The other night we were visiting Walmart. (I know. Great story already, right?) We often go to Walmart at 10 o’clock at night with an infant and two girls less than six years old, because we are idiots and our life is simply out of control. Walmart is where families go at 10 in the evening to self destruct without damaging anything valuable.
So, we were on our way to find some eyewash, or markers, or something else of vital importance when our rambling parade passed the line of registers. As we passed, Lydia saw something in one of the only open check out lines. What ever she saw apparently made her very excited. I know she was excited because she suddenly exploded out of my sweetly grasped hand and launched headlong into a maniacal fit, waving her arms above her head like an upside down jellyfish and repeatedly yelling, “Hola! Hola!” She waved frantically in the direction of the tired customers in line at register 12, “Hola!”. She waved some more, “Hoooola!”
The exhausted crowd of late night Walmart patrons all looked over at the tiny child and then back and forth at each other. They gave each other the typical “Which one of us does this girl think is Mexican?” Look. You know the look. The wide eyes. The quick glance left and right and then down at your shirt. The furrowed eyebrows and the half hearted return wave in her direction that really means, “Please, Little girl. Stop yelling Hola at me.” I smiled apologetically as I quickly grabbed my child by a tentacle and dragged her in the oposite direction.
When we were well out of view, I lifted the beaming 3 year old and placed her in the cart, and very slowly and gently told her, “Lydia, it is not polite to assume someone is from South America and just start yelling at them in Spanish.” The child gazed into tired oblivion and continued smiling.
Clara rushed to join us and interupted, “She wasn’t speaking Spanish, Dad. She said Olaf. You know? Olaf! He’s the snowman in Frozen.” She pointed over her shoulder at the registers.
I looked back at the still beaming child in the cart staring in wonder towards the front of the store.
“Well. Then it’s not polite to assume people are snowmen and start calling them Olaf either.”
My girls nodded in agreement. “Yes, but it was just a big picture of Olaf Dad.” I looked down at her. “See. Over by the batteries?”
“Fine. But my advice still stands.” Lord knows the world would be a much better place if we didn’t all run around randomly yelling “Hola!” at tan people and “Olaf!” at white ones.