I heard myself saying something and had a moment of realization, a realization that I, myself, should never never never never use certain phrases. A friend of mine made some innocuous comment and I replied, "That's who I am. It is, in fact, how I roll."
I know. I know.
This is why my spicy Cuban friend refers to me as "past white."
It's true. Although I prefer the terms Pasty American and pigmentally challenged, I recognize that I am overly Caucasian. Most of the time, I accept that. Every now and again, I wish I could step beyond the boundaries that have been set for me.
Let me be clear here. I do not think my skin color determines my ability to use certain phrases or assume certain attitudes. I think that this is a bone-deep quality of me, of who I am. I will never be able to wear the clothing of the day, no matter what day it is. I will never be able to pull off the savvy phrases and slang. And no matter how many dances classes or Zumba sessions or open minded young people there are in the world, there are certain moves I should never even attempt.
For this, dear Lord, let us be truly thankful.
Maureen, my Cuban friend, once said to me, "You white people take salsa lessons. We just start moving our hips." Really, I cannot think of a better way to define it.
It reminds me of that part in the first "Airplane!" movie in which the flight attendant is attempting to converse with two black men and is having a very difficult time. Finally, a woman who looks like a Norman Rockwell version of a grandmother steps forward and say, "Excuse me, I speak jive."