Saturday, September 28, 2002

I never....ok, I have.

My husband and I were out this morning running some errands together.
We stopped at an Asian Supermarket I frequent.
Hubby didn't want to go in, but I insisted.
We were waiting in line at one cash and lined up at cash next to ours were two middle aged West Indian women.
They seemed to be deciding whether they wanted to actually buy everything that they had in their basket and were quibbling about a box of mangoes. The cashier politely waited for a few moments and seeing that they were still in debate with one another, decided that they were not ready and waved my husband over.
We started unloading the basket when I heard one of the women tell my husband that he could have asked them if they were ready instead of "jumping" in front of them.
My husband replied that the cashier had called him over.
One of the women proceeded to give him a lecture on respecting "the black woman".
He listened to her for a bit as her voice got louder and louder telling him things like:
your mother was a black woman,
your grandmother was a black woman,
your great grandmother was a black woman, and so on.
She called him an idiot and a few other names.
Now, my husband is a very patient and respectful man.
The louder she got, the calmer he got.
It's the way he is.
She started shouting that just because he is with a white woman, it doesn't give him the right to disrespect black women.
She now had the attention of most of the patrons in the market.
The cashier looked at me and shook her head.
Then, my husband calmly said, "Look at yourself" and he kept repeating it quietly.
Well! That made her ballistic...she grabbed one side of her skirt and got louder...the only thing missing was a fish in the other hand to complete the picture.
She then turned on me; "my grandchildren are half-breeds, don't you let him disrespect you!" (whaaa?)
to which I replied, "he is disrespecting no one" and I took the bags and started to walk.
We were now the center of attention at the check out...the manager came over and put his hand on my husband's back and said something to him in broken English (my husband does not speak Mandarin) and my poor husband was just standing there watching this woman making an ass of herself in public.
I could see by his face that he just couldn't believe it.
We left the market with her yelling who knows what.
We just looked at each other in disbelief.
This was more drama than I have had in a very long time.
Was this outburst really about asking to step in front of someone that the cashier deemed "not ready to pay"?