A woman I work with was telling me a story about something that happened to her over the weekend.
"I was at Safeway and one of the bag boys was helping someone out and hit my daughter in the head. When I confronted him about it, he was all denying it. 'I didn't hit your daughter,' he said. So I went to manager and he was denying it too! Finally, they let me into the security booth so I could look at the video but they'd erased the guy hitting my daughter! I mean, all I wanted was an apology. I wouldn't have made such a fuss but I wanted her to know that things like that shouldn't happen and that I'd stand up for her. I'm so pissed. I hate West Seattle. Everytime I go over there, I have to deal with white trash! Does that happen to you?"
"Uh, I don't think Wes'Seattle is any worse than anyplace else..." I offered weakly.
Urgh, I hate that term-"white trash", unless you mean this kind. I also hate it when white folks (especially those younger than me who've probably never been to one) use "ghetto" to describe things that are subpar. I really hate hearing black folks calling other blacks folks "nigger" too. I could go on, but I'm sleepy and wanna get back to the main thrust of this tale.
I don't know my coworker very well. I know she's dating a guy I used to work with back in the Photodisc days. I know she paints "thematic abstracts", I know she was married and that she has a four year old daughter. I know she likes Jill Scott a lot(!).
She sorta looks like a ex-sorority girl, slender, fair and petite, although more the arty or bookish "type", Glasses, scarfs, sweaters, etc.
Don't get me wrong. In my own way I adore her. She can be quite funny. But I was somewhat put off by her white trash comment. I briefly considered telling her that I really didn't like that term, which led to an internal rant about the other two words I hate...but then we were running late on deliveries, due to being understaffed and a couple of huge orders that came in over the weekend. So I got busy.
A few minutes passed and I got up to get some coffee.
As I was coming back to my desk, my coworker asked me if I wanted to see a picture of her daughter. I was a little puzzled by this.
"Sure." I says, ambling over.
On the screen is a little girl...wearing a blue sweatshirt...hey, wait her coloring is really different from...she's got a nose like mine! And that hair! Reddish and thick while Mom's is blond...I'm looking at...a cousin?!
"Hm. She's cute! How old again?"
"She's four..."
"Right on."
I'm back in my seat and a few minutes pass before I realize the full implications of why my coworker showed me the picture. Then I understand the full implications of her story. I supress the urge to giggle, because I'm feeling silly, surprised and for reasons I can't explain, somewhat pleased.

I guess I should know better than to judge a book by its cover...

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