A few weeks ago I had an eye doctor appointment. I received wonderful news in that I can actually see better then the computer measured results. The doctor stated that based on his printout I should not be able to read the eye chart as well as I did. It’s a miracle! Well, maybe not, but I walked out of the office with a normal pair of glasses versus the oh, so, un-sexy coke-bottle aww, dayum frames.
The American Optometic Association defines Astigmatism as a vision condition that causes blurred vision due either to the irregular shape of the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. An irregular shaped cornea or lens prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light sensitive surface at the back of the eye. As a result, vision becomes blurred at any distance. One week after my appointment I realized that I did have a-stigma-tism, but eye glasses were not what I needed to correct the condition.
I was driving and looking for a building address. Why do buildings go from number 26 to number 82? Just ridiculous! Although I was in the vicinity, I became frustrated when there was no place to park, so I could get out and ask for directions. Didn’t the world know that I was in desperate search of building number 47? I’m going to call my State Senator and complain; that’s if he isn’t to busy getting his freak on from a call that he made…to forgive is divine.
Well, I pulled up to the entrance of a parking garage and proceeded to take the directions out and explain them to the attendant. While I was halfway through my sentence I asked the attendant did he speak English. Rude, WandaLuv, just rude! Frustration makes you say some stupid shit, but degrading someone is simply ignorant. My entire tone with the foreigner was uncalled for. My assumption = a-stigma-tism in my mind.
See, I grouped the attendant with “his kind.” Can speak limited English and only knew how to direct cars up and down the ramp of the parking garage. Everybody has a story to tell; maybe I will read about his in the news one day. He may become the inventor of a device that pinpoints your exact location with picture detail, tells you where to park your car, and when to shut your mouth before you say something rude.
I did use the garage to park my car and when I retrieved it I made sure that I thanked him for directing me, and apologized for giving him a hard time. He smiled, said thank you, and probably muttered I get your kind all the time.
The word stigma means the mark of disgrace or discredit. Do you group people together as a whole, or do you see them as an individual? If you’ve seen one have you seen them all, or have you ever really noticed that one exists?
I kind of thought it was me, but realized it wasn’t after attending my daughter’s school last week for an after school program. My daughter’s first grade teacher sometimes talks to me with a hint of doubt in her voice. As if she’s telling me to do this for my child, but none of the parents ever do, so she knew that I wouldn’t either. It’s like she’s brushing me off; like I’m the same as each parent that sends their child to school unprepared. Maybe she does it and doesn’t know. Is that ignorance or adapted behavior? Hmmm…
At the school I had a chance to see a small percentage of the students and some of the parents. Was it my a-stigma-tism or were the parents classed as those kinds of people?
While deciding to write this post I thought about times that I have had a-stigma-tism. Once when riding the train in New York City my CD batteries went dead. My eyes scanned the car looking for an Asian person that my have batteries to sell. There was one woman seated a few feet away. I actually thought about going to ask her for batteries. Hey, I wanted the remainder of my ride to be musically filled. Rude, but a-stigma-tism clouds not only your vision, but your mind.
Is it a natural reaction to group races together? Is it a learned behavior? Can you get to know an individual without attaching the history of their nationality to them? Can we talk to someone of a different race about who we are without bringing up our history?
Astigmatism of the eye can be corrected. A-Stigma-Tism of the mind? Hmmm…
I luv yah’ll