Saturday, September 6, 2014
Day 57 of 100 Days of Good Karma.
Justin and I took our kids and two of our nephews to a restaurant for lunch.
We had to wait a few minutes for a table. The waiting area was right next to the bar where a handful of men and women were watching a football game.
My fourteen year old nephew, Triston, was explaining the rules of football to me (I’ve never understood the game) when I got the distinct feeling of being watched.
I looked over at the bar area in time to see a woman quickly turn away from me. She said something to the man with her and then laughed.
I watched her, not wanting to misjudge the moment. I felt good about how I looked. I’d left the wigs and scarves at home, feeling confident with a black t-shirt, a new pair of jeans and some pretty earrings.
I didn’t want to assume she was being ugly. It was, after all, completely possible she was complimenting me.
But when she shot a few more looks my way, her eyes slid away from mine. And when she looked me up and down then laughed to the man next to her… Well, it suggested that what she said was less than flattering.
Maybe I was wrong about her intentions, but I was stunned by her boldness.
If she was being complimentary, there was no need to keep staring. Being a woman myself, I’m hyper-aware of how looking at someone for too long can make them uncomfortable and I’m conscientious enough to know that staring at someone, then laughing to the person next to you is going to make the person you’re looking at feel like shit.
In short, I got angry.
Angry for every person who has ever been made fun of by someone who mocks what they don’t understand.
And angry for myself because I did not appreciate being treated as a curiosity rather than a human being.
That this woman was smug enough to laugh at a stranger, however privately she thought she was doing it, pissed me off.
She looked at me again so I did the only thing I could do.
I smiled at her.
I chuckled when her eyes widened then jumped away. She turned back to the bar, but before she did I thought I saw a shade of embarrassment on her face.
Silver Lining: When we were finally escorted back to our table I walked a little taller.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!