Wednesday June 08th 2022, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Life

I did a quick grocery run and walking into Trader Joe’s, some random tall guy with a square face and fading blond hair just ahead of me took one look and his face instantly lit up into the biggest smile.

I…like most women, don’t go around encouraging strange men to maybe follow me around, so I gave a polite nod back and went about my business. That’s just how it is, and that was fine.

Our paths crossed again coming out and he hesitated just a moment with that radiant smile again, like he’d found a friend and it made him so happy and he wanted somehow to share that, and this time I slowed down to give him a good smile back (with my eyes and inside the mask) to let him know I was definitely acknowledging him and appreciating the greeting and the moment.

Because it had finally hit me: what he’d seen. It wasn’t me.

It was the vyshyvanka. The Ukrainian embroidered blouse with the traditional little tassel tied at the front and more embroidery down the sleeves. He knew what that was and he knew it conveyed solidarity, whatever my own background might be.

I wonder how many people back home he told about it.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ah, neat! I’m glad you connected that so you could give him the moment back.

Comment by ccr in MA 06.09.22 @ 7:26 am

Simple, clear, understanding.

Also goes to show it is worth it to give ourselves time to consider why someone acts as they do before locking in a judgement or our own reaction.

I bet you smiled, as well, when you realized this.

Comment by Suzanne 06.15.22 @ 6:43 am

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>