Friday, September 11, 2015

To The Boy Who Tried to Shame Me



To the boy who tried to shame me:

Hi. 

My name is Chauntel. Everyone calls me Chaun though. It's a French name, but I don't have a drop of French blood in me. I am American. I have a baby girl who likes to eat plugs. Books are a drug for me, and I am really bad at keeping time commitments when I have a good book to read. Sometimes I steal chocolate chips from the pantry.

These are some things you don't know about me.

There are some things you do know, though. You know that I have brown hair and that I sometimes wear green skinny jeans. You know that I am a mom, and that I am a woman. You know that I am married and that I have a man that comes to my aid to talk to boys about respect.

These are some things that you do know about me.

On the day that we met, I was walking around the soccer field. You were sitting on the grass, in the middle of a group of young men. My husband was doing cardio work on the exercise equipment behind the goalie. I usually avoid anything with the word "cardio" in it, so instead I was pushing my baby in her stroller. We were watching the makeshift teams on the field play a game of soccer, when you suddenly called out to me.

I heard what you said. 

It was wrong.

I didn't slow my steps as I kept walking past you and your laughing friends. My face heated up. I always turn red when I'm embarrassed, so I'm sure my skin was brightly colored. As soon as I realized what you had to say was hurtful, I looked away from you mid-sentence. You know that; you watched me do it.

The mocking laughs followed me as I walked the track around the goalie net. My mind was jumbled with a mix of thoughts and feelings. I didn't know what to do. I thought out through all the options as I continued to slowly pace around the field. My heart hurt.

You probably could guess that my heart was hurting.

I don't know you. I don't know your name or what your favorite homemade meal is. I don't know how many brothers or sisters you have. I don't know if you have a good solid home foundation, or if it's in shambles.

I do know that you have brown hair, like me. I know you wanted to impress your friends. I know that you're young, but have unfortunately picked up smoking cigarettes. I hope you quit soon.

As I rounded the opposite side of the field, I knew that I would approach you again. I didn't know what to say or how to act. My face was still hot, even though what you had said literally didn't apply to me. It was a randomly picked phrase intended for sick humor.

I slowed my pace even more. I needed more time. I said a silent prayer in my heart, and asked Heaven to help me figure out what to do. I prayed that you would see me for who I really am. Peace and warmth filled me. It started slowly, and eventually filled me up. My thoughts turned away from you, and focused on God. I thought about how He sees me. How He knows me. How He created me, and God doesn't make mistakes. God gave me a reminder about my own value, and reminded me that anyone who says differently is wrong.

As I walked by you the second time, I didn't look at you. I didn't care anymore. Well, no, that's not exactly true. I did care, but in a different way. What you thought about me didn't matter anymore. But I did care, and still do care, about how you might treat other women who are closer to you. I so hope that what you said to me was a one time occurrence. I so hope that the talk my husband gave to you, and all the boys who gathered around us, resonates in your heart. I hope you remember to respect women and love womanhood.

To the boy who tried to shame me,

I hope you have a good mother and father who love you with all your heart. I'm inclined to think you are missing one or the other. I'm sorry if that's the case. I hope you marry a good woman who will support you and love you. I hope you will do the same for her. I hope you bring home her favorite flower and make her a mixed CD of her favorite songs, just because you love her.

I hope you will teach your sons and daughters about respecting each other and loving the qualities of each gender. Both are special and vital in this world. Both deserve respect. A lot would be different if we remembered that.

To the boy who tried to shame me,

You are forgiven. Even without an apology, you are wholly forgiven. Although you offered no comment after my husband and I approached you, there is no grudge held against you. There is only a bit of sadness and concern. It's not between you and me anymore. This is between you and God.

To the boy who tried to shame me,

I hope you don't forget.


Best,
Chaun

6 comments:

  1. I used to think that when I was jogging and some guy in a car driving by would whistle at me, that it was a compliment. I'm glad I no longer think that way. I'm glad you kept going in your way instead of avoiding those boys. Your show that what he did didn't bother your long-term conviction will resonate with him, if not right then, soon.

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    1. It was so hard, but thanks for the encouragement!

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  2. Not cool, not fun, but you stood your ground. I'm not sure if he learned his lesson, but the most important thing is that you kept your dignity and sense of self-worth!

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    1. Hopefully it comes back to help him later :)

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  3. This is so so beautiful, and such a godly response to what was probably a misogynistic comment. I hope he learned from you. I hope he treats women well in the future.

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    1. Thanks for reading Brita :) And I hope so too. Luckily, he was young enough to not be set in his ways quite yet, but there's definitely hope.

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