The words “person of filth,” that I heard on the show, The Mindy Project, came back to me today as I was getting ready. I thought about how I’m super conscientious of how I look and my hygiene all the time. I feel like I’m constantly trying to prove to myself, and to others, “See, I’m clean, I’m put together, I’m sharp, I’m hip, I’m (fill in the blank).” It was a lot easier to keep up that “perfect standard” before I had kids. Now, with a preschooler and a soon-to-start kindergartener, I’m finding it impossible to keep up that vigilant perfectly manicured look and life. In fact, it’s the opposite, my house is a disaster, half the time I’m lucky if I can squeeze in a shower before the sun goes down. Make up, styled hair, wrinkle free clothes… all out the window. And my life is like that cause I’m a great mom, I choose to put my kids need first… their breakfast, lunch, dinner, clean clothes, clean sheets, lessons, classes, play dates, play time with mommy, cuddles, teaching, discipline, you name it. I feel like I’m like all of the other moms I see when we’re at karate class, or mommy and me ballet, or swimming lessons, soccer, the library, the beach, or the grocery store. But, when I see them without makeup, or hair looking just thrown up, or clothes looking mom-ish, I just think, “Oh, that’s just because they’re a good mom.” I wonder why I feel like I have to fight so hard against being considered dirty or filthy or base. Don’t all people get dirty? Why has this label been put on black people? Do some of us have skin that gets more oily? Are our dead skin cells darker? Do we sometimes need to avoid getting our hair wet to preserve the oils in our hair and scalp or to preserve an expensive or time consuming hair style? Do those things make us filthy or just different?
I want to live in a world where difference is observed, respected, and even appreciated. I see it like marriage. My minister called it the ABC’s and 123’s. That the ABC’s are what you love about your spouse and the 123’s are the things that bother you. They are the two sides to the same coin. So in my marriage, my husband loves that I’m ambitious, vulnerable and sexy. But he gets bothered by the fact that I can be bossy (he calls it my “drill sergeant mode” or “going on a rampage,”) I can be very sensitive and need to “talk” A LOT, and I can take forever to get ready or do my beauty regimes on the weekends making us late all the time. Of course, he has his ABC’s and 123’s too. We try to celebrate the ABC’s and manage the 123’s. But they don’t really go away cause it’s who we are, and it’s a part of what we love.
Can’t we take that a step further to people as a whole, to groups, cultures, races, etc? I want to live in a world where we love and respect each other enough to try to look past the 123’s and observe, even enjoy the ABC’s. A world of love, acceptance and community.