Sunhat Meets Durag

There are two types of New Yorkers that live in Manhattan: Uptowners, and Downtowners.

The Uptowners never go south, and the Downtowners never go above 14th Street unless there is a literal zombie apocalypse.

In case you’re wondering…I am a Downtowner. I like my little existence in the Village, and only venture uptown for auditions, work, or on the very rare occasion, to get together with a friend who had a momentary lapse of judgement and wanted to grab a drink in midtown.

But I digress.

Aside from the sheer convenience factor, there really is a different feel to the two. Different paces of life. Different architecture. Downtown is the artsy scene, with winding cobblestone streets, and eclectic restaurants, and brownstones that truly give it a neighborhood feel. Think, Friends. Whereas, uptown is the stereotypical hustle and bustle of NYC. You’ve got Times Square, Penn Station, Rockefeller Center — it’s the rat race of men and women in business suits power walking in the global mecca of urban business. The buildings scrape the sky, and everyone is on a mission, and seemingly five minutes late.

Again, your girl is definitely a downtown chick.

Well, anyways. This past weekend, my friend wanted to go to the New York Botanical Garden, which is wayyyyy uptown. So uptown that it isn’t even in Manhattan anymore: it’s in the Bronx…which, for perspective…the streets are in the 250’s. It is far. Over an hour on the subway, far.

But, as someone who lives for a social outing, I happily pulled out my subway map and hopped on the train into the unknown.

I was by myself, as we were meeting there, and…I guess you could say that for a sleepy Sunday morning, I seemed a little out of place. I was dressed in a cute summer dress, complete with a sunhat that Audrey Hepburn would have swooned for.

Case in point: twice, during that hour trip, I had two gentlemen ask me if I needed help figuring out where I was. No, I am not lost, thank you very much.

Anywho. I ended up having a conversation that really struck a chord with me that morning on the train.

We were up in the 130’s, and the train had really thinned out. Those that were still on board were in it for the long haul. They had their books, their Kindles, their earbuds. They were hunkered down and in the “commute zone.”

Except for me. In my sunhat and look of bewilderment at the smells and sights of the subway.

Well, this guy who was sitting across from me, looked at me and said, “That’s a dope hat.”

Now, before my mother, reading this, has a panic attack — this was not a “come on.” I have honed a very keen sense of “stranger danger,” and this young man was definitely not a threat, Okay?

But I smiled at him, and thanked him. He was probably about 24ish. He was wearing fashionable baggy black sweatpants, a black zip up hoodie, and a dark green, velvet durag. He had his Beats headphones around his neck, and the kindest eyes I had ever seen.

I like this” I said, pointing to his headwear.

He gave a big chuckle, and said thank you. “You’re not from these parts.” he continued with a laugh.

And I proceeded to concur that, no, in fact, I wasn’t, and that I was on my way to the Botanical Garden.

He then stuck out his hand and introduced himself, “Kenny.”

And for the next several minutes, we had a really lovely conversation. He told me about how he loved the botanical garden, because he loved nature. He lived in NYC his entire life and has never been outside of the city, “not even upstate.” So for him, the botanical garden is a glimpse into life outside the concrete grid.

But towards the end of our exchange, he said something that really hit me. He goes, “You cool. Most people, when they see how I dress, they assume things. They think I’m hood. But nah – I like things. I have ambition.” And proceeded to talk about his aspirations of starting his own clothing line.

But that stayed with me for the rest of the afternoon. And I’m not going to lie, as I was walking around the garden, looking at the flowers, I couldn’t help but think about Kenny, and our conversation that morning.

Most people assume things.

Isn’t that the truth.

One that, yeah…I’m super guilty of. I’m not proud of it, but yeah, if I’m being honest, I can definitely judge a book by its cover — even when that “book” is a living, breathing, child of God.

Ironically, we both were guilty of making an assumption about the other, that morning, based on what we saw on the outside. Him — seeing me in a sunhat, and Me — seeing him in his durag.

But it turns out that we both had a lot more common ground than we thought. I mean, who knew that we’d end up connecting over snapdragons and day lilies?

Kenny really surprised me that morning. I think sometimes God puts situations like that in our path just to remind us that we weren’t created to live in a bubble of comfort or homogeny. We weren’t made to live an “uptown” or “downtown”-only existence. We were created to live together. We were created for community, intermingling with all walks of life, all backgrounds and cultures and histories.

You know what, Kenny was right — I wasn’t “from those parts.” And frankly, as a girl from suburban Ohio, I have absolutely zero idea — I can’t even conceptualize — what it must have been like to grow up in the Bronx, New York, and experience that life.

But there’s a common bond of humanity that we both found on the train that morning.

And wouldn’t you know – it was connecting over God’s beauty in nature: flowers. It’s as simple as that.

So thank you, Kenny, for not only reaching out to me that day, but encouraging me to branch out from below 14th street, and start looking for the commonality, rather than the differences between people.

Because whether it’s a sunhat, a sombrero, a cowboy hat, a fisherman’s hat, or a durag — we’re all more than our headgear. And it’s not the hat, but the person wearing it that matters.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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152 responses to “Sunhat Meets Durag”

  1. This may be one of my favorite posts so far. I’m huge on diversity and looking beyond the skin. When you talk about beauty beyond bones, I think of the beauty that comes from within our bones. The uniqueness we each have. The personalities. The ways we see things. I am so thankful to live in a country where I can have friends from all cultures and races, ages, genders, religions, and lifestyles. People who see and experience life differently from me. This is how I’ve become who I am today! Love love love this post!!!

    • Oh my gosh thank you Shell! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!! Amen to that – from within our bones, way down deep in the soul!! Hugs and love xox

  2. Great piece, Caralyn! Having grown up in NYC (actually went to Fordham Prep HS near the gardens) I can just picture the subway scene. We are all children of God, who loves each one of us equally and unconditionally, including you and Kenny. Ted

    • Thank you so much Ted!! Oh wow that’s awesome. Oh yes – the subway scene is an unforgettable one! Haha Hugs and love xox

  3. One of the best friends I ever had in high school was Steve Harris. I met him at a Christian coffee house literally a block from my house. It turned out we went to the same high school.

    Steve was this hulk of a black guy. Six foot plus and 250 pounds. The first time I clapped eyes on him I double-checked the exits. Fortunately, we eventually spoke, and he became a great friend and a brother. Two tragedies took both his parents from him, and my parents agreed when I asked if he could come live with us his senior year of high school. We had an extra bed in my room. It became Steve’s.

    We ended up on speech team together. He also had a beautiful tenor voice. I always knew when he was getting close to the house, because I could hear him singing from two blocks away.

    He looked dangerous to a kid in a racially charge high school. Thank God for that coffee house or I might never have given him a chance!

    Caralyn, thank you so much for tonight’s article! You always bring old memories to surface. Steve disappeared over 30 years ago; he was never one for correspondence. Remembering him tonight was like having him back over for one last visit. Thank you! *sniff*

  4. Also can I use that phrase about not judging someone’s story by the chapter we walk in on? I’m not sure when, but I would like to borrow it for a post and give you full credit for it of course.

  5. Same thing happens here in Cleveland. The river divides east from west. And, strangely, there are two easts. One is the ghetto in every sense of the word. Certain streets have made “most dangerous intersections in America” lists. The other east Cleveland — i.e., Pepper Pike, Beachwood, etc. — is where the rich people live. Ask a lawyer which side of town he’s from and unless he’s young and hip, he’ll say east.

    The west side — my side — is the pretty side — with beach access all along Lake Avenue/Lake Road.

    Anyway, hope you enjoyed the garden. Would love to see pics since I missed out on that when I ventured to NYC.

    • Thanks for sharing that. Sadly I think this is common for most cities. End of the day people are people And all deserve love!! I’ll post one tonight on ig!! Hugs and love xox

  6. Human nature, it’s funny you just can’t get away from it, case in point the first two gentlemen were more interested in helping themselves than in you being lost, but the way you glow I can’t hold that against them.

    I have experienced Kenny’s perception most of life, being a larger muscular black man with many tattoos, yet being God-fearing, NRA card-carrying, conservative republican with a peace officers mentality, a burning sense of right and wrong who can’t help but challenge bullies who pick on weaker people.

    I pose the lease threat but provoke an oversize fear in the eyes of people that I would be the first to assist, Human nature funny!

    • You’re right about that Sandyman. And thank you for sharing your story. There’s so much more to a person that what we see on the outside!! 🙂 big hugs to you xox

    • Thank you so much Mary! Me too – comfort zones were made to be broken through! Hugs and love xox

  7. This is such a beautiful post. I think we are all a bit guilty of judging a book by its cover. The part that struck me the most is that we do judge the book even when it is a living breathing child of God. And I thought wow, how true is that, God loves us all and we are all His children, and I should extend that same love and respect out to each and every one of His children no matter what the cover looks like.
    Thank you again for this 💙

    • Thank you so much!! It was such an awesome conversation. Grateful to Kenny for opening it up! Amen! God loves us all!!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  8. This post has me smiling really BIG. What a beautiful connection with Kenny and how you both impacted each other and taught a valuable lesson on judging a book by its cover. LOVE

    • Hi Lisa! Oh good! I’m so glad this made you smile! You’re right – I learned a lot that day. Grateful for Kenny! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      • This is definitely my favorite post from you thus far! And honestly I love all of your posts 😊 but this one struck me deep!! Mainly because it is something I have been personally really trying to work on as a Christian – not judging others! We do it without even realizing it and God has been opening my eyes to it.
        And so I feel very strongly that coming across this post today was His way of helping me! ❤ Thank you sooooooo much for your honesty and for sharing this amazing story and perspective. My heart has definitely been affected by it! *hugz* and all the best to you!

      • Oh my gosh you’re so sweet to say that! Thank you!! I’m right there with you – I’m also trying to see others through God’s eyes 🙂 so glad this resonated with you! Hugs and love xox

  9. I love this so much! I can’t believe how similarly we wrote about the same topic … my most recent post is on the same theme. Only yours completely sums it up in such an interesting anecdote! We all have those moments when something unexpected and out of our comfort zone ends up connecting us even deeper with our faith. Thank you for sharing!
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    • Aw thank you – yeah it was a really beautiful conversation. Very grateful to kenny for striking up a chat 🙂 amen to that. Hugs and love xox

  10. when I was a youngin’ we would hop the path in newport pavonia for a buck and hang in the village all summer, but these days I kind of like uptown and how some of the other sections revived a bunch over the years, I hope you have traveled to Ft Tryon…. so amazing, the views up there of the hudson. I only recently (past few years) explored all the way down, because I missed the battery and drove around in circles lol …. and then came back on my free time. NYC is way bigger than people can imagine, there is always something new to find… and that means people to!

    • Hi David! Thanks for sharing that – I’ve never been to Ft. Tryon! You’re so right. There’s so much culture and life to explore in this city. Something new is always popping up!!! Hugs and love xox

  11. I was captured by your title, and let me confess as a woman of color I was just waiting for you to explain what a durag was. I am glad you didn’t turn this into a cultural/ race revelation. This turned out to be a wonderful post on not judging others as everyone has something to teach us. Thank you for sharing your subway ride with all of us.

    • Thank you so much 🙂 yes – we’re all brothers and sisters and if judge people, we don’t have a chance to love them!! 🙂 big hugs to you!! Xox

  12. Power life lesson Caralyn that we all need. The world will be so much richer if we all looked beyond our tunnel-visioned perspective and saw the value in one another. Appreciate your reminder to all of us.

  13. Lovely post dear, and what a cute outfit. 😀
    In high school I knew a teacher that had been in a very bad car acsadent and lost his family and had third degree burns over 90% of his body he wore a clown mask to hid his face so not to freak people out but to spit everything he was one of the kindest nicest person I’ve ever met but people couldn’t get past his outside to see his inside.
    I try to keep my wit’s about me and at the same time try not to judge people because you never know where or when you’ll meet a kind hearted soul.


    • Thank you so much Dawn! Oh my gosh how tragic!! That is just so sad. You’re right – the inside is what matters. Hugs and love xox

  14. I am loving this post! I agree with you 100%. As an undergraduate here in the UK (mature, mid 30s female) I was studying linguistics but we covered body language and stereotyping (as well as many other types of language) as part of one of the many ways we communicate towards each other. Cutting a long story very short I grew up in a suburb of Cambridge (the famous UK one with the famous University). The area I lived was known as a bit of a rough area and I speak with a ‘local’ accent – in linguistic terms a non-received pronunciation (non-RP) accent – H.M The Queen speaks RP English. The end of lectures came and I handed in my papers. A few weeks later we were allowed to go to the lecturer’s office to collect our papers and discuss with him what we could do to improve, if at all. There were 2 papers left in his box, and as it was blind-marked by him he didn’t know even at this stage which paper was mine. I gave him my student number and he looked in the box. He’d gone to the C grade paper only to be surprised that mine was the A grade paper. He congratulated me on my effort and the strength of the paper. 3 years later I was having a discussion with one of his colleagues and she said that many of my tutors had been surprised by the standard of my work and said to me that she felt they had all been guilty of stereotyping – putting me into a box based on how I looked and how I sounded. She apologised to me for herself, and for him as he had left the University by this time. Anyway, just to add to your post – stereotyping is a very natural trait we all have. It gives us a sense of belonging and like your Uptown and Downtown example decides our ‘Ingroups’ and ‘outgroups’. Personally, I’d rather our natural trait when deciding who and what people are were to be gut instinct as that seems the better method as far as I can see, for a more inclusive, peaceful society. Sorry for the long reply! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Nat!! Thank you for sharing your story. As an actor, I’m actually very familiar with both those accents. I’m sorry you’ve felt that so personally – you’re absolutely right – gut instinct 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  15. What a special gift God gave you when you put yourself out there. You said you never leave a certain zone, but then you did and you got a major blessing. God does that. Keep leaving the zone ! Don’t limit yourself. Just see what God does next! <3

    • Oh gosh thank you so much 🙂 and thanks to Kenny for striking up a conversation! Hugs and love xox

  16. Oh and I had to laugh because I was like, what is a durag? Then I realized you were just spelling it different. I’ve only seen it spelled doorag or doo rag. Regional differences I guess! Lol!

    • You’re so right – we’re all humans and worthy of love and respect! 🙂 oh nyc – how I love thee! Hugs and love xox

  17. Life is full of challenges that along the way generates countless personal moments of self-refection, and some are inconsequential and others are revelations; but all of it part of a big test. God isn’t planning out our days for us and setting us up with a certain person or circumstance. If we travel with the Holy Spirit whatever does come up will be something we can deal with the way God wills us to in serving Him.

    I had to shift gears in more ways than one in life and literally between gigs or even changing career paths to maintain my life, paying all the bills and saving for the future, I found that commercial driving filled in many gaps. Throughout my life I’ve driven commercially over a million miles and thank God without being in an accident or worse. How I negotiated that 18 wheeler through all conditions, snow storms, highway grid lock, thinking ahead at all times as to the four wheelers all around and what stunts they might try to pull to get past or around the big truck made for a very dicey and stressful situation. On top of all the driving I had to be in all kinds of environments, from Fulton Fish Market in Manhattan to various rail yards like Croxton in New Jersey to International Airports like Logan, Bradley, Newark, Manchester and JFK, or on the waterfront of several key fishing port locations up and down the North East Coast. Any of these locations could be on the schedule at any time of day or night so when most people were sleeping I might be hooking up double trailers or a 53 foot one in a dark roughneck part of the city or during regular business hours when the streets are full of people and their cars they congest the streets with. I met more kinds of people and in more varied environments than one can shake a stick at, and sure I saw humanity and sometimes fleeting human connections in our travels while in passing one another when stopped at one of these varied locales having short interactions in our travels; but there was nothing better than being back home in my place where I belong and where I’m loved and needed. Out of necessity I was all over the map but does God want me for some other reason to be bopping all over like that to find connections, I think not! The man-made world is in a sense from the perspective of a single person a chaotic place; and so focus on one’s own particular life and close family or significant relations is enough to deal with and I see meeting strangers as that just meeting strangers.

    I had plenty of opportunity to meet new people in these working circumstances and even my personal travels but to me looking back its all like passing ships in the night and inconsequential. As I’ve stated many times to many people, I’ve found my greater insights and purpose to my life when alone and depending on nothing more than my own abilities and the paramount guidance of God Almighty’s Holy Spirit that watched over me and indeed protected me. I’ve studied acting and did a bit here and there so I’m fully cognizant of the idea of taking risks. Doing so on a stage or in front of a camera can be helpful in creating a visceral characterization but as far as taking real risks with my life, I prefer to pass on that. Unnecessary risk can become habit forming and we know this by the numbers of adrenaline freaks or junkies in the world! I see our individual lives as so precious to God who gave them to us that we should not take unnecessary risks with them and flaunt them in such a way as to be caviler with them. Am I guilty of doing so, damn straight, I confess I did some pretty stupid things with my life over the years when not thinking the way I am now. One little mishap or miscalculation and I wouldn’t be writing this now, that’s how dangerous it was at the time! I was on a fine line of doing something for whatever reason on the one hand and sheer stupidity or foolishness on the other. I thank God again that I made it through all the things I did to be able to share now with others, “that you are always better off keeping things in order of priority and your purpose for living in the first place;” the important mission to not fail the test. I tend to see Monks and Nuns as being closer to serving God more accurately daily by a humble and meeker style of living and serving with focused mission and more restraint and not freewheeling the way many people do actually live in this time and age of pleasing self! I don’t see risk if not absolutely necessary or even fully appropriate as being anything positive at all. “Common sense and practicality rule!”

    PS I know I point out harsh reality here and in quite a few things I say or write about, because I know firsthand just how much danger and evil lurks around any given corner, and not that one should be paranoid but in this world today foolishness abounds and I attempt to counter that mind-set.

      • Oh good! I’m glad you liked my little short story (autobiographical vignette). Yea, plenty more where that came from, I sure stretched my envelope of protected space or comfort zone in my driving travels in my car cross country through 46 states, staying for long periods in about a dozen. Talk about NYC I thought you might like my connection to Fulton Fish Market, now there’s a place that I met some characters during ungodly hours of the night. Nefarious from the first looksie!

        There was this time I had a hell of an experience taking a train into NYC during the wee hours of the morning arriving in town wearing my cowboy boots as I jumped off at Penn Station and decided to walk street-side on to my destination via 7th avenue in the wee hours when a group of bad hombres almost got the drop on me, I felt like I was in some surreal scene of the French Connection giving them the slip on the subway with some good faking body language that said I might be the heat! I got away from them by fractions, and sure was good I did; because I know they weren’t gonna discuss Jesus or different parts of the hood with me, no matter how well-spoken or genuine I was! Yeah, I got AWAY!

        I say they wanted those brand new cowboy boots I was wearing, Whaddaya Think?

        Or maybe, they just really had to know what I was doing walking around the Big Apple at 3am alone wearing new cowboy boots! Hey what can I say I do lots of things alone. Maybe they figured I was related to the Marlboro Man and they wanted free smokes! Oh well, these are questions for inquiring minds that we’ll probably never know the answers to; or will we?

        Yes, thank Jesus I’m alive and kicking still!

        Lawrence Morra

      • Don’t forget the Marlboro Man Boots, sort like the hood version of “Puss and Boots;” “Smokes and Boots,” great deal when you can get it!!! OMG only in NYC! Hahahahaha! See I can laugh about it because it went the right way for me, at least in that little way, hehehehe! But oh the things that could have been, I mean good things! I shoulda done stuck it out! Not my neck mind you; but maybe my personality? And, I don’t mean with those bad hombres; but the people with the opportunities! I guess I was a boy with the wanderlust! A Rambling Man! I talk up a powerful storm let me tell ya!

  18. Great post as usual. If I had to choose, I’d go with the sun hat. I do not have a durag. After all, I’m the Hat Rack.

    But in talking to Kenny, you brought me back to a church meeting last night. Two street evangelists is invited to tell us what and how they did their work. One said that he prayed that God would let him see what God had planned for the day. Then everyone that he met that day became a person to talk to about Jesus.

    Just your friendly chat, even with the false assumptions at first, is a perfect example of God placing people in our path for a reason.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much! oh wow that sounds like such a powerful way to live! encountering Jesus in every person! hugs xo

  19. I don’t have a dew rag, but sometimes wear a bandanna tied as one. Same thing I guess. I sometimes go to the botanical gardens here, the Matthai, but usually in the middle of winter, so I can sit under a palm tree and think of tropical climates. Yes, you should be open to people, but it is good to connect on things less superficial than fashion. And by the way, thank you for liking my post on poetry. I think you are a very good person, and you always brighten my day when I run across you. Peace.

    • Hi William, thanks for sharing your heart. You’re right – connecting to people in a genuine, deep way is important. THanks for your kind words 🙂 hugs xo

  20. Interesting comments on uptown vs downtown. I always thought updown was north of 50ish St. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in NYC (probably about 20 years, maybe more).

    • Hi Joe! yeah the landscape of new york is definitely one of a kind. Yeah — typically 14th street is the barrier of the Village — which is Downtown. North of that is midtown/uptown neighborhoods. I could be wrong, but that’s how I’ve learned it! You’ve got to get back to the city! It’s calling you! 🙂 hugs x

  21. Thanks for this post! I have had similar experiences having worked in addiction recovery ministry. We tend to make assumptions and it takes extra effort to go beyond appearances and really get to know people. I have former co-worker who keeps his head shaved and has all kinds of tattoos. It used to be guys like that scared me — and I know some guys like that *are* scary, but that co-worker, I’ll call him Fred, has turned out to be a very good and faithful friend. I would have missed out had I not gotten to know him. So, thanks again for posting this. It’s something we all need to be reminded of.

    • Thank you so much Glenn for sharing yourheart. You’re so right – we need to really get to know people — becuase at the end of the day we all need and deserve love! Friends come in all shapes and sizes! 🙂 hugs xo

  22. I guess, to some extent, every city has its cultural “zones.” In Dallas it was basically a divide between the blue collar Oak Cliff area (south of the Trinity River) and the white collar North Dallas sector. The natives of one rarely associated or mingled with the other. Not in an antagonistic way, mind you, but it was something you were aware of from birth. Interesting article, kiddo. Keep up the good writing.

    • Thanks Rollie, yeah I think this is a common occurrence in a lot of cities. Thanks for sharing that insight. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  23. Awesome post… Love the picture. You look amazing as always.

    People do what is easy. Making assumptions is easy. Lets face it. We all do it without even giving it a second thought. Why?.. Our experiences, influence by the media, our education, etc. Everything has honed us to be the judgmental people we are – regardless of our social standing, race, etc.

    Reminds me of this comedian…

    He makes us laugh, but he does talk a whole lot of sense.

    Some people talk to me on the phone and when they finally get to meet me, the shock in their eyes tell me, they weren’t ready to see what I look like. I go to a club or social event and if I even try to talk to a pretty lady, I get the cold shoulder because well, I look like the same nationality of the waiter or valet.

    I admit I’m no Adonis, but I’m well aware of what Kenny is on about, and I can tell you that I’m pretty sure that Kenny had his own assumptions about you as well. Why? Because I have made my own assumptions too.
    But rather than let my assumptions hold be back from meeting and communicating with interesting people, I let my Rule No 1. apply – “Always treat everyone as equal; the same, irrespective of their class, culture, etc…”

    • Thank you so much. You’re right – always treat everyone as equal. I love that. Hugs and love xox

  24. Interesting post. Yes you cant judge a book by its cover and that cuts both ways. We are always in danger of sizing a person up and thinking the worst. But the flip side of that is sizing a person up, thinking the best and then finding ourselves in serious trouble. Better to be non-judgmental but extremely cautious in today’s world until enough time observing carefully tells what the person is really like inside and whether it’s safe to open up to them.

    • THanks so much Ian! You’re right – being cautious and getting to know a person is the best way! hugs x

  25. It is all like this , we assume things before really know what’s going on. We look to appearances of people before see their hearts. We all need love. We all need each other , no matter where we are from this planet. We all a Kenny with a different ideas , opinions and ambitions. I hope we reach to a place to respect and love each other deeply.
    Thanks for this post.

  26. There’s a Scottish saying, “Kent yer faither.” I think that’s where Kenny comes from. It’s funny. When it crosses into Gaelic the meaning changes from “you think your better than me” to “handsome or light skinned.” Maybe. You could throw that tidbit at Kenny if there’s another ride somewhere. I try not to make sense of the divisions between our present culture in class and race. Although, my skin immediately puts me into a role that’s comfortable for the dominant group than myself.

      • Um. Ok. You mentioned what your mother thought or might think about talking to a non-white person. Is that, hard for you? To bounce what your parents might think of any man that approached or just minorities? Not to say there’s a divide between your family but to add that precursor before introducing Kenny seems that there is such a division. I mean, we all can’t be tall white men like the Bachelor shows. 😂😬 That’s the problem with talking about ethnic issues when a lot of us don’t know the taxonomy and concepts everything sounds like racism. Seems. You had fear of your mother’s trigger in a simple conversation that wasn’t a “come on.” Another reason I only talk to women, if I have too in public spaces. Even hello has been misconstrued as something more than a hello. I would have definitely said the latter if I meant more.

      • I think you misunderstood that line about my mother. I said she would be concerned about me getting hit on by a man on the subway I do not know. The man was a stranger, I am a young woman who was alone in a neighborhood I did not know on a subway where I do not get cell service. *That* is what my mother would be concerned about. And just wanted to point out that not once in this piece did I mention Kenny’s skin color. But you’re correct, there is a lot of complication these days between men and women. I think there are times and places for striking up a conversation with a woman — when she is alone on a subway, is one scenario, that I don’t think is the best possible scene, if that makes sense. Public coffee shop? Absolutely. Dog park? Sure. If you’re picking up what I’m puttin down

      • Neither did I mention skin color. Ethnicity, is a based tradition. A group. What you focused on and in previous posts. The Covington Catholic School. Defending Trump after Heather Heyer died. A love for the Bachelor and all its inequity. Whiteness, has a specific ethnicity itself among the groups it inhabits. You mentioned a homogenous suburban Ohio upbringing. That would be a group that also happens to be white but, has set traditions that are adopted by non-white persons familiar with ingroup and outgroup dynamics. In a public place, no one is alone. The other two are anecdotal and specific to your group and not as a public whole.

        You ever think maybe he knew you weren’t from there and recognizing you as the other provided a kind of safe space. Among, actual strangers. I’ve done that in Tucson with lost college women. Just waited with them on my bicycle until their rides came. Changed flats. Shared a slice of pizza. But not, because I was attracted to them. I knew, the chances of being unrecognised even in a public place increases the chances of being assaulted. Not to say, all assaults occur in poorer areas most victims know their attacker. And, those attackers don’t usually in my neighborhood. If you know what I mean.

  27. This was an excellent read. I love how God can give us a gem of wisdom in the midst of our day. Thank you for sharing. This bought a smile to my face.

    • Wow, Ada! You’re really on a reading roll! thank you so much!! You’re so right — God is always whispering to us! Sometimes we just need to pause and recognize it!! so glad you stopped by! glad it made you smile 🙂 hope you have a beautiful, beautiful evening! big hugs xo

  28. As a New Yorker, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve lived in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Yonkers and work in Downtown Brooklyn. I have met many people from various cultures and walks of life and have had experiences where the person I least expected to help me, did. Some people in New York are rough around the edges because we are a city that is always rushing and hustling and surviving but most of us are pretty cool

    • Thanks so much! This city is seriously such a beautiful mix of diversity and culture. I love it so much. Hugs and love xox

  29. Such a cool story. I’ve been having issues with people making assumptions about me recently, so this hit home. “Looking for the commonalities…” YES! This is exactly what I’ve been thinking recently – it’s a big thing from my 12 Steps fellowship.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that. i love that — looking for the commonalities. that is so so important. 🙂 glad you stopped by. hugs xo

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