If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

- Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Black Ice

I’m not certain weather I should laugh or cry about the bizarre exchange I had with my neighbor last night. It was late, the temperature had dropped well into the teens, and melted snow and slush had turned into solid ice across our parking lot (it’s a whole other story, but having recently moved from TN to NC, we have yet to buy a house and we’re living in an apartment.) Anyway, a few minutes after I take the trash out, I step back outside to walk my dogs. Just as I step out, my young, rather handsome college age neighbor steps out with his trash in tow. Having just minutes earlier completed the same chore, and almost busting my boodie on the cold hard ground; I warn my neighbor to be careful walking across the parking lot, “it’s a solid sheet of black-ice.” Thinking I have been friendly, I feel like a deer caught in heads lights when the young man (oh, did I forget to mention, he’s black-African American-what ever is PC now) turns to me and says, “Mam, I’m not certain what you mean by the term, black, but thanks anyway.” Huh? OMG! Ignore that fact that he just called me “mam”; did he just assume I was making some kind of racial slur?

As I walk back in my door, thinking I have made some horrible racist comment by mistake; I hear a black male reporter on the news discussing the black ice that has blanketed our city’s roadways. Huh? Knowing me better than anyone, of course my hubby thinks this is the funniest thing ever, and enjoys every minute of taunting me each time a news reporter mentions black ice. But this was not funny!

Anyone who has ever spent any time with me would know, I am not a racist; for that matter, I am not a sexist, ageist, or any other kind of ist. I love people, all kinds of interesting people, especially those who have experienced a very different life than my own. Other than the morons of the world who go around trying to ruin the good times for the rest of us (murders, rapists, terrorists, racists, etc.), I am all about differences.

So to my Dear Hot Neighbor,
I am not a racist! If I were 10 years younger, and single; I would be on you like melted butter in a hot frying pan. Google the term “black ice”, it is a weather term, an AC DC album, a Gatoraide flavor, a hip-hop group, a computer program, and even the name of a few blogs; it however is not a racial slur! Oh! And by the way, unless you are five years old, I am NOT old enough to be referred to as, mam!

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