Did I have a bad day? If I had allowed it, I could well have had a bad day, but I didn’t. I have this mantra I say when I feel as though something or someone gets on my last nerve. Today was no exemption. Could I have allowed two crazy drivers and maybe a (racist) gas pumper guy ruin my day? As I like to say to myself, “The day is still not over. You have a great apt to go to and a yummy steak waiting for you!”
So, this is what happened. Basically, my morning went well with no interruptions or glitches. Then when I had to go out to see a client, I had two people tailgating me (that bugs me to no end), another cut me off to quickly make a right, another one was sticking his nose way into my lane and finally some woman (who had a STOP sign) race past a stop sign and cut me off. Was there a memo I didn’t get that said for all drivers to try get me aggravated today? If so, it worked, but I kept my cool.
The reason, I put one of my all time favorite songs up on my blog is because racism is something I’m still not use to here in the United States. Where I come from, racism isn’t a factor growing up. It was not until I started living here in the US that I realized I was “different” and labeled with the “minority” group here. Just because of the color of my skin. I”m Latin. Yeh, I’m bronze. So what? However, for some other people, they think just because the pigment of my skin, it makes them much better then me. The first time I noticed it was when I applied for something and while I was giving back the papers to the lady, the lady said to me, “Wow. You speak English good!”. I smiled and thought to myself, “Correction, lady. ‘You speak English WELL'”. Her grammar had to be corrected. In fact, English is my THIRD language I’ve had to learn and I speak it better than most. I was 5 years old and knew already 3 languages. I’ve had doctors speak very slow to me as if I was having problems comprehending what they were saying. In the time they spoke to me, I have translated what they said to me in two different languages to myself and still have time to daydream. I am a quick thinker. It’s fun to challenge my brain. If I’m truly bored, I make myself think in a different language instead of my usual English thoughts. My friends in Brazil and I use to speak half English and the other half in Portuguese. Most of my friends in Brazil came from Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan,Holland, South Africa to name a few. We all got along fine and there wasn’t any separation of the color of our skin. Most people assume I can’t speak English just by the color of my skin. It’s a bit funny now. The only time I got upset by it was when I was in South Street in Philadelphia and I was crossing the street and this red truck comes speeding up. I stepped back. The passenger out of the red truck yelled, “In America, we stop at curbs!” and continued to speed away to his left. First of all, just because I look the way I do, I’m automatically a “foreigner”? Ok, I am. He yelled at me as if I was stupid and to also remind me that I wasn’t originally from here. True. I was born and raised in Brazil, but I’m also an American Citizen. Yes, I am and very proud of it. I went to court and held my right hand up and promised to be a good citizen to this country. It was a great day and one I will never forget. I’m here legally. I have an American Passport. I can travel anywhere in the world and present a blue booklet that tells people I am from the United States of America. So anyways, back to the curb incident. As I stood there, I suddenly realized, I was different and would be treated different. I was shocked as this was something new to me. The guy was extremely rude. I’m not use to rude people. This happened two years into my new life in the USA. I’ve been here consistantly for 16 years now and understand the Philly attitude. Fast forward to today and what the scenerio would be the following:
Guy yells, “In America we stop at curbs”
Me: “Oh yeh? In the US, we READ the driver’s manual and not speed up to the STOP sign! Besides, I was there FIRST, so you let me cross! Oh, and one more thing, this is the United States of America, not just America, as that could include North America and South America. Don’t even get me started in teaching you geography!”
Ok. Maybe I wouldn’t have said all of that, but I would have said something back. You can be nice, but firm at the same time.
There’s always some kind of curiousity too with interracial couples. I know whoever dates me is already viewed as in an interracial relationship. Most guys I’ve dated have had no problems with it. I’m open to anyone. I think all skin color is gorgeous. From the fairest skin to the darkest.
The town I went to today is known to be racist. My coworkers have all experienced it from people there. I think I might have gotten a small dose of it from the man at the gas station. I even thanked him after he gave me back my card. He basically shoved it into my hand and was slamming my gas door. That’s not going to stop me from getting gas there next time. I’ll drive right up there and hopes he fills up my car. He doesn’t scare me! Kill them with kindness. Sooner or later, he’ll be chuckling to see me. Maybe he was having a bad day. Who knows. I’ll just drive right back someday and bring sunshine with me. Hehe!