I got a text from my next door neighbours’ daughter yesterday asking me if I was free next Monday evening. It was strange because, I didn’t even know her name. Sure we see each other around, make small talk, play with her babies (in fact I know their names but not hers, strange I know), and do other neighbourly stuff, but we never really interact as friends much. And we have never exchanged phone numbers. She got my number from my mother. I saw the text and at first thought someone got the wrong number but then after inspecting the little WhatsApp picture realised it was her. Still suspicious but thinking she must need help with something and must be asking me out of convenience because I live next door to her parents, and wanting to be helpful, I said yes, I was free on Monday evening. Here’s tip number 1 kids, don’t make assumptions. She got all excited and told me she is currently taking up a make up course and needed someone to basically “make-up” for one of her exams. I was stuck, I didn’t know how to say no given I had already stupidly said I was free. And then I made another assumption that she must want someone that lives nearby plus I don’t mind getting my face done up so what the hell, I agreed to it. I then got directions to her training academy which is not that far to get to, but is a bit inaccessible. How? How do I get myself in these situations? Just reinforces to me why I should just trust my instincts and just stay holed up in my room with as minimal human interaction as possible.
I kept asking myself why me? Surely she has other friends/family she could ask. Why of all people me, the person she probably also knew as the neighbours’ daughter who sometimes plays with her kids and makes small talk with in the lift. I could only think of 2 reasons. 1, she’s seen my face and thinks oh my god I have to help that poor woman, or 2, she needs someone with a darker skin-tone, someone from an ethnic minority. While I do have my fair share of looks related insecurity issues, I really doubt the reason is number 1. She must be trying to stand out by bringing a non-chinese person for her test. That makes me wonder, how racist is she that she doesn’t know any other Indian/Malay person/friend that she has to ask me. Anyway, I am being used for the colour of my skin. I should feel some sort of indignation by this but I honestly haven’t decided how I feel yet. I mean of all the marginalisation I have experienced being an ethnic minority, this doesn’t feel like such a terrible thing. Plus I might might be wrong. My assumptions we have already established can be really off. Maybe she really didn’t have anyone else to ask. Or maybe she honestly thinks my face needs all the help it can get. I will ask her though, on Monday or if I run into her over the next few days, why she decided to ask me.