Friday, May 23, 2008

Stereotyping happens, whether we mean to or not

Big soccer tournaments this weekend—A., M. and I will be on the road Sat. and Sun. My bag of school/home paperwork is ready to go—I’ll be the parent on the sidelines madly word processing.

A. and I were on the road last weekend too, which meant late nights catching up this week. But, I’m getting things done, staying afloat :)

Late last night, A. and I raced from one end of town to the other, picking up his player card from one soccer coach, transferring it to another. His old coach, Joe, asked us to meet him before work, by the scoreboard, at a specific intersection. I didn’t remember a school in that area, but it’s a rough part of town, I don’t spend time there.

Arriving at the intersection, I looked for a scoreboard, assuming a soccer coach would be doing something sports-related. How’s that for stereotyping? A. started laughing, “It’s a bar, Mom!” Wow, it was a bar, with a policeman parked across the street, interesting characters loitering nearby. One older patron wore slippers; white, knee-high socks and a trench coat—I choose to believe there were clothes under the coat…see, I did it again.

We parked and waited, mother and son, outside a run-down bar, across the street from a policeman. I feel accomplished exposing my children to intellectually, enriching experiences.

Joe arrived fifteen minutes later, I rolled down my window, taking the player card. Simultaneously, I realized our actions fit the T.V. drug-deal stereotype and felt a moment of panic. Thankfully, the policeman didn’t leap out of his car, gun drawn—I guess I look harmless.

Joe left to tend bar, A. and I left to meet his new coach…at a soccer meeting, fulfilling the stereotype. There was order in the world again…we bought cake on the way home…

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