Tuesday, August 28, 2012
People are Strange: On Headcoverings and Skirts
Then I reached the front counter and a grumbly looking checker who had been loudly complaining about her break. I smiled and tried to be extra nice. And then:
Checker: "So, what are you making?"
Me (still cheerful): "Headcoverings." And then, at the look that followed, feeling the need to clarify more fully. "Snoods," I made a little circular motion around my head as I said the words.
Checker: "Oh! I would never, never wear one of those. I don't know how women do that."
Me: (I laughed, and tried to smile politely, not sure exactly what to say, and not able to get out: "it's not for everyone," before she continued.)
Checker: "It's like those women who wear skirts al the time. I would never do that."
Me: (More laughter as I glanced down at my homemade maternity skirt). And finally: "Okay, thank you. Have a nice day."
It was only then, by her silence and expression that I began to realize that she actually had meant to be rude.
People are strange.
I know I've heard plenty of explanations, but I've never quite grasped how my wearing a skirt (and I wasn't even wearing a headcovering at that time, although it wouldn't have been unusual here. I pass women in headcoverings of various sorts, from scarves to burkas every single day), threatens or angers other women. I just don't get it.
I guess we're just all free to be exactly the same, right?