From a very young age, my mother always told me that I did not have a filter. Back then, I had no idea what she meant, but looking back to my childhood, I realized just how right she was.
When I was around three or four years old, my mom brought my sister, Casey, and I to the grocery store. I was sat in the cart and was very happy about it because my sister had to walk and I did not. Feeling hungry, I asked my mom for a snack, knowing there was food all around us. My mom gave me a small box of animal crackers but told me I had to share it with my sister. I threw a fit, saying how I don’t have to share because I was a big girl. My mom stopped the cart and asked me if I really wanted the animal crackers. After my nod saying yes, she told me that I had to share. Upset, I handed the box to my sister so she could open it and grab her share. Casey gave the box back to me and I finished it off.
As a child, I could not sit still for a while, so after some time shopping, I grew restless. Finally we were headed toward the checkout. I was beyond relieved. I had just wanted to go back home. My pulled the cart from the end and was putting everything on the conveyor belt. Then I saw our cashier. She was a black women with white spots on her skin. (I would later learn that this discoloration is called Vitiligo). My mom, on the other end of the cart, caught me staring at this women. My mouth was opened, my eyes squinted, and my brow furrowed. She tried to catch my attention but it was useless. My mouth opened further and I blurted out, “What’s wrong with your face?” This caught the cashier by surprise, my sister walked away, and my mother’s face fell. The cashier was very nice about it though.
“This is a birthmark,” she said to me, indicating to the spots on her face,” My mommy gave it to me.” This seemed to appease me for a second. My mother went to apologize when I said something else.
“Why would your mother give you that?” I asked the women. I was curious but tactless. My mother looked at me with a fiery look. I knew I was in trouble. She apologized, again, to the women, paid for the food and we went to go get Casey, who was four or five cash registers away and head to the car.
When we arrived at the car my mother turned to me and shook her head. “How dare you ask that. That was so rude, I can’t believe you. I raised you better.” I went to stand up for myself but I did not want to get yelled at in the middle of a ShopRite parking lot. I remained quiet until we were home and watched my mom make this into a funny story to tell for years to come.