I had an eye-opening experience on Halloween night at Wal-Mart. We all know Wal-Mart on Halloween night is pretty bizarre — people in costumes (some appropriate for public and some not so much) and kids running everywhere. I walked in and turned down the front aisle towards the restrooms. As I neared them, I heard a cough, and suddenly a young woman in her late teens with orange hair and a purple knit hat walks out of an empty register aisle and right in front of my cart. I stopped and waited for her, and she gave me a very weird look as she headed in t the restroom. I parked my cart and went in as well. She was at the first sink straight ahead. I had just passed her when I heard her say (slightly modified) “You really shouldn’t look at me that way. It’s effing rude.”

I thought about responding, but I knew that if I did, it wouldn’t end well. I had taken my granddaughter out for Halloween that night, so I was cold, in pain and tired. If I had responded, it would have been to tell her that the world doesn’t revolve around her. Instead of thinking about her, I had been thinking about how I was tired and cold and wanted to go home, but I still had several things I had to get before I could do that. I think we all worry what people are thinking about us, or what they might say to someone else. We really would do good to remember that it isn’t all about us. People are probably not looking at us or thinking anything. They’re probably just trying to get by with what they need to get done.

This encounter wouldn’t leave my mind. Later in the week, I realized that the reason the girl said that was because she was trying to strike first. Evidently she had people who responded negatively to her orange hair and the two or three piercings she had. I feel bad about that. If I could, I would tell her that having orange hair doesn’t bother me. That’s not what makes you a good person or not. I have a good friend who has worn a lot of different colors of hair. I would tell that girl, that if you want to have orange hair now is the time to do it. It would look pretty bad on a fat old lady like me, so if you’re young and want to try different hair color or piercings, go for it. I would also tell her that I’m sorry that she has been judged in the past.

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