Instead of giving my usual recap of the weekend, I'm going to tell a self-deprecating tale that hopefully you'll think is funny rather than offensive. My last story similar to this was about me not crapping my pants. Let's see how this one goes.
Saturday morning, I had to wake up early because I was working in Palo Alto at the NCAA Women's Tournament Games at Stanford. I was not looking forward to it because of the torrential downpour that has been plaguing the west coast of the United States these days. However, I felt very organized work-wise, so that was reassuring.
I left Sacramento at 8am and arrived in Palo Alto around 11am. I was happy to get there early because I absolutely hate rushing around trying to meet a time deadline in an area that I'm not familiar with. Upon arrival, the folks at Stanford were welcoming and helpful. I was granted my official NCAA access pass which allowed me to go pretty much anywhere except the mystical "Zone 4." I'm not sure what was in there, but I'll have to assume it was a pot of leprechaun gold and a flask of unicorn blood. I totally understand why it would be a restricted area.
(Hilarious Side Note: "Zone 4" was actually for Team Locker Rooms [Selected Times.] "Zone 3" was for Team Locker Rooms [All Times.] I suppose I could have gone anywhere- just like "Reading Rainbow.")
I sat at an outside table from 12 noon until around 4pm. St. John's vs. Texas Tech was the first game at 1pm and UC Davis played Stanford after that (around 3:50pm actual start time.) By the time our purchased tickets and guest list will call were picked up, the game had already started. I went in to see how the game was going. UCD hung with #1 seed Stanford for quite awhile before the game got out of hand. It was a great environment to watch a game, though I didn't actually have a seat so I just wandered around upstairs standing in the corners.
The more I stood there, the more I kept contemplating my departure from the fine city of Palo Alto. It had already been a long day and I was losing steam quickly. To be honest, I was not at my finest intellectually... which I believe led to this next mistake.
I glanced up at the jumbotron that they have in the center of Maples Pavilion and saw a famous black woman politician. Within a tenth of a second the image was gone and the screen was back on the game. Something didn't seem right about my next move, but I couldn't stop myself. I jumped on Facebook and wrote:
"Michelle Obama in da house!"
The whole time I kept thinking, "Maybe I was seeing things- it doesn't seem right that she'd be here." But I gave up thinking about it and began to focus on getting home.
The drive home found the roads to be a bit safer. The weather was better, traffic wasn't terrible, and I was listening to Men's Tourney games most of the way home. The Butler game was fantastic on the radio, though I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on with the refs at the end. After seeing the highlights, I understand the whole situation better and blame the players for making awful mental errors. It seemed like a well played game besides the last 4 seconds.
Anyway, I got home around 7:30 or 8pm and jumped on my TV to see how the UCD/Stanford game looked on ESPN 2. I had mentioned to Mrs. B. that the First Lady was there, but that maybe I was seeing things because I couldn't figure out why she was there. I figured I'd check the tape for her and also to see the end result to make sure my ticketing services weren't needed on Sunday and Monday. I put the DVR on x5 fast forward and watched the score increase for both teams (a little bit fast for Stanford as they eventually won.)
I would play the DVR at various parts to get an idea of what the game looked like and I was curious to see what the announcers were saying. During my fast forwarding I saw the screen show the very same black woman politician I had seen previously. I stopped the DVR and found the woman in question. Almost immediately the announcer says, "Condoleezza Rice is here watching her alma mater."
I immediately felt like an A-hole (with a capital "A") because a few people replied to my earlier post about the First Lady on Facebook. I had to go back on and explain to everyone my mistake. Yikes- I officially was the white guy who thinks all black people look alike. Ugh. I made mention of who I actually saw and then swiftly deleted the post because I was embarrassed I even wrote anything.
I definitely was tired from work, wanting to leave, and saw Ms. Rice on the screen for a split second, but I still felt bad. It wasn't intentional, so at this point I think it is pretty funny that I played a stereotype that afternoon. If you can't laugh at yourself... you know the rest.
So what have we learned from my story?
1) Don't post things on Facebook when you don't actually know what is going on. It will only lead to mistakes and make you feel like an idiot.
2) Watch more political shows. If you can't tell the difference between Michelle Obama and Condoleezza Rice, you have more problems than just potential subconscious racism. You're just not as educated on current events as you should be.
The good news in all of this? Condoleezza Rice is actually white based on the Racial Draft that was held a few years ago:
See, I actually got the First Lady confused with a white woman! Oh wait, that's probably EVEN MORE offensive. Dammit! I can't do anything right!