Our Story

So here’s a little story…about Jack & Diane. Except he ain’t Jack and I’m damn sure not Diane 😉. 
But if you want to know a little more about us keep reading! 
Walter was born and raised in the Bronx. He is a New Yorker through and through. From his talk to his walk he’s New York everything. He grew up in The Bronx one of 4 children to two parents who moved from South Carolina to New York to start a new life. He has older children that live and work in The Bronx that we adore and a daughter who just graduated high school and is on her way to live with us and attend college here in Ohio. 
I was born in Columbus, OH and spent the majority of my life in a small town an hour south of Columbus. I grew up with two middle class parents and a brother in the suburbs of a small town. Far from any city life. Our childhoods were worlds apart except for the one common denominator-parents who loved us. 
I moved from OH to Huntington, WV in 1999 to earn my B.A. in English from Marshall University-Go Herd. After college I moved back home and spent a few years working off my student loan debt in a local factory. Shout Out to all my old coworkers at Calmar-Factory workers are the backbone of this country and I loved them all like family. When the factory closed I began my career as a professional nanny. I have been a nanny for over a decade and started a local networking group called The Dayton Nannies a few years ago. 
Then one random night about 8 years ago both Walter and I were on Twitter. He in New York and Me in Ohio both bored and lonely and searching for something. We didn’t know that one retweet later would lead to us talking all night. And then the next night. And the next. For months. But that’s the power of social media, and 6 months later Walter bravely hopped on a bus and came to see me in Ohio. I, like an idiot, went and met him. I laugh now because I would lose my mind if Jaz ever went to meet a complete stranger from NY that she met off of Twitter. But…it worked…and 6 months later we were engaged. We married April 5th, 2014 and neither of us would change a thing. We’ve faced a lot of challenges in our short time together But show me a couple that hasn’t. Then in 2016 Jaz came along, and our family gained a crazy insane wonderful source of light. She lights up our world and along with Bronx (our husky) she keeps us on our toes! Fast Forward a few years later and here we are. I’m a full time Nanny and Mom and Walter works for the Auto Industry. We are regular average every day folks. We are excited to have this platform and get to know you all. So now you know about us, tell me about YOU! Where are you from? Drop your hometowns in the comments below. Every night before bed Walter and I read through the comments and would love to see where everyone is from!

So As a White Woman…

So as a white woman married to a black man and raising a biracial child I’ve had to unlearn a lot of things. I’ve also had to LEARN twice as much. I’ve had to become aware and start to notice things my mind never would have before. My husband, Walter, and I were recently discussing these things and here’s a list of all the things we’ve encountered:

-I have to drive basically anytime we are leaving the Dayton area. We don’t talk about it each time, we just both know that if we are leaving our general “safe” area and heading to smaller town Ohio roads I’m the one driving. 

-I have to handle store clerks, returns, getting documents signed, anything with any federal building or administrative work, I get further with any type of “paperwork” thing that needs handled, people listen to me and are much more agreeable than with him. 

-The chances that we find a Black or Interracial couple on a greeting card are SLIM. Unless you want to give the same Black Couple card every year, which we have 🤣. There are hundreds of white couples to choose from though!

-My husband goes out of his way to be nice and talk to EVERYONE. Not because he’s a people person, but because he has learned that a 6’5 Black man intimidates people and so he overcompensates by being overly friendly so people won’t be afraid of him. 

– If Walter is pushing the cart I always have to have my receipt ready when leaving the store. 

-None of our neighbors thought we owned our home, multiple neighbors stopped my father and asked him if he was the new landlord for us. Because of course, the old white man must have purchased the home. Not only do we own our home, it’s fully paid off, we have no mortgage and we paid for it BY OURSELVES. 

-It took us YEARS to find a church without racist undertones and low key racist members, YEARS! 

-When doll shopping our daughter gets 25 white options and 1-2 black or mixed race doll options. 

-The same people who stop us daily to say how adorable our daughter is, are the same people who would cross the street if Walter was walking alone. 

-We avoid all places with confederate flags. 

-If we go to Bob Evans (or any restaurant that caters to “seniors”) too early we are met with a lot of stares, the old racists eat between 4-5pm. 

-When Walter goes to a playground with our daughter he constantly stays by her side, if not he gets stares and people wonder what the “big black man” is doing on the park bench. 

-Walter is concerned our Black Lives Matter sign by the door will make us a target when he is not home so he asked me to remove it 

Now this post isn’t to make people say “oh poor you, I’m so sorry” etc etc. we have a wonderful life and are thankful for it. But…changes need to happen. This is just a small glimpse into the intentional and unintentional racism that happens everywhere, all the time. I want a better world for our daughter so I’m happy that things are changing. I know a lot of you are tired of the protests and tired of the changes and tired of people complaining. Well I’m tired of having to find a different gas station when the one we drive by has two trucks with confederate flags and 6 white boys in sleeveless shirts standing around outside. I’m tired of my husband having to talk to everyone and never complain even when they mess up his order 10,000 times, I’m tired of driving Damn near everywhere, I’m tired of the sick feeling I get when a cop pulls behind us, I’m tired of having to worry anytime my husband has to work OT and leaves in the middle of the night, I’m tired and I’ve only been on this ride 7 years, imagine a lifetime of this!

-I hope when you see those images on the news of riots and destruction you also remember that the majority of those protesting and fighting for rights are just regular folks like us who want our hearts to be seen. Peaceful loving families who just want a better world. 

Due to the overwhelming response to this post we have created The Chandler Crew blog and Facebook page to connect with those who are interested in reaching out. Please Join us to continue the conversation and follow along with our daily lives. Thank You! 
-The Chandlers

photo cred: Dan Nichols Photography

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