Bless his heart....a young guy was at the cash register when he struck up a conversation with me.
"Your name is Simone?" he asked.
"Yep, sure is," I replied.
"Do you know what your name means in Spanish?" he asked, testing me.
"Sure do. It means, "right on!" I replied.
I hated bursting his bubble but I had heard that so many times while growing up. People were constantly telling me the "meaning" of my name.
I went on. "You know, my mom didn't name me that because of the Spanish meaning. She named me after the French version."
He didn't take long to digest that one. "So are you Mexican?" he asked.
"Uh, no, I'm Black."
"Serious?" he asked, looking totally shocked.
I walked towards the door. He yelled back, "Where's your mom from?"
I smiled and said, "From the U.S."
It got me thinking about the many times I'm asked what I am. Have you ever had anyone come up to you and say, "What are you?"
One time, I was working in a big corporation when an elderly couple were sitting in the lobby. I hear them whispering back and forth. One of them saying, "No you ask her."
Finally, the lady says, "Excuse me dear but what are you?"
At that moment, I started to say, "A human being ma'am" but chose to answer politely.
If you've followed my blog long enough, you will know that I don't mind answering questions about being black. In fact, I'd rather you ask than to assume or regret not asking later. I just don't understand what it is that makes people wonder what I am.
I realized that I gave the young guy a shortened condensed version of who I am. Here's the long version:
"I'm a 47 year old woman who is blessed to have the greatest daughters in the world that are not only my kids but my friends. I'm sympathetic to everyone and everything, a giver, and a friend. I cry easily and laugh even more easily. I'm loved by God in spite of my moments (which are often) of failure. I love hard, play hard and live hard. I'm a cheerleader, an encourager, a writer, an artist, a cook, a blogger, a nature lover and a lover of all things creative. I'm a friend to the friendless and a mom to the mommyless. Oh, I almost forgot, I'm Black."
If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask away in my comments. I'll do my very best to answer each and every one in my next post.
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