Remember the Christian mom everyone hated because she wrote that well-meaning, completely tone-deaf, racist-sounding (or just plain racist) guide to accepting a *gasp* black son-in-law? aka When God Sends Your White Daughter A Black Husband aka When God Answers Your Prayers But Ignores Important Deets aka When God Fucks Up & Sends Your Fam Some Real Life Shit To Pray About? Yeah, that’s the one.
Everyone had an opinion on it, even Yours Truly. I came around pretty quick to see – or at least fervently hope – that the author was coming from a good place, even if that place was 1954. The Washington Post wrote about it, NY Daily News, Patheos, HuffPo, every blog that’s ever uttered the word ‘Christ’ or used Papyrus font on their website, and one of my favorite bespectacled cats masquerading as a human, The Everywhereist (who described me as “subject of [a] future article called When God Sends You a Girlfriend Who Will Fuck Shit Up When Shit Needs Fucking Up,” worthy praise that I’ve since added to my bio and résumé).
After the article came out, I received a lot of emails. “This is perfect for a parody, you HAVE to rip on this” and “PLEASE write ‘When God Sends You A White Husband’ or something equally ridiculous” and “Only you could do this justice!” I thought about how I might approach it, the tone I would take, even though the whole thing felt like low-hanging fruit. It’s like making fun of Donald Trump. Why bother? The man is a walking punchline. He does the work for you.
A few things kept me from pursuing a race-related parody of the article:
1) Even with the script flipped and the tables turned, I’d still be poking fun at someone else’s race, even if that race was like…Norwegian.
2) I’m a person of color raised by a white family (aka When God Sends Your White Family A Weird Brown Daughter), so I wasn’t sure what perspective I’d be writing from — a black woman lamenting her daughter’s white husband? A brown mother wondering where this Ivy League guy named Ashley Turncoat the Third came from? No matter what angle I looked at it from, I just couldn’t find something that worked for me.
3) I married a white guy, so I’m already living When God Sends Your Daughter A White Husband (minus the God part, She had jury duty that day), and I have to say, it’s pretty freaking awesome. Finding the snark in something I’m living and loving felt incongruent to me.
4) I truly believe the mom in question was coming from a place of learning (however elementary) and not a place of harm. Why rub salt in the wound? She took the article down after getting death threats from people on the Internet.
5) I didn’t want to offend anyone. In so many directions, I could see that being a real possibility. Most offensive to me: Something that’s supposed to be funny but really isn’t; comedy that tries too hard.
So, a lot of interesting questions or thoughts that mostly led to dead ends.
After mulling on it for way too long, I finally came around to what I always eventually land on: What could I write that would make me laugh? Just for a lark?
It would probably look something like
*When God Sends Your Mortal Daughter A Clay Construct Animated For Revenge*
For years, I prayed my daughter would meet the right kind of man: tall, bearded, wise. The ability to resurrect one’s self after death; nice teeth. I hoped he would be a warrior for Christ on the streets, maybe a godly dentist named Todd in the sheets. I knew to keep my list sensible – after all, God isn’t Santa – so I asked the Lord to make my daughter’s future husband an INTJ Libra with an Aries moon possessing a very high sperm count. I was proud of a wishlist based on realistic expectations. I’d always been an open-minded mom.
But God was like “LOL” and sent Pandora instead.
Pandora was a godly woman, in the technical sense, since she was the first woman created by the Gods of Olympus as a revenge gift to all mankind. Her entire purpose in life was to plague humanity by releasing all evils into the world, and boy howdy, I sure felt that!
Well-meaning. Curious. Greek. Female. This is not what I had ordered with two-clicks from the Lord. But after getting to know Pandora better, I realized it didn’t matter that she was endowed with gifts like a deceitful nature or a speech of lies. What mattered was what our beloved daughter, Bananna, thought of her.
“She loves cheese, Mom,” said Bananna, eyes sparkling with hope. “That’s it. That’s my wish list. Cheese lover.” Then she broke out with a big grin. “It’s kinda cool she was a punishment to Prometheus for stealing fire from the gods for humans, right?” I had to agree with her there; arson aside, fire had been a real boon to humanity.
To the parent like me who never envisioned their daughter married to a Zeus-based revenge weapon, here are five things to remember when your daughter brings home a 2000-year old woman made from clay for dinner:
1) You can drink.
You’re an adult and it’s legal, so drink all the alcohol in your home from every vessel you can find: wine glass, champagne flute, coffee mug, pickle jar.
2) Remember to rejoice in all things.
Like drinking! Or, if you live in Washington State or Colorado: “other stuff” that may assist in blocking out your reality.
3) No marriage is promised a trial-free life.
Trials can take down any strong marriage! Then maybe your daughter will go on to marry some boring white guy named Jeff. #BLESSED
4) Remember to be patient with family members.
Calling Uncle Fred a creepy fucking asshole because he’s trying to seduce your daughter’s new wife makes all the sense in the world. Go fuck yourself, Uncle Fred!
5) Your daughter’s loyalty is not to you or your family, but to a Higher Power.
Several people asked Bannana and Pandora, “Which world will you live in — reality or mythology?” But it’s not her world, or Pandora’s world, or even our world. It’s mostly about cheese.
Parents, teach your daughters early to choose a partner well. Pray hard and often, even if there’s no return on investment. Then trust her judgment and rejoice with her in the goodness of God, or, in this case, a pantheon of mythological gods.