Sunday, January 28, 2007

tainted tree

A recent post on the Knit and Tonic blog about her being hit on by a very old man made me remember an incident that happened to me 17 years ago...

17 years ago we lived in San Diego and I shopped at the only real health food store in town. Now this was at a time when you had to explain to people what the word organic meant, and the only people shopping at the health food store were ourselves, a few locals in the neighborhood and the dreadlocked people. So here I am pushing around my youngest who is sitting in the cart. An older man is shadowing us. At first he tells me that he is a doctor and that I should stand up straight. Then there are comments about the produce I am choosing. Then he tells me that he has never married because there was no way he could be sure that a American woman's family tree had not been tainted by black people. He looks at me and my daughter and tells us he is so happy to see that there is no way that could be true in our case.

For the first time in my life I was speechless.

Of course on the way home I came to my senses and realized that I should have informed him, loud and proud, that my husband is Mexican. That the cute little fair skinned, red headed, blue eyed doll before him is in fact Mexican. It probably would have killed him.

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