Did She Really Just Say That?

7:46 PM
The world is not perfect. And according Sherri Shepherd from ABC's The View, who even knows what shape it is. Um, yeah!

Besides debating all the possible geometric shapes suitable for Earth, there is one big chunk of something that I just cannot swallow - racism.  Gulp!

You heard me.
You've seen it.
But, have you experienced it? I have, and I'm sure I will again.

Having President Obama in the White House did not magically erase all the ignorance that lines the walls of this happy home we call America. It has added a few more great pages to the history book and dispelled the rumor that all black people have rhythm (clap on the even beats please). But, we're fooling ourselves if we think Kumbaya is the anthem of this presidency. And please, for the love of God, don't feed me the "my best friend is {insert ethnicity here}" line in hopes that you get a pass to call me your sistah, homey, ni**a. It doesn't work like that. It just doesn't!

And while my best friend all through grade school was Caucasian, we never had to deal with those issues. Back in the day, you know 1993, we had more important things to deal with - band practice, school dances, honor roll, and that cute guy walking down the hall in Levi's. Yeah, that important stuff.

We were sisters for real. Same last name, same birth month, and same...wait, she had the 'black girl' butt. And I was left with the 'flattened' ego. All I knew is that we were the best of friends. Color was never an issue. At least we didn't know it was. For all I know, people may have been still chanting the famous Rodney King line, "Can't we all just get along?" Still, we were ignorant. And you know what they say about ignorance...it's bliss.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. My cousin and I decided to attend happy hour at a local restaurant one city over from our hometown. This area has its share of media attention with the constant incidents of hate crimes and racial tension sprouting like daffodils in early Spring. We weren't scurred! Heck, as teenagers we naively walked through a Ku Klux Klan rally just feet away from my cousin's neighborhood. No one told us that airing your dirty laundry literally meant wearing it over your head and protesting hatred. All we wanted was a a pack of Mamba Fruit Chews and a Slushie from the local store. Needless to say, we turned back around. Their wizard looked nothing like Harry Potter.

So back to the story...

We expected everyone to be civil, but we did not expect someone to be so blatant. Here's how it went down:

Friday evening. Local restaurant. A hot-spot indeed. Mixed crowd. Young and old. Hip and trendy (We gave kudos to a women rocking a slick Coach bag). Black, White, Orange, Blue, Green, you name it, everyone was there.

After waiting for close to an hour to sit at the bar, so we could take advantage of the half-off happy hour price specials, we finally found a seat. We ordered our food. Well, let me be more specific. We ordered:
  • Jumbo Shrimp
  • Crab and Artichoke dip
  • Crispy Calamari
  • Snow crab Clusters
  • Rainbow Tower (Crab, Spicy Tuna Tartare and Salmon Poke. Stacked on crispy wontons)
  • Brie and fruit
  • A fruity drink 
  • A couple glasses of water
...and a take-home box.

It was a feast fit for a queen, or two. It was almost like our last supper and we wanted to go out with a bang. Let's just say the only thing that was 'shot' was the lining of our stomachs. Tums anyone?!

In between devouring our endless appetizers and filling the air with meaningless banter, the crowd continued to grow. People nearly towered over our backs to get the attention of the bartender as the happy hour specials came to an end.

And then it happened.

I looked at my cousin's face. It was a familiar look. You know, the kind that you give to your girls when something is about to go down. A look that screams, "You may have to hold me back on this one."

A string of OMGs followed.

"What?," I asked, with a string of calamari hanging from my mouth.

"Did she really just say that?"

"Say what? Who?" My head begins to pivot like a surveillance camera at an upscale boutique.

"That lady just told her husband to make sure he said excuse me when he reached for his beer because," as she put it,  "they are quick to call the cops on someone."

"No. She. Didn't?" I repeated this at least three more times. 

"Yes she did." I expected my cousin to talk me out of opening a can of whip-a**, but this was no small deal.

The woman would not make eye contact with us at all. In fact, the bold approach she took in the beginning when she uttered those hateful words had someone found a hiding spot in her purse. She begin to focus all her attention on it. I guess she was searching for a reality check. I don't think she ever found it. There was probably too much baggage to sort through.

Her husband took a more civil approach. He said, "excuse me" and proceeded to engage us in conversation. By the looks of his flushed face, he was obviously embarrassed by his friend/wife/baby mama's words. Either that or he overstayed his welcome at the beach that day.

I bet you're wondering how I handled the situation. Well, I did what any strong-minded, fearless, and respectable woman would do. I told him, "I love your Seersucker blazer. Did you know that's totally in this season?!"

Yup. That's what I said. You didn't think I rolled my eyes and neck and made a scene because I'm a black woman, did you?! And even if you did, no one will ever know.

I guess that's what makes the world go round. Thank goodness it isn't really flat. Right Sherri?

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