Thursday, January 5, 2012
Talk about your backfires
Now, I suspect, she thought I was kidding, so she didn't really put much thought into whether or not this was a good idea. We got there and this vacant stared man of indeterminate middle age was staring. Vacantly. This was Darrell? I got out of the car and was warned about the dog. I said, "If it bites me, I'll bite it back." Vacant stare guy said, "You're the wrong color." Red flag one. I met Patty, her grandmother and she seemed nice enough, but I was viewing this whole program through an optimistic lens. Once I sat at the piano and started playing something kinda light, Patty said, "Do you know any bluegrass? All we listen to is country." Red flag two.
At first I thought about it and it reminded me of the blues brothers when they were playing at that bar full of red necks and so they just played the theme from Rawhide all night?
That really sums it up. So, I had to help them move the piano. I guess that was part of the deal. And Grandma started cleaning this thing and talking. She told us about the time she was waiting for her husband to come home from taking the babysitter home. She was waiting for him in their bed with a pistol aimed at the door, you know, so she could bust a cap on him when he walked through the door. Red flag three. She got tired of waiting and shot a hole in his guitar instead. I 1,000% believe her, btw. Then, Brittani said "ow!" and started rubbing her arm. Grandma got stone faced and asked if I hit her. What do you say to that? Well, I said 'no' as nonchalantly as I could. Brittani backed me up, but battered women often cover for their abusive friends. Not sure grandma was convinced. I smiled and played it off. No biggie.
Then dinner is served. I had no idea we were staying for dinner. Not a bad spread either. And grandma said something so flagrantly racist that I forgot what it was she said. Red flag four. I'm starting to lose count Then she goes, "Oh ya. I'm pretty racist." Red flag 5? They kinda figured out by then, based on my reaction that I wasn't playing that shit. So she started doing the things that people do in these circumstances. She named all three black people she liked in the world. Red flag...who knows? There were so many red flags, it was like a Soviet parade.
Finally, I'd had enough and didn't care about polite. I said, "I think it's funny that the people who don't like people of other races are those who have absolutely no experience with people of that race. I'm from California, where red necks are fewer and farther between. And you know what? We know that people are people regardless. You'd probably figure that out too if you weren't so busy running". I actually said that at the dinner table. In her house. Brittani's mouth was kinda smiling, as if to say, "It's about time someone else told her." I then added, "And black women are awesome kissers. I've had tons of black girlfriends." I may have exaggerated, but I was just messing with them now.
Surprisingly, she was shamed into not really having much to say about it. It kinda fell into place that these people were the black sheep (no pun intended) of the family and Brittani wasn't really comfortable there. Apparently, she just really wanted to hear me play. And I realized then that while I was trying to be polite and not play seduction Jenkins, she was egging me on to play seduction. And when she asked if I was done on the keys, she was really asking if it was time to go yet. So she gets a few points for enduring the family while not endorsing their behavior.
Here's the thing. I really don't care if you are racist or whatever. If you live your life with these feelings and don't push them on anyone else, especially me, then it's no skin off my back. What makes me feel awkward is when people expect me to join in. It's like, if you are into dressing up as a baby and getting spanked or some other weird shit, then that don't bother me either. As long as I don't have to watch. So there you go. I'm not the thought police. But if you are of that stripe, keep it to yourself. May sound permissive, but whatever. I'm not gonna be bothered by it.
Apart from that, the date went well. As we left, I noticed that Brittani felt really uncomfortable and said, "I told you she was psycho." I didn't remember being told anything to prepare me for that. But we left and got along. Well. But hanging with grandma and vacant Darrell was more than I bargained for. I feared for my life a little bit. That's that. Just some weird backwoods Washingtonians. Oh, I almost forgot. They played a home video of their dad in his country band the whole time I was there, like just because I could play the piano I wanted to watch a bunch of hicks playing fiddles and shit. Come on man. You gotta be perceptive enough to know I don't care at all about whatever is on that tape. If I had to watch that for an hour to see real life footage of aliens landing on the Whitehouse lawn, I wouldn't. I'd sit through ten minutes max for that kind of payoff. Max.