The following conversation took place a few weeks ago. The context: a meeting to discuss how to cope with my grief.
The Person: So where are you from, again?
Me: I was born and raised in Toronto.
The Person: Where was your Mother from?
The Person: Where was your Father from?
Me: I don’t know. (full disclosure, I do know. But it has no importance to this conversation.)
The Person: Is he from Jamaica?
The Person: Are you sure?
Me: Yes. I’m sure. (slowly becoming annoyed)
The Person: What other family do you have in Jamaica?
Me: I have no family from Jamaica? (hope this line of questioning helps me deal with my grief)
The Person: Well Jamaica and Trinidad, are exactly the same. Right. (this is a statement, not a question)
Me: No. They are not.
The Person: Well yes, they are.
Me: Ok. Think of it like this, you are Dutch, correct?
The Person: Yes.
Me: So that means you are exactly like the Irish?
The Person: (eyes become wide and expression a tad pouty)
Me: Well, The Dutch, and The Irish must be exactly alike. You look a like.
The Person: No, we are not the same.
Me: No, you are not the same. Ok then. So, when you think of each of the Caribbean islands, think of them as separate countries. Each with their own history, culture, atmosphere and environment.
The Person: Oh. Ok. Fine.
Me: (tired, empty, and still sad)