My mom and I went shopping at the only mall in our rural tri-county area. There’s a Hallmark store in the mall, and just to confirm that the store’s actually the worst, I went inside. It was just me, this other random shopper, and the two middle-aged women working there. One of them asked me if I needed help, and I politely told her no.
I found a cheesy wooden sign that had the above-pictured phrase on it. I thought about buying it for my older sister as a joke since she was having a bad week. I picked it up, and I noticed the same worker woman looking at me. I put the sign down and walked around the greeting card area just to look. But then I realized that the woman had actually followed me there. She asked me again, “Can I help you find anything?”
I said, “No, thanks.” I looked at the other lady shopping in the store; I saw that neither of the two worker ladies bothered her the whole time I was there.
When I left, my first rationalization for the worker woman’s stalking was that she was bored and she had nothing else to do.
My second rationalization (that I didn’t want to go to because I try to believe most people are good) was that since I’m biracial, I’m an anomaly in my rural, predominantly-white community. Maybe the lady thought that I’d shoplift from a Hallmark store because I’m a minority? Like I’d be prone to swiping Snoopy plush toys because I’m beige?
I don’t know. I need to move soon because I’m definitely not spending the rest of my life here.