A Splash of Jean Nate'

Occasionally, a simple moment lassos a complicated issue and brings it down to ground level. One such moment occurred today while checking out at The Christmas Tree Shoppe (many good things happens in check out lines when I'm not too harried to notice).

The beautiful older black lady was nearly done scanning my items. Waiting politely on the edge of the counter were the four items of the older white woman behind me: three Maybelline lipsticks and one bottle of Jean Nate.

"Oh, I just love that you are buying Jean Nate. It's such a classic, it instantly reminds me of my auntie", I remarked to her.

The cashier immediately added, "Well, that reminds me of my mamma. She insisted it was pronounced "Jean Natty" even though I was pretty sure it wasn't. But I didn't argue, I just went along it. She wore it all her life."

The carefully coiffed purchaser of the after-bath splash smiled and cocking her head said, "Well, it is an old standard and it just keeps on hanging on. Just like us, right?" she said to cashier. They chuckled in agreement and I felt the moment whispering a truth:

For all the deep issues of race that divide during the days in which we live, and for all the ways that I can't bring about the big changes which need to happen, I can remember there is power in the simple. I can strike up conversation, to seek the shared experiences of womanhood, to listen and then to learn. For any woman of any race, to share the commonality in our womanhood is a beautiful way to lay the groundwork for deeper conversations, or even just lend a little due respect as we pass each other by. For somewhere along the line, for all of our different experiences, we all have a little Jean Nate in our past.

PS. Please know I am not trying to simplify an issue of which I stand very small in knowing the complexities of. I am just a woman trying to seek simple ways to bring about light and love in my corner on the occasions I'm smart enough to think beyond myself, and am always thankful when God illuminates a way for me to do that.


Lynne said…
Speaking truth woman! Enjoyed this post.
debi said…
I love stopping by The Coffee Cottage!!!

Thanks for the memories you just brought back for me of that bottle of Jean Nate'. You light up so many corners of this world, mine being one of them. Love the way you think.

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