Not long ago my children and I went out to have dinner with some friends. We were in Missouri competing in our National Homeschooling Tournament. Anyway, we decided to go to Cracker Barrel for dinner. My children and I were the only people of color in the building. I was very aware of this, but it wasn’t a big deal. This is very normal for us, so I didn’t give it a second thought at all. In fact, when we were ordering, I told the waitress that the chocolate folks would be on the same ticket. I was very matter of fact about it, and a bit playful about it. I’m very comfortable with who I am.
Later, my friend and I talked about our experience in the restaurant. By the way, my friend and her daughter are white. She was very aware of the fact that people were staring at us when we walked in the restaurant. In fact, she felt quite uncomfortable with the staring. She thought something was wrong with her. Eventually, she realized it was us. The brown people in a sea of white that were out of place. The weird thing is that I didn’t notice the stares. Now in all fairness, I did walk in after the rest of our group, but I never noticed all the stares. My children noticed it, but I was oblivious to it.
I’ve been wondering how I could miss something so blatantly obvious. Why am I so desensitized to these types of situations?