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Angelou was startled when the woman ordered her to wait, so that she—the saleswoman—could walk through first. When she objected to being talked to in such a way, the saleswoman was startled. She was rude to Angelou, who countered with insults. Feeling that she had stuck up for herself, Angelou Out on Her Own 43 walked back to Momma’s, only to be met with anger. Momma had received a call from the woman at the store. Insisting that it had been a matter of principle to speak up for herself, Angelou was stunned and hurt when Momma slapped her across the face, and told her how foolish her actions had been: You think ’cause you’ve been to California these crazy people won’t kill you?

Think ahead,” her mother ordered. “What the hell is he bringing you? The contempt of his people and the distrust of your own. ”40 Even so, when Angelos proposed, Angelou accepted. She understood the reservations her mother had, but she believed it was best, for her and for Clyde. She quit her job and became a fulltime homemaker and mother. “My life began to resemble a Good Housekeeping advertisement,” she later wrote. “I cooked wellbalanced meals and molded fabulous jello desserts. ”41 Parting Ways For a while, the marriage was fine.

She did not know what she wanted to do, but she was certain that working in a diner was only temporary. For now, she continued to drift and to dream about finding a place where she really fit in. L. Poole, a nightclub tap dancer who was looking for a new partner for his act. He had gotten her name from the owner of the record store, who knew Angelou had taken dance lessons as a girl. Although she had no experience in the kind of dancing Poole did, she threw herself into learning as much as she could, and Poole hired her.

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