I was at Shoppers the other day getting whipping cream for a dessert recipe I had planned on making that afternoon. It was my third attempt that morning. Sold out. Who knew whipping cream was in such high demand?
As I head toward the exit doors, I walked pass the 50% after-Christmas clearance aisle. Very tempting displays. Well, I have found some good deals in the pass. The retailers’ tactic at keeping me in their store worked.
The selections were small. As I browsed through the rolls of decorative papers, a woman in her mid-40’s mumbled something under her breath, as if talking to herself. She was two feet away and must have been looking at the gift wraps as well. My brain was slow to process, it wasn`t till a full two seconds later that it hit me. Hold on. Wait a minute. Did she just– No. Could I’ve heard “I wish you people would go back to your country”? I can’t be sure, but I definitely heard the last four words of that sentence.
Disturbed by the possibility of a racist attack I immediately looked over at her, but unable to meet her eyes. Instead, I spotted an Asian lady within the same distance from that woman, who apparently have not heard a thing.
The woman then turned abruptly and walked away, all the while I was still trying to process what had just happened: retracting the steps leading up to that moment.
I was more confused than upset; wanting to understand what possessed her to say such an ignorant thing. And could I have possibly provoked it?
Sandwiched between two Asians must have made her very uncomfortable.
I quickly decided that she was no more than a miserable soul, who is more harmful to herself than others. I refuse to be poisoned by her. Plus, I was having way too good of a day (despite my failed grocery attempt) to let this unhappy person dragged me down. I will not give her that satisfaction.
There will always be prejudice in the world. We just have to remember and remind ourselves and our children that it’s just an irrational way of thinking, that often times have no reflection on us.
Walking away is the right choice; it doesn’t mean we are weak or powerless. We’re simply more intelligent.
P.S. I did find a full stock of whipping cream at Safeway after that.