Sunday, January 15, 2006

Stupid Theresa Story #2

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I’m re-posting the story of my most embarrassing moment of ALL TIME … also, I was busy all weekend and couldn’t come up with anything new.

Is That Your White Girl in the Pile of Coats?

This is the second of the Stupid Theresa Stories. Don't worry, I honestly don’t think I’m stupid. But damn if I haven’t had my head up my ass once or twice as a little challenge to that statement. The following story is probably about the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done.

The first University I attended was in my hometown. The only reason I went there was because I was recruited by the music department and they offered me a scholarship. I studied music until it became blatantly apparent to everyone that I’m a people-person and keeping me trapped in a practice room 6 hours a day for 4 years was nothing short of torture.

The following year I transferred to a small liberal arts college outside Chicago. I lived in the dorms and my roommate was a black woman from a predominantly black neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. You couldn’t have found two Americans with more diverse backgrounds to put in a room together. Generally we got along great and I found the experience fascinating.

Missy had a great sense of humor. One of her favorite things to joke about was Me. In particular, she liked to make shit of how naïve I was; how there were more people living on her block than there were in my whole town; and how few street smarts I had compared to book smarts … Oh, and I can’t forget about her very favorite subject: my white hot virginity. Hey! Doesn’t everyone love to have their virginity discussed at length in the dormitory cafeteria on Casserole Night? But, despite it all, she was funny and I’m generally a good sport. We were good friends and spent a lot of time together.

As Thanksgiving rolled around, I realized I was short of cash and enormously busy with dozens of projects. There was no way I was going to be able to go home to be with my family. Missy came to my rescue and invited me to spend the holiday with her family in the City. I was very excited to meet all the people she’d been talking about throughout the semester.

On Thanksgiving day, Missy borrowed a school van to drive in to Chicago for dinner. As she drove, she explained that white people don’t go into her neighborhood. but since I was with her everything would be okay. It was then that I realized that this holiday probably wouldn’t be like the traditional Norwegian Lutheran Thanksgivings back home in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Missy continued the tour by pointing out the places where different gangs had fought over territory. Her own boyfriend had just been released from prison after serving a sentence for manslaughter. He was an officer in one of the gangs. I’d met him once and liked him, but I hated his friends who were always pawing at me and offering to help me out with my virginity problem. Missy and I clearly came from very different places, but what mattered was that we were friends and her family had welcomed me to their home.

As we pulled up in front of Missy’s Mama’s house, I took a deep breath and tried to remember all the manners I needed in order to be a guest in someone’s home. I knew that people would probably be watching me and I didn’t want to be rude or insulting. I found out how much I was being watched when I stepped out of the van.

As soon as I heard the van door close, two children across the street hollered for their mother and ran inside "Mama, there’s a white lady outside. MaaaMaaaaaa!"

Missy and I both laughed and I followed her up the porch steps and into the foyer of her childhood home. The house was already full when we entered, and there were many greetings and introductions. I was cautious and paid attention to how other people did things. I was hoping to be allowed to observe before being put in the spotlight, however apparently I was too new to ignore. Once the greetings were passed around and the coats were collected, all eyes were on me.

Frantically, my mind searched for the right and proper thing to do. AHA! Gratitude and compliments about Missy’s Mama’s home.

I cleared my throat and said, "Thank you for inviting me to join your family today. Your home is beautiful. It’s a warm and inviting place to spend the Holiday."

… And I should have shut the hell up because that was exactly enough to say. But instead, I decided to insert my big head into my equally big ass in front of a room full of strangers … wait, not exactly a room full of strangers … These were the people Missy had been telling what a naïve twit I was during the previous three months. To prove her right, I kept talking ...

Without even bothering to look at a photo on the wall, I turned to Missy and said, "Is that a picture of your Dad?"

The room went perfectly silent … and then the belly laughs started … and then Missy got to make her big announcement, "See what I mean about this girl? She is the whitest girl I have ever met in my life!"

I turned to look at the photo on the wall again. When the image finally registered in my brain, all the blood left my face and I became even whiter. Indeed my friends, it was a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I spent the next few hours nodding and staring at my feet while I took all the jibing that I richly deserved. It wasn’t so bad, and overall it turned out to be a great day. In fact, later in the evening I ended up making-out with Missy’s gorgeous brother on a pile of guest coats in the back bedroom. I highly recommend copious amounts of kissing and groping with an Airforce Hottie as a remedy for almost any incident involving humiliation.

When I think about that story, I wonder if they still remember it and laugh like I do?


At 5:30 AM, Blogger Dick the Boomer said...

That was great! Thanks for the laugh to start the day.

"It was then that I realized that this holiday probably wouldn’t be like the traditional Norwegian Lutheran Thanksgivings back home in Cedar Falls, Iowa." LOL

At 7:29 AM, Blogger The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

sounds like you had an interesting thanksgiving....keep

At 9:06 AM, Blogger MaMaMe said...
you got more balls then i do lady..

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Al said...

Ohhh theresa, theresa, theresa....

At 9:34 AM, Blogger ZooooM said...

I couldn't feel closer to you than I do right now if I tried. Yes, oh yes, there's nothing like trying to do the right, polite thing and going WAAY too far.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger AndyT13 said...

Oh that's good. VERY entertaining story. You're sweet! And the best! :-)( Cheers!

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Polyman2 said...

Love it, and can ID with it Theresa,
My first college roommate was of ethnic origins from NY City.
I was L.I. country,
We were not of the same persuasion.
This white boy was totally ignorant to
"Shaft" inner city "culture".

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Aisha T. said...

Oh, Theresa, you should have seen my squirm when I read this! A squirm, a laugh, and a 'oh, thank god it wasn't me' feeling!

At 8:57 PM, Blogger JayneSays said...

Oh God, we've all been there. Wondering when the nice hole in the ground was going to come and swallow us away . . . Nothing like a good cringe/laugh story : ) I'm sure Missy's family still has some good laughs about that incident (but also that they remember it/you with some fondness for how could anyone feel otherwise about you, Hottie?)
(My challenge word for this one: mmmma, Hot Mmmma!)

At 9:02 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Dick - Glad you started your day with a laugh.

Sarccastik - It was the most memorable, that's for sure.

Mamame - Balls huh?

Al - Even though I'm socially inept, I know you still adore me.

Zooom - My sister Zoom! I knew you'd understand.

Andy - Glad you enjoyed it. You're a big Sweetheart too!

Polyman - Thanks for the genuine empathy.

Aisha - Unfortunately, that's really only one of many stupid things I've done. I'm grateful for the kindness of others, especially when they realize that no matter how much of a dipshit I am, I mean no harm.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Jayne - Every year when T-day rolls around, I wonder about that sweet, fun, welcoming family.
You most definitely are a Hot Mmmma!

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Anonymous Assclown said...

good tip - nex time I make an embarassing social faux paus, I'll just say, "hey can I make out with your sister?"

At 9:19 PM, Blogger theresa said...

AC - Good luck with that. Be sure to tell us how it works for you.

At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that. We all have moments like that, don't we?

Happy MLK Day.

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

So, um .... did you get invited back the following year????


Love ya T!

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

Oh my... LOL

Love the way you "recovered", though!

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Bougie Black Boy said...

This was absolutely one of the best stories i've read in a LONG TIME.... I laughed out loud in my office. I'm gonna have to read that again.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Rat In A Cage said...

That is beyond hilarious. Thanks for sharing!

At 11:25 PM, Blogger theresa said...

shhh - I'd feel sorry for someone who went their whole life without something ridiculous happening. Only if you live in a cave hiding from life.

Hot Blaze Chik - I had different plans the following year, but I wouldn't be surprised if my name came up.

Laurie - You'd have done the same thing! (LOL)

Stephen - In this case, laughter is the best compiment I could get.

Rat - Thanks... and thanks for dropping by.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Brea said...

Reminds me of my ex's family parties. He is Israeli. I HATED family parties b/c his immediate family was the only one who would talk to me. I only speak five words of Hebrew, and no one there seemed to care. Oh and the stares! Blech. Glad those days are over.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger gnightgirl said...

This did make me laugh; I think it will stay with me forever.

Hmm...Maybe a Call to All Bloggers, for Their Most Embarrassing...

At 9:46 PM, Blogger AurecGoldfinger said...

That story is hilarious... Funny how life is but a series of learning experiences. I as a Black person...grew up in a family whose home as was your always open to all. During mothers home (where I grew up) is always full. Plenty of fun, laughter, excitement, food, not to mention the noise.
I think that one of my greatest gifts to my children is passing on the legacy of family. What it means to give and take, love, and to respect others. I';m becoming ferklempt...;-)

At 2:39 PM, Blogger DIVA said...


That story was too cute. When I was in high school my then boyfriend ( a white hockey player) had Turkey dinner with my family (black southerners) one year. Let's just say it was uncomfortable but funny at the same time. After assuring everyone that he had indeed had soul food before (he meant fried chicken) The silly boy had the nerve to ask if there really was a difference between sweet potato and pumpkin pie. That got a lot of laughs. He and I are no longer together but are good friends even today (i.e. The Guy That I should have married)


At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That really is a classic. . .

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Maverick said...

Great story for the day. I have to admit, I was laughing at you, too. But, it's okay, because we're all laughing.

Sweet white meat, I mean, girl.


Maverick Kumari


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