Bride: Staci Shands, 46, Book Publicist
Groom: Joseph Miceli, 57, Real Estate Developer
Married On: June 4, 2012
Wedding Location: Sedona, Arizona
Wedding Style: Rustic Elegance
When You Know, You Know
Joseph and Staci grew up 10 minutes apart from each other in New York, but their paths had never crossed. They know now that fate had something a little different in store for them. Although Staci was looking to move to Arizona, a last-minute opportunity with AmeriCorps VISTA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, seemingly fell right into her lap, so she took it. When she arrived and joined a social networking site for locals, a man named Joseph, who was also new to the area, reached out and said “hello.”
They chatted online a few times and then graduated to getting-to-know-you phone calls. For their first date, Joseph sought out a great vegan restaurant just to please Staci, who had already been on a strict organic vegan diet for over 12 years. “I was impressed that he took time to research an eatery I would get pleasure from instead of suggesting a bistro and saying, ‘Do you think you can find something to eat on the menu?’” admits Staci. “He had never eaten a vegan meal, but ate every morsel on his plate.” Joseph was equally smitten with Staci from the moment he saw her enter the restaurant, and to this day, he remembers every detail of that first date. “She had on a brown leather jacket and she strode into the restaurant with what I can only describe now as an air of unmistakable confidence — a true alpha female.”
Please read the rest at Essence Online
Reading about the couple above made me think about the recent trip Joseph and I took to Sedona, Arizona. When people normally think about Arizona (especially people of color), they think of a hot, dry, place that is filled with racist Whites. Even though part of that is true, Arizona has some hidden gems, and Sedona is one of them. Not only is Sedona one of the most beautiful places I’ve every laid my eyes on, it’s also very, VERY interracial friendly, and you will find a plethora of BW/non-Black male couples.
When Joseph and I went for the Labor Day weekend, we were shocked at the amount of BW/non-Black male couples we saw. Literally, every place we visited, we saw couples that look like us. This is very contrary to the scene in Phoenix, AZ that is filled with BM/non-Black female couples, and as many times as I’ve been to Phoenix, AZ, I have yet to see a BW/non-Black female couple. You can also count on one hand the number of BM/BW couples on one hand, but I digress. All of the BW/non-Black male couples couples in Sedona were married with families, and I remember texting one of my closest friends that she needed to relocate to Sedona, LOL! Sedona, AZ also has some beautiful, affluent neighborhoods, so these women are living happily and well. Being immersed in that city showed me that you can’t always judge a book by its cover (i.e. Arizona isn’t that bad of a place), and yes, there is a culture of BW/non-Black male couples that extend far beyond what the media shows us.
I’m glad Essence promoted this; for, it shows love has no boundaries on ethnicity, age, and location. Also, thank you to Charli Penn (a fellow Spelmanite) who wrote the article, and “Happy Anniversary” to Charli and her husband today. You can find more about Charli and her marriage on Man, Wife & Dog.