Tuesday, October 09, 2007

our new neighbors


Roomie and I went to our first condo association meeting last night. It was an eye-opener.

We’re the first to arrive (slightly mortifying) and the much older-than-I-thought Board Vice President/Husband greets us graciously and we take a seat on the very mod beige sofa in the living room. His Board President/Wife comes downstairs; they’ve both met Roomie before and soon they’re both looking at me a little quizzically.

Roomie says, ‘This is my roommate.’
I smile, ‘Hi. I’m Ding.’
Everyone shakes hands.

The Wife takes a seat on her very mod moss velvet chaise and she’s still staring at me with slightly narrowed eyes. Whatever, lady. I’m just taking in the stunning art work and trying to read the books on the shelf over the fireplace.

Another gray-haired condo person comes in; introductions are made again.

When she looks at me, Roomie and I say, ‘We’re roommates.’
Condo person nods but still looks confused. She sits.

Wife suddenly says to me, ‘How long have you been here?’
I say, ‘As long as Roomie has. We’re roommates.’
Roomie says, ‘Yeah, we’ve been roommates for a few years now.’
The gray-haired condo owner says, ‘See? They’re doing that nowadays.’

Thankfully, other 30-ish condo people arrive, including our across the hall neighbor, who greets us enthusiastically. ‘How’s the construction going?’ he says.
We say it’s almost over, just waiting for the door to the second bedroom and some glass panels; we make a joke about me sleeping al fresco, and the Wife looks even more confused.

She says, ‘So, Ding, do you work?’
What a fucking odd question.
‘Yes,’ I say. ‘I’m in government relations at National Non Profit.’
Other condo people have arrived to hear this last exchange and with an almost unseemly enthusiasm they say, ‘Wow! That’s great! How interesting! What a cool job!’

‘Uh, yeah,’ I say. ‘It’s a great job. I love it.’
Husband says, ‘I love the song.’
Wife says, ‘That’s the other National Non Profit, dear.’
And she’s still looking at me. She seems to be looking at me a lot the entire meeting.

Meanwhile, Roomie is experiencing some passive aggression from the gray-haired condo owner on the first floor who thinks one of our contractors dripped some gunk through her ceiling but has yet to say anything directly to Roomie; she’d rather stage-whisper about it right in front of Roomie to another Board member. As soon as the meeting ends, we hightail it out of there.

Standing in front of our own door, I say, ‘They SO think we’re gay.’
Roomie says, ‘What the fuck was that? Do you work? What the fuck??’
‘Fucking baby boomers,’ I say.

5 comments:

Orange said...

Indigo Girls should have recorded an anthem for Your Non-Profit.

I think Wife was either attracted to you or to the presumed lesbianism. Perhaps she was busy imagining that you and Roomie have a hotter sex life than she and Husband do.

ding said...

i think wife was surprised to see a person of color in the building.

i'm the only one. ha!

liza said...

Yeah, I was thinking: is it because you're black? or because they think you're queer, and then it hit me: You're a big scary black dyke! (in their minds, which is the scariest place of all).

Whatever made you go to this meeting?

ding said...

we thought it would be a good way to get to know our neighbors!

who knew our neighbors would be the kind of un-hip,faux NPR types who actually don't know any people of color and can't conceive of two women living together.

again, boomers.

ding said...

if only i was a scary black dyke.
then i could have all my scary black dyke friends over.
you know, to spread our Scary Black Dyke Agenda.

heh.