Do you like fried chicken?

I just had to write this one, because I thoroughly enjoyed the silence and expressions on everyone’s face when the co-worker of an old friend of mine asked me during lunch conversation, “Do I like fried chicken?

OMG, it was so funny. Well to me it was funny, because even the people at the table beside us turned around to look. The look of shock on my friend’s face (she was an old co-worker of mine that happens to now work near my building) was priceless.

I thought she [my friend] was going to curse the woman out. The subject of race never really came up, we just got along. Later she called me to apologize for her co-worker, but knew I wasn’t upset with her. She was more embarrassed than anything. I’m sure she ‘expressed’ her discomfort in colorful detail with her co-worker after lunch. I could just see it on her face.

Now back to my response to the question.

She was actually innocent in asking the question, but I smiled and chuckled a bit before I answered.

I simply responded with, “yes, I do like fried chicken. I often eat it with watermelon chased down with ‘red’ Kool-aid”. My friend started to smile and shake her head, probably because she knew what I was up too.

As I watched the ‘balloon’ float over her head I noticed that she looked puzzled by my answer, so I decided to let her and everyone listening off the hook.

I politely answered her question first, “yes, I do like fried chicken although I choose not to eat it often or cook it at home. I actually do not like watermelon, but if you offer me some Kool-Aid I’m sure to say, Oh Yeah.

I’m actually a silly person that enjoys talking about serious topics.

Then I explained my initial response. “You’re lucky that you asked the question to me and not some other Black person who may not have found the innocence of your question. You don’t ask a Black person do they like fried chicken, it’s assumed they do. No seriously, that’s why I said I eat it with watermelon and Kool-Aid to point out the absurdity of a stereotypical question. You noticed how quiet everyone around us got.

I know you didn’t mean any harm, that’s why I laughed. Ignorance is bliss. My problem is to not always laugh at it, but I’m working on that. I say things that I shouldn’t too, so you’re not alone, we’re all human. Just be careful because the next person may not be so understanding of your intentions.

Now I want some Fried Chicken.


6 thoughts on “Do you like fried chicken?

  1. You are always quick to give the right response. I had a coworker ask me recently have I visited a historic home in the Middle TN area recently. I laughed and responded that I went years ago, but try not to visit historic plantation homes, because they give me flash backs. It took him a moment. Some time people are not sensitive to other cultures, races and religions. In America, we are often blind-sighted to the fact that awareness of social perceptions, norms and others feelings are important skills to have in the real world.

    It helps if you raise your children with these skills.

    1. 🙂 Well I try my best to make sure my son views the world with an open mind. Not to be bias, but I believe he has an open minded mother and father so I think he’s on the right track. But anyone can say something that can set someone on the wrong path if the correct way isn’t reinforced.

      In this case, the lady was just trying to join into the conversation. Good thing I didn’t go to KFC for lunch, that would have been classic.

  2. *laughs* That would have been classic. Chicken bone sticking out of your mouth when she asked the question. Oh. dear. 🙂

    I only like really good fried chicken. Most of it isn’t tasty so I’ll generally take a pass on it. I would probably prefer a really good salad. The fried chicken in London is so bad… if I loved fried chicken, eating it in this country would soon change my mind. It is being cooked by people who never tasted actual southern fried chicken. The breading is not breading. It isn’t crisp. Darn. Now I want one of my aunt’s pieces of fried chicken, flavored with garlic salt. But only the breast. That’s the only chicken part I’ll eat.

  3. LOL… priceless.

    You can’t always take everything so personally.

    Many years ago, I worked for a ministry as the art director. It was a predominately black church, but there were white members also. I can remember occasions when one of the members, who was also employed there, ask about my hair. I had changed it from being relaxed or straightened and started to wear it natural in an afro style. She asked how I got my hair to stand up like that. She thought my hair just naturally grew out straight, so how did I manage to get it to stand up. It cracks me up still when I think of her asking the question. I didn’t take offense, though some might have. I took it as an opportunity to “education” her a bit. While member of that church she became a BIG fan of collard greens–in the beginning she was calling them “colored” greens (yeah I know). But again I and the other black folks around didn’t get offended. She thought that is what we were saying. LOL… anyway she and her husband were pretty cool. I house-sat for them occasionally when they went on vacation. We called them “Barbie and Ken,” and they didn’t take offense to that. She and her husband were deacons. (They really did look like Barbie and Ken when they were dressed up.)

    1. I’m pretty easy going. I think it’s funny that others were more sensitive to my race than I am. Their reaction is what was funny. But the lady didn’t mean any harm, she was actually asking me about food. I knew that she didn’t realize how stereotypical her question could have been viewed.

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