Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I have a joke I tell based on fearing judgment for marrying a white person. I worry about scrutiny my future kids will be under for being different and whether or not they will identify with the black race if they don't look conventionally black. I told it during an audition for NBC's Stand Up for Diversity showcase:
I am afraid of the stigma that comes with having mixed kids. I feel like if I am ever walking down the street with my child in a stroller I'm going to have to wear a shirt that says, "NOT the Nanny".
A fellow auditioner who advanced to the showcase, Yvonne Orji (follow her on Twitter) asked me if I knew the woman who already made those shirts. My jaw dropped. "Those shirts are REAL?!" I asked. She said she was pretty sure she had seen them online. So much for selling it as merchandise after a show. So much for my fans wearing them to my book signings. I did something every cautious comic does: I Googled. Just how prevalent is this concept?
From a blog called "Not the Nanny":
On Friday my posts also appear as an online column for Time Out New York Kids. Visit them at Time Out New York Kids for more city-specific parenting tips and diversions. The regular column is called Not the Nanny, which pretty much answers the crazy looks I sometimes receive when I'm out and about with my rosy-cheeked son.
Wow. So the paranoia is widespread. People DO give looks. But do they judge?
From another blog called, "I'm Not the Nanny":
As the mom of biracial children, I've been mistaken for the nanny, depending on which DC Metro park I visit. That's an entire blog post on its own!
My fear is realized; it really happens! But are there t-shirts?
Sort of. These can be found on zazzle.com and they have the sassy wit of the "Maxine" series of Hallmark cards. They're not social commentary so much as gifts for a Yankee Swap.
I could technically still use the line from my joke with the actual emphasis included in the delivery, "I am NOT the nanny!", couldn't I?
Nope. Nightshade Creations has my number on CafePress.com.
Tired of being mistaken for the nanny just because your kids look exactly like their father? Make it clear with humor!
It is good to know that my ideas are out there, albeit birthed from other brains. The concept doesn't become any less true for me, but it does dilute its potency and potential to make people laugh. Gotta keep my nose to the grind stone.
I almost labeled this post under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up". Because you can't...without someone else thinking of it too.
Related: Shecky Magazine on parallel development.