I’m deviating from the plan for the blog today to share a story with you all that I can’t get out of my head for some reason. Maybe that reason is because I need to write it down? Ehh, who knows.
When I was growing up we lived in Kansas. My mom had joined the Army and she was stationed at Fort Riley. When we first relocated there wasn’t any housing on base available so we lived in Junction City. We lived in a trailer court, which wasn’t a big deal to me because we had lived in one before my mom joined the Army. We had also lived in a house at one point too. I guess I didn’t really understand the difference.
When I was in elementary school all of the kids in the two side by side trailer courts would play together. In the winter we would build forts and have snow ball fights and in the summer we would play with water guns and roller blade. Typical kid stuff I think.
At some point we eventually moved on base. I don’t really remember when that happened but maybe it was between moving from elementary to middle school. Anyway, on like the first day of middle school I saw this kid that used to live in the trailer right behind us. I hadn’t seen him in a while. I walked up to him to say hi and the first thing out of his mouth was “are you still trailer trash?”
This was a big deal y’all, because I HAD NO IDEA I WAS TRAILER TRASH. Do you hear me? I didn’t know. I was about to say hi to my FRIEND and he put me in my place real fast.
Two things happened that day, I realized I had to get real selective on who I called my friend and I realized that other people may think something of me that I had never thought of myself.
I am still shocked when I think about that day. I know I went through a hundred questions in my mind. Some of the recurring ones were “does that mean he thinks my parents are trailer trash?” and “but he lived in a trailer too, so was he trailer trash?” WHAT. IS. LIFE.!?
Here’s what I can appreciate, he finally said it to my face. It was super rude, but I prefer to know what you think of me to my face. I can also appreciate that it was an opportunity for me to think about how I may have labeled someone incorrectly.
This interaction didn’t change my life, but it’s always served as a reminder to me that you never know someones full story. As quick as I can be to judge (and it is very quick) that time I was trailer trash almost always humbles me so I can admit I don’t know the person’s whole story.