You Remind Of A Black That I Once Knew (a very funny blog by Dwayne Perkins)

Place: Starbucks – Fillmore Station, Pasadena section of Los Angeles

I love how in Starbucks across this great nation of ours the term “Minding Your Own Business” never comes into play.  Just because you’re minding yours doesn’t mean random people won’t mind engaging in conversation.  It’s a given that you didn’t ask for the extra attention but much like getting a Facebook account, you agreed to a set of conditions when you entered Starbucks in the first place.

Every one is a magnet for something.  I take solace that the adage, “opposites attract” holds true.  If so, then I am incredibly not crazy.  Voluptuous women have to deal with men tripping over themselves to talk to them, Bartenders get people dumping their problems on them and I have to deal with making sense out of the nonsensical.  A fate that, barring a massive personality/”energy I put out” overhaul on my part, I’ve come to accept.

The latest came as I fired up my computer to bang out 25 minutes of Rosetta Stone.  The app wasn’t open yet when I felt a man taking in my profile as if he was about to paint a portrait of me.  At the risk of throwing off his portrait, I turned to see what gave with the stare.  After we locked eyes he enthusiastically said, “Do You speak another language?”

Okay, maybe he was working not on his still art but his psychic powers.  Rosetta Stone is great but I don’t feel comfortable saying I “speak” spanish so I said, “no.”   It seemed to only dawn on him in that instant how odd his behavior was.  It was like my “No” snapped him out of an elaborate fantasy he had written out in his head and he saw that I wasn’t sticking to his script.

It seemed a good time to offer up an explanation and he said, “I’m sorry it’s just that you look African.  Are you African?”  I knew answering yes would just mean not getting to my Rosetta for another 5 minutes.  Plus I knew he meant really African and not of African descent.  So again I said, “No.”  Now I felt a little bad.  His back story was shattered and he had to walk back to his table having not made the connection he wanted with me.

Perhaps he was learning Ethiopian on his Rosetta Stone program and saw in me an opportunity to put his skills to the test.  I assume Ethiopian because I get that sometimes.   Or, maybe he thought I was from Ghana or Nigeria.  Why did he ask if I was African instead of narrowing it down?  I mean Africa is a continent after all.  All questions I kinda wanted answered but not enough to ask.

Hopefully he’ll read this blog and answer my questions…but not in person.

6 thoughts on “You Remind Of A Black That I Once Knew (a very funny blog by Dwayne Perkins)

  1. me!

    The only appropriate response to this sort of question is a hard stare followed by “I’m from Brooklyn.” Then maintain the stare.

    • Administrator

      hilarious. Brooklyn kinda is another country though.

  2. me!

    Exactly. That’s what makes it a “thinker.”

  3. the way you wrote this is pretty entertaining to read.

  4. me!

    Alternatively, you can affect an accent and spin wild stories about your early years in Ethiopia. A few tips to seal the effect:

    Basic Amharic:

    Deh nah NAH: Greeting to a male.
    Deh nah NESH: Greeting to a female.
    Mel KAHM kahn: Have a good day.
    Mel KAHM shit (be brave, this is correct): Have a good evening/night.

    (I don’t own Rosetta stone, but I find my local retail outlets equally useful with the right attitude/friendly approach when making purchases.)

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