A friend recently wrote about the judging that goes on when people choose to do things differently than their neighbor. She mentioned a few of the all-time biggies like homeschooling vs. public schooling, large families vs. small, bottlefeeding vs. breastfeeding etc.
I didn’t have much to add to her conversation and I related that to her on the phone, surmising that it might be because I hadn’t really come up against any major poo-poohing of my choices. No one had really made me feel less-than because I chose differently than they did in these matters. I mean sure, I knew some people didn’t agree with my choices. But I wouldn’t say they made me feel hurt or defensive.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the words were out of my mouth; I got slapped upside my head by a poo-pooher. I now know how it feels to be looked down upon and made to feel less than because I do things differently than some.
I was in the grocery store paying for my groceries, as I think everyone should do, by the way. As I was scavenging the bottom of my purse for the correct change, I looked at the clerk and said, “I must have it in here with all this change.” I pulled a handful of quarters, pennies and nickels out and searched diligently for an elusive dime.
And then it came, the disparaging judgment.
“Oh, you’re one of those,” is what the clerk spewed out of her mouth.
I began to hang my head in shame as I handed her two nickels, knowing that I would now be labeled for life as one of the FivePoundsOfChangeInTheBottomOfHerPurse ladies.
Suddenly in a surge of self-esteem and the realization that this might be my only chance to defend my choice, I looked her straight in the eye and asked, no challenged, “Yes, I’m one of those, is this a problem?” And then I smiled vibrantly at her.
Her brilliant response was, “Huh?”
Yeah, I didn’t think so.