She's pissed at me. I can tell by the way she wrinkles her plain face behind her glasses.
"Sorry, ma'am, once you've used a coupon, you can't get it back."
So I bent the truth a little. I could have done an even exchange - but she also could have been pleasant to me. The fact that her stomach is this grotesque round ball under her shirt does not invoke my pity. Lady, there are millions of women out there whose sole talent in the world is to reproduce. You are not special in my eyes, and you are not entitled to special treatment.
My day starts, or is made up, pretty much of moments like these. Women who just think they are the greatest things in the world because they forgot the condom and decided an abortion would probably be more expensive than having little Johnny who is running around screaming and pinwheeling his arms and knocking things off the shelves. Things, by the way, that I have to pick up at the end of my shift.
It just ain't worth it.
I think the worst thing about where I work (which I can't actually mention or defame without the possibility of losing my job, believe it or not) is that for all of these miserable women, obnoxious kids, and husbands who are either not there or would be anywhere BUT where they are, is that I can imagine them having sex. I don't know why. It used to be that I would make up stories about particuararly bitchy guests, like, the blonde trophy wife who's pissed because Consuela got deported and that now SHE has to watch the kids and her husband is off in Miami on a beach and in a twenty year old. That kind of shit. Things that would make why people that were just unreasonably rude the laughing stock in the Maury of my imagination. But now, I just imagine them having sex. And the kicker is, it's never GOOD sex. It's like, bored, routine sex. Sometimes she fakes an orgasm just to get him off of her. He's thinking about the checkout lady at HEB, the type of guy that longs to write a "Missed Encounters" for Craigslist but doesn't have the balls cause he has kids and an evil wife and fuck everything happened so soon I didn't have a chance to enjoy anything.
Kids are a product of sperm and egg, this is true. Sometimes their joining is met with joy - but in the faces of the parents of where I work, I never see, "This was planned." Ever. I don't see enjoyment. What I do see is people either intrigued to my appearance (I have perfected the art of looking someone straight in the eye and not cracking a smile - sorry, I just don't get paid enough to fully humor your bullshit) and because I'm distinctively the only black person on payroll. Not calling the patrons racist (although I'm sure a few of them are in their own way, more like, "Oh, that brown person!"), but I get asked this question on average about once a week.
"Can I touch your hair?"
Sometimes they ask, sometimes their eyes ask. You just feel them staring at your head and just itching to touch something that's exotic and out of the norm. Sorry lady, I just watched you half-ass cover your crotch shit's mouth after he hacked up, I don't want swine flu in my hair.
After explaining our return policy (which is posted on a large blue board over my head) all day, the clocks hits quitting time and I'm out. This job is singlehandly destroying my work ethic, my desire to ever have children, and my tolerance of people. What disgusts me the most about where I work is just watching people act complete fools in front of their children, setting sterling examples that the true American way is to bitch until you get what you want, without showing any gratitude or any drive to actually obtain it. It's sad that I have to say that when a kid says, "Thank you, ma'am," it is literally the difference that makes a horrid day from being absolutely tragic.
My car's on its last leg, so no stops on the way home, and no A/C. When I get to our apartment, I have sweat all inbetween my tits, making the rose petal powder I put there to prevent heat rash into literal mud. I get out looking like some sort of colonialist nightmare and trudge up the steps. Yeah, it's hot, yeah, my day sort of sucked (like they usually do at work), but fuck it, I'm at home. Where's the alcohol?
Fuck. What in the hell is that on the back of the door?
It is a notice from the apartment to GTFO - a goddamn eviction notice saying that we hadn't paid our rent. Well that's just bullshit, because the checks cleared on the 7th and the 8th. I take a deep breath. There's got to be a mistake. How can they say we hadn't paid our rent when the checks just pissing cleared? I text Chris and asked if he actually did remember to drop off the rent checks. I love him to death but he has a lazy streak as wide as an elephant's ass. Things slip his mind. He texts back that he did. So I call them, and am doing my best not to yell. Just lose it, just keep calm -
"Ma'am, let me explain before you cut me off -"
"You posted an order on the inside of our apartment saying that we are going to be evicted. You'd better explain and quick, considering that you took our money."
We're under new management, by the way.
Apparently, only MY name is on any information (bullshit, if they had taken the time to look up the lease), because the "old management" screwed up. So if my name was the only one, why did they STILL cash Chris' check? I explain to them that two people indeed live here, and that they should have recieved the checks. The woman explains that she did indeed take his money, but since he didn't write the apartment number on the check, it just floated around. I can understand her actions if she had not cashed the check, but they DID. They took money that they didn't know belonged and just put it somewhere.
By this time, I am irate.
"You mean to tell me you cashed his check and it could have gone to someone else's rent? What time does the office close?"
"It closes at 7."
"I'll see you in a few."
As soon as Chris gets home, I explain to him the situation. The women (I was bounced around) that I talked to on the phone were eager to get rid of me, and assured me that everything was taken care of and to disreguard the notice. "Oh, you don't have to come in," she cooed. We head down there and I'm just pissed. They've dicked with my very hard earned money and threatened to kick us out of the apartment for late rent - by the way, do you think we recieved any notices in the mail or on our door? Nope - just automatic GTFO.
Chris is mad, oh, he's mad. This is the maddest I've seen him in a while. He stands beside me, arms crossed. I confront the woman that I spoke to on the phone and she refuses to make eye contact with me. I just stare at her, forcing her to look into my eyes. Since they've fucked up, I damn well expect them to look me in the eye and explain precisely what happened as to how we've ended up with a goddamn eviction notice on our door.
She chirps on, saying that they've corrected the issue, oh, the old management had a shitty way of keeping files (despite their ability to process our payment always on time and never having an issue like this arise) and that I was the only one who they had information for (if they had pulled up the lease - which I believe is their JOB- they would have noted two signatures), and that they had indeed tried to get in contact with us - despite not leaving any mail, any fliers, anything for us. Actually, I take that back. Chris got a phone call today at 4.
As she can probably sense that this is doing nothing but making us angrier, she calls in the other woman I spoke to on the phone. This gem, this wonderous woman, the first thing she has to offer to this conversation is,
"Oh my god, can I touch your hair?"
Are you fucking kidding me? You threaten to kick us out of our apartment, don't even offer to apologize or look into the issue, and you ask me if YOU CAN TOUCH MY FUCKING HAIR? When did I accquire a sign that says, "Petting Zoo"? There's curiosity and then there's just shit you need to be slapped for.
What follows next is what made me, Chris, and my mom (whom I related this tale to on the phone) laugh the hardest in retrospect.
I was literally two seconds away from punching this cunt in her throat. My voice cracked, and regained strenght.
"Really? You won't let me?"
Because obviously she didn't hear me the first time.
Taking that as a hint, she prattles on about how she also wants locks and doesn't think they'll look good on her. I am so tempted to just tell her how white people generally look like they have fucking mange when they have dreadlocks (because on them it's truly dreadful, derp!), but there's still the matter of our goddamn rent. We don't leave until they have his name down, our phone numbers, and email addresses. The woman again argues that it's the old management's fault, and that they're a much smaller company, see, and since they're smaller, obviously they can't be utter twats and incompetent at their jobs. She reiterates how small they are by mentioning that it's easy to get in contact with their Regional Manager. I look at Chris, and we leave.
Outside in the parking lot, hell breaks loose, straight from the gates of my mouth. "Who the fuck does she think she is? Do I look like a motherfucking petting zoo? I don't ask fucking white people to touch my hair, why the fuck do they think it's okay to just goddamn pet on me like I'm a fucking animal?!"
When I get angry, I have an affinity for the word "fuck."
I know that having dreadlocks sets you up for a lot of shit. I knew that when I started wearing my hair natural. People have questions; I'm happy to answer them. But don't assume I want your hands all in my head of hair. I mean, how would you feel if strangers just put their hands all in your hair? The fact that my hair is different isn't a goddamn excuse, either. Seriously. It is really starting to get old. What really made this the coup de grace of the evening was that this woman just had the audacity to ask me for a fucking FAVOR after threatening to kick me and my boyfriend out of our apartment because someone was too fucking lazy to pull up the lease! And on top of that, they just TOOK his money without question.
I demanded ice cream, fries, and a hot bath, and got all three. Chris is out playing the Game with the boys, and I've had the apartment to myself pretty much all evening. My head is still aching from earlier, and I know my blood pressure jumped just a tad bit. Now it's too quiet, and I debated, "Do I want to write, or go to sleep?" I harassed myself to get up and jot this down, because let's face it, I'm not modeling anymore and I don't have any excuses for being lazy.
That's my day.