Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Racial profiling? This is a real reach...

I went to my spinning group today.  It's held in a local senior center.  This is not a problem, I love (most of the time) to hear the thoughts and stories of some of the folks there, and they seem to enjoy the wheel and finding out about what I am doing.  I even know exactly how we should solve all the government's problems, thanks to a trio of exceedingly opinionated gents that commandeer the snack table in the morning.

I have been asked many different questions about my wheel, my shirts, (I wear t-shirts with slogans and pictures, it's good for a bit of a conversation some days), and the ever present, what are you doing/spinning/making? 

The conversation took a... really weird turn today, however.

A lady walked by me, then turned quickly, and asked, "Are you American Indian?"

Now, any one who has seen me, would not realize that I am part Blackfoot.  In fact, I think I look like I am part Casper the Ghost, but I digress.  I quickly registered what she'd asked, and answered her, asking why.

"Oh, because you have long hair, I ask all people with long hair if they are Native.  I'm Cherokee."

Uh... Sure.  This woman has asked me if I am Native, because of my HAIR?  Would she have thought I was of African decent if I had corn rows, or German if I had those cute little side braids??? 

So, before I could escape go to my wheel, she asked if I had ever been to a pow wow.  I told her I had not.  She then told me that she'd been to a few, and that it would be good for my spirit to go to hear the drums.  I nodded politely, wondering if Steve Ferrone counted...  I managed to politely extricate myself from the conversation, and sat to spin. 

She then came over and asked if I enjoyed spinning.  I said yes, I found it relaxing, and fun.  She then said, oh, do you dream about it?  I told her possibly not that fun.  She then asked if I liked doing puzzles, (there was a group nearby working on one of those 5000 bit ones).  I said they were all right, but I was busy spinning and knitting most of the time.  She looked annoyed, and sniffed, "They make me want to whistle brass..." and walked away. 

I have no idea what whistling brass is, but from her expression, I figure it's not good.  But, she did finally decide she'd had enough of me.  I try to be respectful of my elders, but man, when you slide down that rabbit hole, you don't have a CLUE what's going to come by next!

(And if I cut my hair, does my nationality change?)

And since I had that goofy morning, I decided to share.  I had one of those strange, strange thoughts that you get at 2 am...  Can Santa Claus sue The Jolly Green Giant  for copyright infringement? 


Prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?

I think we've covered this.  I have already talked about playing the guitar, and my book, so I won't bore you with a repeat.

I suppose, trying to win the lottery.  How about that for trying something.  I have this little problem with winning the lottery, however. 

I rarely buy tickets! 

In fact, I think the last time I bought any tickets was a couple years ago, and I don't think that counts, since I gave them out as Christmas gifts.  (Sadly, no winners in the bunch, as I recall.) 

So, I guess, I will have to continue to live the beleaguered life of the un-enriched...  ; )


  1. Cat, Thanks - I needed to laugh. "Not that fun" made me laugh out loud! If you cut your hair will it count for the weigh-ins?

  2. Sounds like a real fun day, and I don't mean ha ha fun. That lady sounds like she was a few cards short of a deck. It's kind of irritating when you are trying to actually do something and people bother you!

    Still wondering about whistling brass.......

    Have a good night!

  3. Hmmmm, sounds to me that she sterotypes everyone. Sad if she does because she is missing out on so much.
    Would also like to win the lottery, but I suppose you have to play huh? :)

  4. People are funny. I have red hair. So many people will come up and tell me about their cousin/sister-in-law/aunt who has red hair and then look genuinely surprised when I say I don't know them and/or no, I am probably not related to them.

    I don't get this. While red hair is probably the least common hair color, it is certainly not THAT rare. Sometimes, when I'm in the mood, I will retort their surprise (that I'm not related to their cousin), "I knowwwww . . . we all look alike." Then I get really strange looks. I can't say I'm proud of it, but sometimes I just can't do/say much else.

    Happy new year!

  5. I happen to have long hair also. In a braid, it comes past my waist. Some people have asked me the same question, for the same reason. Although i do have an olive complexion, too, and dark brown eyes, the answer is, sadly, no. It's all Mediterranean, thanks.

    As for the lottery, since most lottery winners get divorced and go bankrupt, it's not worth trying.

  6. That was a very strange encounter. But, I bet you'll remember that woman. You may not want to, but, you will.

  7. When I was in San Francisco, I cared for an elderly female dementia patient who only spoke Spanish. Because I had a buzz cut at the time, she refused to believe that I was a woman! (This was in spite of my bright pink scrubs, makeup and dangly earrings.) My Spanish skills are mostly limited to "May I please take your blood pressure?" but I still managed to say "yes, my hair is short. No, it wasn't a good idea. I'm still a woman."
    Repeatedly. La Sra. Demencia wasn't buying it, not even after her daughter took my side of things.
    Our wonderful bilingual secretary even told her that I was pregnant and due in three months! It wasn't until she'd seen my pregnant belly that she conceded I probably was female--but she still wanted another nurse.


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