The woman had bad roots, but I didn’t call her on it.

Yesterday morning I was a bit bummed out because Meredith has been having stomachaches that are a bit more like STOMACHACHES(!!!) and they hit her quickly and she immediately starts to cry and sometimes she throws up, and I would do just about anything to suffer through them for her. So anyway, she had a bad one yesterday morning and the doctor couldn’t get her in before 10:15, and I had to be at work at 10:00, so Jeff had to take her in, and well, I wanted to be there, but I couldn’t.

Since I was running about five minutes early to work, I stopped by Starbucks for a coffee. As I left the building with my drink and started walking to the car, a woman (who was unbuckling her child’s car seat) backed away from her car, looked at me, and yelled, “What an ugly haircut! What ARE you?!?!” Since I was the only other person in the parking lot and she was looking right at me, I couldn’t really pretend that she wasn’t talking to me. SO, I pretended that perhaps she thought she knew me and that she was being all jokey. I sort of smiled and continued to walk to the car.

“No! Seriously!!! What ARE you?!?!”

She continued to scream out at me until I was feeling the adrenalin rushing behind my eyeballs. I jumped into my car, quickly locked the door behind me, started my car, and drove away as she stood and watched me with a crazy angry look on her face.

Who does that? Who singles a stranger out on a parking lot and starts screaming insults at 9:50 on a Saturday morning? Part of me is sort of proud that I didn’t say anything back to her. But, seriously, I know myself better than that. I would NEVER say anything back. (I talk a good “I Should’ve Said”, but I think we all know that I’m much more flight than fight.) Part of me is a bit disappointed that I DIDN’T respond in some way. But what would I have said without compromising a bit of dignity?

“Seriously!!! What ARE you?!?!” I think I’m still bothered by the whole thing not only because of my tendency to be a bit on the self-conscious side (I have looked at my hair several times today, and I do believe that it’s Just Fine), but because her child was sitting right there in the car seat watching the whole thing.

May I ask what you would have done?

Also, so I don’t leave you hanging, Meredith has been diagnosed with GERD. We dealt with it when she was a baby, and it seems that it’s back, and it’s stirring up all sorts of anxiety because she doesn’t want to get sick at school, and I can’t even tell you how happy I am that school’s almost out. Three more weeks. That’s it. Less than twenty days. But anyway. Today we had to leave church less than twenty minutes in because her stomach started hurting and she freaked out, and she has been crying on and off all day, and any reflux advice would be appreciated, too.

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67 thoughts on “The woman had bad roots, but I didn’t call her on it.”

  1. No dairy in the morning and peppermint to settle little tummies. My daughter hated the flavor of peppermint candies, so I bought a bottle of coated peppermint tablets. They are small like tic-tacs but they work a treat on upset tummies AND give little ones a sense of control. For my daughter it was a great way to aleve her fear of throwing up.

  2. I was in an elevator once with a friend and a stranger, and the stranger looked at me and said “You have secretary hair”. I said “Oh?” and then she said “I have boyfriend hair”, and then I realized that we were both coming from the mental health clinic offices on the third floor and that I shouldn’t be surprised. I told she had very nice boyfriend hair.

  3. This is my first time on your blog and the first entry of yours that I have read and I am sitting here in shock. Holy Hell?!

    I’m sad you had to experience that but even more sad for the child that was with her.

    I’m one of those people who WOULD have said something back. I wish I had been there and witness it as an onlooking stranger … I’d have said something on your behalf without a doubt.


  4. Is it okay if I tell you that I think you’re adorable? For reals and all that? Seriously. Cute hair and everything.

    And I agree…karma: it is what it is.

    Here’s to hoping you ALL feel better soon.

  5. WTF?! How totally rude! Good for you for taking the high road, but man! I don’t think I could have done that myself. To sound like a broken record, you rock the short hair style. I hope once school is out Meredith’s stomach woes disappear. ((HUGS))

  6. Jeff (my Jeff not your Jeff) wants you to know that if the apocalypse comes, you are welcome to live in our compound with the Evil Alpaca Empire. His goal is to buy alpacas and have the wool spun and then dyed to a sufficient fabulosity to induce people in Germany to stalk it.

  7. Angela, this story horrified me! I have almost the identical haircut and I served in the Air Force for 6 years, so I’ve been called “sir” a fair number of times, but no one has outright accosted me and demanded a gender confirmation. You handled it with much more grace than I could have.

  8. I was just called “Sir” yesterday! Solidarity!

    I’m sorry this happened to you, and I think you handled it perfectly. I would have said something like “I’m not a fucking lunatic, unlike you” and then she would have jumped on the roof of my car and the authorities would have to be called in, etc etc.

    Once an insane woman followed me down the street in Soho, shouting, “You’re ugly, lady! You’re ugly!” So that was fun. At least she knew what I WAS, though.

    Hope Meredith’s GERD eases soon. Henry had reflux until he was two and regularly throw up all over himself with no provocation, but he was too young to care much. So in other words I have no real advice. Looks like other people have that covered.

  9. Whenever I see a woman with a pixie cut like yours I feel envy.Y’all are beautiful with your short locks and always looks so carefree and confident. Deep down the rest of us would all lop off ours if we had the beautiful noses like yours to pull it all off. that woman was likely challenged with a large nose and just couldn’t take your sophisticated elegance.

    Good luck with the GERD. Just a few more weeks and no more school and maybe less stress for all of you. :)

  10. What? That’s crazy! I feel a little better about my own short hair cut because this happens to me sometimes and I’m not as cute as you!
    Your hair is really pretty, please don’t worry about it. I would love to know what that lady’s hair looked like.
    I think she was asking if you are gay or trans gendered. Bigots are sometimes very proud to be bigots. She probably was glad her child was with her, and considered herself to be setting a good example! Maybe consider it a small lesson in what it’s like to be a lesbian. Not that you were asking for a lesson, but there it is.
    I had a woman once stop me from going into the women’s restroom – she thought I should go into the men’s room despite my makeup, largely feminine clothing and you know, my breasts! I told that woman I’m a girl and she said, “Oh hon, don’t you look beautiful too!” I like to think she felt badly about it later, but who knows, maybe she felt just great.
    You probably did the safest thing leaving – your instincts protected you and got you away from danger. Now if you see her again and you’re at a safe distance, I think you should feel comfortable asking her what makes her a fashion expert. Or tell her you’re recovering from chemo just to make her feel bad.

  11. That person was really RUDE!!! That is NOT acceptable to do and in front of a child…wow

    Hey about the GERD. I have it, and take prilosec which helps LOTS but I’ve heard that taking a tsp of black strap molasses each day twice can help!

  12. Sorry I’m chiming in so johnny-come-lately.
    First of all, I love your blog. Secondly, I love your hair. Thirdly, I do NOT love that crazy lady and what makes me even more crazy than her (she?), (if it’s even humanly possible), is how she’s probably messing up that poor child of hers for life.
    My Calvinistic upbringing makes me feel even more guilty than I normally do for not loving this particular neighbor as myself but this is where our doctrine of Total Depravity comes in REAL HANDY.

  13. Now I know Crazy having been Crazy for a fair component of my life. That woman didn’t have the Crazy that woman had the CRAZY. And the Envy.

    For you see, it was only the other day, over at Blackbirds that I expressed my adoration for your hair and how I wish I could pull off such an awesome cut as well as you do. Sadly, I could not. Instead looking like a scary butch lesbian. As opposed to you, who looks like Class personified.

  14. What a nutball in the parking lot! I’m always thinking of the nearly perfect response afterwards too–in this case, the perfect thing would have been to just go all out pretending to be a zombie or alien threatening to suck her brains out or turn her into a pod person. Her reaction to THAT would have been totally awesome. And also to jot down her license plate number to call the cops to tell them that you’d just had an encounter in a parking lot with someone who seemed VERY unbalanced and you were concerned for the child with her.

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