Now Showing In A Neighborhood Near You – The Wrap Party

FADE IN. Comfy living room open to kitchen area. A mouth-watering buffet is set. Beverages of all kinds, including YOUR favorite libation. All of Plain Jane’s blogging buddies are chatting and relaxing, laughing and sharing….

Thank  you, all, for your supportive comments yesterday. That post was a nice burden to unload. (And a fun way to unload it!) But it still frustrates me that I stood there like an idiot. I feel like I let my son down.

A few of you asked about my friend’s suggested retort. I’m probably mis-remembering (so correct me if I’m way off, K!) but it went along the lines of this: “Oh! That’s why we chose Even Better Montessori for our boys. We WANT diversity. We want our Asian son to feel confident and secure and accepted in his school environment. We want to teach our children that what matters is on the inside, not the color of your skin.”

Great response but as Annah pointed out, a garden party may not have been the time to educate.

And staying away from these women? Pretty much impossible. And quite honestly, the comment wasn’t said in a mean-spirited tone. The Pollyanna in me would like to think that what they were getting at was that the school population of Perfect Grades Elementary was made up of “like-minded” individuals. And we all want that, really.

The school my children attend is a beautiful mix of skin colors. There are many reasons we chose that school but the blended skin tones was a plus. And the parents are willing to shell out tuition to ensure a strong education for their child. There are mandatory volunteer hours for each family. The campus is set on many acres with walking trails, sheep, goats and chickens, raised earth gardens and compost bins. It’s a beautiful environment that we chose to reflect our values.

At least, I’m hoping that’s what those women were getting at about their school. Hopefully, they just have a misguided view that homogeneous means shared values.

I need to stop beating myself up about this.

But I still wish I had been woMAN enough to have said something. Anything to let them know how offensive their comments were.

Instead of just standing there.

It’s done. I can’t transport myself back to that moment in time. I can only move forward and give my children an extra hug. And try to be prepared if it ever happens again.

Ok.

That’s a wrap!

21 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes, Lessons Learned

21 responses to “Now Showing In A Neighborhood Near You – The Wrap Party

  1. It’s always easy to think of what we SHOULD have said. All we can hope is to be better prepped for the next time. And that it never comes.

  2. Stop beating up on yourself. Considering that you will need to live with them, there really is no point antagonizing them. Besides, YOU need to be able to hang around so that YOU can show their children the right way of thinking and behaving in this multicultural society. That’s how we break the cycle of intolerance. Think of yourself as “the spy” sexy 007 secret operative to save these children from their parents’ bigotry.

  3. That’s why we blog, Jane. We can say what we wish we’d said.

    You get an Attagirl for not THINKING like them. That’s what counts.

  4. ck

    At least you KNOW the hearts of the people around you. Regardless of how they “meant it,” or what they were thinking, you know how to prepare yourself for the years to come. Hopefully those things will never be an issue, but even if they are, they won’t catch you by surprise again. You are a strong woman; your children will be strong too.

  5. I have to do that too—-tell myself outloud that it’s over and I can’t go back…and that it is, indeed, a wrap!

  6. unabridgedgirl

    You’re such a good person, Jane. Really, you are.

  7. My apologies, I’m late to the party…work the past few days have gotten in the way of important things like reading my favorite blogs!

    Your scene reminded me of the “ladies lunch” scene in Blind Side. If you haven’t seen it, go rent…no, BUY the movie. It’s a wonderful tribute to seeing past skin color to what is really important. Sandra Bullock’s response to a well-intentioned-but-stupid remark is great.

  8. I don’t see any reason to beat yourself up. I mean how many of us have time to prepare responses for something that alien and useless? The fact that you didn’t know how to respond in an eyeblink is actually a good sign about you. 🙂

  9. Jane, don’t beat yourself up. You’re a wonderful mother to all of your children. Any intelligent person can look at your family and know that love has no bounds (or color code).

  10. I’d like to introduce you to my sister in law, Stephanie – who is also a blogger and and adoptive parent. I see a lot of parallels between you two. Her blog is at: http://mubarek.wordpress.com/

  11. Life is messy. All we can do is keep learning and move forward. Good for you, Jane, for doing exactly that! Acknowledge yourself. That in itself deserves a pat on the back 🙂

  12. letmestartbysaying

    New to your blog, and just read what happened. Nuts, but not surprising. I know you can’t turn back time, but the next time something like this happens (it totally will…lots of daft people out there!) something graceful & articulate will come out of you that will hopefully open the eyes of these people.
    Sorry you had to go through it. I think family is beautiful, period. I don’t need to match the colors before I decide that.

  13. You all are so beautiful! I’m glad you’re part of my Bloggy Neighborhood!

  14. I think we all would like the zippy comeback to come forth at the moment. That moment has passed. So you’re right – you need to stop beating yourself up about it. Look over at your wonderful family. In the end thats all that matters.

  15. No, you cannot transport yourself back to this conversation. Let it go. However, you will be prepared to respond, if these women should decide to have this conversation again in your presence.

  16. Hindsight is 20 / 20. I’m sure some day the subject will raise it’s head again and then you will be prepared to set them straight in an insightful and less emotional manner. Things happen for a reason and had you said something at the time if you were too emotional, your response may not have carried as much weight as it will now that you’ve had time to prepare yourself.

  17. Okay, I just caught up and even I who LOVES A GOOD RETORT would’ve been thrown by THAT ONE. What I usually do is I find a comment that I am comfortable saying and tuck it away.
    Because you may have the opportunity again, sadly enough.
    I didn’t get to read all your comments on yesterday’s post but off the top of my head, I like: Oh that’s so sad. Only white people?
    Or: White people better stick together because I’m kinda raising my kid to take over the world.
    And I have people who suck in my neighborhood too. I’m a say-hi-don’t-have-to-ask-how-they-are-doing-though kinda person. Although my guess is that you are right and they are just ignorant (versus mean-spirited)

  18. It’s probably better not to have said anything negative anyway. I think I share your view a bit (but nobody would ever call ME a Pollyanna, which I’m sad about but somehow will live through it). After reading everyone’s comments, I think the best comeback would have been an honest questioning of her meaning. Obviously she whispered it for a reason — she knew it wasn’t completely right to say — and gently confronting her would have put her on notice that YOU knew it wasn’t right for her to say. After all, like you stated, she probably didn’t know you have an Asian son. It’s just so nice to see people eat their words, you know?

    But yeah, hindsight and all that. Get your arsenal ready for “next time”! 😉

  19. suzicate

    Don’t beat yourself up, Jane. You are a great Mom, and that is what counts. Your kids know you are there for them and opinions and rude comments from other people won’t change the bond that you have with your kids. Have a fabulous holiday weekend with the loves of your life!

  20. Oh, I’m late to this party and I’m sorry! You know where *I* live, so I can totally relate. I think you are right, Jane. The garden party wasn’t the place. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t fantasize about what you’ll say next time! ((hugs))

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