My office is in an industrial complex surrounded by other companies that ship and have large items delivered. Most of the companies are manufacturers. However, right next door to my office is a dance studio. Every day when I leave work, there are at least 6-8 little girls running around the parking lot. Last week one of them decided to talk to me.
I was leaving work and minding my own business. I had a boring day at work and just wanted to get home as quickly as possible. Right before I stepped in my car, I heard a young girl’s voice ask “Why are you always here?” Coming from such as small person, I expected the girl to have a small voice. But no. The question was accusatory. When I turned around to reply, I saw her standing behind me with her hands on her hips and she was tapping one foot. She looked like she was all of 7 years old.
“This is where I work,” I replied.
“Well my mommy says girls shouldn’t have to work,” the 7 year old said.
“Well some people don’t work, some people do. It’s a personal choice that everyone has to make,” I said. Then she decides to hit below the belt.
“Doesn’t your husband make enough money so you don’t have to work?”
Now I’m trying not to yell at her and call her names. “I work because I want to be a contributing member of society.”
“I don’t even know what that means!” She yells.
Then I yell back, “that’s because you’re 7!”
“I’m 8! Besides, none of my friend’s mommies work.”
“That’s probably because they are raising their kids and taking care of their families,” I said.
“Well why aren’t you at home taking care of your kids?” she asks.
“Because I don’t have kids,” I said.
And this is where I almost lost it, but somehow kept my cool.
“Aren’t you a little old not to have kids?”
I was about to get all “I’m rubber and you’re glue” on her, then I remembered that it has been 20 years since I was 8 years old and I am a smart, confident, fansmashingtastic ADULT woman and I would not let an 8 year old make me lose my cool. So I just got in my car and drove away. The thought of this little girl getting a healthy dose of reality in 20 years made me laugh all the way home.