My daughter, my niece and I were in the check out line at Gelson's, with our selections from the salad bar* being tallied up by the kindly clerk. I glance up to see a black woman hurrying into the store. We give each other the quick "Hey, nice to see another black face in Encino" nod and smile, and I gather up the girls and our bags to head out. Suddenly, she turns and comes back to me:
"Excuse me. I have to give you my card. I run a hair salon."
She smiles again, presses her card into my hand, and repeats:
"A hair salon."
* Early on it was clear we would need three containers:
Mine: Spinach, mixed greens, mushrooms, green onions, hard boiled eggs, blue cheese crumbles, caesar dressing
My daughter's: Iceburg lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese, ranch dressing. Side of bacon.
My niece's: Carrots, grated cheddar cheese, dash of egg yolks