When Mom and Kanye West go shopping for jewelry at Sona Jewelers of Islen, New Jersey, they often get their purses confused—not because they are carrying the same one but because each has a version of the other’s at home.
Every time they go to Little India people stare at them together. A crowd of young kids forms around Kanye and my mother in front of the store. Kanye thinks maybe they should say something. My mother says, “So, let them stare” and pushes through the crowd towards the glass doors of the store.
When Kanye jumps at the first thing he sees my mom shoots him a look— the same one she uses on me when she’s talking to someone on speaker phone and wants me to be quiet— she shoots him that look and Kanye knows to shut up and she’ll handle it in Hindi.
Kanye and my mom often encourage each other to indulge their gaudy taste. While they publicly praise what the other bought, they ridicule the other’s purchases in private.
When she shops with me she always says, “It’s funner with Kanye.”
Nina Sharma is a writer from Edison, New Jersey. Her work has been featured in Certain Circuits Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Reverie: Midwest African American Literature, Ginosko Literary Journal, Big Apple Parent and Riffin. She recently was awarded a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her nonfiction. With Quincy Scott Jones, she co-created the Nor’easter Exchange: a multicultural, multi-city reading series. She is currently attending Columbia University’s MFA in writing program.