The other day, something humiliating happened to me. My friend Adriana, and I had plans to go to the movies. Wil was going to watch the kids. As usual, my time management skills, or lack there of, took over, and I tried to do too much before the movie. I drove over to Trader Joe’s with Samara, while Ari and Wil were still sleeping, bought snacks, drove back home to meet Adriana. Adriana estimated her time of arrival to meet me at 10:15am, but the train ran express, so she got there a little after 10am.
Because I am terrible at managing time, I was still wearing yoga pants and a tee shirt. The yoga pants were covered in food stains, maybe some banana residue, some oatmeal, who knows what else. Did I mention that I have two kids?
Adriana was walking toward my house, at the same time as a questionable looking man. There happen to be a lot of questionable looking characters on my block, so I didn’t really think much of the guy…until he spoke to me.
“I know you got a right, but damn. Do you really have to go outside like that?”
It took me a moment to process what he said. And then I realized that he was blatantly insulting me. I looked down at my food stained pants, and I said to Adriana.
“I believe that man just insulted me. “
“What did he say?” She as eyes widened.
“He told me that what I was wearing was gross. Excuse me, I have to go change.”
Fully humiliated, I went upstairs to my apartment and changed my stained pants for clean ones. I felt ambivalent about this interaction, on the one hand, the guy had a point, my banana stained pants were not exactly Chanel, but on the other hand, he doesn’t realize what I have to do to get a shower and put on clean clothes over here. On the one hand I wanted to tell him “FUCK YOU!” And on the other hand I wanted to say “THANK YOU.” It was a reality check that I need to get a handle on myself and look more like a human when I leave the house. He schooled me.
Have you ever been schooled by a stranger?