Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Wonder How he Feels about the "Brown" Ad Campaign

Late this afternoon, a UPS guy walked into my office, not my usual UPS guy. He had a package from Gap, now, I didn't order anythign from Gap and I know my colleagues didn't, so I guessed that it was a package for another office on my floor and he wanted me to sign for it. As I rule, I don't do this, because I am a bitch and I don't like to mingle with our neighbors. I mean, I'm the Fire Captain of our floor (yeah, you heard that right Gregg), so technically I would pull their lifeless bodies from the ladies room in the event of an emergency; I just don't want to make small talk with them. One other thing to know, one of the offices next to ours is that of a Korean Bank, ironically enough.

So the driver comes up to my desk and says, "Your neighbors...."
"On which side?" I asked.
"Around the corner," he said.
"The Koreans?"
"The Koreans? Listen to you!"
"What? They're a Korean bank."
"'The Koreans,' it's like 'The Blacks'. Is that what you say, The Blacks?" Perhaps now I will point out that this UPS guy was a large Black man.

"What do you want from me? They're Korean."
"Is that how you call your neighbors at home? My neighbors, the Blacks,...."
"No", I said sheepishly.
"Do you have black neighbors?"
"At home? Yeah."
"Really?" he asked.
"Yeah, I live in a building in Brooklyn. My neighbors on my floor are not ... but you know, there are other black people that live in my building." At this point, I realize I sound totally stupid. Why is it that white people can't talk about race without being reduced to bumbling idiots?

"What about your husband?"
"I don't have a husband."
"What about your boyfriend? You date black men?"
"I don't have a boyfriend."
"What?! You don't have boyfriend? Why not? You're gorgeous! You are gorgeous." Now, I looked like crap today. You know when you read in a magazine that you really shouldn't be washing your hair everyday, just conditioning it? Well, I tried that today, as I try it periodically and it looked disguisting, just as it always does. Also, I was lategetting home last night and haven't been able to pick up my laundry so I was wearing something from way back in the closet, if you know what I'm saying and also, it was late in the day so what was left of my make-up had been absorbed into my face leaving me unconcealed and shiny. I was far from goregous, so I laughed. "What?" he said. "You're gorgeous. I can't believe you don't have a boyfriend. That's too bad."
"Thank you," I said. "It's not bad, I'm alright."
"Yeah, I know you are." He was lingering at my desk.

You know what? I signed for the package. Why? Because he made me feel like a racist and then he used hyperbolic flattery. It was very effective manipulation. He was kind of hanging around, so I directed my attention to my computer screen so he would kind of get the hint I was not interested in getting picked up, if that's what he had in mind.

Why do guys always hit on you when you are feeling your most unattractive, and it's never the guys you're interested in. As was discussed at Sunday Funday (where all the world's problems are solved), many times I have been walking down the street amongst lots of beautiful Midtown women, and then a delivery guy will ride by on a bike and catcall at me. What is this about? Is there some application of the Law of Diminishing Returns at play here?

3 comments:

Beta said...

Had I been drinking milk while reading this post, I most definitely would have snorted it out my nose at some point. Instead, I just laughed out loud at my desk, which isn't that bad cuz no one else is here at 9:30 am.

leah said...

ha! i have discussed this exact phenomenon with friends.
um, if it's midnight and i'm headed to the bodega wearing a food-encrusted sweatshirt, it's safe to assume that i don't want to shoot the shit with you, guy-who-hangs-out-on-my-block-continuously-waxing-his-sportscar.

Schwelmo said...

"Why do guys always hit on you when you are feeling your most unattractive, and it's never the guys you're interested in."
Just a suggestion: Do you think that guys could think different about what is attractive and not. I mean differently from what women think guys think. So on a day you think you are very attractive you are just attractive in a "women point of view" (What ever that is). ....