Warning: this post claims some ugliness. Human ugliness in all it’s forms. If you can’t take gross stories, close this out. But to me the racist side to this post is the hardest to stomach.
I have chosen to live in a liberal college town because I feel comfortable sharing my life with tolerant, educated people. Sometimes, however, I get avid reminders that life is not always sunny and accepting.
One of my son’s good friends, a beautiful, fit, funny high school junior, told me a story as we were making dinner last week that blew my mind. She had been to her brother’s high school graduation party and was helping her mom roll extra spring rolls in the kitchen of one of her brother’s longtime friends, when one of his relatives approached her. “Are you making yeller food?” she quipped. Mandy was taken aback but calmly replied that they were making Thai Spring Rolls. “Are you from a Yeller country?” the woman pursued. “You don’t look yeller!” Mandy replied that she was half Thai, but her father was white. “But you don’t talk yeller?” the woman insisted.
Yeller? Really? I don’t blame my son’s friend for cutting out early from that party. Does this attitude still exist? You bet. We can’t ignore it. Especially when it is thrown “splat” in our faces.
When did yellow become ugly? Yellow is transparency, brightness. The only person with yellow skin I’ve seen was a baby with jaundice. My sister is Vietnamese, adopted when she was 1. She has lovely fair brown skin skin, that is sometimes whiter than mine which is often pink. My brother is half-Korean, adopted when he was 4, and his skin is fairer than mine unless he’s been in the sun.
Yellow daffodils. Yellow courage. Yellow sun. All things we love. Let’s keep it that way.
This is a weird segue, but today I had another ugly yellow experience. This is where this gets a little gross on just a basic human experience level, but it’s all “au naturel.” Many runners have had this happen, I realize, but it was my first. I peed my running shorts! I was actually home from a longish run, but not THAT long (4 miles). I’ve heard of people peeing their shorts during races when they can’t stop. I was actually in front of my garage door, frantically trying to open it so I could run to the toilet. Finally I just let it gush as I’d been holding it in for a while. Thank goodness Rose (dog) was my only running buddy today. I decided I just had to accept that it was happening and let go. Literally.
Now anyone who’s had babies probably knows incontinence becomes a way of life for most women; when you laugh, or sneeze, you have to think twice or squeeze if you’ve had too much coffee or water. A friend of mine has had to completely give up running as the motion just giggles things around too much and she can’t hold it in!
But I haven’t had such a humiliating experience in years; not since I was in second grade and a bully was throwing ice balls at me on the way home from school. I ran to a house of “people I knew” who I thought would let me in to use the bathroom, and I remember crying and peeing into my boots because they didn’t answer my frantic door bell ringing. My mother let me hear about my yellow snow boots for months…the fake fur inside was ruined and there really was no way to clean them.
Today I had a flashback to that moment, but I was swearing instead of crying. Thank goodness for Tide Febreze and wicking material. All will be fine.
In honor of the color yellow, which I prefer to see as something positive and bright, I’ve made some tasty little Paleo lemon poppy seed muffins. I totally missed Muffin Monday this week due to Memorial Day, so it’s now officially Make-up Muffin Day. Yum! Thanks to Elana’s Pantry, these look great. (To be tasted soon. They looked like little doll muffins as it made so little batter and they are the mini-muffin types!)