Story time.

So a while back an elderly man came into the store I work at and after wandering the entire store he spotted me (I had been outside on break when he came in) as he came up to the register where I was standing. He dumped his items on the counter and I could tell he wasn’t comfortable with me just by the way he looked at me, almost like he was disgusted by me. Being use to these looks I smiled and asked him if he found everything alright, then started ringing him up. He hadn’t said a single word to me at this point up until he decided to look straight at me and say “nobody is going to give a shit about your tattoos, all those holes in your face and that ridiculous hair when you’re dead.” Despite the fact that both my manager and I were completely appalled by what he had said I nodded, replying “I’m sure they won’t. But that’s alright with me sir, I do this because I personally like the way it looks and it makes me more comfortable with my own skin.” To which he replied “well I hope you’re not a Jew, they won’t bury you in a Jewish cemetery with all that shit on your body.” Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure where that statement came from. But I decided to grin and bear it, forced a laugh and said “glad I’m not Jewish then I suppose.” As I was handing him his receipt and his bag of stuff he told me I was going to hell for mutilating my body, and walked away. Just like I do with every customer that leaves our store I said “thank you for coming in, have a nice night and come back and see us again.” Having to say those words to him nearly fucking killed me. So, after work that night I came home to my roommate and her seven year old daughter, still rather upset that this man had told me I was going to hell and completely disrespected me for no reason other than he didn’t like my physical appearance. He didn’t pay any mind to the fact that I was a hundred percent professional and polite the entire time he was treating me this way. As I was telling my roommate about what had happened her daughter was sitting on the couch watching cartoons, somewhat listening to my story. My roommate told me to pay no mind to what he had said because he was an old man that just didn’t understand, and she’s right. But then her daughter came over to the kitchen table where I was sitting, carefully fixed a few pieces of my mohawk, swept my bangs from my eyes and said “I think you’re beautiful, and you have the coolest hair out of everybody I know.” She wrapped her little arms around my neck and hugged me tight then skipped back over to the couch to finish her cartoons. My heart melted. Now every time we’re out in public if my roommates daughter sees people staring at me or giving me any kind of odd looks she stares right back at them, grabs my hand holding it tight, and leads me in the opposite direction of these people with her head held high and a smile on her face. Any time I pick her up from school and kids stare she’s quick to tell them “don’t stare, that’s rude! Holly is a person just like you and I, and she’s nice, what she looks like doesn’t matter. She’s my beautiful Holly, I love her.” I’ve known this wonderful little girl for nearly two years now, and when I first became friends with her mother she asked me “why do you get tattoos and piercings?” Trying to explain it in the simplest way possible I told her its because I like the way they look and they make me feel good when I look in the mirror. She hasn’t asked me why I get a new piercing or tattoo ever since, and when we curl up together on the couch to watch tv she traces my forearm tattoos with her finger, telling me she thinks they’re pretty.
I don’t think she realizes just how amazing it is for someone so young to understand something like this, and how fantastic it feels when she defends me even though I generally don’t let people’s judgmental ways get to me. I’ve always said I don’t like kids, but quite honestly I adore that little girl to death and when someone like that hateful old man gets to me she’s the first to lift my spirits.