We just wrapped taping for season 3 of “Exhale,” and I had a day off before I had to head up to Seattle for a show. So I decided to stay overnight in LA with BFF Dawan, rather than fly straight to Seattle and get a room. He lives a ways from the hotel where I was staying, but his daughter’s daycare was just a couple miles away. So I decided to meet him there and ride back to the house with him after he dropped her off.
Perfect. I’d save money by not paying for an Über to West LA during morning rush, and I didn’t have to inconvenience him at all. To make sure everything went smoothly, I planned to arrive about 15 minutes early and just wait outside or in the lobby of the daycare center. But when my taxi pulled up, I realized the daycare was located in a home on a quiet, residential street, and I was gonna have to stand in front of the house until Dawan arrived. I considered asking the taxi driver to keep the meter running until he got there, so I didn’t look like a toddler thief, but I am poor. So I hopped out. Here’s the thing about being an unfamiliar brown woman standing in front of a daycare with two suitcases, each of which could easily hold a toddler: there’s no way to not look suspicious.
I regularly do an hour onstage, but those 15 minutes outside that daycare felt every bit as long. That’s why I’m not angry at the woman who sat in her car, sizing me up for 3 minutes before she got out and walked towards the house clutching her daughter’s hand and her cell phone equally hard. And I’m not mad that once she was inside, she peeked her head back out the side door and pointed me out to someone inside. I probably would have done the same. As soon as Dawan got there and shifted his truck into park, I began wrestling my super heavy bags into his trunk. “Hang on. I’ll do it as soon as I drop her off,” he offered.
Nah. I got it. We should probably go right now.