Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bobbie Jean Does Broadway

My childhood friend Bobbie Jean moved to Manhattan after graduation and I recently visited her for a long weekend. Hilarity ensued.

Bobbie Jean lives in a swank Greenwich Village apartment complex, complete with a linguistically indecipherable and racially ambiguous doorman. "He looks like he should be black," she kept insisting. This confused me. I explain to her that there are several types of dark skin each with its unique undertones: black from Africa, olive from Europe, brown from the Middle East, and yellow from Asia. This is, of course, TOTAL bullshit I made up on the fly, but I think she buys it. It doesn't really matter what nationality he is because he adores Bobbie Jean. All the doormen adore Bobbie Jean. Actually, pretty much everyone in Manhattan adores her.

There are plenty of reasons to adore Bobbie Jean. First of all, her hair. Homegirl's hair is huge to begin with, but she still sets it in hot rollers before she goes out, giving her perhaps the most endearingly Southern hair in all of New York.

I would love to recount wild tales of taking NYC by storm, but our most exciting venture was probably scouring Brooklyn for Velveeta Cheese (we didn't find any - it's apparently been banned throughout NYC). We spent most of our time in her apartment, which was fine with me because Bobbie Jean told me stories about her mother. Let me preface this by saying Bobbie Jean's family is another great part of her story. Bobbie Jean is the opposite of country. Her family, however ... And there are so many of them!!! Bobbie Jean has about 20 cousins living within the same county, about half of them barefoot and pregnant.

Anyway, Bobbie Jean's mom, Miss Shirlene, is one of the most blatantly racist people I know. She doesn't exactly say stuff with hatred, it's like she's just repeating in public what she's heard everyone else in Mississippi say behind closed doors. If possible, it's endearingly horrifying. For example, she hosted a yard sale at her house and warned Bobbie Jean that, if met will hagglers, "don't let them Jew you down." What does that mean? Is Jew a verb now?? Once, as her family enjoyed a Sunday lunch, Miss Shirlene announced to the table, "Well, in just walked a bunch of ni**ers." She didn't say it with disgust, more just making a benign observation.

After regaling me with stories of her mother, Bobbie Jean and I did what we're best at: sit on an air mattress in front of the TV and order in Chinese. Before this, though, we hit up the local Blockbuster and grabbed our favorite movies. Everything was going great until the guy rang us up, then announced to the entire store: "Okay ladies, Fried Green Tomatoes and Waiting to Exhale are due back next week." The subtext of this announcement was "Would you like a tub of ice cream to go with the estrogen fest you just rented? Because one of y'all clearly just got broke up with."

I could go on for dayz with Bobbie Jean stories (Bobbie Jean accosts Jewel at Restaurant, Bobbie Jean Snatches Weave Off Lady in Central Park, etc), but I have some nannying to get back to.

Peace, y'all.

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