When I first started at the cafe, Spring hadn't yet begun to warm up. I wore hoodies and sweaters over any short-sleeved shirts, concealing the inkwork that graces my left shoulder and right inner arm. As the weeks went by, I began shedding layers of clothing until it finally became warm enough to sport arm-bearing tank tops and dresses. Oh what a change a little ink can make.
We have some sort of Christian book club that meets at the cafe once a week. The ladies who attend are older, and usually quite pleasant. I can tell they're old fashioned because they wouldn't dare sip coffee out of a thermal paper cup - mugs only.
On one of their meeting days, I was sitting at a table re-writing the daily specials on a dry-erase board when one of the ladies approached me. I got the immediate sensation that I was about to be interrogated. I'm donning a wife beater and skull necklace, by the way.
So she begins asking me what I do with my life, where I go to school, what I'm studying there, what I want to do with some silly English/Psychology double major...and then finally drops the C-bomb.
"So, are you a Christian?"
"Oh, um, no actually."
"Well then, what do you worship? The devil? Because that's what your necklace there suggests."
"Oh, ma'am it's just fashion. Skulls are big in fashion right now. Plus I just really like silver jewelry and this was on sale."
"Ah, well it tells me that you're a devil worshipper."
She was overall pretty nice about the whole thing, up until that last comment, but I got the sense that she was sent over to question me after a covert group conversation about my mods. This was the first week the book club had gotten a glimpse of my ink, and I think the colors warped their brains a little.
In any case I continued writing the specials while I eavesdropped on the conversation that ensued after our little interview. The woman didn't mention me, but I did overhear her freaking out because apparently a fellow church member told her that she was "doing well" and then found out she told another woman that her family was in trouble. Book club lady was enraged that this complete stranger (other than their religious affiliation) didn't want to share her personal business. BCL confronted her church friend, receiving what seemed to me a normal response of "Well, I don't know you very well, I was just being polite." Ha! Polite! BCL considered it a lack of trust between church members.
But would you trust a woman with lipstick on her teeth?
Drama drama drama. Let's give up the facade and live our OWN lives, ladies.
So why did this woman take an interest in me? Was it the necklace? The tats? The plugs? The vertical labret? The list goes on....Or could it have been that she genuinely wanted to get to know her local coffeehouse waitress?
I doubt the latter, but if this was the case, I apologize for my assumptions.
If one of the former options be the case, it's no wonder she asked me questions concerning my personal status in the world. Was I educating myself? Do I have direction in life? Do I follow the righteous path?
Well for all y'alls information I am very proud of my life, accomplishments, and morals, and it honestly made me very happy to be able to show her that I'm not some low-life despite my appearance and lack of Christian faith. If she didn't write me off as an exception to the rule, or assume I was lying, perhaps I gave her a reason to MAYBE think twice before judging someone based on their looks.
John 7:24 "You must not judge by the appearance of things but by the reality!"