Last year, my parents decided to enter the 21st-century by finally getting smart phones. Of course, they were never going to buy brand new phones or be on a regular phone plan, so they got some limited phone plan and bought refurbished used phones. They are Android users, and I am not familiar with using Android phones, so my mom asked me to help her with her android device last summer, I was only able to help her with basic things and then leave her to my dad to help… Which basically means he is never going to help because he has no patience to teach anyone anything.
Well, Chris said that since we had a family chat with his own family, he should build a group text chat with my parents and the two of us as well. I knew this was not going to be a great idea because 1) my parents are not comfortable with text. The most they will ever text is one or two word responses. It will likely feel like a one-way conversation, and who wants a one-way conversation in text? 2) the whole point of a group chat is so that a group of people can, well, chat. That is not what was going to happen with this group chat. What would likely happen, and what has happened, is that we will share things like photos of the baby, and if my mom has a response, she will just call me and tell me her response, which will likely be a complaint. Chris partly also wanted to do this for his own amusement because he wanted to see how predictable my parents would be. He proceeded to send a number of photos, including one of the baby getting bathed by our night nurse. Chris did this specifically to instigate my parents because he knew that I did not tell them we hired a night nurse, nor did I tell them that she is Trinidadian and black. Well, it is very obvious that our night nurse is a black woman. She is a Trinidadian woman with dark skin, and this is apparent in the photo of the baby being bathed because you can see our night nurse’s arms.
This did not sit well with my parents. They would not be happy with this for two reasons: first, they are terrified of “outside“ help, because they generally do not trust people who are not family. My mother had had some bad experiences with childcare with me when I was a baby, and so since then, she truly does not trust anyone. Secondly, they would not be happy with hired help who is black. Because to be frank, my parents are racist, and they do not like Black people. When I have accused my mom of being racist before, she says that it is not racism. She says that there are just certain races that are just not as good as others. Some work harder than others. Some smell more than others. You go figure.
I had never told my parents that we had hired a Night Nurse. I knew they would not approve. So this photo was the first hint that we had hired someone for childcare. My dad immediately responded and said, who is your night nurse? I knew this response would not mean anything, but I responded that her name is Cheryl. The next time I spoke with my mom on the phone, she tiptoed around the fact that she was not happy with the fact that we hired someone to come into our home and stay overnight. She also asked in her usual annoying and coy way, “I don’t mean anything by this, but is your night nurse black?” I told her that yes, she is Trinidadian black, and she is amazing. She does a great job with the baby and we totally trust her. She then said, when you hire a nanny in the future when you go back to work, you better not hire a black or a Filipino woman. You can’t trust them. Just believe me, I know, she said.
Chris insisted he sent this photo to my parents to “show them who’s in charge,” but I thought it was just to instigate them and piss me off. I was NOT happy he did this, as I explicitly told him not to. My parents are never going to understand that I am in control of my own life no matter what he tries to share or convey to them.