The last verbal explosion got me on a committee to discuss/act upon diversity issues with our school system. Really, I don't know why this is such a biggie for me, but it is. I'd spent my life thinking race didn't matter, but I've since learned race does matter. I just didn't realize it because I hadn't spent any time being any other race...which I can't do because, well, think about it. Duh. As Lady Gaga says, "I was born this way."
Anywho, I digress. It's been a thrilling and sometimes disheartening process. It's opened my eyes to how we view other human beings...the daily thoughts we are not even aware we are having. I got my own little experience with this over the last couple of weeks.
Because it's summer and because my parents don't pay my bills anymore, I went a little crazy with the hair color. It started out an acceptable dark brown with some red/violet highlights. Somehow, though, it just wasn't enough. I needed something else that screamed "SCHOOL'S OUT!" like Alice Cooper's theme song. And that is how I ended up with fuchsia hair.
I have gotten a lot of, "Oh, I love your hair!" There has been some, "Oh, your hair is pink!" with less pea-green envy and more holy shit! in their voices. Then there are the ignorers, those who just act like of course I would have pink hair. I'm not sure if that says they expect it from me or they totally disapprove and are ignoring it so it will go away. Hmmm.....
In some weird, parallel Universe, I have somehow altered the soul of who I am by doing this. I am no longer a responsible mother of three, a wife deeply in love and dedicated to her husband, a pretty good daughter, a school junkie with as many college degrees as I have children, and a never-late-bill-payer. I am my hair...and some interpret that as flaky, irresponsible, less educated, unemployed, and irrational. I think being irrational might be interesting.
In a couple of weeks, my hair will be a more responsible shade of espresso. (Like how I make that all cool sounding? It's dark brown...don't get excited.) My career isn't dancing on a stage while millions of people buy my crappy attempt at vocals and my parents didn't inherit millions of billions of dollars, so I have to put the pink hair away for a couple of months. I totally love my job/career, so I'm okay with that. It's all good.
What about those things people can't put away or take off or dye or alter? What eyes do we see those people through? As I've stated before, my sweet boy will never have the Forrest Gump moment of running free from bulky metal braces to find solid legs to carry him. What do others see when they notice his braces? No, what do they see? They see can't do, pitiful, so sad, less than....they don't see my oh-so-intelligent son who can kick the world's ass.
When you see the worker on the side of the road...do you see illegal immigrant? When you see the black woman in the grocery store, do you assume food stamps? When you see the Indian student on campus, do you assume doctor or engineer? When someone is not like you, what do you see? We are all more than what the eyes see. What do you see?
Because I am more, soooo much more, than pink hair...and if you don't see past it, then you can't see me.