How to put on your backbone with your Makeup!
During my early years of being a single Mom trying to raise my 4 kids, I looked hard to find a decent job I could apply myself and earn a living for my family.
I took a marketing job for a gun shop to help increase their appeal to the female market.
One day I was rearranging the display case and asked the gun smith standing near by, if the owner would approve of the changes I made? He laughed and blurted out, “He would approve of whatever you did as long as you batted those pretty eyes at him!” At that point, (not gun point mind you) the men all started laughing. Consumed with the joke, they hadn’t even realized I had disappeared out the front door.
I stood in the parking lot frozen, looking down at the asphalt picturing my kids’ eyes staring back at me. I didn’t realize how hard it would be after 14 years of being a stay at home mom to get back into the work place.
I had given up my career for my husband’s those 14 years married, and committed all I had to build the people I helped bring into the world. Raising 4 amazingly beautiful people, so they could know who they are and what they stand for, would be my most significant contribution and accomplishment to the world. (Not to mention a Noble and Unselfish one at that, for all of you stay at home parents questioning that choice.)
I didn’t want the men to see the tears I was holding back, because the comment suggested I was not hired for my ability, but rather my looks. Had it not been that I needed the money, I wouldn’t even be in that shop. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for work. So, I learned that day how to put on my backbone with my makeup, or warpaint, depending on how you want to look at it. (Remember that phrase, you will see it on my book.)
The gunsmith walked out the front door and saw my face and asked, what’s the matter with you?
I walked up to him, wiping away my tears and asked him, “Could you imagine if I were your daughter or niece struggling to provide for her kids, knowing that it was a tough situation she was in, would you belittle her that way?” I asked, “Do you know how hard it is to wake up every day, scared to death wondering how you’re going to pay the bills and provide for your kids with limited education and work experience? Everyday I get ready for work, feed the kids, get them to school, with thoughts chasing me about how I am going to buy shoes and clothes they’re outgrowing by the minute. Then balancing schedules between dentists, doctor visits, IEP parent teacher conferences, each kid’s activities, parenting time schedules, while trying to keep kids healthy, emotionally and physically, as I bury the ultimate fear that I could fail and fail them! That’s not an option! At the end of the day it’s all I can do to find the energy for the laundry, the shopping, while keeping my head together trying not to worry if there’s going to be enough money, and/or enough me?….. I can go on and on, but don’t you dare make light of me and my contribution here because I am a woman! None of you do what I do, so keep your sexist jokes and comments under your belt.”
He realized his mistake, and kindly apologized humbly to me and to the men working there. I respected him for it, and in turn, I gained some respect that day and was no longer just the “gun shop girl”. (Thank You Lord, I didn’t lose my job.)
Your children’s eyes will force you to do things you didn’t know you could.