thoughts from yesterday

I went shopping yesterday. I was looking for a cheap dress to wear to a couple of weddings I’m going to this month. The trip was unsuccessful. There weren’t any pretty, cheap dresses to be found. I went to Anthropologie the other day (let the drooling commence) to look at the gorgeous clothes and found the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen. If I had a few extra hundred dollars maybe I’d buy it…

But back to yesterday. I went to TJ Maxx, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory. They’re all pretty cheap shops, and they’re all in the same shopping plaza here in Nashville. In the hour I spent shopping I probably heard at least 5 different languages being spoken. I realized at one point that I was one of only a few white people. I thought about my trip to Anthropologie and Whole Foods earlier in the week. I think there were only white people in both of those stores. I’ve known for a long time that we still segregate ourselves in America, whether racially, religiously, socio-economically, etc. It just hadn’t been thrown in my face in a while.

I also realized that I live in a bubble. Totally. When I was in college I had lots of friends. Some were Christians. Some were Jewish. Some were black. Some were Asian. Lots were white. Now all of my friends look and think the same way I do. It’s easy. But easy isn’t always good. It actually seems like it usually isn’t.

There’s a lot of diversity at our church both socio-economically and ethnically. We all love Jesus, but we all look and live very differently. But the fact is, I’m not really friends with most of these folks. I’m not “doing life” with them. I just show up.

After my unsuccessful trip yesterday I stopped at a coffee shop and wrote my thoughts on a napkin. I wrote about how the afternoon had made me feel, and at the end I asked myself two questions: First, what am I going to do about this whole bubble situation? Second, do I actually want to do anything about it?

I think it will take more than an afternoon to figure this stuff out…if indeed there is figuring out to be done. Perhaps it’s time to get uncomfortable.



4 responses

  1. Jenny….you are just so real. I love you guys so much. I have your CDs playing in the car constantly. Cant wait to see you two times coming up here in August. Enjoy. Keep being true to yourself.

  2. I read your “thoughts from yesterday” and I would like to add something. I am a 34 year old Brazilian woman and I have lived in the states for 7 years. I am not native English speaking but I am white (very white). It is wrong to say if you don’t speak English means you are not white. I just want to explain that is hard to not have a category when you’re white but speak Portuguese.

    • Hey Marina-
      I appreciate your comment. I think you may have heard something I didn’t say though…I wasn’t saying that you have to speak English to be white, just that during that particular trip I was one of just a few white people and I heard a bunch of languages being spoken. My great-grandparents came to the U.S. from Sweden, meaning that Swedish was their first language, but they were white. I’ll do my best to be a bit more sensitive in the future. Thanks for reading the blog!

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