Sunday, May 4, 2008

I get so uncomfortable...

So, I have a confession...

I think this title needs to be changed, because I am obviously crazy...

I mean, I MUST be crazy. If everyone else is sane and normal, than I have to be crazy. In the words of another damn fool, Whitney Houston, "Hell to the naw." I ain't crazy. Everyone else must be crazy...

So, for starters, I am encouraging all of my Anglo friends to please increase their diversity recruiting friendship efforts and get some more Black friends. While there is novelty involved with being the "Chosen" black friend, it's too damn much pressure. Also, from a pure selfish standpoint, it's annoying as hell for me.
So, I've been to about three weddings in the past 18 months, where I'm the only Black person, aside from my husband, Ray. That's if I can actually con him to attend the wedding.
So, you walk in and of course, you stand out like a fly in buttermilk.
You can scan the room, looking for another of your Black brethren. I'll even take a Tiger Woods or a Shane Battier. But, nope. I'm the only one.
So, I breathe in deeply and prepare myself for the outpouring of love.
Oh yeah, you didn't know? It's not negative attention that I receive, it's exactly the opposite. White people WANT so badly to come over and smile. It makes them feel good about Civil Rights, about their unnecessary attacks on Obama, and the fact that racism is still quite alive. To see a fun young Black woman, or Black young couple, that sings along to Sweet Caroline and even adds in the "bump, bump, bump". Whoa, talk about what a feeling. Suddenly, everything is OK.
So, one by one, it starts. A man comes over and smiles. A woman comes over and compliments my hair, another man comes over and shakes my husband's hand. This sort of attention continues all night. It's like we have a receiving line, like we are the damn bride and groom.
Then, there's the other piece of this. The dancing... Once the band or DJ starts jamming, they all casually look to you. They expect you to come on out and lead them to the promised land of Solid Gold. After more than a few folks look at me, I take my cue, and walk on out.
However, let me say this. It's never what they expect. For starters, I've never been a Beyonce.. I'm more like Kelly Rowland. So, I always wish the DJ would make an announcement, that everyone can continue standing in the line at the bar, Nadia will not be breaking it down.
But, no that never happens, and my crowd awaits me.
So, i strut out very causal, and i start my obligatory dance. It's usually something a little more advanced than the slutty cousin of my white friend. She's the one who everyone also thinks will break it down. So, I shut her down pretty quickly and do some sort of new version of "The Snake". I love "The Snake." It shows my dexterity and flexibility.
So, yeah, I'm dancing and then my friend joins me. Usually the bride. Well, I get thrown off. If you can dance a tiny bit, then you know the feeling of losing your rhythm when looking at someone that has no rhythm.
Well, then it's all over. I'm one of them.
Oddly enough, this provides my adoring fans more comfort. It's like, "she's one of us. She can't dance."
Let me issue a disclaimer. I love every wedding that I've been to. White, Black, Pakistan, Interracial, Nigerian.... I LOVE weddings. So, for my girls that happen to be White and only had me , or Ray and I as your chosen Blacks, I am not complaining about your wedding. I LOVED it.
I love you and cherish our friendship. That's genuine too, folks.
But, please for the sake of Oprah Winfrey; she has a whole lot of friends, in all colors. (love the way I worked Oprah in? I'm determined to work her in to every post starting today); please invite more Black people to your wedding.
We all know that you're open, honest, great people, who make friends with anyone that has a good heart, and watches your favorite TV shows. But, I can' take being the representative for Black people anymore. I can't mislead them into thinking that most Black women have no rhythm like me. They need to know the truth. Stereotypes start with a grain of salt, most Black women CAN dance their asses off. They need to know that I soften up a bit for them. They need to know, that what is loaded in my CD player is NOT Sweet Carline but usually Kanye, (wait he doesn't count), but Jay Z, (old school gritty JayZ), old Screw CD's, or Fifty Cent.
Oh, wait, who am I kidding? There's only room for one of us at weddings and for now, it's me.
Ya'll must be crazy because I aint.
I'm adding a disclaimer that my dear dear friend, Viula Torgerson, doesn't fit in this category. We weren't friends, when she and Ray were married, but I'm positive that she would have had at least 2 more Black people there. Viula is a Yankee. That says it all. I also think she went to some liberal arts women's college in Massachusetts. So, she's an anomaly...

Ok, I'm starting to sweat. So, this post can't or won't be as long as I hoped. I get so darn excited when I talk about these crazy people.

So yes, the people at the nail salon must be crazy. I go to get a manicure weekly and w/o fail, one of the technicians say something off the wall or ask a very personal question. I've gotten questions, like, "how much money do you you make to how much did your car cost, to even questions about if my husband and I had premarital sex." I kid you not.
Here's how it goes. I go in, and sit down. I usually try and bring a book or magazine to signal that I don't feel like making small chat. I'm a small chatter. I forge friendships while waiting at the gyno's office. But, nail salons happen to be the one place that i don't feel like it. It's awkward, broken, and just silly.
Anyway, they seem to ignore all social signs pointing toward my feelings of wanting to enjoy the manicure/pedicure in silence. If it's a woman, it usually starts innocently enough. "oh, pretty ring. How long have you been married? What does your husband do?" The sickness goes on from there.
However, if a male manager is there, then it's all over. He saunters over with his Gucci sneakers and Prada phone that hasn't been released in the US yet, and says" how much does your car cost. B/C I have the E500 and it costs abt 70K. ". I smile and say, I don't know. It doesn't stop, he goes on to start showing off. He feels like he has a friend in me, so he starts showing me his gadgets. To prove that he's cool, he's going to tell me that he just bought his new wife, the new Spring LV. I don't know what to say. I don't buy that kind of stuff. So, I smile and glance down at my book.
I LOVE my nail salon. It's not a spa, just a neighborhood salon, but it's nice, clean, good plasma TVs and they offer wine and water. The prices are good and it makes me happy.
But, those damn folks working in there must be crazy, asking me all those personal questions, getting in my business; cause I aint crazy.
Peace, gotta go get dinner.