Overheard: "Do you have a room with a hot tub in it? Now. Yes, just one night. I'm fresh out of rehab. (giggle) It's a celebration. Yes, we're definitely going to need some champagne!"
The girl on her cell phone has shoulder-length pink hair and a half glass of white wine. Her boyfriend sports a hoody, hood engaged.
Baltimore is a diverse city, no doubt, but this couple doesn't typify the average Rusty Scupper clientele. The dining room features white tablecloths and beautiful views of the Inner Harbor. The menu lists $35 dinner entrees. If one were to celebrate, this would be an option.
"My boyfriend is funny about valet," she says into the phone.
Boyfriend mumbles, "Don't want nobody driving my truck."
"Honey, the parking garage is two blocks away," the girl argues. "I've been walking for 28 days. I'm not going to walk anymore."
The first time I met Bita, she told me to call her Mamma. The second time, she punched me.
I had been driving around with too-long pants too long, when I saw Alterations by Bita in a tiny shopping center. Seemed convenient. After she straight-pinned my hems, I asked her last name.
She spoke with a strong accent, "You not can say it. No worry. You just call me Mamma. That what everyone call me."
I stopped by yesterday after casting my ballot. We did our business, and before leaving, I asked her where she was born. She looked a little confused, so I tried again.
"Uh, where are you from?"
"Oh," she said. "Iranian."
She gestured to the "I Voted Today" sticker on my shirt and asked, "Who did you give it to?"
I had been so saturated with the phrase "voting is a privilege" that its meaning lost meaning. Voting is not merely our endorsement or support. It is not what we say. It is something we possess. And it is part of us that we literally give.
I told her Obama, her face brightened, and she punched me in the chest.
"Good," she said. "You kids do good. Change good."
Know Thy Farmer Profiling 30+ Alabama farmers and artisans who work with Birmingham's The Market at Pepper Place.
Authentic Us Podcast
Click to Hear the Podcast Authentic Us is a sound-rich, storytelling platform that explores our culture through food, art, music, land, literature and characters. The nationally-distributed platform first launched in the Spring of 2013 as Authentic South.