I've said before that it's hard to surprise me. I'm not talking about surprise birthday parties or things like that. I'm talking about people surprising me. If you're looking close enough, you can kind of anticipate people's attitudes, opinions and reactions to any number of situations. That being said, the longer you know someone, the harder it becomes for them to spring something on you. At least, in theory that's how it should work.
Today was father's day. As such, my mom invited my grandparents over. We had brunch, I helped clean up, it was all very exciting up until then. Once everything was back to normal, my mom, my grandma and of course, yours truly, decided to sit outside for a bit. It was kind of hot in the house.
My next door neighbours are attempting to move. We've never really gotten to know them. They keep to themselves. Seeing the "For Sale" sign, my grandma started asking all kinds of questions about the mysterious people living next door. They were all kind of standard. Were they a young couple? Did they have kids? Why does their front yard look like a jungle? All of this was happening in French by the way. And then, out of nowhere, she asked if our neighbours were Hindu, or black, caucasian? I looked over at her, just staring, trying to figure out if she was being serious or not. She was entirely serious.
I've never really known my grandma to be racist. Old school about some stuff, but generally, she's pretty cool. It surprised my mom too. Once my grandparents left, my mom jokingly asked me what colour our neighbours are. I naturally listed about six different nationalities. In reality, my neighbours are in fact white. That was our way of telling my dad what happened. We finally explained and he too was surprised.
It got me to thinking though. I have fifteen cousins on my mom's side of the family. I have never seen one of my cousins date someone who wasn't white. Granted, I might not have met all their girlfriends and boyfriends, but I haven't even heard whispers (and we are a gossipy family) of inter-racial dating. Same thing with my aunts and uncles. Could be purely coincidence... the community up here is lacking in diversity. We are about four hours by car away from any major urban centre. The reason I find this all so amusing is that I'm quite partial to non-white women.
I'm having fun imagining a scenario involving me, bringing some NOT-white, GIRL to my family's Christmas get together. I wonder what would shock everyone more. My girlfriend's lack of penis or my girlfriend's skin pigmentation? I'd be amused either way.
Then again, I doubt I'd do something like that... it would be mean. Funny. But mean. Maybe it's a generational thing. Because I don't ever remember noticing a person's race. Weird how that happens...