Target Lady

In Texas when you shop at Target or are checking out at the grocery store you will not hear, “May I help you?” or “Did you find everything you needed?” What you will hear every single time is, “You doin’ okay today?” It’s sweet because it focuses on how you’re feeling, not what you’re shopping for. And most people who ask it seem sincere.

Blacks and whites co-exist happily and peacefully here in Texas. We refer to each other as “black” and “white” rather than something more politically correct. I love that.

I was annoyed in the corporate world that I had to say “African American” and not just “black.” In a suburb of Los Angeles in the early 70’s I was in middle school while some lawmaker was trying to figure out race relations and instigated something called bussing. Black inner city kids traveled miles by bus to our suburban schools and white suburban kids traveled miles to inner city schools. My brother Sean was one who was bussed to the inner city while my sisters and I remained in our school. So, I had new black classmates and a gym teacher that semester clever enough to pair each black girl with a white girl and had the black girls teach the white girls to dance. Lucky me. The Bump wasn’t cutting it anymore.

That semester culminated with each black/white pair performing their dance in the gymnasium for the entire student body. It was kind-a like “Dancing with Stars” without any stars or TV cameras, 40 years ago. I don’t remember my partner’s name because we called each other “sister.” Her idea. After she reinvented my approach to movement, she and I choreographed a dramatic dance that highlighted the contrasting color of our skin and we won first prize. Amen, sister, wherever you are!

The first week we lived in Texas I noticed my husband Steve was dropping his clothes on the closet floor after work. He was in a new, high-level stressful job and he was on a learning curve. I was a wreck for my own reasons and that added to his stress. I didn’t nag him about dropping his clothes; I just knew he needed a low to the ground basket to drop them into.

I went to Target and was looking at one basket with a lid and another without trying to decide when a Target employee approached me and said, “You doin’ okay today?” I explained my dilemma, she eyeballed both baskets and delivering excellent customer service said, “Ain’t no man gonna lif dat lid!” Amen, sister.

23 thoughts on “Target Lady

  1. As to the lid: She’s correct. 🙂
    As to the politically correct thing of B/W or other… For a while I worked in a call center (barf) as a subcontractor for the government. We had to ask if the callers would participate in a few demographic questions, basically about race. It was voluntary. Of the people who did choose to respond, 50% said “black” and 50% said “African American” (when applicable, of course) and several would respond with both. I had a few conversations with a few of the people about that. It was interesting. No one seemed to be offended by either. Most of the whites responded “white.” Some with “Caucasian” and some with “Anglo-Saxon.” I got one or two lectures from Celts. This isn’t scientific, just my experience with hundreds of people. This was one of the more interesting aspects of that job.

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  2. laura m

    Oh, I just love that.

    My mom, who is also Andrea Thompsons’ mom, has a dear friend named Carolyn. Once I was rushed to the emergency room and told I couldn’t leave instead I would have a serious operation the next day. Mom lived miles away and couldn’t get there so her best friend, Carolyn, who worked down the street came running over. Carolyn held my hand as the surgeon came in to explain what would be happening the next day. When he finished his presentation he looked at Carolyn and I with such sincerity and said, “it’s so great your mother can be here with you.” Carolyn and I looked at each other and just cracked up! Carolyn is black.

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  3. hey there, I enjoyed a half dozen of your posts, and thanks for the follow as well. If you read lost, then you already know I will stalk you, just as I do the other 90 people that think they like me. I will be back, and I like coffee, strong, w/cream & sugar.

    Liked by 1 person

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