Oddness on the Edge of Town

My husband and I were out on Friday in our town looking for dessert. He had just bought me a gorgeous little Lily cotton dress for my birthday, so I had it on, and I was wearing my Naturalizer Prissy black heels. Nothing too ornate – no jewelry. We passed two women, neither of which I noticed particularly but I smiled because hey, that’s how I was raised. About five paces later, I hear one of the women shouting, “When I grow up I want to look JUST LIKE YOU!” in a condescending tone. Uh, excuse me?

Did I say anything to you? No. Did I sneer at you? Not unless you think a polite smile is a sneer. I was minding my own business – couldn’t you do the same? Why did this woman yell at me? Who knows? But if I were wearing shorts and a tank top, would she have noticed or felt the need to say anything? It was pretty obvious her comments had everything to do with how I was dressed.

I don’t get it. I don’t judge others on what they wear, nor would I EVER say anything that rude to someone, let alone shout it on the street. Live and let live, people. Just because I’m a shopaholic doesn’t mean I think the rest of the female population has to be. But this woman, this nasty, rude woman, found me threatening because of a nice birthday dress. To that, I say F*** you.

I’m sorry. I can’t be nice to someone making a snap judgment about me, and being so freakin’ rude about it. She has no idea I meditate, I house meditation monks on occasion, I donate cash to a poor school in Haiti, I teach a foreigner English on a volunteer basis, I’m a vegetarian and dammit, I’m nice. So what if I clean up well on occasion?

It’s the curse of female. We judge. We judge others on appearance no matter how they look. T-shirt and a pair of jeans? We think “She can’t even clean herself up.” Beautiful designer dress and nice makeup? We think “Who’s she trying to impress?”

Where the hell is our sisterhood, ladies? Why can’t we cheer each other on instead of holding each other to impossible standards? I can shop at Target, but the second I breathe the air inside Lord & Taylor, I’m no longer a good person? What the hell? I don’t put on airs – I don’t even know why I would want to. And if I did, what the hell is that to the rest of the world?

I’m asking this of you – today, one time or as many times as you can remember to, cheer another sister on. If you see a woman looking totally put together, tell her so. If you like someone’s shoes, say it out loud! If your friend marches in with a brand new Chanel purse slung over one shoulder, coo and show the appreciation you’d hope for if it were you carrying it. If you notice a woman doing something particularly well today, express your admiration. It’s time we as a gender start encouraging each other. We have enough to deal with already – demands of a job, of motherhood, of relationships. Let’s become each other’s support system, even on a small level.

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June 30, 2008. Uncategorized.

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