Your Partner Should Embrace Your Culture
A couple weeks back I decided to get into wigs. This was prompted by my best friend Courtney who bought a wig and said it changed her life.
I'll be writing a whole seperate piece on wigs since I now have 3 and let me tell ya— best decision ever. But for now, just know I started wearing wigs during the fall semester.
One night I was hanging out with Carter when I realized that my wig felt really itchy. I'd been wearing it for 12+ hours and it was at that stage where I had to have it off ASAP. I immediately got worried, though, because Carter was there and I didn't want him to see me look like a peanut-head in my wig cap. But it really itched! So I popped that baby off. Keep in mind I had just transformed from Beyoncé to Dave Chappelle in .2 seconds. But we just kept watching TV and Carter didn't even notice. So after a while I'm watching TV when I notice Carter is staring at me. I completely forgot about the wig cap and was like, "What? Is there something on my face?"
He says to me, "You just look so pretty."
Actual footage of my response:
My guy looked at me in all my peanut-head glory and told me I was pretty. It didn't make sense to me at first, but the more I thought about it, Carter has always supported all of my hair decisions.
After two months of dating him, I got Marley twists.
I've been natural.
I got weave.
Eventually I dyed it.
Then I went and got more weave.
Since then I've cut my hair and worn it in a bunch of new styles.
But throughout the whole thing he's been so supportive. I'll show him a hair style and say, "Would I look good with this?" and his answer is always, "You look good with any hair style."
So part of this post was just to brag about Carter cause that kid is the bomb. Three years later and he is just as supportive as he was on Day 1.
But this was also meant to anecdotally segue into my larger point: Your partner should embrace your culture. You shouldn't have to constantly explain yourself and where you come from. That's something you can do for acquaintances, coworkers, and colleagues. But when there's romance involved, you open up a window to a whole world of insecurities that aren't necessary.
When Carter came to Jamaica with me, I was on edge. I was afraid that he wouldn't like the food or the people or my family. But honestly, if he hated all that stuff, I'm not sure I would've stuck around! My culture is part of who I am, and if someone is extremely opposed to it, it's hard to build on that. There's a feeling of, "Why can't you set aside your biases for me?" Knowing Carter, even if he hated everything about Jamaica, he would've still put on a brave face and tried to embrace it as best he could.
Of course he loved Jamaica, my family, and most of the food (although he couldn't quite get on board for the saltfish). We'll be talking about something and he'll randomly say, "I miss Jamaica." Agh. What a sweetheart. I digress.
What's important is the effort to understand one another, rather than a complete dismissal of another's experiences. That's basically the gist of my my whole website. And this post.