The other day, i was shopping at Trader Joe’s with my mom. We had just finished scavenging the entire store and we were standing in line, patiently waiting to swipe my mother’s gold credit card so that the items, in a nanosecond, would be ours. Looking around the store, my mother noticed the appearance of our Asian cashier-to-be. She had short cropped hair, with two long purple strands, much like Katara from Avatar (The Airbender). She had three piercings on her bottom lip - two on the Left and one on the right - an odd number, the way things should always be. She had an almost full-length tattoo sleeve, with a beautifully colored lotus flower upon her slim forearm. Interested, i came to an conclusion - this woman was very unique.
But than my mother uttered the words i always HATE to hear… “That woman… what she did to her body… she looks like trash. Trailer trash.” I nearly lost it in that store, my heart was filled with lead and my brain wasn’t functioning. My fingers clenched until they cried out in pain and my knuckles turned ivory white. I whispered to her “Mom, you don’t know this woman’s story. Please don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” She responded - “I’m just saying - it’s a stupid thing to do. To write and pierce your body like that.” Knowing i couldn’t say anything to change my mother’s mind, i clenched my mouth shut, regretting my decision as i did so.
Five minutes later, we were paying for our items. As the Katara-with-tattoos scanned our items, i happened to glance upon her arms. Lying there, along with the tattoos, where little white marks, beginning from the middle of her arm, cascading down to her wrist, multiplying each inch closer to her life-line. Her brown eyes caught my hazel-eyes gazing upon her bare arms, and she stopped what she was doing for a split second. And it was in that moment, i smiled, looked up to her and said “You’re beautiful.”