Dr. West





Mother and Daughter Go Black



     We've gotten several letters on the mother-daughter-going-black issue.

Some readers thought I was condemning it.  I don't recall saying or implying that. I try to only condemn things that are illegal, sociopathic, or physically harmful.

But to address issue this I've chosen what I think is the most interesting e-mail letter on this so far. It is well written, covers lots of bases, and for the subject matter even somewhat entertaining.

E-mail from a Mother

" Because of this my teenage daughter got much more mature, and in many respects I got younger."

Dr. Weston,

      I'll admit I was initially in the dark ages on this issue. ("Dark ages" being a short generation ago.)

But before I get too far into this saga I want to say this "tragedy" brought my daughter and me closer.  Whereas she never really talked about personal things before, what happened sort of forced the issue.

Where to start?

      >>   After moping around in a funk for days, my daughter, Marissa, came to me scared and in tears with one of those pregnancy sticks. "This one says I'm pregnant too."

For me this was tonally out of the blue, but I stifled a reaction to freak out -- one freaked out female was enough at this point -- and tried to calmly say that I didn't know she was having sex.

She tossed the stick on the garbage and rather caustically said, "I guess it slipped my mind to mention it."

I jumped over about six just-say-no and safe-sex lectures and said something stupid. "So I guess you didn't use any birth control."

I could see her sifting through some caustic retorts, but she ended with, "I guess the condom came off; he's big; it happens."

With that she had exceeded her confession threshold and dashed to her room -- strangely, not closing the door.  Then I heard her on the phone.

" At that point I figured we needed to go somewhere where we couldn't scream at each other, so when she got off the phone I said that I was thinking of going to Applebee's for supper, and did she want to come along?"


A long pause, "I guess."

       We got a booth in a far corner, and maybe head off a lecture form me, she uncharacteristically became talkative. This was a time for me to just listen.

She admitted she had been having sex "for a year, maybe two," and this had never happened before. She said she'd talked to "Tom" (the sperm donor, I assumed) who said he would give her money for an abortion.  But there was a catch -- she needed parental permission.

Treading water on this, I asked her to tell me about 'Tom," and after listing litany of his accomplishments, including having a top spot on the wresting team, she ended by saying, "He's black."

That came as a surprise; my daughter is very white.  The blond streaks in her hair have been getting wider over the months and now she's mostly all blond.  Seeing my expression, she said, "Half the white girls at school are going with black guys."

I asked why  a black guy and she said, "I thought you would know."

"Assume I don't."

It's hard to embarrass my daughter, but this did it. She flushed and said, "They're big and they can go a long time and girls can come with them a bunch of times."

This was my daughter talking -- the one I just assumed was a virgin!  "And white guys can't?"

"Not the white guys I've been with."

"How many is that?"

Things had come too far for her to start denying things. "Four or five, or maybe six if you count...well, never mind that part."

Recalling that my divorce settlement from her father would pay for her college, and college would be rather difficult with a baby, I said, "I guess an abortion is the only way out of this."

" Shortly thereafter, I accompanied her to a clinic and a few days after that we went to her doctor and got a prescription for birth control pills. Hopefully, with what she's been through, she won't forget to take them."


      >>   Before the mother-daughter door to communication closed again, I said I would like meet Tom.  She seemed happy that I would suggest it and, again, she went through his list of accomplishments, ending with the fact that, like me, his mother was on her own.

      >>   Shortly thereafter Marissa got us invited to Tom's house.  The mother was there for about 10 minutes before she had to leave for work.  She has to work two jobs to pay the bills. However, she knew we were coming and had a nice meal prepared.

Tom has an older brother, "Terry," at home, and at one point I asked him if there was a man in his mother's life. He said, that with all the white women interested black guys, it was difficult for a middle-aged black woman, to find anyone.

He apologized to Marissa, but then said, "But that's just the way it is now." Then he added with a smile, "And for good reason." After a long pause during which no one knew how to respond, he looked right at me and said, "But I guess you wouldn't know anything about that." (This guy knew far too much about me!)

I said, "Things are not much different for a middle-aged, divorced white woman."

Then he boldly said, "I could change that."

Then Marissa (bless her sweet little heart!) said, "Yeah, mom why are you on the pill if you never have sex?"

To his credit Tom jumped in and told Marissa that was her mother she was talking to and that was pretty impertinent -- yes, that's the world he used.

Marissa said "Sorry," a word that I didn't think she remembered how to pronounce.

      >>   Having decided to be more of a part of Marissa's life, I went to a wrestling match, featuring, of course, Tom. As we watched she pointed out the many black and white couples.  Nothing like this existed when I was in school.

After Tom had his shower and got dressed, Marissa said we would take him home. On the way Tom asked if it was okay if he and Marissa went to Big Bear for the weekend. (It was only then that I realized I had been set up.)

Marissa had been on the pill long enough for it to be effective -- so that part is a mistake that won't be repeated -- but a whole weekend was a bit much. However, before I could come up with a plausible excuse why she couldn't go, Tom said, " Terry says he will go if you go."

" Frankly, after Terry's remark about me at that supper, I had been thinking a lot about him."


I asked about the sleeping arrangements, and Tom said, "You and Marissa will share a room and I'll share one with my brother." That seemed okay, I needed to get away, so we made the plans.

      >>   At this point I'll quickly move past the long supper, the bottles of wine, and the midnight stroll during which Terry put his arm around me.

Eventually, Marissa ended up -- big surprise -- in Tom's room. With nowhere else to go, I ended up with Terry. He was young and well built, and I can't say I wasn't curious about what sex would be like with him.  I wasn't disappointed.  He was much bigger than my husband, and before breakfast the next morning I had climaxed with him several times -- and I was a very sore little girl.

Having had no sleep, on the way home Terry and I took the back seat as Tom drove. I woke a couple of times to find Terry's arms around me. It had been a long time since a man had his arms around me and it felt very good. But after that I knew there was no way that I could claim that nothing had happened between Terry and me.

      >>   That weekend seemed to dissolve a barrier between Marissa and me and we started sharing stories like two kids, comparing sizes and staying power of the men -- even talking about our climaxes.

Things had come a very, very long way!

      >>   After that Tom and Terry came over to the house a lot -- eventually regularly staying nights. This went on for several months.

" Although maybe I hadn't discovered love again, I had definitely discovered an exciting part of sex that I hadn't known. Terry simply told me to do stuff and expected me to do it -- so I did -- into some very new territory."


      >>   Terry's older brother "J-T," was in the military and when he came home for a few days, we invited him over for dinner.  When he was about to leave, Terry pulled me aside and said, J-T had asked him what a white woman was like.

This was a new generation with a new level of boldness about sex. "What did you tell him?"

Terry said, "I told him he could find out for himself -- with you."

I backed up and started to object, but he stopped me short.  "Just do it."


"Because I'm telling you to." The way he said it, that was just the way it was going to be. Terry had simply given me to another man for the night. Somehow, he knew he could do that. The thought both bothered and strangely excited me.

I didn't get much sleep that night either.

      >>   After J-T and Tom had left, Marissa said, "And so you just slept with J-T because Terry told you to?

" In a moment of frightening honesty I said, 'When you get down to it, maybe I didn't want to have a choice.' "


With a touch of admiration in her voice Marissa said, "I like the fact that you just did it. Who would have thought? What would you have said if Tom asked me to do that?"

After spending many nights in the house as white women with black lovers, I was thinking about things differently. "I wouldn't have tried to stop you."

Marissa considered it. "And I guess I would have, just like you did. Tom tells me to do stuff and I do it. Maybe we're more alike than we thought.  So, I guess we have to watch our for each other, huh?" 

"Yeah, we'd better."

We looked at each other -- not like mother and daughter, but like two women now sharing common feelings and experiences.

See also "My Daughter and My Wife Go Black"

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