One fine day I got to chatting with a Scottish coworker who brought an exquisite loaf of homemade rum cake to the office. He didn’t look like the type to bake, so I asked him where he got it. He mentioned that his fiance’s parents made it and that they were from Trinidad. Who knew? Years before that, I was making idle chatter with a white woman at work, explaining that I was going to get my hair braided during my next appointment. She said her sister-in-law braided her hair during her pregnancy. I asked: “Is she black?” Sure enough, she was.
I’m sure that every now and then you might overhear an acquaintance/coworker talk about his lady in ways that make you think: ‘That’s unusual. I wonder if she’s black.” To spare you some pointless guesswork or the potential awkwardness of asking him that question, pay attention to the following tell tale signs:
1. He says he is not allowed to call, cuddle or talk during ‘Girlfriends.’
2. He says he has come to appreciate the comic showbiz chops of Mo’nique.
3. He says her younger sibling/cousin once borrowed his cell phone, and when he got it back, the ringtone played “Chicken Noodle Soup”.
4. He’s lost count of, and sometimes can’t tell the difference between, her cousins and siblings.
5. The first time he ate at her Momma’s house, the food was so good he left early to go slap his momma.
6. She has sent him to the beauty supply store so many times that he’s on a first-name basis with the Korean guy behind the counter. As a matter of fact, they have plans to go out fishing on a party boat next week.
7. He knows the difference between cornrows, box braids, and Senegalese twists.
8. When they are out together, strangers sometimes congratulate them on their future, beautiful babies.
9. Women usually stop her in the street to ask about her cute shoes.
10. He used to think that those church hats were phenomenon – until they were downtown and he pointed one out to her for her mom. It had beaded fringes around the brim and an ostrich feather.