Yesterday I took the day off work to chaperon Luke's class field trip to the Children's Museum, despite that I only had one week's notice. I was looking forward to spending the time with Luke and watching him with his classmates. I was not, however, looking forward to standing by awkwardly with the other parents, especially since the two moms I have befriended were not attending.
Turns out, my reservations proved true. Okay, so I did find a few people to talk to.... the grandmother of one little girl, the au pair of another, and the dad of another. But there were several parents who I just wanted to slap. When I am not working or going out, I do not dress up. I try to dress appropriate to my life and activities. I was wearing distressed (read: ripped) jeans, a vintage-looking Green Bay Packers t-shirt, and chucks. That is appropriate clothing for attending a children's museum with 21 kids.
I'm pretty sure most of the other moms wouldn't be caught dead in what I was wearing, but who cares? Well... apparently one mom. She walked up next to me in her polo shirt, khaki pants, and loafers and gave me a once-over followed by a dirty look. Whatever. I just tried to avoid being near her the rest of the morning.
But.... Wouldn't you know that I would somehow get stuck sitting next to her at lunch! She acted like I didn't exist, even when her kid pushed all his trash over into where I was eating and then proceeded to throw his wet wipe on me after he wiped his hands and the table and the arms of the girl next to him with it. She grabbed it off my arm without apologizing or telling her kid to apologize and just told him not to throw things. What is wrong with people?
I really do not care if people like me or not. I do not consider life to be a popularity contest. I have plenty of friends so if I don't get along with you or you don't like me, it's really okay. Live and let live, right? But what I really hate is when someone purposely is rude for no good reason or acts like someone else doesn't deserve common courtesy. She was telling her kid to use manners with the girl next to him and her mom, so I know it wasn't that she didn't know about manners.
Sure, I don't really know why that lady gave me the dirty look and treated me that way. Maybe it was how I was dressed, but maybe she hates tattoos. Maybe she hates it that we both have a 4-year-old and I could pass for 20 years old. Maybe she hates the Green Bay Packers. Whatever the reason, it's sad that she is teaching her kid that it is okay to treat some people with manners while treating other people like they don't exist.
I'm glad that Luke is too young to notice that his mom is an outcast amongst moms. And I'm glad that I'm doing my best to teach him that we treat other people with respect and courtesy, regarless of how similar to or different from us they are. Even people who wear khakis and loafers. ;)