What would you say if you see a mom - looking normal or as normal as you believe normal is - with a toddler, who's wearing a Halloween t-shirt (in the middle of April) and some old looking navy shorts, going into one of those grocery store where you have to insert a quarter to be able to release the baggy and then she realizes she doesn't have a quarter so she asks another lady for her baggy.
The other lady says "sure, just give me my quarter back"
Oh Sure, says the "normal looking Mom" as she starts looking for a quarter she doesn't have ... while her toddler is being a little uneasy jumping on some bars at the entrance of the store, the mom finds twenty two cents and the other lady says "Honey, don't worry about it, it's ok" with that tone of "bless your heart, I'm really feeling sorry for you" so the "normal Mom" goes into the store feeling a little weird.
Up to this point the story is fine. But what if you realized the normal mom drives a nice car, fairly new looking model Honda, carries a Blackberry on her purse ... I'm sorry what??? She has all that and her son looks all that raggedy and she can't even managed to have a quarter ... weird isn't it?
Well that normal Mom was me, the pitiful looking child was my son who decided to poop on his underwear while at daycare so for some reason the teacher decided to dress him on this "oh not matching at all" outfit (which is totally fine, I'm glad she changed him). My Blackberry is one that I got through work, I don't have to pay for it, and my car ... well my car was a very good deal, one of those that you find on this economic crisis times.
As I kept walking into the store I kept thinking how thankful I was my phone didn't ring or that she didn't see me coming out of my car ... and then I thought how appearance are so tricky and how quickly we are to judge someone by the way we dress, the car we drive, the mobile phone we use (is almost unacceptable if you don't have one these days!) and how there's always a story behind a person's appearance too. For example... the pitiful looking child doesn't always look that way and is not always dress pitifully because his parents are neglectful. Sometimes there are other reasons behind it. This situation has play in my head for a while and then I thought of a bumper sticker I saw on someone's car a while back. It was parked outside a CVS store, it was a very old looking car and the sticker said "Laugh all you want, it's paid for" OUCH ... doesn't this make you think too?