“Oh, to be her,” I thought, envying her beauty, her wealth, her career, her mind. Her life seemed perfect. Her life was perfect, at least to me, until we became friends. One night, after a movie, we were walking and laughing, trying to figure out whether to go to dinner or to a bar.
That was the first time that I heard her make a self-deprecating comment about herself. I was shocked. She was stunningly gorgeous.
Except that to her, she wasn’t. She saw her almost wide-ish hips, hair that was not blonde enough or dark enough, and thought her height – which was majestic and model-like to the rest of us – was freakish.
LizziLove told me a story about a little boy with special needs. He was likely on the autism spectrum, had developmental delays, and some behavioral issues. His mom got “The Look from others, often.” Judgement. The “control your kid” and the “what the eff is that kid’s problem?” looks. One day, they got him a wheelchair. Know what happened?
People treated him with kindness and respect. They were compassionate. Once he had a physical reminder that he was different, people were forgiving. Less assuming.
My son Tucker gets looks at the bus stop some days, from other kids. He’s been bullied, and doesn’t realize that it’s bullying. I don’t know what people assume. Today, he tried to duel with an older boy using his umbrella. The older boy didn’t know what Tucker meant, said “sorry,” and continued to walk with his friends.
“Tucker!” I said, “That was not nice!” Tucker asked “Me, or him? Who wasn’t nice?” He really didn’t know.
“Yes,” I replied. “What you did wasn’t nice.”
He burst into tears, saying that he meant it as a joke. Maybe there was a conversation on the bus that I wasn’t aware of. I don’t know.
I do know that having assumptions about other people is natural, and I also know that our assumptions about other people are most likely wrong. My little boy, speaking too loudly? He’s developmentally delayed, and excited. He didn’t speak at all three years ago. His words, even the loudest of them, are a gift to him, to me, and to this world.
The perfect-looking woman we’re jealous of? She’s like you. Like me. Like all of us. She farts, has crampy icky periods, fights with her loved ones, and sees more flaws in herself than we do. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post where writers and bloggers finish a sentence prompt. This week’s sentence is “I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that…” hosted by me, and co-hosted by Ivy Walker, famous weeniebutt and this week’s sentence thinker-upper at Uncharted, and Roshni from Indian American Mom.