i have bad days too. i’m not sure what vibe i give off, perhaps the smile people have come to expect me to wear leads them to believe that every day is butterflies and roses. friday was not that day. i was racing to a meeting, ill prepared, and ran into a colleague. because i didn’t greet her with my usual 32-toothy grin, she was put off and asked another person if i was “in a bad mood.” her emissary enters my meeting room and asks if something is wrong. here is where i want to let my mask slip and say, “yes something is wrong. what is with you people expecting the SBF to skin and grin every time you say ‘hello’? there are days when i don’t have a smile on my lips or a kind word in my heart and that day is today.” i mean damn. but instead i offer a wooden smile and say things are just fine. why are you asking?
later that day the person pings and asks me how the meeting went. i respond, better than expected. why? don’t you have work to do? why is my disposition of concern?
after a round of meetings, i crank out yet another PowerPoint deck and meet with a colleague to review it. a fellow SBF. not more than 5 minutes after i sit down, here comes the person from the morning asking inane questions and talking about nothing. i am convinced there is a phenomenon that happens to white people when 2 or 3 black people are gathered, the whites just have to interrupt and get in the conversation. in this case, me and my fellow SBF were reviewing the content i needed to deliver to her manager. we weren’t shooting the shit talking nonsense. the emissary from the morning wasted a good 10 minutes of our time over nothing. FIND YOU SOME BUSINESS. but see, if i had said that my mask wouldn’t have just slipped, it would’ve fallen to the ground and shattered.
i realize that if the two afro twins are going to hold conference we must sequester ourselves into a meeting room where no one can see us. it is troubling to me that white people are so drawn to a group of black women conversing. they congregate at the water cooler and we don’t invite ourselves into their mundane chatter, but the moment they see us laughing they swoop in like a drone and all but demand to be let in on the joke. many times we disperse and leave them standing there like the last kid to be chosen for kickball. other times we downplay our laughter and try to shoo them away. it’s never clear why they take such an interest or if they are just trying to make sure we aren’t speaking of something they don’t know about. either way, it’s annoying and such behavior will be checked.