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Clubs and Barbie car field notes

November 9, 5pm
Fayette Mall to UK

Three rides in one day and this time my daughter is along for the ride. My husband J has a speech to attend, and I have to teach tonight when that is over. Lydia wanted to ride the bus with me and then turn around and go home in the car with her dad. So we get on the 5:15pm bus.

It gets dark outside while we ride the bus, the sun seems to keep track of our progress, giving out it’s last rays as we get off the bus. This, however, isn’t the interesting part of the ride. We sit in the back, Lydia likes to be up high like me and look out the window. We have a game in our family of spotting VW bugs which we call “Barbie cars” (Lydia’s Barbie dolls have one). So we commence on a ripping game as rush hour provides us with lots of Barbie car sitings.

At the same time, I’m watching a bleach-blond up front with two little biracial girls, approximately age 2 and 4, and lots of bags of groceries. Across the aisle is a couple, both white, in their 20s. He has a confederate flag on his hat and she wears clothes way too small for her hefty frame. The women chat and laugh across the aisle – they are seated in the inward facing seats and face each other head on. The girls munch on Cheetos.

At the next stop, three guys get on, one white and two black. The white guy smells rank, so bad I have to breathe through my mouth. The bus is full and Lydia is oblivious, so we sit tight. Giggles and calls of “mama!” erupt from the little ones at the front of the bus. The elder member of the crew behind me because he asks the two with him, “Is that Jennifer? From the club?” “Yea,” says one, “I think it is.”

“That makes 12 Barbie cars, mom,” Lydia turns to me and says and then turns back to the window.

The one that asked about Jennifer then gets up and walks up front. He has shades on and thinks he’s Mr. Smooth. He leans over her and she looks up and smiles and laughs. He sits next to her and they begin to talk. She is all coquettish smiles and brushes his arm and shoulder repeatedly. She’s also straightened up and pushed her ample chest out. [aside: Is this an example where she is the place, this “club” to this man? The man doesn’t seem to see her as a person outside her “work”, a mommy even with the kids giggling and screeching right behind them. And she seems to perpetuate his misplaced sense of place with her body language and conduct.]

Lydia and I counted up to 19 Barbie cars and got off at UK.

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