round and round...

Friday, September 09, 2005

This is my neighborhood, too

Yesterday I decided to stop at the Family Dollar on the way from the train to the house after work. If you aren't familiar with the wonders of Family Dollar, you really should be. They have mostly all brand-name stuff, but it's made especially for Family Dollar and it costs about 2 bucks. You can get Glad trash bags that have a Family Dollar logo printed on the corner of the box for $2 because Glad packages them just for the chain that way. Last night I needed to get dish detergent and paper towels, which means that I walked out of there with those 2 items plus rubber gloves, a scrubby sponge, a travel mug (who can't use another travel mug... and for $1??), Arm & Hammer room deodorizer (Duke, God bless him, is a smelly dog. An hour after he gets a bath he smells like a dog again), shampoo, and Thousand Flushes bleach tablets for the toilet tank. My grand total? $15. Amazing.

I digress... I went to Family Dollar and the experience was a very mixed one. It was great to get so much stuff for the house and for so little money, but it was very disturbing due to the racist slur spewed at me by the customer in line behind me. He was terrible. He kept saying things like, "Goddamn, she's so slow!" about the cashier, loud enough for her to hear. He interrupted her while she was ringing up the woman in front of me with, "Hey. Hey! Yo, hey! How much dis is? Chree dollahs?". For those of you who don't speak Idiot - that means he wanted to know if the bottle of laundry detergent he was waving over my head disturbingly close to my face cost three dollars. He continued to be annoying and rude, which made the security guard standing at the door take notice of him.

Having gone in for only 2 items, I didn't grab a basket to hold my purchases on the way in. So, my arms were full of things I hadn't planned on buying, and I was patiently waiting for the woman in front of me to finish with her purchase so I could set all my stuff down on the counter. She finished, I stepped forward to unburden my arms and the idiot pushed me out of the way from behind and knocked some things out of my grasp that went falling to the floor. Simply to set down the detergent I had become all too familiar with a minute earlier. I said, "Excuse me?" in a rather irritated tone because I had just been jolted off balance, and he yelled, "Fuck you, white bitch!".

At which point, said security guard came over and kicked him out of the store. He said, "You don't talk like that in here, man! Don't you speak to her that way!". It was great. In my shock at the situation, I didn't really react. I just sort of stood there like a deer in the headlights. The customers around me must have seen that I was at a loss for words because they all said various things like, "Baby, don't you worry none. He just a asshole." and, "Pay him no mind, chile, he gots ta have some respeck." I actually felt like I belonged at that moment. Felt like the idiot was the outsider and I was the one who people stood up for. It was strangely comforting.

Then, while I was walking down my street I said hello to a man who was in his front yard and he smiled and said hello and asked me how I was doing. He seemed genuinely friendly. I keep getting signs that our neighborhood isn't as bad as it seems.

3 What people are saying:

Blogger Cat & Sapphire Sky xx rambles...


nice to hear that there are some good ones out there...

cat xx

9/09/2005 12:45:00 PM

Blogger tess rambles...

That story reminds me of the time I was standing at a bus stop in a rather dangerous neighborhood (erm, east oakland... murder capital of the world... ahem) at night... and was called a "stuck up white bitch" because I didn't have any cash to give a guy pan handling (who happened to be black). I mean, I honestly didn't have any cash! (I was smart enough not to carry it in that area at night) And while I was standing there slack jawed from shock, a latino gang-banger type cussed the old guy out and told him to get lost and "leave the chica alone"... which of course left me even more slack jawed, cuz wow... never had a gang-banger stand up for me before. It was kinda cool.

Just goes to show, there are nice people in the ghetto. Quite a lot of them actually. Its not all criminals... but a lot of hard working poor folks just trying to get by.

9/09/2005 04:11:00 PM

Blogger Melissa rambles...

True dat, yo. True dat. Bad apples are in every bushel that's for sure. It's nice when the good ones are revealed.

9/09/2005 04:27:00 PM


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