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Wednesday, January 07, 2009Yes M’am
I pressed the button to her floor and stared up astonished at the obscenely tall old school southern Baptist woman. Miss Lulu is the matriarch of our apartment complex. She's old enough to have baked the dinner rolls at the Last Supper. A former teacher she’s known the majority of the younge tenants since we were but a gleam in our parent’s eyes. In fact she’s known some of our parents since they were in diapers. My 19 year old unemployed college drop out neighbor had just proudly told her he was about to be a father. I was waiting for Miss Lulu's reaction. I did mention she was old school southern didn't I?
I was certain Miss Lulu was going to give him a lecture. After all this woman has watched over us and kept us in line our whole lives. You never knew what action of yours deemed as asinine by Miss Lulu was going to cause her to literally yank you off your feet by your ears as she lectured you. Instead Miss Lulu looked at the boy and sweetly smiled at him.
“Oh that’s so nice, congratulations!” she said sweet as molasses.
congratuwhat? Woman did you just say congratulations? Oh my gawd is this the same woman who’d smack kids across the head with her mini bible whenever she caught them making out in the stairs? He’s a 19 year old boy Miss Lulu let him have it dammit! Don’t you remember all those speeches you gave us about safe sex downstairs in the community center? Obviously he didn't.
“My girl is due in March.”
“That is wonderful. I hope you have a healthy baby.”
Ditto, but still 19? Where’s the whole speech you always give us about how as minorities it is important that we think about education first and babies later? Why aren’t you yanking his ear? There’s a whole slew of 20 something year olds walking around now with deformed ears thanks to you lady! Why is he escaping ears intact? I narrowly escaped the big snow ball war of 2000 with my ears. Thank God I have small ears and that the elevator opened up when it did or you would’ve had me.
“It’s so nice to see you children grow up to have your own families.”
Esta loca? (Are you crazy) That’s it lady you have gone senile. I need to have a talk with your kids you should not be out alone.
“I’m a little nervous though.” He said.
“Don’t worry you’ll do fine.” Miss Lulu said.
Fine? Have you seen his car out in the parking lot? He can’t even park his damn car straight how is he going to change a baby’s diaper?
Miss Lulu turned her attention towards me.
“How is school going Mia? I hope you’re keeping you grades up and studying hard.”
“It’s going good and I am.”
“Really and how exactly do you manage that coming in as late as you do?” she said sternly.
I nonchalantly brushed my fingers over my ears just in case. You never know when the woman is going to snap.
“Uh, I don’t come in that late?” I lied.
Miss Lulu let loose a throaty laugh and stared at me. I felt myself blushing and unable to stand her gaze looked down at my feet.
“Honey I’m up when you arrive home at the crack of dawn.”
what are you a vampire, don’t you sleep old woman ? Don't sass her Mia she's got her hand on her purse.
“I don’t always come home so late Miss Lulu.”
“Uh huh. Well you just be careful child the streets aren’t safe at night for a young woman.”
“Besides you don’t want to do poorly in school because you’re not getting enough rest.”
just say what she wants to hear and you won't get hurt.
“Yes m’am I’ll try to come home earlier from now on.”
“Make sure you do you do that. I’m sure your parents worry about you being out so late too.”
The neighbor boy chucked he was obviously getting a kick out of Miss Lulu lecturing me.
When the hell is this elevator ride going to end?
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