Yesterday I was leaving Target, you know, that upscale store that everyone loves? And this lady paused to let me exit before her. She was pushing a cart with about a thousand boxes of diapers in it, and even carrying a couple in her arms. So I let her go in front of me. All I was carrying was Corbet and one bag of shirts.
The first thing I noticed about her, besides the gazillion diapers, was how done up she was. She had on shiny pink high heels. And I mean, HIGH, high heels. Like stilts. Just seeing them I tipped over. She had extremely blonde hair, a very perfect tan, and her outfit was pink and black and it matched her shoes perfectly. She was also in a tiny skirt of some kind. It eludes me right now, but it most likely went very well with her heels and her top.
Normally I'd scoff at the value of this type of woman. I'd think to myself, "Lady, you are one done up girl." And I'd consider her vacuous, vapid, and a series of other adjectives that either begin with a V or are synonymous with the other words I've already used to describe her.
I know! This is a real confession. Because I try to be decent. And I guess you could say that I've always thought being decent meant not being like women who pay extreme amounts of attention to looking like a trillion bucks at all times. You know, waxing, tanning, dyeing, spending exorbitant amounts of money on a wardrobe, botox, and face-lifts.
More than that, I thought I was a kind person even though secretly I'd see a woman like her and feel superior in some way because I know that what matters most is what's inside. That a person's heart is more important than what they look like. And a woman like that doesn't get that, obviously, otherwise she wouldn't feel like she had to invest so much in her appearance.
That's what I thought, I guess.
Stuff like that.
It's completely hysterical that I thought things like this, all while finding myself at ease with judging someone based purely on how they looked. It's easy to see someone who looks like crap and feel a tugging at your heart that lets you think, "Awww, bless their heart, bless them, they're unfortunate. Bless them to have lots of good things happen." Or whatever.
It's harder to look at a person who looks good or beautiful, or like they care a lot about how they appear, and think, "Awww, bless their heart. Bless them." Because you're thinking, instead, "Ridiculous. They're putting too much emphasis on what they look like. How disappointing."
Anyway, so I learned my lesson at Target. This woman had a bazillion diapers.
I said to her, "That's a lot of diapers!" Just to be conversational.
She said, in a really sweet, polite voice (I might add), "Did you see that thing on the news yesterday?"
"No, what thing?"
"About the crisis shelter? Yeah, it was so sad. They don't have any diapers. They said the babies that show up there, end up leaving with the same diaper they arrived in because the shelter can't afford more diapers. It broke my heart. Those poor kids. I had to run out and buy some diapers for them. I just can't stand the thought of them being stuck in the same diaper like that."
She explained all of this as we walked out into the parking lot, while she tried to push a cartload of a billion boxes of diapers.
I offered to help her carry them. I didn't see the thing on the news about the shelter. We talked about diaper brands for a minute, and I let her know what a sweetheart she is (like she needed that validation, right?), and off she went into the sunset.
So, how could I not tear up a little when I realized what a jerk I have been? I will never judge another woman who looks like she cares about her appearance a lot. What do I even know about it? Chances are, all that makeup and glam is concealing a heart as big as the moon, and a desire to love and be loved as wide as the ocean.
She restored my hope in humankind. So thank you for teaching me that lesson, woman in pink, whoever you are, wherever you are. I love your pink and high-heeled guts to pieces.