Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Commentary on 'Andrew and Sherry'

     A close friend of mine is in an interacial relationship, her husband is Caucasian and she is Filipino-American.  In the same vein, I wrote a short story in a collection of stories touching lightly on a relationship between an average Caucasian young man and his girlfriend from Somalia.  It is an engaging story about the warmth that she brings into his family circle.  You see his mother is ailing with depression and there seems to be no abatement and as depression gains speed in ravaging her zest for life, the planning of her son’s wedding gives her a last respite of happiness.  In the end of the story, her doctor recommends not a new antidepressant for her to take, but merely adds to the one that she is already taking.  Her new daughter-in-law Sherry brings a warmth and energy into her family that had been previously lacking.
      Of course the fact that Sherry is from Somalia doesn’t automatically suggest that simply accepting a person from a different culture than you’re used to, will bring about a window out of depression.  Many people have romantic relationships from different cultures and the cultural divide is not always overcome.  Many times parents want their young sons and daughters to marry within their inner cultural circle.
      Having married outside of her own culture, my friend’s parents were very accepting of her husband while they were still courting and so in my short story I write the same way of the mother-figure Angela.  Her depression is fictitious, but her acceptance of her Somali-born daughter-in-law Sherry is very similar to how my friend’s entire family just loves and embraces everything about her Caucasian husband.
      Everything from visiting Filipino eateries,  to the first Filipino-sponsored dance they attended, were just precious moments for my friend that she was probably too over-conscious to appreciate at the time that they were taking place.
      At my good friend’s wedding, everyone in her immediate family was present, except her dearly-departed sister (who died just two years prior).  It was a happy occasion, as so many weddings I’ve attended since. 
      “Andrew and Sherry” does not have a particular wedding scene to it, although it is clear that the young couple was married and that Sherry was accepted into the family.  There is a scene though, where both Sherry’s future mother-in-law Angela and her are each perusing bridal gowns for her.  Angela’s excitement at how Sherry will look at the wedding is something everyone can relate to.
      As I recall from the beginnings of my friend’s interracial courtship and marriage, it was actually her own insecurities of not being accepted as a couple versus anyone’s objections (and to tell you the truth, there were no objections to them being together), that often got the best of her.
      If I were at someone’s interacial wedding today, I would gladly be one of the loudest to yell, “Cheers!” during each toast to that happy couple.

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