Two nights ago, I received this message in my Facebook inbox. It was from a man I didn’t know, and whom, according to Facebook, I only had two ‘friends’ in common with. I stared and stared at the message for a few minutes, at a complete loss as to what I should do with it, then decided that if nothing else, I should take a screenshot of it with my BlackBerry before I was rendered useless by the absurdity of it.
Oddly enough, I find this message incredibly offensive, but I don’t actually know why, aside from the obvious fact that the man doesn’t know me and was therefore seen as trying to pry into my relationship. Maybe it’s the sweeping assumption he holds that because my relationship is an interracial one it would have to be subjected to the stereotype that most interracial relationships are cursed with. Or maybe it’s that he had the gall to ask if I am ‘inclined to the Muslim-Malay culture’ *. Or maybe it’s simply that he couldn’t have asked anyone who is already on his friends list, but chose to ask someone he doesn’t know instead.
After I took this screenshot I went back to gawking at the message and trying to decide what to do with it. On the one hand, I was tempted to give a saucy reply — and it’s a sign of how befuddled I am by this message that nearly 72 hours later, my usually oh-so-quick-to-be-saucy mind has yet to come up with one. On the other hand, I refused to dignify his behavior with a response, regardless of his reasons for asking — and I knew he probably didn’t have a good reason for asking because ‘do-don’t-think’ is not a reason.
So the message still sits in my Facebook inbox. I have no intention of replying, but I am leaving it there for the short term to remind me that no matter how incredulous I am of most of the people I come into contact with, there will always be the few who will break my belief that I’ve seen, or heard, it all.
* For those who must know, I am not ‘inclined’ to any one culture; I simply adapt to whichever culture that is dominant at any point in my life.