Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Different Perceptions

I was behind a woman in the grocery store today. When she got to the end of the aisle, she turned left and walked past an employee (an acquaintance) who was walking toward me.

For the short time I was behind this woman all I could think was, "How can a grown woman (near my age!) be so dog gone skinny?" After she had turned I realized she was talking on a cell phone. It took me a couple beats more to realize she was speaking Spanish.

She wasn't anorexic skinny, she was naturally skinny. With the tiniest waist I have ever seen on an adult. And she wasn't super short. It just boggled my mind.

So the woman made her turn, the employee/acquaintance was approaching me. I must have been wearing a perplexed look. He was wearing a similar look. Only as he passed me he muttered under his breath, "Dial 1 for English."

He was down the aisle before what he said to me registered. I guess I should have chased him down and given him an ass chewin'. Because we know each other we share the same opinion? Are opinions like this supported and encouraged by management? Does management approve of employees expressing socio/political opinions?

The woman was skinny. But I probably shouldn't express that opinion either, since it is based on jealousy.


Gwen said...

That is distressing. I occasionally have something happen like that--like when another white person just assumes that since we're both white, s/he can make racist remarks to me and I won't mind. I know I should throw a fit about it, but usually I'm kind of befuddled or so confused as to why they would say such a thing that it doesn't occur to me to say something until it's too late.

pj said...

AUGH!! I chastised my father today for a racial epithet. At least I caught it and it wasn't like the situation in the post where I was preoccupied with other thoughts and what he said hit me full in the face.

It's a tough road. And a long one, I'm afraid.

goblinbox said...

What's wrong with his comment? She was speaking Spanish. It wasn't a joke? Maybe he's been socialized not to make comments about women so he fell back on her language rather than saying, "Hey we were both looking at a woman."

Unless he really was being a racist. I dunno, I wasn't there.


pj said...

He said it with a sneer. The sneer reserved for the "what are they doing here?", "send them back where they came from", "they are taking jobs away from Americans" opinion holders. Of which there are many here in red neck land.