Saturday, October 3, 2009

An open letter to the woman who yelled at me in Target:

Dear Lady,

I can try to understand that you do not wish to discuss your daughter's country of origin with a complete stranger. What I cannot understand is how you chose to deal with me when I reached out to you. In this world, people try to find commonalities. Had you cared to, you might have found some with me. You might have heard about my love for the little Peruvian girl who is the daughter of a very dear friend. You might have heard about my sweet African-American niece. You might have found out how proud I am of them, and how much I envy their multicultural lives. But instead, you yelled at me. And after I held up my hands and backed out of the plushie aisle, you chose to chase me and hypothesize about what I might have done if you had approached me and yelled “Is your daughter from Russia?” It did not help that I thought perhaps people stopping me and asking where my daughter got her curls was sort-of the same. In your world, it is not. Obviously, you and I have absolutely no commonalities.

There are many, many unkind people in this world, but I am not one of them. You do not know me, and you did not know what my intentions were. You judged me without even seeing me. I will allow that you do not know how sensitive I am. But I am sensitive. Why then, even when I pointed out to you that there were tears creeping out of my eyes, did you not stop? That, lady, is unkind. You took my kindness and slashed it with your harsh words. You sent me a small way back into my shell. I am thankful that I finally got your ear and you stalked away in disgust when I told you that you would not change me. And you won't. I will continue to be kind, and open, and admit what hurts me. I will be friendly to and admiring of whichever child I want. I hope that people like me will continue to be kind to your child so she does not inherit the chip you have on your shoulder. Because that kind of chip is not genetic. It does not course through your blood or reside in your DNA. It is inherited through years of exposure. It makes me equally sad that you are so defensive, and she will see you being angry and insulted by her blatant heritage.

And lastly, I want to tell you that I do not appreciate being accosted and berated in the princess aisle at Target. I was publicly chastised with no chance to defend myself. You rebuked me in front of my child, and your child, too. That is not okay with me.

You, lady, are blog fodder.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I really don't understand why some people are so harsh and mean. It's like they completely forget that the people around them are human beings, and that we all have feelings. Gosh dang it. I'll never understand unkindness. Never.

    I believe in karma. My consolation is that when people are blind and unkind, life will offer them opportunities to learn.