Thursday, December 13, 2007

Peep Show

I think the race relations in this town are starting to get to me. I know, it's not an auspicious start for a humor blog, but it's something that's on my mind a lot, especially, living as I do, in a neighborhood where the minorities recycle bottles for change while the white people enjoy their double tall mocha lattes at the cafe next door.

What it really comes down to is Peeps. A friend of mine who lives in the area and I were in Pathmark tonight, a budget grocery store down by Atlantic Center. We were the only white people--me noticing that is obviously an interesting little sociological artifact in itself, but I can't interrupt myself to point out every time that happens, so let's just agree that I'm self-aware--and we got our frozen pizza and our healthy salad-in-a-bag and proceeded to check out.

On the way, he pushed between a clerk and a woman having a conversation. I followed but made sure to say demurely "sorry, so sorry, excuse me" as I brushed between them.

Meanwhile, my umbrella knocked over a row of peeps (come to think of it, why do they have peeps out on display in December?) and I turned to pick them up, not wanting anyone to think I was some sort of self-aggrandizing, entitled white woman who thinks she's too good to pick up her own peeps, and I see the clerk is already bending over the peeps and re-shelving them.

Missing my chance to display my courtesy and self-awareness naturally leads me to even grander displays of apology and delight with the young man who has so graciously delivered the little yellow marshmallows to their little yellow marshmallow shelf. Then, when I get him to smile at me--probably because he thinks I am crazy for apologizing so profusely and hopes smiling benevolently will prevent me from any sudden moves--I feel relieved to have properly represented my race, and in any case to have assured this man that I am merely a disorganized, poor(!) white woman with no claims to thrashing sweets aisles and leaving them for those lower on the totem pole to reorganize.

The real question of the evening, of course, is what kind of a discount foodstore sells a frozen pizza that costs $8?

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