I’m Sorry But…

To the lady that gave me “the look” as she eyed me up and down yesterday in the waiting room. The lady that was very smartly dressed, her hair perfectly styled, hands beautifully manicured and a walking ad campaign for any cosmetic company. Yeah you – I saw you look at me and wonder why I was in sweat pants and tennis shoes, no makeup, scraggly fingernails and hair uncombed. You smiled politely when our eyes locked but it was written all over your face, “poor stay at home mom” as you eye-balled my two children. The Hare with knots in her hair and mis-matched clothes; she could have been a double for Punky Brewster. The Tortoise sulking next to me, stains all over her sweatshirt, shoes worn out.

I’m sorry if you felt some sort of displaced pity for me but you need to read my last blog.

The Hare looks like she shops out of the Salvation Army bag rejects because I allow her a little freedom of choice in what she wears. I’m just thankful that I don’t have to dress her myself anymore. The Tortoise was sulking because I had just told her on the way in that I was unhappy that she had left her school assignment pad at home for me to double-check. She was pouting out of resentment that I actually care about her grades. She wears stained clothes because I refuse to wash clothes late at night when she “forgets” to put them in the hamper. And as far as my overall appearance, well, I have had limited sleep this past week due to a sick child (who is still home today I might add) and was thankful to have at least gotten a shower yesterday and find clean clothes to wear. I didn’t worry about my hair or makeup because I chose to spend a few extra minutes snuggling on the couch with my little patient.

So, at the risk of sounding a little snarky myself (thanks for the great adjective Rachel!) I would like to point out that when a frantic lady ran in with the flat tire needing a ride down the street to meet her husband, you didn’t move a muscle. In fact, you looked the other way while I gathered up one child, sending the other into her appointment and drove the stranger myself.

Sigh. This is what I am talking about, this smugness. Appearance means nothing and my children will remember the stranger we drove to the service center, or the blankets we brought to the man on the street corner; they’ll remember the time we took a woman back to her shelter and bought her dinner on the way and they will remember bringing food to families with new babies, illness and loss. My children won’t remember if I wore heels or tennis shoes.

My hope is that my children become women of character who instead of smiling “politely” at the haggard mom in the waiting room, they smile and say, “I hope you are having a wonderful day.”

Here’s one of my favorite resources – Random Acts of Kindness

5 thoughts on “I’m Sorry But…

  1. Mind reading is a difficult occupation, yet we all take a stab at it every now and again. Unless that polished and manicured woman uttered the thoughts you are ascribing to her, could you be judging her on her appearance?

    1. Ouch – quite the question you are proposing. I have definitly been guilty of assuming certain things about people, but this I do not believe to be one of those times. It really had very little to do with how she was dressed, but more to do with the way she looked at me, and then showed no compassion to the woman who came in the office needing a ride. I’m sure you have experienced a moment where it was plain to see a person’s opinion of you all over their face and body language. But interesting that you have taken a different look at the situation.

      1. Yes, absolutely – since I will never be in danger of winning any kind of fashion award, I have felt those type of looks myself. Please excuse my tendency to over-analyze!

      2. No apologies! We are not able to see ourselves quite as clearly sometimes as we would through the eyes of others. It is important to never miss an opportunity to listen as much as we speak, so thank you for your candidness.

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