I do not like stink eye. I’m sure you’re familiar with the look I’m referring to–when you are in a public gathering–for instance, a graduation ceremony or Christmas Eve service–& a baby cries in loud protest behind you. Initially, a few rows ahead, a couple of shoulders turn hoping to give a subtle cue to the flustered parents.
But, as the cry persists, whole necks crane and pause to see who the offender is before offering a most disapproving glare–stink eye!
Take the time I was with my youngest daughter trying on clothes during a summer sale. She was eager, as I often find things at resale shops & bring them home but, this was at a high end store & she had several hangers of goodies in her lap. She was in her power wheelchair with her sweet service dog. We were a wide load & each of the ‘regular’ dressing rooms had doors much to small to enter. So I knocked gently on the ‘wheelchair accessible’ dressing room door only to be gruffly told, ‘I’m not done.’
So wait, we did, as others strolled past us with their outfits into the other stalls. Finally, a sour faced woman came out of the accessible dressing room & huffed past my daughter & me. But, before she left, rather than apologize for the wait (from all appearances she had no need for an accessible stall), she looked us up & down & gave us–stink eye.
Anger raised from my toes to my lips-only too late-she was gone.
It all happened in a matter of seconds. But it feels like it’s too regular of an occurrence–where I don’t know what to say to people who raise my raw emotions when bumping into us with reactions of ignorance, rudeness, carelessness &–stink eye.
I wish I could wrap this vignette up with a nice, neat bow.
But she left. She didn’t come back & begin a warm conversation about service dogs or her granddaughter who looks like my daughter. She just left.
Rather than any resolution, I had to take a very deep breath so my daughter could enjoy trying on a few shirts without being distracted, yet again, by another’s carelessness.
I’ve thought about the times my heart may have been careless to another & hope that next time I am prone to judge, even the lady who appeared to not need the accessible stall & yet gave stink eye–I will dole out grace.
Perhaps that is the very bow that wraps the vignette up well…choosing grace over verbal retaliation…choosing kindness over rudeness.
After all, we all could use a little bit of kindness & grace. Wouldn’t you agree?