Within a year I was shacked up with a new guy, and we played house for about seven years.
I moved from Memphis to Minneapolis, and spent two years playing house.
I thought it was the closest I’d ever get to marriage.
I had no idea what I wanted, but I knew I didn’t want more of the same. I’m the child of an interracial relationship that was complicated.
My mother met my biological father in Korea in 1975. My father was a 2nd generation Portuguese-American living in Korea, doing contracted work for the US military there (strike 2).
My mother was from an affluent, well-connected family (strike 3) and not prone to blindly following the rules.
Back then, mixed-race kids living in Korea were all thought to be (and many were) the children of wanton women canoodling with US soldiers on the peninsula, to get better access to Pringles and Spam from the commissary, and maybe even end up with an American husband.
Regardless of my mother’s circumstances and social standing, living in Korea, I was still going to be a perpetual outsider, and judged by small-minded people.
It’s only a little different in Korea now, but back then, growing up half-Korean in Seoul would have been rough-going.
My mom wasn’t keen on my growing up in an atmosphere of prejudice, and when she met my adoptive father, she knew she had found the best person on the planet to raise me as his daughter.
It seemed like marriage enough to not have to make it official, and when it was over, I was convinced I’d never enter into another long term social contract ever again.
After we split up, I went on a bit of a dating rampage.
I imagined I had fallen in love once or twice, had a few one-night stands and took on a few “boyfriends,” all the while taking stock of what worked and what didn’t. About 90 percent of the time, the men were the prey.
I offered up disclaimers about intimacy and had to apologize for being “emotionally unavailable” and “cold” when things didn’t work out.