Monday, July 27, 2015

The One Where Marybeth Says the N-word

Mike is a fairly regular visitor to our home, and we have come to love him dearly. He's a sweet, strong, opinionated black man with lots of issues. But he's honest with us about his shortcomings, and he shows us mountains of grace as we navigate life in Avoid where we are — for the first time — a minority. And, like so many other neighbors, he has welcomed us with open arms.

Mike's birthday banana pudding
He lives with his pit bull Sassy in the house he grew up in right down the street. His oven doesn't work, and he has no microwave, so his meal options are limited. We have taken to sharing a meal with him frequently and life with him regularly.

Last week the kids were away at camp, and we invited him to dinner. While sitting in the living room, having a beer and half-watching the news, my dear husband decided to throw a grenade on the table and see what happened.

Bless his heart.

"Mike, why is it OK for black people to use the n-word with each other, but if a white person uses it, it's a bad thing?"

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Things That Make You Go "Hmmm"

Whenever you move to a new place, you expect things to be different. You expect there to be routines or sayings or nuances of life that just aren't what you're used to.

Things are no different here in Avoid. I've had several moments that made me stop and go, "Hmmm..." because ... well ... things just didn't happen the way I'm used to.

For example:

Comparing Apples and Oranges

At a neighborhood gathering, I was talking to an older gentleman about the community garden. He was going on and on about all the different things that were growing there. His favorite seemed to be the fruit trees.

Now, he had no teeth, which made it a little hard to understand him sometimes. So at first I thought I had misunderstood him when he made the following comment:

"Them plumbs be 'bout the size of yo' nipple."

Um ... come again?

And he repeated it.

Nope. I heard right the first time.

It's been a couple of months now. How do you think he'd describe the plums now? Don't answer that.