Let me tell you why being nice is stupid.
I started off today with therapy (we’ll save that story for 100 future blog posts) and figured the rest of the day couldn’t get any worse than me facing my feelings at 9:30am. I put on pants, headed out the door, and ran my first errand of buying overpriced cookies in Midtown. I was treating a friend to a birthday treat of cookies that would make you fight a baby. Seriously, they are that good- and expensive as hell. But completely worth it, with flavors like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Diabetes with Guava Paste. I socially-distance delivered them to her, still warm and tempting me to steal one – it was my own fault for not buying an extra to choke on in the car. It was totally worth it, seeing the look on her face as I forced her to open the box to see the nice thing I did for her. We air hugged and I dipped, leaving behind the cookies and the freshly laundered clothes she let me borrow when I inadvertently gave myself a champagne shower in her backyard the week before (that’s a story I’ll have to tell in person).
Next on the agenda was going back to the Stone Age and returning cable equipment to the UPS store. I thanked God it wasn’t at an actual Comcast facility. That led me to recall the acute PTSD set off with a trip to some old business park, with a line of people holding remotes, ready to fight. And with the Plague of 2020 happening, at least I wouldn’t have to be near people. Well, I was wrong, as the one person who decided not to separate themselves 6 feet away from everyone stood right behind me. I didn’t want to be that person, yelling at people in a UPS store, and kept quiet because, well, I don’t know how to fight. Luckily we were in each other’s personal space for less than 30 seconds as I was called up to the counter fairly quickly. I crumpled up the receipt in my purse as the guy proclaims “you betta hold onto this in case they fake they ain’t receive it!”, and headed to my car. It had started to rain, but not enough to clean my dirty car and get a free wash from Jesus. As I hopped in the car (yes, I have to hop UP), I noticed the lady who was in front of me cowering under the awning at the Subway next door. She had taken her bandana mask off, and started to put it on her head, as it was obvious she was walking back to her house. As a fellow black woman with hair, I knew what this walk would do to her emotional stability, no matter how long or short her journey. So I said the Lord’s Prayer in my head and rolled my window down. “Hi, is your building far from here? I can give you ride if you want.” She was surprised and said that if I didn’t mind, she would love a ride. She was even courteous to ask where she should sit, in light of our current situation. She got in, and off we went.
We exchanged pleasantries as she gave me her cross streets for her building. It was a little bit further away than I anticipated, but not far enough where I thought this is where my life would end. She told me her name and to protect her identity, we’ll call her Mona. Mona told me she had walked all the way to UPS and was happy that I saved her from having to put a plastic bag on her head. We continued to engage in small talk and I found out we had some things in common- like walking and riding bikes when they worked. The conversation turned to the pandemic as we neared her apartment, and I inquired as to how she was dealing with the quarantine. Mona stated that she was doing about as well as she could, but she was surviving. I asked if she was able to work from home, and she hesitated and said “kinda.” I didn’t pry, but she slowly kept going and she said she did some typing work, and that she would do jobs when she could that paid well. I figured it was a temporary thing, didn’t think anything else, and said that it was good she could do that from home and didn’t have to worry about going into an office. Then that’s when it happened.
ACTUAL TRANSCRIPT FROM THE REST OF THIS NOW WEIRD-ASS CONVERSATION
MONA: Truth be told, I can’t really lie to anyone’s face… I’m just gonna say it. I’m a hustler, girl.
ME: (not getting it just yet) There’s nothing wrong with that, you gotta work hard to take care of yourself. We all have to hustle, so I feel you.
(we pull up to her building)
MONA: Well, I actually have this guy, um, ok, so he’s what people would call a pimp…
ME: (internal shock and awe ensue) Uh ok, this is your boyfriend??
MONA: You could say that – boyfriend, pimp, business associate…
(thinking this blog is literally writing itself before my eyes)
ME: Oh ok, that’s cool (fact: not cool). Well, ok it was nice to meet you, Mona!
MONA: Thanks again! Hey so do you want to exchange numbers?
At this point, I didn’t want to make the interaction any weirder than where it was at that moment, so I couldn’t say absolutely not. I go all Tinder on her and ask instead if she has Instagram. Mona proceeds to tell me that she has no social media at all, I tell her she’s probably better off, and she says it would be a detriment to the fact that she’s a hustler. She says she has two phones (of course you do, Mona) and gives me her “non-business” one, whatever that means. Thank Sweet Baby Jesus she didn’t ask for mine, so I take hers, thinking this is the end of this awkward Uber ride. Before Mona exits the car, she decides to keep the conversation going:
MONA: So yea, you should give me a call if you want to party or whatever, or just chill and walk and ride bikes.
ME: Haha, yea sounds good.
MONA: Because if you like to party, that would be cool too…
MONA: ‘Cuz we all gotta get our hustle on. If you’re interested, just let me know. My business partner is real cool, and we could do some business. I mean, I saw those eyes, very beautiful.
ME: Hahahaha, uh, thanks…
MONA: And I see you with the light skin – they would love that! I don’t know what your body is like…
(weird panic sets in)
ME: Ah, haha, ok I hear you ( I proceed to make some joke about it not mattering what my body looks like to men, hoping she should get out the car).
MONA: I know that’s right, girl! But you would kill it! I see them thick legs poking out. Ok thighs!
(who knew I was going to get a confidence boost, on a Monday, from someone who wanted me to be a prostitute?)
MONA: Ok, well thanks again for the ride. God Bless.
Perfect way to end a proposition to join someone’s stable. Moral of the story: you don’t have to be nice to everybody. And you don’t have to run errands, either.
-KEEP IT A HOT MESS