My Christmas shopping is all but done.
As of yesterday, I had one present left to buy (one left to make, but that's another story for another time) and I went into the town centre to get it.
The gift I was purchasing was for my nephew and he likes stuff from a particular shop, a shop that I don't particularly like. It's not the goods, it's the weird vibe I've gotten whenever I've been in there - something strange about the woman behind the counter, something I could never put my finger on.
She's married to a nutter.
After purchasing said gift, in an effort to extricate myself from the verbal clutches of the guy who owns the shop, I kept moving slowly towards the front door, desperately hoping he'd get the message that I desperately wished to leave.
He did not.
Or rather he did, but he couldn't let me leave.
He had something to tell me. I could see it all over his face.
In the middle of a different subject, he couldn't hold it in any longer and finally blurted out, "I had a black girlfriend."
[Me: uncomfortable silence]
He added, "You know, before I married his mother (indicating to his equally verbose son)." Then, "I used to help plait her hair."
What the fuck?! How do you respond to that? What did he want, a friggin' cookie?!
What I wanted to say that I was, "Good for YOU, honey!" or "On behalf of all Black women all over the world, let me say thank you for stopping at that one." But mostly I wanted to say, "If you touch me or my hair, you'll take back a nub."
Instead I said, "Mmm. Well, I gotta go."
If only I'd know it was coming, I'd have put a treat in my pocket for him before I left the house.
Maybe I should start carrying them around, you know, just in case.