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How To Romaine Calm

, , , | Right | May 25, 2019

(I am Romanian but have lived in the US for a couple of years now. I am shopping for a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. I am wearing jeans, a cat T-shirt, a bracelet with my country’s colors on it, and a star necklace. The uniform that the employees wear consists of cargo pants, a button-up shirt, and their name tags.)

Stranger: *taps me on the shoulder* “Excuse me, miss. Can you tell me where I can find plus-size jeans?”

Me: *turning around* “Oh, sorry. I do not work here.”

Stranger: “Oh, sorry. My mis—“

(He notices my necklace and bracelet, crosses himself, and runs away. I am confused but I shrug it off. A few minutes later while I’m talking on the phone with my grandma who doesn’t speak English, the same man comes back with who I assume is the manager.)

Stranger: “There she is. Throw this heathen out of the store!”

Manager: “Sir, I cannot throw anyone out without proof.”

Stranger: “Has she made you stupid with her devil magic? Look at her. No good Christian would wear that necklace and a symbol of those [gay slurs]!”

Manager: “Sir, I simply can’t—“

Stranger: “I am a God-fearing man and I demand you throw this [bad word], [slur] pagan out!”

(Having had enough, I finally speak up.)

Me: “Sir!”

Stranger: “WHAT?!”

Me: “First of all, although it is none of your business, I am in fact Christian born and raised. Second, this necklace is a star, not a pentagram which I assume you thought it was, and my bracelet is the flag of Romania, not any LGBTQ+ flag I’m familiar with. Third, I doubt God would be very happy with a self-described God-fearing man who uses such profane language and takes the Lord’s name in vain.”

(I begin reciting Peter 3:8 and 9 and Luke 6:31. The irate man stutters, trying to find a reply, before giving up and leaving the store with his head lowered.)

Manager: “Wow. Usually, I have to call security for people like that.”

Me: “In my opinion, a good follower of any religion doesn’t use it as fuel for bigotry but to spread morality and acceptance.”

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