Friday, February 13, 2015

"She drives like her mother."

Sometime last month I was at the grocery store with Ma when a little girl brushed passed me pushing her dad's shopping cart. Absolutely no harm done, but the man still felt the need to excuse his daughter, "Sorry. She drives like her mom."

And I thought, Huh. What an odd thing to say.

Because first of all, there was no need to for him to apologize, but he did anyway so kudos to him. But then, a simple sorry would have sufficed. Why the extra explanation? Why give me details about your life that I don't care to know? Why insult your daughter's cart-pushing skills? Couldn't you see the little girl had places to go, people to see, and moves to make? That's a hustla in training if you ask me! And why bring her mom into it and insult her driving? I don't even know that lady, and couldn't care less if she drives well or not. Putting her on blast to a complete stranger like that. Tuh!

Seriously though. It's just so odd to me when people add unnecessary explanations to commonplace, courtesy apologies. Or like, when you and a stranger/group of strangers are standing together in a public place like an elevator or a bus stop, and someone feels the need to say something just to break up the silence. In my experience, more often than not it's the vanilla brothers and sisters who do this (which the grocery store man was). Black folks for our part are experts at not saying too much unnecessarily, especially when interacting with people we don't know. (Which is not to say that we're not friendly; we just tend not to be as talkative.) But it seems vanilla brothers and sisters will talk to anybody for no reason at all, and happen to be experts at small talk. Gotta hand it to them for being neighborly, I guess. But sometimes it comes off like they're trying too hard.

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