WE GOT TO DO BETTER…By Angenita Williams-Childs


DISCLAIMER – I just want you to know that I really mean no harm, but ignorance has got to stop…like now…

On Sunday, I was sick. I lay in bed until around 4:00 pm. I got dressed, gathered the dirty laundry, and took my girls to my mother’s house for some homemade lasagna (which was fire!) I talked with my brother and sister-in-law, played with my one-year old nephew. We left and did laundry; I dropped my stepdaughter off at home. I decided that Babygirl and I would go to Kroger to pick up a few things for dinner. And that’s when it starts…

We walk down the aisle where the cold cuts are. At the end of the aisle, there is a freezer, and someone who wasn’t looking quite so fresh with two small children and what appeared to be a young teenager. I took note, but headed to the soup aisle. I overheard her talk to the young lady. Lady in Question wore some crazy hat with ear flaps, some printed capris, no socks, tennis shoes, and a shirt and a jacket that looked too small.

“Nun uh. Grab ‘dem shrimps. He eats shrimps,” she said. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to walk cute, or just drunk. I walked down the soup aisle.

“Oh, yo’ hair pretty” she said as she walked past me.

“Thank you,” Isaid. Babygirl looked on.

We both headed down the pasta aisle, and she pulled her panties (I assume) from her butt. Babygirl was about to bust. I gave her that look that said, “You better not.” She turned her head. The lady bent over to examine some boxed pasta, and said out loud, “I can’t wait to get locked up on Tuesday.” I froze. Did I hear her correctly?

My daughter looked at my face, and stifled a laugh. I can only imagine my expression. I looked at Babygirl and she looked at me.

So, the lady that was so ready to go to jail, walked past me again, and asked, “So how you do that with yo’ hair? Rollers or somethin’?”

I shook my head and said, “Pipe cleaners.”

“What’s dat? Oh, nevermind, I know what them is.”

All the while, my daughter looks like she is about to die because she wanted to laugh. I tell her, “You better not, young lady.” I couldn’t contain myself. But the situation was not funny. It stank of pure, unadulterated, ignorance.

For the life of me, I cannot fathom being a parent, and want to get locked up. Why would you want to go to jail for doing something that will take you away from your kids? What sense does that make? I had an arsenal of questions to ask her, the main one being, “Why?” I guess making sure the kids had food while she was gone was a good thing, but wouldn’t you want to be home to cook it?

I reflect on society today and it reminds me of how sad the times we live in really are. Any time anyone, let alone a woman with kids, sees jail as a vacation, it baffles me. It absolves them of responsibility of living. And we, as a society, allow it. We put people away for petty things. We allow our judgment to be clouded by so called morals. Then we have those like this young lady, obviously lost somewhere in this world. The more I think about it, I feel sad for her. Looking forward to being caged like an animal tells me a lot about her…that she doesn’t think she’s good enough to be free. I hope she doesn’t reach the goal of jail time. I hope the opposite occurs. I feel like I should have reached out to her and asked her why she felt like that. Then again, that type of mentality would have had me in the parking lot going to war. So instead, I used my prayer to fight that battle. I know that it’s won.


1 comment so far

  1. Kandra Baker on

    That is so sad when someone who has children feels that jail is their only way out. I am so glad that you didn’t ask that question, because i think that you are right and you would have been in Kroger’s parking lot in to some mess while your babygirl looked on in horror. You did the right thing, prayer was way better! Many times i see and hear ingonrant comments, or see things that make me shake my head and even though i am thinking in my mind “really, did i just see or hear that just now”? Ignornace is bliss for some people and I have been saying it for years, it is really sad but it is so true.

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