yesterday, i was in line checking my bag with the never to fly again american airlines (a damaged bag and taxied for nearly 2 hours with no air is enough for me). in front of me was an arizona bronzed lady, in a flowy red dress, milky makeup and a prada purse. as we waited, three or four elders in wheelchairs emerged from the side. all checked there bags before us. miss arizona was not having it. hand on hip, she turned, gasped and said to me, “are you seeing this?” i smiled and replied, “yes ma’am.” “i mean they have two lines and these wheelchairs keep jumping us. it’s insane.” finding no support from me, she asked for an associate. the show was beginning.
i deal with policy daily. i analyze it, enforce it and determine if exceptions should be made to it. it’s great for my personality. i’m not perfect, but i’m fair. what i’ve discovered and what miss arizona confirmed is that privilege, for no reason at all, wants more. it believes it deserves more than it is given and most times without merit. this lady had no warrant. feeling left out, she wanted something. as the associate calmly approached, he asked in his thick, mexican accent, “how may i assist you?” miss arizona had much to bitch about, except for what she wanted. he offered a supervisor, she refused. “what good will that do, it’ll be another wheelchair rolling up by then.” he offered to move her to another line, she refused. he concluded by saying, “i’m not sure how i can help you.”
five minutes later, i tapped her shoulder and said, “ma’am it’s your turn.” she struggled with her bag, then placed it on the scale. 61.3 pounds it read. “ma’am you’re eleven pounds over” the associate said. she turned as red as her dress. “my carry on is in there and my husband is in the bathroom. i can’t carry it.” in a stern, soothing voice, she heard, “you can take it out or pay the fee.” as i wrapped up, i saw her reaching in her prada. but not for her wallet, for her phone. “honey…!”
on this day, her perceived ‘aboveness’ didn’t win, despite her efforts to gain allies. i saw her at her gate bound for phoenix later. she now had two prada bags. i guess her husband wasn’t having it either. neither should we.
a boy who loves,
j. darius greene