Make-up and a Flat Tire

I've had a lot of different feelings in the past month. Some days I hate being conscious of hate and injustice. I want to go though a day and worry about nothing but my happiness. Well, I've come to terms with the idea that this will never happen. I care too much and it's not a switch I chose to turn on. 

Last week I went to get a new powder for my face. I walked into a cosmetics store at Jordan Landing and wandered over to the make up section. I saw a cosmetics lady walking around so I assumed she would walk over to help me. 

She didn't. 

She walked around in circles looking at stuff. 

Finally, I approached her and asked if she could help me pick a powder shade. 

She kinda just looked at me and said "um okay, but what product do you use now?"

I responded that I used Clinique and had for a while but was thinking of trading product lines if I could find a color that fit my skin tone. 

She made a face and said, "Well, if you found a product that you like it's better to stick to it." 

I was a little confused. 

This place didn't sell Clinique so was she telling me to go to another store? 

I told her I wanted to try to find my color anyway. She looked at my skin tone and brought out 2 powders. I looked at them and I knew they were going to be too dark but I didn't say anything. I let her put them on my face. They made my skin look like a mud blotch. 

She said "Oh this one might be a little dark but this one isn't so bad!" I looked up at her and smiled. 

"Um I don't like it. Do you have something tan but not so deep.", I said.  

She looked at me and said "Oh, yes I think I might let me check." (Note: I could see all the shades myself.) She kept looking at me then looking back at the powders, she looked flustered. I got up and walked around to where she was. I pointed out the powder that looked like it matched. Four shades lighter than the ones she'd tried. She cleaned my face and we tried the color I picked, it matched. I told her I would take it. She went to grab the package and said, "Oh! This powder is actually a lot more expensive than the other two I tried on you, it's another brand." 

I got annoyed. I said, "You know what I changed my mind. I'll just go grab my regular Clinique stuff." 

She said, "Yea, this is all a bit pricey." 

I smiled and thanked her. 

I walked away and went to the perfume section. Picked my favorite fragrance, Coco by Chanel. The smallest bottle is $75.00. 

The lady was at the front of the store close to me. There was a promotion for fragrance purchases. With purchases over $30.00 you would get a free travel tote. They were really cute. So I asked her to get me the fragrance I wanted because it was locked. She told me "sure, you know you only have to spend $30.00 to get that tote." I responded, "You know what can you get me the biggest bottle of that Coco Chanel" and smiled. She grabbed it. There was no one at the register so she had to ring me up. I continued to be polite. I smiled and thanked her. She gave me my tote. 

The whole time she was processing the transaction I could tell she was flustered. I didn't really think about it til after... 

I am so used to having this issue at makeup counters that I didn't find it out of the ordinary or out of line until later. 

On my way to a meeting that afternoon, I got a flat tire. My husband was helping me change it but the tire was sealed on for some reason and would not budge off. An older white man and two kids pulled over and asked if he could help. Isaac told him what was going on. The man volunteered to go home and bring some WD-40 spray and a hammer. 

Isaac kept trying to get the tire off. He kicked the tire, tried to pry it, etc. The tire would not budge. I asked him about what they guy had said, "he said yeah but I don't know if he'll come back." 15 minutes passed and we were still there. 

A huge black muddy truck on a lift kit U turns and parks behind us. The man who pulled over earlier also U turned at the same time. They both got out of their cars. The older man brought a huge ICEE for the kids and had the tools. The other guy was in his 20's he was tall and blonde. He had an NRA shirt on. He'd just come back from Afghanistan we learned later.

Thirty minutes after they finally got that tire off and were able to change it. Their faces were flushed, in different tones but the same redness highlighted the sweat streaming down their foreheads. We said our thank yous and goodbyes and were on our way. 

On the drive home I told Isaac about the lady in the store and how grateful I was for the experience with the flat tire. 

I still don't understand why or what happened in each circumstance. It came down to me checking myself and my prejudices. I realized how easy it was to assume in any instance.

I also noticed how used I am to catering to people who are bothered by the way I look, by the shade of my skin. At the end of the second experience, as I consciously checked my thoughts, my mind flooded with memories of times my color mattered and times that it did not. The fact that I still experience micro-aggressions and have to cater to prejudice and discrimination is hurtful. I like others don't have a choice as to when and where I look or act my color.

I felt renewed hope in people who made the choice to go out of their way and exit their privileges to help a mortal sibling. I felt a light flash in my mind that gave me peace in knowing there are many people who genuinely care for the human race. 

I also remembered, I am grateful for the knowledge my father and mother have culturally embedded in my heart.

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are. ~my mami

Mija, no te acomplejes. Esa gente no importa, tu eres bonita, inteligente y una hija de Dios, eso mija es lo que importa. ~my papi

When u are nice regardless of another's actions you are only showing how powerful your character truly is ;-)


I don't believe in coincidences, so I am sure that you had those two experiences so close together for a reason. I am glad that the men who helped you with your flat tire reminded you of the good in humanity. Hopefully, someone will remind the make-up lady, too.
Great post. So glad that you didn't have to end your day without receiving some generosity. I know it can be difficult to see past the negative. I'm always calling attention to the news, instances of racism, etc. and sometimes it can feel pretty heavy...sometimes I feel like you can't trust people, like people don't have the same blood beating through them that my husband and I do. It's discouraging to see all the hate, but moments like this flat tire incident give hope. So cool also, that they thought of your kids and brought an ICEE, so thoughtful. :) Thanks so much for sharing.
thepascuas said…
Thats very sweet that you got help , i hate car problems specially when its so hot outside.

The lady from the make up story... really? ayyy . Reminds me of the Selena movie. When she is at the mall buying or trying on the dresses. Exactly the same. Im glad you are the way you are , strong and not letting people hurt you. They are ignorant.
Flor, I'm sorry you went through that at the makeup counter. That lady was a prejudiced jerk who dumped her preconceptions on you.

I often get frustrated and upset with all the negativity I see get posted. These instances of inhumanity, unkindness are really few and far between if we really think about it. There's so much more good and kindness (i.e. gentleman who helped) in the world than we believe because all we do is focus on the inhumanity in the headlines.

As for the makeup woman, shame on her. You're a lady and you behaved like one.


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