Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Today, as I was walking home from work, a man sitting in a car in a parking lot hollered at me: "Hey! Even though you cut your hair off, you are still a beautiful young lady!"
Had I not been on the phone, or had I been in a more put-you-in-your-place mood, I would have or could have responded in many ways.
"That's Mr. Lady to you."
"I understand that you are trying to give me a compliment, but you are failing."
"I am not interested in your compliments."
"I am not interested in your take on my physical appearance."
"I never feared that cutting my hair would make me less beautiful."
"My physical appearance has nothing to do with my beauty."
"Many women would be fearful of a man shouting at them from a parked car."
Most of those responses, though honest, could have escalated the situation. Could I have said anything to this person that would have helped him reconsider the way he was choosing to interact with me? How do I use these every day interactions as teachable moments?