Children don’t quite grasp the concept of If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say. Truth is, they are really just being honest and have no idea that what comes out of their mouths may actually be hurtful sometimes.
Here is a story about how a child was in shock to see my face – my skin looking like melted wax with craters as deep as the moon.
In the thick of my stripping career – the ripe age of 24 – I was on the receiving end of a verbal punch so powerful, I still hear this little boy’s words like it was yesterday.
A visit to the neighborhood frozen yogurt stand next to the shopping mall gave me an excuse to rest my tired feet. Sitting in the corner, looking out the floor-to-ceiling glass walls, I began to zone out while enjoying every spoonful of my vanilla-chocolate swirly loveliness.
A little bell attached to the door rang and my focus shifted to the woman entering the shop. She was fresh-faced but tired, holding hands with (what I assumed was) her son. He was an adorable little boy, about nine years of age. The woman and I made eye-contact and realized we knew one another from the club.
“Oh hey!” I put my spoon down and stood up to give her a hug.
“Oh hi there!” She let out a sigh, blowing her bangs up with her bottom lip.
“Just come from shopping?”
“Yes and ready for a nap after our treat.” She leaned in to the little boy in confirmation. “Oh, this is my son Jason…”
“Hi there” I extended my hand.
“Mommy, why does she have a thousand holes in her face?”
My heart stopped beating for a second.
“I’m so sorry…”
“It’s okay. I’ll see you later – nice meeting you.” I stood up and walked out, smiling in embarrassment.
It took a couple minutes to get to my car but I held the tears until I was safe inside. I sat in my four-doored security chamber and cried until the tears wouldn’t come.
Needless to say, the show did not go on, as scheduled. I did not show up for work the rest of the week.
Not to end on a downer, I must say I adore children.