A few days ago, 2 very mean people screamed at me that I was ‘the biggest piece of white trash they’d ever seen’ and that ‘I need to be medicated.’
Couple of things:
- These people know of my cancer odyssey
- My kids were with me when this occurred
- I am so medicated it is ridiculous. Anxiety, ulcerative colitis, cancer. It is a pill bonanza up in here.
- I would love nothing more than to tell you all the full story to expose these clowns, but:
- I am extremely classy
- In the case that the situation escalates, I am legally bound to zip it
I will cop to a LOT of negative adjectives about myself like stubborn, lazy and even cray cray, but white trash? I graduated from college with honors, I worked in management for Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston for 15 years combined and my grandmother (Lady Margery) held us to the highest white glove appearance standard. White Trash?!
I have racked my brain and all I can come up with is that in the past year plus, I have had some pretty wacky hairstyles and colors. That, and I have a beloved air dancer that lives in my front yard, bringing joy to the world via frantically waving polyester. Oh, and one year we left our Christmas lights up all year because we were too lazy to take them down.
Back to my hair. It has been purple, pink, blue, magenta, white and many combos of the aforementioned. It has been a mohawk, spiky and a buzz cut FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. (Okay, now I am getting a little fired up.)
We are living in a time where as backwards as it may seem, we are all being judged by our looks and preferences. Turn on CNN and you can draw a dotted line back to some form of discrimination from any story.
Heck, I have seen shaming within our own breast cancer community. People posting an honest question or thought on the online boards and being met with judgment and sometimes, dare I say, bullying.
As a white woman of privilege, it is unusual to find myself in a place where I feel maligned. To have people who I would consider acquaintances slap a nasty label on me such as white trash is jarring in a way that I am having trouble describing. When the words came hurtling out of their mouths I truly froze silent thinking both, ‘really?’ and ‘how is this the world we live in?’
And suggesting that I need medication? What on earth? We live in a time where we are all over prescribed. The last thing we need is the peanut gallery suggesting perhaps we need something more.
I tell you all this story because it is a reminder that we have the choice to do the right thing. Cancer didn’t give me a choice. It took my breasts, my hair, my life as I knew it. But I did have the choice to play with my hair as it grew back. I made the choice to keep it fun for my children as I explored the rainbow of styles and colors.
Let us take a moment and make the choice to be better. To take the high road when the low one feels so tempting. People like the meanies who yelled at me are among us. We can’t eradicate them. But we can be better. We can raise better, more tolerant children. we can lead by example.
Now listen, all that being said, I am not perfect either. I kept my mouth shut when being berated and walked away. But if you think I haven’t been planning a raging White Trash Bash as a housewarming party for our new home, think again.