Don’t Measure Your Value by Someone Else’s Ruler

She was quite serious when she looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You aren’t our kind of people!” I had been minding my own business, as I waited for my flight to start boarding. The lady speaking was upset that I was standing in the line for priority boarding. She didn’t believe me when I told her that I had a first-class ticket on the flight to London.

I obviously didn’t measure up to the kind of person she envisioned as worthy of priority boarding. My old jeans, which I consider as my “traveling pants” and hoodie with the name of the university where I taught didn’t speak of the type of grooming for a first-class passenger. I didn’t have the right pedigree for her, as my clothes didn’t demonstrate what she thought her “kind of people” should wear.

When she asked to see my ticket (which had the potential to start some fisticuffs, especially considering what kind of person she thought I was), I politely refused. She didn’t work for the airline, so she didn’t have a right to see my ticket.

I turned away from her strident voice and rude behavior, deciding that I wouldn’t allow her or anyone else to determine my value by her ruler or criteria. I believed that to show her my ticket would appear to validate her belief that I needed her permission to enter the space that she decided was only for a specific type of person.

When the flight started boarding, I showed my ticket to the flight attendant. Tonight, it was Ashlyn, one of the flight attendants whom I have come to know from taking this flight twice a month. Ashlyn asked if I were okay, and I responded, “Yes! But boy am I glad that I’m not her kind of people: rude, loud, unable to see other people’s humanity, and haughty. It’s good to be just little ole me!” She laughed and said, “Welcome aboard!”

A fictional story written for Fandango’s Story Starter #35: She was quite serious when she looked me straight in the eyes and said…. Also used the prompts for the Three Things Challenge #890 from Pensitivity 101 are grooming, pedigree, and potential.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Measure Your Value by Someone Else’s Ruler

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  1. Great message! This happened to me on a train once – I had a first class ticket because my dad worked for the train company and my student attire certainly didn’t match up.

    Like

  2. Love the message. Sadly, things like this happen often. When I lived in Alabama, I knew a female doctor who did not measure up because she was Black and wore jogging clothes to look new homes in an new upscale neighborhood. The realtor told her, before showing a house, that she could not afford living in that area and did not show her. The doctor asked how did she conclude that without an application and walked away.

    The doctor immediately reported her encounter to the real estate oversight board, hired an attorney and got a house in that area no cost to her through a lawsuit. The realtor was fired and could no longer afford the house she lived in that neighborhood.

    The doctor was rich and had a successful practice who had originally planned to pay cash for her house. Be careful what you sow is something many do not believe to be true.

    Liked by 1 person

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