I believe that love knows no boundaries. I met my husband like a lot of other young women did: at work. We got to know each other little by little, seeing each other once a week as he cleaned the house where I worked as a nanny. I was so impressed by his respectfulness, his sweet shy smile and his amazing ability to polish an entire room to sparkling in a matter of minutes, that I never really considered his ethnicity. I thought that the time of racism is past us now, and the fact that he was Latino wouldn’t make any difference to a person with any sort of sense. Certainly not to anyone I knew.
Then we went on our first date. A ripple of anxiety went through my general acquaintance, but I reasoned it away thinking it was because it was my first boyfriend; people are bound to be a little strange. But as I fell in love with this phenomenally neat man, my naive perception shifted. It was as though I were in a dark room trying to see by the light of a birthday candle, thinking I saw all, and suddenly Mauricio walked into the room and turned on the light. And I didn’t like what I saw.
Close friends, relatives, even complete strangers approached me, saying things that blew my mind. Things like,
“You shouldn’t be with him. He’s from a third world country.”
“Someday God will bring you an American man.”
“He won’t respect you.”
“All they think about down there is being clever. They all cheat. It’s their culture.”
And then there was the one that hurt the most. A woman I had just met looked at us over her glasses, turned to me with her eyebrows raised and uttered, “Good luck.” The truth is, the man they judged is more kind, more caring, and knew more about love than all of them put together.
Far from their intended purpose, these people encouraged me to draw nearer to him than ever. I saw in him what few people took the time to see: a good man, a good husband, a good father. And when I, probably the whitest girl you will ever meet, married my Brazilian husband, it was the most empowering moment of my life. His love has allowed me to find my few true friends; to immediately sort out people who are ignorant and blind from those who are worth my time. Most of all, he has taught me to look into my own beliefs and rid myself of prejudice.
Our love does an amazing thing. It clears away hatred, racism and ignorance because we are a living, breathing example of true love between two races, combating stereotypes and celebrating differences. It brings our hearts closer every day, though we were born halfway around the world from each other, and I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. I believe that love knows no boundaries.
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