Café con leche (Coffee with milk)

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While waiting for a meeting to begin, the manager asked if I wanted some tea.

 “Yes, please.”

“Would you like milk and sugar in your tea?, ” she asked.

Milk in my tea? I’ve never had it before, but  I’ll try it.

“Um, that would be fine,” I replied.

As we sat down to discuss a potential internship, I told her I usually do not drink tea with milk.

 “Well, how do you drink it? Plain?,” she inquired.

 “No, just with sugar. I usually add milk in my coffee,” I said.

 “Oh, well, I hope you like the milk in your tea,” she said while pointing at the mug in my hand.

 As I took a sip, the taste was different, yet familiar. The tea still tasted like tea, it just had a new flavor to it.

“I like it,” I said.

***

Years ago, I read a book by Eric Jerome Dickey entitled, Milk in My Coffee

The book, although fictional, centered on interracial relationships, specifically between black and white couples and the perception that comes along with it. The book gives a voice to the hardships, stereotypes, etc. that come along with interracial dating. That book sheds insight into the intrapersonal and well as interpersonal struggles of interracial dating.

Milk in My Coffee was published in 1998. 13 years later, I wonder how things have changed.

***

While in Manchester, I notice a lot of interracial dating. By interracial dating, I do not specifically mean black and white. Diversity is prevalent in Manchester, so it is highly commonplace for people of different ethnic or racial origins to date, marry, and procreate (not necessarily all three).

For example, since I’ve been here I’ve been approached by a diversity of males from different parts of the world. Not once has a male been African American or American for that matter. Every time I’m approached by the opposite sex, I am reminded of the different, yet familiar taste of the milk in my tea (no pun intended). Similar to adding the cultural norm of milk in my tea, when a person dates someone from another culture, it is expected that they will bring something new and exciting to the relationship—be it their perspective, cultural norms, etc. – something will be new. But similar to the fact that adding milk to my tea did not change the fact that it was tea exemplifies that no matter what race you date or where you go, people are people.

***

Now that I back in my room, I am going to fix me some tea. Who knows, maybe I’ll put some milk in it again this time.

Xoxo

Mo

 

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