So today I drove 20 minutes south to my parents’ restaurant. Little Man & I had lunch, and because I knew he wouldn’t make it to our normal grocery store before he had a major meltdown, I decided to stop at the wallyworld in the town south of us.
What. A. Difference.
The store itself was fine. The prices were the same. The layout was a bit different, but I figured it out. The employees (mostly older folks) were quite friendly.
But the staring.
Normally when Little Man and I are out by ourselves, no one gives us a second glance. Well, maybe they do, but they certainly aren’t obvious about it. I assume they assume I’m married to a Black man.
When Keith & LM are out, the same goes. We assume most people assume he’s married to a Black woman.
But today? In the small college town just south of us? People literally did double takes. People passed us, glanced at us, stopped and turned around.
I was a bit uncomfortable.
I mean, I read people’s stories about how they are perceived and approached in public. We are blessed that we live in an area where multiracial families (whether by marriage or adoption) are quite common. It is not uncommon at all for us to not be the only trans racial family. And it’s not always Black and White. We have a high Hispanic population and a high Indian population in our town.
But apparently a twenty minute drive south is a different story. I was quite shocked, actually, and then I found myself being incredibly protective – sort of trying to gather LM into me so no one could see him.
Now, it wasn’t everyone, of course. There were quite a few people who remarked about how adorable he is, played peekaboo with him, and got him to say, “Hi,” and wave to them.
But the few that stared? I wanted to beat them with a can of peaches.
Instead, I smiled and walked on, all the while talking to Little Man, like I always do.
Who knows… maybe they were staring at the crazy lady narrating her grocery trip to her infant.
But I doubt it.
8 thoughts on “Stop Staring, Please”
I can't pretend to understand what that feels like, cause I don't. But, quite honestly, those people are stupid. 🙂 N is the cutest little man I've ever seen, and one glance into those beautiful brown eyes reminds me that he is simply a gift from God, straight to you. One lesson I've learned so far this year is that, no matter how hard I humanly try, I cannot change people's hearts. Instead of being frustrated by that, I now pray for them. Love ya, sis.
Been there done that too many times to count. 🙂
It's much better here though. Rarely ever get comments. The worse though was when we drove about 2 hours in to east TX and my husband actually overheard a lady saying 'that just ain't right' about us having Isabel. Very glad I didn't hear her.
I do the same thing when I notice stares though, even now where it's much more excepted where we live (although not common) just get closer to her and make sure I loudly say something about 'mommy.'
Dang, I want to beat them with a can of peaches too. When people look at Chris that way, because he's still in a diaper, I hope I'm imagining it, but I don't think I am, and I want to take. them. Down.
I would stare at LM because he's SUPER CUTE! 🙂 But, yeah, I'm sure that's not why they were staring. Pass the peaches!
We get this all of the time. Living in N.C., if you go 30 minutes outside a major city/town, the stares and stupid comments commence. Unfortunately, we've gotten more mean comments from African American women. I'm not sure how to answer these mean comments or if I should simply walk away. It's so hateful though…If you have a strategy, please share! 🙂
Makes me want to gather you both close and protect you!! Human shield Kel to the rescue!
I have gotten looks and I used to get really mad and feel very uncomfortable. We lived in northern MI for a year and an older man from our church actually said it was nice that you would adopt one of those. I was so shocked I was speechless. Then I was outraged and had to process my reaction.
I left quickly, because I was afraid I was going to explode, at the time I just had 4 kids. When we got in the van we had an immediate discussion about ignorance. I asked if they heard the man and why they thought he felt that way and if they thought he was trying to be mean or was just ignorant. They all concluded that he was just ignorant. We had a great conversation and I had asked if I would have yelled at him and spewed hatred would it have done any good. They all concluded no. I explained that ignorant, I used that word alot during that conversation, people need you to be patient and walk in love. I explained at those times you can be bitter or better and we would chose better.
I was very ticked and we actually moved not long after that because that is not what I wanted for my daughter. While in northern MI we also met some awesome people and made some great friends but there was more prejudice that we ran into up there.