So I'm in a nail salon in Memphis when this woman comes in to chat a bit with her regular nail technician. She begins to explain to the tech why she needs to move her weekly appointment up--she's going out of town to someplacecountry MS before her regular appointment. I gathered that from a twenty-minute conversation she had with the tech, the woman the tech was working on at the time, the tech who was doing my manicure and a couple of other customers who were waiting. During this conversation, I learned that...she's forty, recently lost her job, met a nice sixty-year-old guy who is opening an Exxon gas station, went out with him the day they met and after a week of phone chats will be joining him for a weekend in his home in someplacecountry MS, and needs her nails done and her roots stripped and dyed blond to match the rest of her hair (which is styled like any member of White Snake) before her trip.
The nail technicians, all black ladies, freely voiced their disapproval of her getting into his car the first time she met him--in someplacecountry MS at a dinner party of mutual friends--which of course could have ended in rape or murder. They backtracked almost completely, when she got to the part about him opening an Exxon gas station. At that point, "guuuurl" and "sugar daddy" and "good for you" and "sounds like a nice guy" and "no wonder you got in" and "I woulda got in too"s came from no particular person, and all at once from every corner of the room. The funniest part was how she lost everybody and totally killed the conversation.
She answered a bunch of questions about the date, their phone conversations and whether her had any single brothers. Just as the sugar daddy mumblings were dying down, she talked about how when she went with him that first night to the site of the soon-to-be opened Exxon Station, she saw a cricket on the ground:
"And y'all know crickets are a sign of prosperity. And y'all know I just got laid off. And I never ever ever would have gone with a complete stranger, but I don't know what got into me that night. But when I saw that cricket, I scooped her up [places right fist in air] kissed my knuckles [kisses raised fist] and threw her over my shoulder! [throws imaginary cricket over right shoulder] It was a sign, y'all."
All the technicians looked at her and each other with puzzled, 'gurl what's wrong with you--kissing cricket fists' look and then at each other. Then "well ummknow 'bout all that" and "picked up a what?" and "kissed who?"s came from no particular person, and all at once from every corner of the room. She had obviously expected more supportive responses from her moments-ago amen choir because when the confused-cricket-kisser mumblings were dying down, her tech was like, "Well okay then..." and my tech was like, "well if I don't see you before, have fun...", and everybody else gave polite "yeah have fun"s, she was like, "Oh. OK then. Alright. Bye y'all." When the door closed behind her, of course, the puzzled looks, talk of kissing crickets, and sugar daddies continued.
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