Sigh

I’m so disappointed today. We’ve really got to learn to put higher expectations on ourselves. This morning I stopped at a gas station/mart that I don’t normally stop at (cuz the gas was a few cents cheaper—girl’s gotta do what she gotta do with these gas prices yall) and while I was in line waiting to pay for my coffee I got this:

Woman: “Why you so dressed up, girl?”

Me: “I’m on my way to work”

Woman: “In a suit though?”

Me: “Umm, I work in a professional office. We dress like this all the time”

Woman: “Whatchu work for a theatre or something?”

Me: “No. I work for a big health services company”

Woman: “Wow. You don’t see too many of us in jobs like that. You went to college?”

Me: “Yeah. I’m working on my master’s now”

Woman: “Aww shit. You doin’ it ma. I’mma have to tell my daughter I saw you. She gonna want to go to college. I bet you making money. You have a good day”

Me: “You too”

When I got back in my car I really wished that conversation hadn’t happened, or that it was at least a figment of my imagination. I was embarrassed, but I can’t give a concrete reason why, I just know that conversations like that shouldn’t happen. I can’t compute how our expectations for ourselves got so low that seeing a sista in a suit is an anomaly. Sadly, that’s not the only conversation like that I’ve had/witnessed. My brother is a chemical engineer, and when he tells people that he works in engineering people automatically assume that he is a sanitation engineer, aka trash man (No disrespect intended for people who do that for a living–seriously). When other friends of mine get asked if they’re in/went to college, people act surprised to hear them all say that they have Bachelors or Masters Degrees. When people see D in uniform, they assume that he’s a security guard (until they see his gun); they never assume he’s a cop.

How did we get to this point? When did accepting status quo become okay? So many of our granparents/parents/aunts/uncles fought life and limb for us to have the opportunity to do better in life, that for us not to do so is to insult their legacy. It saddens me to see so many of us basically saying “fuck effort” and not even trying. Like the “good life” just ain’t for us. Sigh. I’m just rambling now, so add your $.02 in the comment box.

Tackiness of the day: “Mah birfday is on Friday. Whatchall gettin’ me?!”

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5 thoughts on “Sigh

  1. LOL@ the tackiness. Oh let’s be real, how many of us “professional” folk here stuff like this all the time?? *raising my hand* I’m a civil engineer and you’re right when I tell folks I work in transportation they assume I drive the bus or operate metro LOL!! Nah boo, that ain’t me! It cracks me up.

    I’m mad @ everything she said to you pertaining how you were dressed. I mean come on now..it’s 2008, we’ve got to do better!!!! It’s a must!

  2. That’s insane, and I know you’re in the DC/Balto urrea, so there is a large population of “us” doing well for themselves, so I’d expect this conversation in say, Omaha or Denver before the DMV area, or even here in Atlanta.

    It’s sad how a lot of folks have such low expectations for themselves. I’m always browbeating my cousins telling them that they can do better, but there’s only so much I can do when I live hundreds of miles away.

  3. Salaam,

    My sister I am still in shocky by the conversation you had……..to shocked to even respond…….whewww our comminty and it’s lowered expectations for success……..on another note……what is on your birthday list? lol

  4. I agree that our people have low to no expectations for themselves.

    A few years ago I had a job doing research surveys for a medical research project at the welfare office. From taking theater and diction classes I have a habit of putting emphasis on my d’s and t’s (“biting” them, so to speak). This one woman I surveyed was so impressed with my “proper English” that she asked me to repeat a certain phrase from the survey a couple of times. She assumed I was either African or British. It saddens me that Black folk think that having good diction and grammar, as well as a good job, is an aberration as opposed to a norm.

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