last night i went over to the Nob Hill neighborhood to a restaurant called Papa Haydn's. if you live in portland, you know what a great place it is. my brother, his wife and i went out at about 10 pm for some dessert. we waited about 30 minutes and then we were seated. the hostess sat us in the very back.
i always notice where i'm seated in a restaurant. if i'm with my husband and we're seated in the back, i have to wonder if maybe it's because we're interracial, or just because at least one of us is black. i can't help it. and you'd never know i was thinking this. i just play along. despite how my thoughts in this blog may portray me, i truly don't walk around with a chip on my shoulder, honest.
my dad used to have this thing whenever we'd go out-he NEVER wanted to sit towards the back, or by the dirty dish carts. i think he was grossed out by it but i also think it was a possible racism thing. and if we were seated there, he always made a big deal out of it and insisted the server seat us elsewhere. he never mentioned race but i think it was a factor in him being so picky about where we sat.
so last night, my brother insisted we sit somewhere else-at another table so he could sit by the window,he said. although i took note of us being seated in the very back, i was content to just sit there. it was crowded, busy (but there were other tables available), and i was too tired to care. my mom never brought up race and the seating but i think deep down maybe she wanted to see to it that we were not seated in the back.
white people never have to wonder about why they might have been seated where they're seated. if they're seated in the way back, it's just because that's what was available. end of story. but, i've never worked in a restaurant, so it's possible that's there's some method to the seating and i don't have a clue. if i'm not careful, i can read racism into lots of things. i try not to. i'm not even suggesting that it was racism last night. i don't know. but i also try not to overlook obvious racism it if i can help it. i think the desire to get a 'fair shake' despite being black is just ingrained in me, so i'm always aware of the little things.