When a party wound up early, a friend and I found ourselves wandering blasted down 18th street. I felt like dancing, so he led us down some stairs into what turned out to be an Ethiopian basement dance club. We were the only white people in the place. He had paid the cover, so I stood at the bar to buy our drinks. And stood. And stood.
My friend said, "Come on, let's get our money back and go." At the door, the manager showed up as we were asking for the cover back. He turned on the charm, urged us to stay, walked us back in and got us drinks, told us he was buying for the rest of the night. And I did get a chance to dance, to some amazing strange DJ work. But after a while I was wondering if I could stay upright--four-inch heels and a toe injury from running were mixing it up in a way even the liquor couldn't mask. So we started for the door.
The manager once again urged us to stay, but I explained I was wiped out. As I walked to the door, he told my friend: "Come back without your lady some time, and we'll make sure you have a good time." The old ball-and-chain rolls again!
But he still showed some class and damage-control skills.
Then today, while discussing a potato salad recipe that included persian lime-infused olive oil (from the Cali groves near my family) and Old Bay seasoning, I was put in mind of another smoldering racial controversy. I think I remember but can't locate now a statement in Patrice Gaines's wonderful first memoir: "White people put too much stuff in their potato salad."
Diversity enriches us all, does it not?