Today, I was reminded of a time in my life that enabled me to see just how discriminatory people can be. I ran into a Dollar Tree to pick up some table cloths for the weekend. At first, I wasn’t going to go because I was already running so late on time. But, in an effort to overcome my procrastination I decided to risk being even later – for my son’s school bus, which was to arrive at my house within minutes. I ran in, grabbed the tablecloths and ran to the checkout lane where I noticed the lady in front had an overflowing shopping cart of groceries.
Right as I began to get anxious and fearful of missing my son’s bus, I was quickly distracted by the young girl in front of me. She held in her hand two pregnancy tests. I watched her for a moment, thinking that she looked fairly young to be having a baby. But, then I recalled how when I was pregnant with my son people used to stare at me like I had some sort of horrific contagious plague. Yes, I was young. 18 to be exact. But, I looked much younger or at least that’s the impression I got by the facial expressions of those who observed me.
What they didn’t know was that I had gotten married right out of high school and my son was a planned pregnancy which occurred months after our wedding. I had done everything in the proper order and it baffled me how people could be so judgmental, especially without even knowing me. I dreaded going out in public and I won’t deny that these people really tested my patience. Of course, it didn’t get any easier after I had my son. It became worse actually, because then I was the “little girl” with a newborn.
The girl today buying the pregnancy test reminded me of myself at her age. Maybe she had been promiscuous and today was a terrifying day for her. Or maybe she was in love with her one and only. Perhaps even married to him. This is something I’ll never know, but no matter what the situation may be for her I hope that she doesn’t have to endure the same discrimination that I did with my son.
I personally do not believe that there is ever a good time to stare at someone, especially when you don’t know their situation. It effects them much more than you realize.
Have you ever been discriminated against?