I pretty much spend most of my days at Starbucks. There are several locations on my bus route but only one bequeaths me with the spirit of purpose.
So it wins.
I like the ambiance. And the workers aren’t bad either. Plus, the music lately has been giving me life and a lot of cute guys stop by for lattes and sandwiches.
It’s a win win situation.
One afternoon about a month ago — I was occupying a section that was a departure from my daily ritual.
I needed a change of scenery and I had arrived late that day because that’s what happens when you are temporarily dependent on the Los Angeles Metro.
After two full cups of iced coffee — I was annoyingly being summoned to the restroom at a rapid rate.
As I got up for my sixth trip — I noticed two of the workers sitting behind me.
One of them was a heavy-set black young woman with glasses who I had observed worked pretty much every day of the week. The other was a guy who seemed like he was multi-ethnic. I noticed him because he was cute. And, because I thought he was attractive — I was also aware that he didn’t work every day of the week.
As I passed them by — I casually calculated my assumptions about their set up.
After handling my business I came back to my table and resumed my work. In the middle of posting and editing — I overheard their conversation.
The crux of their relationship sent chills down my spine and made me feel like an almighty piece of shit.
It was clear that she was his superior and he was seeking her counsel.
I had automatically assumed that it was the other way round even before being stealthily privy to the details of their meeting.
Because she was fat and he was cute.
It was an inherent reaction and something that just naturally dictated my assessment of their interaction.
How could someone like me be that ignorant and narrow-minded? I’ve always prided myself to be fair and reasonable — even in the most challenging circumstances.
I felt even worse when she ended up meeting with the entire staff on duty. One by one they sat in front of her as she dutifully doled out advice and guidance.
She was the fucking manager of that joint.
It hit me like a ton of bricks but it also lifted me to new heights. I was proud and elated that she was in a position of authority because from where I was sitting — she definitely earned that title.
But — was I feeling that way because I thought it was awesome that an overweight black woman had managed to prove she was worthy enough for the job against all the odds?
Would I have felt the same sense of pride and recognition if it had been the hot guy in that same position?
Jesus! So many questions — too little time.
Here’s the deal. I am no different than anyone else who is conditioned to internalize the premise that people who are over a certain size are naturally lazy with virtually no level of ambition.
Now, I never actually believed I bought into that crap until my unconscious thoughts betrayed me.
I was caught red handed and I was pissed beyond measure to discover that I did have the tendency to be fucking cliche.
I am just grateful that I was conscious enough to take note and forgive myself for being human while adjusting to the fact that similar moments will spring up again.
We’re not perfect.
But it’s the longing for improvement that elevates the beauty from the ugly.
I want to be as beautiful as that woman that I misidentified and mislabeled.
It’s just a matter of time.