Colored

Today I’ve been accused of stealing.

I supposed to be viewing a house this morning, but I have difficulties falling asleep lately so I didn’t make the appointment. I made another one though the week after March 09. It is the day I have to go to the ophthalmologist. I reckon if I can combine the two since I have to be awake anyway at 10 a.m. then there is no reason why I can’t see the house. 

I woke up around 1:00 p.m. with a major headache but it was a very good weather. Cold but the sun was shining like there is no tomorrow and the grass are turning green again. In pictures people would probably think it’s high summer. I didn’t want to miss the rare opportunity so I dragged myself in bath, had a long soak and ended with a cold shower to shake my aching muscles awake.

In the car already I feel there was something wrong (I can usually predict these sort of things) and had to do something about it. But the funny thing about premonition is you can neither pinpoint which side the disaster is going to  come from nor you can guess the combination of the winning numbers in the national lottery. I ask myself sometimes what is the use of this gift if you are not able to make it work to your advantage.

Weekend is a tough day to find a parking spot in the city so I decided to put my car in the parking lot of a clothing shop where a garden center used to be and since I’m there already why not take a look inside since I never been in that branch yet. So far so good.

I was enjoying browsing the quite substantial offers on display when I saw a beautiful soft leather bag on the floor next to a row of shoes at the foot of a mannequin. I was not wearing my glasses so I stepped closer and leaned over to scrutinize the item. Reading the brand name stenciled on the front of the bag I was a bit surprise that they are selling it there because to my knowledge it is a bit exclusive. I noticed that there were various items poking out inside the bag and I suddenly realized that it was belong to someone so I looked around and saw two women. One on my left few rows away and another on my right on the front of the fitting mirror. She was closer to me so I asked her:  “Is this yours?” That was when all the hell breaks loose. She accused me of trying to steal her bag.

The row escalated and for the first time in my life I was shouting which was very uncharacteristic of me because normally the more I get angry the stiller my voice becomes. But the woman was beyond reproach and insisting in her hoity-toity voice that I was really trying to steal her bag. I told her if I was trying to steal her belongings would I asked her if the bag was hers? She said: but you almost took it. That means I didn’t even touch the damn thing how she can say with conviction that I was trying to steal it? Stupid person.

In the end the cashier came and tried to calm us down (me in particular) hubby came to the rescue and the woman backed out saying she was polite despite of the circumstances. I wanted to ask her if she would react the way she reacted if I am not colored, but the cashier came between us  and said it just a misunderstanding. I want to fight more but she retreated to another aisle. I heard her talking to someone behind my back so I walked to her to set the score right but they quickly walked away.

Paying my purchases the cashier apologized for what happened (I feel that it was the woman who has to apologize) and said it was really a misunderstanding. I wonder if she said that too to the other woman to keep the peace but it seemed she meant it so I let it go.

Living almost thirty years in this county this is the first time it happened to me. It shook my foundation to the core. I realized for the first time the seriousness of my situation. Because I am living here a lot longer than in my birth country, I tend to forget that no matter what I do, I will never be one of them. To their eyes I will always be a second class citizen.

All of a sudden, those times when I came into the upmarket shops and the salesperson looked at me as if I have no right to be there, entering ritzy restaurants and being sized up, the way people look at me with contempt when I step out of my car (Gran Turismo BMW 2015 model) or learned that until this year we had two houses and currently living in a villa, those awkward moments when people have spoken to me in broken English as if I’m a demented 3 years old came crashing down like a tidal wave and it makes me sick, realizing that I look like a thief or someone capable of such act out of need or want. That I don’t have to deceive myself thinking I belong here and as good as anyone of them. It’s terrifying to know that it can happen again and again and I can’t do nothing about it. 

To these people, I’m labelled. I will always be the stranger, the foreigner, the colored one, the intruder. I cannot be good enough no matter how hard I try. They tolerate my presence but watching me like a hawk waiting for the moment  that I make even the slightest mistake to swoop down and attach me to my tag justifying their prejudices whether the accusations are true or not. To them I’m just a charity case. Allowed up to a certain point. And no matter what it says on my passport I will never be a true citizen of this country unless I can change the color of my skin…  

 

_Graffiti_girl_s_face_046985_1

37 thoughts on “Colored”

  1. All I can possibly say is that I am sorry for this state of things. I can say those people are ignorant, which is true, but that doesn’t change the dailiness of the insults and slights. What you are experiencing is real, no matter how much others might wish to dismiss it as “misunderstanding”.

    Like

    1. Thank you for the sympathy. I wish I can cry but I don’t want to give in to self pity and negative feelings because once I do, there is no way back. Years of abuses and mistreats will come crashing back and I don’t know it I can handle it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are probably stronger than you think. I don’t quite know what to say, and I don’t really think there is anything I can say that would make it easier.

        Like

  2. I wish we could round up all those intolerant a-holes and send them to mars. Let them deal with an airless, red desert until they can be civil to their fellow human being.

    Like

  3. What kind of thief would draw deliberately somebody’s attention to them stealing?!
    I hope, thinking back on it, that she realises how appallingly she behaved. Probably out of guilt for leaving her bag lying around.
    Please don’t hold onto this sort of nonsense: you were absolutely doing the right thing by drawing her attention to having left it there.

    Like

      1. It’s understandable that you find what happened hurtful and that it has brought up all sorts of horrendous behaviour you have -unfairly – had to deal with. I cannot imagine how one would move on from this sort of situation if it has happened with any sort of frequency. What has worked for you in the past?

        Like

      2. Not harboring hate for those who have done me wrong. Not turning bitter despite of those nasty experiences. But I don’t know anymore how to ignore the pain while people are keeping on standing on my toes without even acknowledging or apologizing their deeds.

        Like

  4. There’s nothing like viewed in a manner you are now, especially when it is a judgment of character. i am much older, but like you, I am still waiting for the days when some can get past skin and view the heart. Character is a better indication of who you are than skin, maybe one day others will become smart enough to get that… I’m sorry about your experience.

    Like

      1. Hold on to hope, it is needed to propel you. Hope is beyond theories, it comes from within…the same place your words are penned. Keep faith too…it’s your life line…I’m speaking wisdom from being in the place you’re in.

        Like

      2. One little thing I’ve learned, don’t focus on the results you don’t want, focus on the results you desire. In other words, do not rehearse in your mind the events that occurred, think about the way you desire to feel again. Get your thoughts over to the other side, don’t state in the midst of turmoil.

        Like

      3. One little thing I’ve learned, don’t focus on the results you don’t want, focus on the results you desire. In other words, do not rehearse in your mind the events that occurred, think about the way you desire to feel again. Get your thoughts over to the other side, don’t stay in the midst of turmoil.

        Like

  5. I can only say that I understand the pain those horrible people put you through and wish that it had never happened. Unfortunately that sort of act first and think later emotional crap is happening more and more lately. i have felt the pain of prejudice which seems odd to people as I look so “white”…my background is mixed Native and African American with caucasian and I am the “white one”. i got ridiculed because I wasn’t dark enough. I was called all kinds of horrible names because my hair wasn’t curly. I was told by well-meaning people who hadn’t a clue that I could “pass” so my life would be so much better than theirs. No matter where bigotry rears its ugly head it is horrible and painful and so very hard to put aside. You did the right thing sticking up for yourself.

    Like

    1. I have two children of mix races and sometimes I think they must feel in limbo, not here nor there. At least I have a country to go back to (though I can’t live there anymore due to some differences in cultural beliefs) but my children have none so I understand where you coming from. Only those who experience discrimination can fully understand how it affects us psychologically and emotionally.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A little story…
    About 10yrs ago I was at a market with my mum, 10yr old son and 1yr old daughter. I was looking at some books and had left my pram and daughter at the end of the row facing me. A family (man, woman and children) of Middle Eastern appearance I guessed (long white robes, woman’s face covered) at one point were standing behind my pram. I looked over but kept searching the books without thinking anything. After I had chosen my books, I went to pay. My purse was in the back pocket of my pram…or it had been as it was now gone.
    When I reflected on this I was angry, angry that a family would do this. Angry they were teaching their kids this type of behaviour was ok. Angry at myself for leaving the purse there in the first place.
    Since then, my trust in other people hasn’t changed, no matter their skin colour, religion, etc. we have good people and bad people. Of all skins, religions, whatever’s!
    I don’t judge people still to this day based on their appearance nor my experience. I’m just more careful of my own belongings.
    Wanted to share so you know that woman is not how decent people think/act.
    Have a great day and I look forward to reading more.
    PS I found your blog via the community pool:)
    Amy💕

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I wish there are more people like you around. My best friend is Caucasian. The most wonderful person I have ever met. An angel of a woman. Because of her I often forget I am colored because she always treat me as her equal even when she was my boss. I see myself through her eyes and have slipped my mind that not everyone sees me that way. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

Be memorable. Say something unforgettable.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s