Charles Barkley hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend and there was this hilarious skit called, "White People Problems" which was so honest, you just HAD to be embarrassed if you were watching and you are white.
Fast forward. My neighbor and I, we'll just call her Sarah, because that is her name, were discussing how funny it was, as she dished out her "free range chicken" noodle soup to share with me because Mills had been puking her guts out and that made me hungry.
The next day, I reciprocated with MY organic vegetable soup with grain fed beef (I shit you not) that was featured in a mid aisle freezer at the Giant Eagle Supasto'.
She responded with this text, "Great vegetable soup! Maybe we should go into business."
My turn: "Made with grain fed beef and organic veggies. We should call our business White People Soup."
Sarah: "Were the cows allowed to romp and play in the stockyard, I hope."
Me: "Right up until their last breath. I think the farmer gave them individual going away parties."
Not only do I think the part about the free range chickens is hilarious, but I also totally responded to the part where Barkley asked the guy if he stopped listening and he admitted that he had, in fact, stopped listening to the white people and their stupid problems. I do that ALL THE TIME.
We all tune out as part of parenthood, but I have been tuning out adult conversations, when I am in the midst of said conversation, since high school. It really is an acquired skill. My brain absorbs what is being said to me and I am able to respond, but in terms of really intellectually reacting to the other person, well, that usually comes much later, and then I write a post about it.
For instance, I was at a "All White Woman Gift Exchange" this past Christmas, where a guest turned to me and said (verbatim):
"Hey, whasss your name?" she was sitting in the middle of a sectional couch, and I was seated on the corner ledge watching the other "crackas" open their gifts in numerical order. The white women around her started to giggle and cackle, and they all chimed, "her name's Johnna" and then she said, "Oh, whatever, okay, Jo-Hanna, go get me a drink," as she stretched out her arm toward me with her empty cracka ass cracka antique Christmas glass as she shook it a little to demonstrate to me that there was only ice left at the bottom.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"Go, get me a drank, Jo-hanna, su-um citrisy." She is slurring and tinkling her ice, again.
"So you want a lemon or a lime and what else?"
"I wanna vodka, citrusssy drink, with jus' a little bitta soda or whatever."
"Well, whaddaya want? A lemon or a lime?" I ask.
"I dun care..jus' somthin' citrussy," she was dismissing me now, with a wave of her hand, as her posse looked on.
So, what I am saying here, is that I am actively engaged in a conversation with her, but I am not processing ANY of it. I am robot-like, a humanoid, if you will.
So, I go into the kitchen, which has like a picture window without the window that looks out into the living area where "citrussy" is comfortably seated.
I mix a hefty dose of vodka with a splash of soda, and then I spy a bowl of limes in the far corner of the countertop, wedged next to the refrigerator. I half-heartedly look for a sharp knife and then I decide to put the lime, in it's entirety, including the scan tron sticker in the drink, that I have made her.
I walk around the picture window, in front of her, in the middle of the sectional, and I hand her the drink with a smile.
I honestly cannot remember if she thanked me or not, I was so full of anticipation. No one was involved in this but me. No one knew a thing. I walked back into the kitchen and started to talk to a friend of mine.
The friend left to do something and I was alone and suddenly "citrussy" was upon me on the opposite side of the picture window without the glass. She is holding the beautifully whole lime in her palm, with her arm fully extended, like they have as part of the opening of The Real Housewives. In Atlanta, it is the peach, in New York, it is the apple....you get the idea.
"Who tol' you ta put thissss lime inmydrank?" she half hissed, half slurred. There IS a difference, you know.
"No one did."
"I SAID, who tol' you ta put thisssssss inmydrank, dammit?"
"And I said," I repeated, "No one did. I did it of my own accord."
She winds it up behind her right shoulder and threatens, "I should throw thisss at you. I should throw it really hard for wha' you did."
"Go ahead." I say, cool as a cucumber, and I was, because, again, my brain is not attached to my body, that always comes later.
"I'm really gonna do it. Are you ready, Jo-hanna?"
"Ready as I'll ever be." Da' bitch is no more that five feet away from me, preparing to throw a lime at my head, through a picture window with no glass, and I have no feeling at all.
She rears back and throws it as hard as she can and I catch it with one hand, with out skipping a beat and somewhere inside me I thank my Dad for coaching me at softball for ten years. A huge smile spreads across my face, and I turn around to see if anyone saw, and they didn't, of course, and then I turn back around and Citrussy is gone.
To this day, only Citrussy and I know what truly happened that night, only it is really just me, because I am fairly sure Citrussy was smack dab in the middle of a black out. It doesn't matter, though, because it was a huge victory for me. Usually when I am the protagonist, I am the butt of the joke, but because I am a "slow processor," I was able to keep my cool in a rather stressful social situation.
Hmmm.....I wonder if Charles Barkley would have classified that previous scenario as a "White People Problem"? Well, if Citrussy would have popped a cap in my ass, instead of throwing a lime at me in the middle of a white lady gift exchange, it might have been a little more relatable to the outside world.
My advice today is to embrace retarded social processing, you can win out in the end. It is worth the many job interviews that were a complete disaster, to be able to relay this success story to all of you.
Oh, and make yourself some White People Soup, this winter. It is fabulous. Make sure it is gluten free, though, or you will die a thousand deaths, crackas.