Monday, January 5, 2009

* A Story *

I am watching Princess Diaries 2 while I work. This is one of my favorite movies. It puts me in mind of something which happened to me, back in the day. Hence, a story....

I was attending my sister's wedding/reception at the Los Angeles Country Club. My father was a member. It's a gorgeous place, and probably one of the few (maybe the only) segregated clubs of its kind left anywhere. This was in 1997, so perhaps things have changed. To put it in a nutshell, when I was growing up and attending various functions at "the club," they still had lawn jockeys.

All of the wait staff were either Black or Mexican. I guess to be PC I should say African American and Hispanic. There are good people and bad people of every race, everywhere - being PC isn't something I spend a lot of time on. Anyway.....

I was being served a diet Coke, from the can. The waiter was pouring it into my glass of ice and somehow he lost his grip and ended up pouring a good portion of the drink onto my lap. I looked up at him, and before I could tell him it was okay, he began to stammer, in broken English, his apologies. I saw in his eyes a look that could only be described as terror. He looked like his entire employment life was flashing in front of him, and that he would certainly be fired. I told him several times it was not a big deal, and not to worry. I scurried off to the ladies room, where a nice lady helped me blot up the stain.

Shortly after I went outside, just in front of the main lobby doors. I spent a very enjoyable hour chatting with the doormen. In fact, that hour was the high point of the entire reception. Whenever I see examples of this type of "class" system (i.e., the movie I am watching), I think about that afternoon and the man who spilled diet Coke on me. I wonder how he is, where he is, and whether he kept his job.

1 comment:

Stacy Lambert said...

I can relate to your story. I was raised in hickville, Missouri. I never even saw a black (African-American person), except on T.V., and that wasn't too often. I remember seeing black people when I went to Six Flags in St. Louis when I was 7 or 8. That memory stands out, I didn't think anything "bad" just a new experience. A black family moved into hickville (Ava) once, I have no idea what would have brought them there. I was young, but remember the adults making a big deal out of it, the family didn't stay long. I moved to Rock Island, IL. when I was 15. Culture shock to say the least. I was raised around the "N" word, but I was so determined to end that racism. I even dated a black guy when I was 19. My mom still doesn't know to this day. I didn't share much of my teen years with my mom. She was very judgemental. I vowed never to be that way. My son has dated a couple of black girls, I didn't judge. I totally agree with you when you said there are good people and bad people of every race, everywhere. I have breast cancer and am bald right now. I sure wouldn't want to be judged because I look "different" or have a disease. I still worry about that sometimes. I wear hats, but it's obvious. Well, that's my 2 cents. You have a happy New Year.