Monday, September 29, 2014


There used to be a woman who went to my church that I couldn't stand. I'd never met her, never talked to her, and I don't think I'd ever even heard her voice, but week after week I could see her from where I sat and when I was on stage playing in the band, and she annoyed the crap out of me. I won't get into specifics, but there were certain things that she did that drove me nuts. I'm ashamed to say it, but by all accounts I hated her.

One day I was shopping for some jeans. I was in the Junior's section because girl jeans were in fashion for rock and rollers back then. From behind me I hear "Oh my gosh! You're the guitar guy!" Even though I'd been in a band for a while, being recognized in public was not a normal occurrence. I turned around to find the woman from church that I hated, and she was really excited to talk to me. She continued to tell me how much she loved my playing and always looked forward to when I was on stage. I smiled and thanked her and we had a nice conversation. She was really cool. She even helped me choose between two different pairs of girl jeans. When we finally said goodbye, I walked away feeling like the most terrible human being on the face of the earth for the way I'd judged her. Even thinking about it now makes me queasy.

I believe racism, misogyny, homophobia, and the rest of the extreme hatred in the world begins in a similar manner as my distaste for this woman: Snap judgments, assumptions, and escalating disdain based on little or no evidence, which is then projected upon everyone that fits a similar description and handed down from generation to generation. 

I also believe that if people took some time to get to know those they hated, they might just change their mind about them.

These were the girl jeans.

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