Saturday, July 10, 2010

A bathroom conversation at Harrisburg International Airport

On Thursday morning, I was at the Harrisburg Airport, en route to Seattle, Washington. I took R into the restroom to change her diaper. She was fussing, as she has been recently when I change her. I am talking to her, trying to be calming and reassuring, “You will be alright” and such.

Sixtyish white guy walks in and hears her crying. “You are ok. It is not like you have anything to worry about.” Then out of the blue: “You weren’t born in Haiti or Africa...”

Huh? I cut him off, “Actually, she was born in Africa!”

He looked and sounded shocked and shaking his head says, “I don’t know where that came from.” I hope he was referring to his own presumptions (and much worse). I didn’t say anything else and neither did he. He seemed genuinely dumbfounded as he exited the men’s room.

I was glad I was able to disrupt whatever he had in his mind. I walked out of the men’s room laughing at the absurdity, only to find my laughter occasionally interrupted by deeper thoughts about his presumptions, where they come from, and where they may lead him.

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