Sunday, September 14, 2008

Superwomen

Current Mood: Warm

Current Song: Gloomy Sunday by Billie Holliday

Two blogs in a row! What are the odds?! Well I have a story to tell on this one today. My sister told it to me yesterday and actually ACTUALLY had me in tears for about 20 minutes.

My sister works at a fabric store downtown around here and she works every saturday. Yesterday was just a saturday like any other. A woman came in with her two children; the older one was about early highschool age and the younger one was well, younger than that. The two girls decided to go and get some fabrics and things cut without informing their mother, while she was looking around the store and buying her own things.

When it came time to pay, the woman came up to the cash to pay and her daughters showed up with their stuff. And according to my sister, it was quite a bit of stuff (fabric and trims and such add up very quickly.) The mother looked like she was in a right panic. She told her kids that she wouldn't be able to afford it all as she was only working part time. Her oldest said to her that it was all for school and the mother replied that hers was also for school (perhaps she was taking classes for fashion design...one can only speculate). The mother also said that if the girls needed money, they should ask their father, given that she was in such dire financial straits

The older girl had a fit and walked out on her mother (all this was happening at the cash counter where my sister was the cashier). The younger one asked her mother why she wouldn't buy the goods and her mother obviously said that she couldn't afford it. To which, the little girl called her mother a bitch and walked out as well. The mother at this point looked like she was on the verge of tears. The lineup was building and the managers told her she had to pay. But she simply did not have the money. So she said she would have to figure something out and come back.

(are you crying yet?)

A few minutes later, the woman came back with a man who frequents the store quite often (he's a fashion designer I think). He had obviously seen the woman outside and it appeared as though she might have been crying (for very obvious reasons). He decided to help her out and pay for all of her daughter's things. The woman said she couldn't let him do that but he insisted. The tab came to about $60 (think of it as a week's worth of groceries, or perhaps a day's worth of pay for someone who works part time). The woman apologised profusely to my sister for the big scene. Her children were of course still outside along with their sense of entitlement.

A few observations I can comment on personally from the story. One: whoever that man was that paid that tab is going to get some serious blessings from that woman and has probably done one of the most charitable things ever in the entire world. There are still good people in this world.
Two: I completely give this woman credit for being in school and actually trying to better her lot. It's one of the hardest things to do (speaking personally), and if she's a single parent with no support, all the more difficult to keep two girls fed and clothed and try to keep a roof over their heads. I sincerely pray and hope that she sees better days in the future.
Three: I'm not sure how lucky children (such as my generation) really know they are. Yes, you can't always have all the cool things everyone has, but be grateful that you're not going to school hungry. Unfortunately this is the case with too many people in this world. Forget fabric for school projects, think about the food that's on your table and be grateful that it's there. You could be one of the many who doesn't even have that privilege.

We really can't judge people on their circumstances. I do completely applaud and appreciate women who try this hard, and really have to muster up every ounce of strength to make it through another day. It's a tough world out there, and it's a tougher world out there for women. I think our communities still don't do enough to encourage women to become the best they can. We still don't pay them enough wages and there are still very few concessions for them. Once in a while we need to take a hard look at the underbelly of our society and really see what's going on. Are we really doing enough to ensure that the women of today can retire in peace? Are we doing enough to ensure that the women of tomorrow have every opportunity afforded to them to be better people?

It makes you think. I for one, am grateful every day. It's been a hard road for my own family (imagine 3 women)...but it seems that we are turning out okay. It does boggle the mind just to consider it for a moment. I know how lucky I am. Do you know how lucky you are?

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