When I go to work, my number one priority is being comfortable... I could care less about being cute/fashionable/posh. My work attire is usually yoga pants with a super soft t-shirt and my eight year-old Birkenstock clogs... and of course my white pharmacist jacket that hides my lack of work-pizzazz. When at work, I rarely wear makeup (I might apply the occasional bronzer and mascara depending on how late I am, with late being on a scale of very to might as well not even show up) and my hair is always pulled up in a bun on top of my head (my long hair constantly gets in the way). Bottom line: when I’m on the clock, I am very raw and au-naturale. And I’m totally fine with that. I’m pretty sure I’m not marrying or needing to impress the man at the counter refilling his Viagra, Valtrex, or Valium.
So this past week at work, I was waiting on a lady in the drive-thru. While I was typing her prescriptions, I could tell that she was staring intently at me as if I had three eyes.
Lady: Excuse me, ma’am
Lady: You are very very pretty.
Me: Well, thank you. That is very nice of you. (How do you even respond to that?)
Lady: Do people tell you that a lot? I’m sure they do. We don’t see your kind around here much.
“Your kind.” What the heck does that mean?? I was trying to wrap my mind around her words. My kind? Granted, this was coming from a lady who had a total of five teeth, but what is my kind? I do have a slight ethnic look... due mostly to my dark features and my grandpa’s nose. I often get asked if I’m Italian/Greek/Armenian. No one ever guesses Mexican. Hell, I didn’t even know I was Mexican until I was a senior in high school. I knew my grandfather was hispanic and that English was his second language. Although he grew up in Colorado, I always thought he was of Puerto Rican descent, I guess because he was stationed in Puerto Rico when he was in the Army. Apparently my ridiculous thought process was that he was stationed there to allow him to return to his “homeland.” Then in 1997, I started receiving several scholarship offers for Puerto Rican students because I bubbled Puerto Rican as my ethnicity on my ACT form, and my mom quickly took notice.
My mom: Why are you getting all of these scholarship offers for Puerto Ricans?
Me: Because I’m 25% Puerto Rican. (duh!!)
My mom: No, you’re not.
Me: Yes, I am.
My mom: Where are you getting this from? You’re Mexican. Grandpa is Mexican.
Me: But they lived in Puerto Rico when Dad was little.
My mom: You grew up in Germany, that doesn’t make you German.
True. So at the age of 17, I found out “my kind” was Mexican. And my dream of being a long lost cousin to J-Lo was crushed. I often get asked if I speak Spanish when people learn my last name. My Spanish was decent when I lived in Mexico (well, I technically lived in El Paso, but when you can see the green street lights in Mexico from your bedroom window, then you lived in Mexico), but I rarely get to practice the language now as there are not many of “my kind” here in Kentucky.
About ten minutes later, I was still trying to decide whether to be flattered or offended by this lady’s “your kind” back-handed compliment. But a man in the running for “Gentleman of the Year” trumped this lady ten fold. I noticed this well-dressed attractive man wandering around the waiting room and went to the counter to help him.
Man: Are you the pharmacy manager?
Me: (very hesitantly) Yes.
Man: So that’s you in the picture on the wall?
Man: You look a lot better in the picture.
Me: (you need to go back to Kindergarten and retake “What not to say to a girl 101”... I’m pretty sure my face was priceless at this point)
Man: Well... I mean... you look good now... I mean... you just look better in the picture with your hair down... but you look good now... you just looked totally different... but you...
Me: Dude, you can stop digging yourself a hole.
Who says that to someone?? Within a ten minute span, I was told that “my kind” was very pretty, but yet I looked better in a picture. The moral of this story is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my case, the toothless ladies of the world think I’m beautiful... but I need to get my hair and nails did before going to work to impress the middle-aged men of the world. I had a fleeting thought that I would actually spend more time in the mornings getting ready for work, but that lasted about three minutes. If I ever show up to work in something other than my yoga pants and with my hair down, you can bet the farm I have plans after work... because I’m still not interested in the men at my counter picking up their prescriptions for Antabuse, Aldara, or Avinza.