between two worlds, if you’re close to one parent and not the other. All of my life, my sister and I have been close to my mom and her side of the Ukrainian family. We weren’t close with our African American father, and thus we only possess very minimal memories of time spent with his side. Beyond memories of me jumping onto the back of my cousin April and demanding piggy back rides (I was that young), I don’t remember anything about them from back in the day.
On the other hand, with my mom’s family, we have our Christmas parties, Easters, birthdays and just random times spent together. We were an actual family with them.
And then came the day that my father died.
I will never forget getting off of the elevator onto the ICU floor of the hospital. I walked into the waiting area, and before me I saw two African Americans. They saw us, and stood up. But I looked at them with unsure eyes, and approached with caution.
Are they family? I wondered to myself. I had no idea. I hadn’t seen my father’s side of the family for well over a decade. They were so unrecognizable to me, they were more water than blood.
My mom embraced them, giving the signal that they were indeed family. My sister and I then gave our hugs, as well. But as more and more of them arrived, and I found myself standing in a room full of my African-American family members, I felt uncomfortable.
This is probably far from the truth, but I felt as though they thought I was better than them in some way. I’ve proclaimed all my life that “I’m half!” but I have really only known the white side of my family. I’ll even brag about being half Ukrainian, because it always seems to catch people by surprise. So, when the time came, and I stood hand-to-hand with my other half, I felt like I had betrayed them in some way for being so close to my mom’s side." Click here to read the rest of the essay.
Sam is bringing a whole new energy to our site and company and we love it. He also maintains his own eclectic blog called The No Niche. Check it out for an interesting perspective on life in Philadelphia, mixie culture, pop science and being a hypochondriac. Seriously.
And in completely unrelated book news, the fresh-off the presses finished copies of Substitute Me arrived on my doorstep late last week. It still feels unbelievable to me that this idea I had like five years ago is now printed on the page, bound between two luscious covers and has my name emblazoned on the top. Pinch me!
If anyone would like to share in my joy and has an active blog (and hopefully it's visited by more than your best friend Shirley and your mom) and would like to receive a copy of Substitute Me before anyone else, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All you have to do is promise to write about the book on your blog and I'll send you a copy. You don't have to review it, you can just write about how much you can't wait to read it, or that you just luvvvve the author and would do anything to support her, or you can wax philosophical on how much you love to read stories that feature nannies.
First 7 emails I receive will get one. Don't forget to include a mailing address and your blog address.