I was at Ralphs last week, just be-bopping along, minding my own business. My beau and I walked over to the seafood section to get fresh scallops for the recipe he wanted to try out. You were there. . . . I smiled at you, but you didn’t smile back. I wrote if off as not noticing or shyness. As I bent down to look at the scallops, I saw you rushing over to your cart, which was next to me. You stumbled over yourself trying to snatch your purse away from my grubby, brown, mud-person gaze. My beau (who’s white) gave me a startled look. I was not as surprised as he. I’ve lived my whole 28 years as a black woman, so I’m used to the odd pieces of bull feces sometimes flung my way. I started to get angry . . . then . . . I started to laugh. Hysterically. You were startled, to say the least. But that’s not the end of it: Every time I encountered you in an aisle, I clutched my purse frantically and backed away from you with wide, terror-filled eyes. We walked away dying of laughter. Then, as I was closing my door, you walked past us to your car. The coup de grace was when I made a big production out of locking my car door. You are an endangered breed that I hope is dying out. Have a nice day, ma’am.
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