Sometimes, I really hate white people. And then immediately after that thought, I look down at my arm and say "God damn it!"
Over the weekend, Mom and I stopped at the grocery store after we'd done some shopping (by which I mean we made fun of things at Pier 1 -- what the hell is up with their latest stuff? Usually I love their things, but we saw silver and gold teddy bears. The fuck? We decided to leave during the brief window that comes between us both cracking up and the manager asking us to leave).
So we're at the home grocery store. Everyone in America knows what I mean -- there's the grocery store you go to that's close to your house, and then there's another one, maybe even in the same chain, that's farther away, but nicer in some respect. Maybe it's cleaner or better-lit or has a wider, fresher selection -- maybe all three.
Our home grocery store is the Giant Eagle in Braddock Hills. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I think this store is ghetto -- it's not. It doesn't have the huge variety of the Giant Eagle at the Waterfront, and sure, the bank branch in it has been robbed a couple times, but whatever. This is Pittsburgh. Every bank has been robbed a couple times. I've been going to this grocery store for over 20 years and some of the same people have been working there the entire time. Pretty much everyone who goes to this store has been going there for that long, if not much, much longer.
My point is this -- unless you're under the age of 2, this isn't gonna be your first time there.
So I'm standing at the deli counter waiting for my turn and talking to the lady in front of me and her kids. (Side note -- having one random little kid start talking to you out of the blue is awesome. Having her little sister grab your hand while you're talking is like a religious experience.)
Including the deli staff, the only other white woman around was an extremely sour-faced old bat with hairdresser hair. You know what I mean -- the short, blue-white hair done in ridiculous curls and then sprayed with some kind of sealant so it lasts until next week when she goes back to the hairdresser and "gets set."
So, Sour Face is before me. It's cool. The lady with the kids left, and I smiled at Sour Face. She gave me a weird look and then ordered the deli girl around like she thought we'd all been transported to a tobacco field in South Carolina around 1837. Part of her orders included "I don't want the slice on top." I have no idea why. Maybe she has OCD or schizophrenia and the voices in her head don't like their lunch meat exposed to too much air.
So, as the girl grabbed the entire stack of bologna and weighed it, Sour Face gave me another look. This one I understood immediately, because I've seen it on many an old white bitch in my life. It's the look that says, "Oh, these silly Negroes!" and it's usually followed by a giant spike in my blood pressure. I gave her a look of my own and I don't think it's the one she thought she'd be getting back, because she immediately started studying a stack of Ham Off The Bone.
"I didn't give you the one on top," said the deli girl as she flipped a decidedly flaccid- and anemic-looking slice of bologna back into the case, which I think showed a great deal of self-control, because the temptation to flip it into Sour Face's hair and say, "Don't worry, it's on the house," must have been absolutely overwhelming.
I exchanged a look with the deli girl, which sent Sour Face into some sort of palpitating state -- perhaps the vapors -- and that pleased me to such an extent that I nearly forgot what kind of turkey I wanted.
And just for the record, if the deli girl had whipped that bologna at that old bat, I would have told the manager that Sour Face did it to herself.