Stranger Than Fiction

It’s really hard for to believe that anyone this stupid is walking around. Actually it’s scary.

Here is a life is stranger than fiction story.

A couple of days ago, I went for a late lunch to kind of hang out with a bartender friend of mine. I pony up to the bar and he’s got everything ready for me when I come in. My deconstructed bacon cheddar cheeseburger (all the fixin’s on the side because I like to put it together — the right way) and ginger ale with light ice. Now that’s service. So, we’re chatting and laughing as he’s cleaning up from the lunch crowd and getting ready for the happy hour/dinner crowd that start trickling in around 4.

I can count on one hand how many people are at the bar on one hand — 5 including me. Each one of us could have laid down and there still would have been plenty of seats left for someone to sit without sitting next to anyone. Well it could only happen to me, right? Right. This lady comes up and asks if the seat next to me is taken. Really? All these seats and you want to pony up next to me. I tell her ‘no’, but the hamster’s already on the wheel wondering why she wants to sit next to me. Not two seats over, but right next to me. Not on the other side of the bar, but right next to me. Then the hamster fired off this thought, maybe she thought she was going to be overlooked because my bartender friend seemed to be focused on me.

She parks her butt right next to me and I go from happy and loving the world to annoyed in about .6 seconds. We dispense with cordialities and I take the liberty to move down a chair and I put my bag in my recently vacated chair as a pseudo barrier. As soon as I take a bite of my burger she asks if I have kids and I practically choke on it. My bartender friend is nowhere to be found and I start to wonder if this is a joke. You know a ‘Smile you’re on Candid Camera’ kind of joke or am I being punk’d, which would be something he would try to pull of. I figure be on your best behavior just in case.

She said, “Oh. I would have pegged you for having a least 3 or 4 by now. You know you people . . .”

At that point I went from annoyed to pissed off at the snap of a finger. I cocked my head in her direction, looked at her out of the corner of my, and slowly turned my head in her direction. My bartender friend saw this and knew that he had to do one of two things: 1) divert my attention or 2) try to get her to go away. He asked me if I was going to go somewhere for trivia night. I gave him the dagger death look and he was gone. Then I turned my attention back to this lady.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“You know you people have a tendency to have several babies early on and you’re not married.”

“First of all, who is ‘You people?'”

“Black people.”

“I see.” 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 “Well, just a FYI not all black women have children young and not all white people wait until their married. And there are quite a few young white girls that are mothers.”

“Well, I . . . ”

“Well what?” I said.

“I didn’t mean to offend you. I just thought. . .”

“Actually, no you didn’t think.” I turned back to my burger, which I had lost all appetite for, but managed to gain a healthy appetite for some kind of a vodka shooters. She started to say something else to me and I promptly cut her off telling her, “Please don’t talk to me.”

My friend finally emerges from the other side of the bar and asks, “Esta bien?”

“No.”

Ella probablemente tratando de hacerte enojar.”

“Estoy intentando,” I tell him as I look at her out of the corner of my eye. I see she’s looking at us and I wonder if she knows what we’re saying. Anyway my bartender friend and I continue our conversation in Spanish — well Spanish for him more Spanglish for me because when I’m frazzled I tend to go between Spanish and English.

After a few minutes she interjects and we think she’s going to order something, but noooo, she says, “you speak so well.”

My friend and I look at each other, then at her, then back at each other. Very movie/tv like.

I’m trying my best to ignore her but she keeps yammering on.

“You really do. You don’t sound black.”

My friend B-lines it out of the line of fire. He knows that something is about to pop off and if she had an ounce of common sense she would hop of this train.

I turn to her and say, “I’m not sure what you’re up to and I find it hard to believe that you’re as stupid as you sound right now. I don’t know where you’re getting your examples of how black people are and why you’re grouping all of us together in these negative stereotypes. And not that it’s any of your business, but I don’t have kids because I have no desire to have them and the use of improper grammar was not allowed in my parents home.” By this time I’m standing and I could tell I was now making her uncomfortable. My bartender friend brought over a box, boxed up my food and hung around for a few seconds before dashing off again.

We’ve known each other for a long time and he knows that it’s best not to get in the middle of me telling someone off.

“I’m going to hypothesize that either you don’t know very many black people and the ones you know are your examples of how all black people are. Or perhaps you don’t know any and you’re going according to the flawed perception that is perpetuated by the media. Not all black females are teenage mothers or crack whores or on welfare and not all black males are robbers, murders, rapists, lazy and shiftless.

All the while I’m speaking, she’s looking at me like she doesn’t understand a word I’m saying. I realize that she really doesn’t understand the words that are coming out of mouth, so I decide to shut my mouth and go on about my business.

 

10 thoughts on “Stranger Than Fiction

  1. Such an ignorant woman. When I meet with such people (being Jewish and Israeli born is enough for lots of stereotypical remarks as well…) I’m never sure whether I should be angry or just pity them. Obviously, no one who is happy and feels fulfilled would try to see only bad in others. So I realize they already got their punishment – they’re the ones who have to live with their bitterness and hatred 24/7…. 🙂

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    • And I truly do have a temper but I have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with a healthy dose of patience too. I wanted to do more than deck her. I wanted to beat the living daylights out of her.

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