So CBW and I go to this car show while we're in Maryland. Two things:
1. When I got dressed in my jumpsuit that morning, CBW pointed out it was 80 degrees and jokes I’m all covered up. My jumpsuit is silk. I'm fine.
2. Each time CBW has been to Maryland with me, we hang out in PG, which is still predominately black, or DC which isn't, but we're around Black people and the non-black people who like hanging out with Black people.
The car show? It was a drive, literally in the opposite direction of DC.
Not so far from my family’s house, but on the road to "where are the black people?" CBW spots the vintage cars and freaks out, which we've covered already HERE.
I drive over to the car show at CBW's urgent request and before we get out of the car, I ask him, "you sure you wanna go?"
I thought he understood. What I was trying to say, is, in my experience, there tends to be a type of old white guy who is into vintage cars. The type I'm describing doesn't make up every white guy who's into restoring cars, but there's a type that always seems to be present at these sorts of events.
In short, there are always a few hardcore Republicans, who may or may not have a Confederate flag on their license plate or in their back window. They may not drop an n-bomb on you or in front of you, but they may say some blatantly racist sh-- to you. And they be fresh as hell with black women.
CBW says he's good.
I assume this means he understands. He didn’t, which I don’t realize ‘til later.
But out of the car and over to the car show we go.
There are some blues playing on the speakers as we're walking around. I know all the words and sing along 'cause this was my Daddy's Saturday morning music growing up. CBW's flipping out over a chrome engine. I'm not too far off, looking at shiny red convertible.
An old white man with white hair and a red cup comes up to me and sticks out his hand like he's holding a microphone. He says, "sing to me, darlin', you sure do sound beautiful."
Now. I can carry a tune, if I do say so myself. I can't blow, but you've heard my speaking voice. It's deep and raspy. I know I sound like a phone sex operator. This has nothing to do with anything. I just wanted you to know that and that I know that.
Also, "red cup" means the same thing in white world that it does in black world. That's universal.
I have a laugh with the guy and he moves on. CBW looks over, but pays me no mind.
CBW moves on to another car, as do I. Then I switch from one row of cars to another, walking back toward CBW. A different old white man with white hair and a red cup walks up on me and beside me. "Pretty lady you out here alone?" he asks.
I laugh and say my husband is "right over there" and point toward the big, black man who is my husband.
CBW's head pops up at "my husband." He sees an old white man and dismisses the situation.
Old white man with red cup: "he better learn to keep a pretty lady like you close before you get snatched up." CBW looks up again.
I have a laugh with the old man and he goes on about his way.
CBW comes over to me. "What did he say to you?" he asks.
I tell him.
CBW: that old guy said that?
Me: um. Yeah.
So then CBW walks with me from car to car. And when he stops to take pics, I stick close.
CBW is VERY even tempered. Like he'll make small talk with people all the time and comes across as cheery, but his resting disposition is just above IDGAF. I'm the excitable one between us, which as you know, isn’t all that excitable (unless I know you well). Other than crying at commercials and Marvin Gaye songs, I don't really exert any unnecessary emotional energy. This works for us.
CBW CAN AND WILL FLIP. I've seen it 3x and each time was over some dude saying some wild ish to me.
Here's an example: he once tried to pull a cab driver thru the partition of the car.
And yeah, it's as bad as it sounds. We were lost in Philly. CBW got out to check an address and dude said some crazy ish to me while I waited in the car. I can't remember exactly (it was a long time ago), but it was something like, "you're wasting my time. Get the f--k out." So I'm flipping on the driver when CBW gets back in the car. He asks me what's wrong. I tell him. It sounds crazy that someone would say that, right? So CBW calmly asked the driver, "did you say that to her?"
Dude says-- and I remember this clearly-- "why would I speak to her? She is a woman. She is beneath me."
CBW banged the f--- out of the partition, then tried to pull the man thru it. I stopped him because it was the right thing to do, but I wasn't really mad at him over it. *shrugs*
So yeah. I stick close because whatever these old white men are drinking in their red cups has problematic potential.
We keep walking. We're taking pics of one car when I notice the car next to it has Confederate flag dice hanging from the rearview. I point them out to CBW as a sort of "see what I was saying?"
I'm used to this ish. I’m from Maryland. New York racism is a different. Equal, but often more concealed. This is mild for Maryland.
CBW is not used to this ish. He has a small conniption, like “WTF? WTF? WTF?” Just then, an old white man, the owner of the car we were looking at-- not the dice car-- comes over to make chat. CBW reverts to his small talk demeanor. I mean, it's not this guy's fault he's pissed. He's not the dice owner.
Of all topics to chat with a stranger about, the guy picks politics. He asks CBW if he's voting in the election.
Now. I figure if you're asking a random black person about politics, you must be voting for Hillary. And you must assume the black person is voting for Hillary because other than the five black people you see at Trump rallies on TV, who in their right black mind is voting for Trump?
CBW: of course! Team Hillary all the way!
What he means is "anyone but Trump."
The old white man looks shocked.
OWM: Hillary?! She kills people! You gotta vote for Trump. Trump is gonna get rid of the fraud in the government.
I walk off 'cause: not today Satan. Not tuh'day.
CBW continues to engage, and is sounding realllll Brooklyn: Nah, Trump ain't the answer to your problems, man.
OWM: I'm telling you. Hillary is a killer. You gotta rethink this one, maaan.
I call CBW over to me to come look at another car, and he comes. Thank God. Cause that wasn't headed anywhere good.
So we look at some more cars, and then I convince him to take pictures of me with a car that compliments my outfit. Another OWM wanders up to me while he's shooting me, and says, "Whooweeee! Didn't know the models were coming today. Looking good, honey!" He takes a long sip out of his cup.
No black man in their right mind would say this to another black man's woman, certainly not his wife, in front of him. Men have stabbed for less offense. But this ain't a black man. It's an old white man. With a red cup.
I look at CBW, who is wearing a very Brooklyn, "WTF did you just say?" face. He's about to react and I cut him off and joke with the guy, "I hear the models are coming, but they ain't here yet" and laugh. It's corny, I know. But he laughs and CBW looks at me, like, "Who the f--- are you?" because this, obviously, is not my M.O. Then I grab CBWs hand and march toward the car.
We got a few more looks in on the way, but he was done with the OWM and their red cups and loose lips. He kept going, "D... Yooooo!!!!!! D? REALLY?"
I thought he moved on. We were taking pics of another car, and I'm trying to car talk with him, like, "well, she sure is a pretty girl" while looking at a shiny engine, and suddenly CBW puts the camera down and goes, “D…?”
I look up. "Hmmm?"
He’s looking at me all confused.
CBW: “Did that old motherfu…” and starts looking around. I assume for the OWM.
Me: We should go now! The store is gonna close soon.
There is no store. And it’s 1PM. Nothing open is closing anytime soon. But he doesn't know that and I know we need to go.
So we left.