Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the scent of some people

"All I'm asking is that they take a bath."

I was shocked! I couldn't believe that I had just heard this mom say something so blatantly mean about the mother that had just walked away after her toddler. I turned away without saying anything...but I had to hold my breath a moment or two until the urge passed to enlighten this woman with her nose scrunged in disgust and racial bias about the many reasons why the scent of perspiration could possibly exist. "They" insinuated people from India, clearly, because this woman was wearing a sari. I had visited this particular play centre for months now, had come to know the indian mother...she was friendly, helpful and liked to socialize with the other moms and children. The deep need to defend her welled up inside of me like exploding lava, but I swallowed my voice because I was ashamed of witnessing this woman's prejudice...ashamed that she felt safe enough to share her judgement with me, as if I may agree with her.

Hours later, her comment is still haunting me...the rancidness of her cruelty rings in my ears. Given a second chance, I would have looked directly into her hifalutin eyes and told her that some people do takes baths, regularily, and still emitted a personal odor because of varying reasons, the most being that they made a conscientious decision not to wear a toxic anti-persperant, thereby letting their bodies breath and even *gasp* sweat. That I was one of them. That some people didn't have time to scrub themselves completely odorless every day, especially mothers who scrambled after two little ones, who might feel blessed with just enough time to brush their teeth and dawn a fresh pair of underwear. That I was one of these mothers too. That freely expressing her intolerant opinion was more offensive than BO.

Goddess forgive me for my own intolerance, it's well intended.

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