And then it happens.
The bell on the front door chimes. The door opens. In walks a guy. A black guy. Maybe he's an attractive black guy (you're single -- you take note.) And maybe he's not (you're single, times are hard -- you still take note.) He is dressed more like Denzel Washington's character from Training Day rather than his character in Mo' Better Blues. A hushed silence washes over the salon as though you're playing a reverse version of The Wave at a sports arena.
You forget what you were about to say regarding the latest celebrity divorce, which is strange because you had a well thought out argument about what was really going on in that marriage that you were itching to get off your chest. Instead, you wonder where your purse is. Ah, there. Below your apron. You wind the purse strap around your wrist. While you're at it, you clutch tighter to the $300 worth of the finest Indian Remy you could find. Perhaps you wonder if mace really is illegal in your state. Eyes dart around the shop as if asking: Who is he looking for? Is this you, boo? Is he yours? Oh, Lord, let him be yours.
You are a woman who has experienced more drama than is fair. The last thing you need is to get robbed. You watch him as his eyes shift around the room. It's one thing if a woman wears her resting bitchy face but when a black guy wearing saggy jeans, a sleeveless T, and a silky wave cap walks into a salon wearing one, hearts tend to skip a beat for all the wrong reasons.
He sees his goal. He strolls to the back of the salon. Twelve pairs of eyes follow him to his destination. And then you hear it. It is a woman's voice but it might as well be the sound of an angel's harp.
"Hey, boy, what you doing around here?"
Family. A relative. Of course! A relative of someone in the shop who'd just dropped by to say whatsup.
Now how foolish do you feel? What did you think was about to happen? Can't a black man walk in the beauty shop without causing panic to the masses?
You act as though nothing was amiss, return your attention to your stylist and ask, "What was I saying? Oh yeah, that divorce. Girl, I saw it coming a mile away. Let me tell you how I knew..."