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.