I’ve been trying to write this post for over an hour, but can’t seem to do it any justice.
As I discussed the latest gossip about the Kardashian family with my nail technician on Friday, the technician made a joke about Kris Kardashian and how stupid she must have been to be married to Caitlyn for all those years. Even as I look at the sentence, I feel shame for how hurtful the joke feels now.
I’ve attended the same nail salon for over 6 years. I feel like I know the family who owns it. We have inside jokes together. I’ve been their only customer on Christmas Eve because I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I’ve recommended countless friends and family to their business and worn my attendance to their salon as a badge of honor. I’ve watched their business grow to a second location. They were a safe space in my life I am having difficulty understanding now. Shame.
As I sat in the chair across from my technician, watching her realize who she made the joke to, I felt total and unapologetic shame. I felt embarrassed. Is this really what she thinks of me? She didn’t apologize to me, but instead insisted the joke was not about “people like me”. Uncomfortable, I did the thing I’m more shameful of now as I reflect on it: I told her it was okay and I knew what she meant. We were near the end of the appointment and I wanted the tension I felt to be over. Shame.
As I sat in the car afterwards trying to figure out what happened, I cried. Is this really what she thinks of me? Is it what they all think of me? How do I tell Katie the space we both thought was safe isn’t anymore? Do I tell her this and ruin her perception of the safe space? Maybe I misunderstood her? Maybe the language barrier or cultural differences impacted her delivery? Shame.
I don’t really know what else to say about it. I know eventually I will be able to see the incident for the ignorance it is, but right now, I feel awful about it, even 5 days later. Shame.