Tag: prejudice

Why didn’t I see that coming?

October 10th, 2006 — 2:29am

I have long since vowed to shut away the shallow, snobby and overall bitchy side of my personality forever. While I do manage to keep that part of myself in the dark, every once in a while the “other” me rears her head and I am left to face the idea that I will never be able to run away from which my primary education has taught. I grew up with rich, snobby, shallow kids and took on their personalities as my own because I simply did not know any better. It wasn’t until college that I decided that the “bitchy” way was not how I was going to live my life. I want to forget and pretend that I never was that way, and then there are days like today, when no matter how hard I try, it always comes back to haunt me.

First I received a call from someone from church asking for help. The bitchy side of me immediately flared up and I wanted to lie and say that I could not be of any assistance, but I didn’t. I decided that the Christian thing to do was to use the abilities given to me and help others anyway that I could. And so I sat waiting for my two-hour Judging Amy zen-block, feeling rather proud of myself for effectively beating back the snobby bitch-monster and doing so in a timely manner.

Now, I can’t really pinpoint why I’m so obsessed with Judging Amy right now, but that is for another day’s analysis. The point is, I am and for the past few episodes, Amy’s mother, Maxine has been hinting towards starting a relationship with her gardener. While the the gardener part didn’t bother me so much, because honestly, only a tried and true spoiled snob would automatically look down on someone because he or she was “the help,” what disturbed me was who was playing this particular gardener, Cheech Marin, as in Cheech and Chong do whatever ridiculous pot-smoking adventure they did back in the day. So for the past few days, all I could think about was, “Oh God No! Not Cheech Marin! She can’t be dating Cheech Marin!” Not because he was playing the gardener or because he’s Spanish, but because everytime I see his name I can only think of some poor, lowly and loaded, dirty, little, old man. And he was back for both of today’s episodes, well yesterday’s…, and in the first one, after I almost wanted to turn the channel from the ridiculous country music playing through the episode (and it wasn’t even fun country, just people screaming into poorly played instruments), Cheech Marin, the gardener asked Maxine if he could “court” her.

Of course, I was just beside myself at the thought. Maxine was supposed to be this respectable and good woman and here she was parading around with….with him! The second episode started and there stood respectable Tyne Daly, playing Maxine, hand-in-hand with not-so-respectable Cheech Marin, the gardener. At this point, I barely remember what else happened throughout the rest of the episode except the end. Toward the end of the episode, Maxine’s son, Peter is basically spying on her and Cheech Marin while they were sitting on the front porch and all Peter is saying is “I can’t believe she’s dating the gardener!” which, surprisingly, did not phase me in the least, because deep down, I now realize, I was really thinking the same thing. Eventually, Maxine comes in the house to tell Peter to stop spying and he starts to say to state the obvious, that she’s dating the gardener, but she cuts him off and tells him that he, the gardener (I think his name is Ignacio), is a good man and that she hopes Peter wasn’t thinking what she thought he could be thinking.

It was only in this moment that I realized that the old monster was just as prevalent in me as it always had been, and what was worst was that I hadn’t even noticed. I didn’t even see the shows message coming. The whole time Cheech Marin is on the screen, I have my eyes partly covered because I couldn’t bare to watch what was happening and, thus, I could not see what was happening. Of course, the show used Cheech Marin for the gardener, because whoever directed these episodes probably figured that the viewers would have some past reservations about Cheech Marin and the reaction to him dating Maxine would be exactly what they wanted. I didn’t even notice until the last moments of the episode that I was no different from Peter thinking his mother shouldn’t be dating “the gardener” in that, even in a fictional show I couldn’t get past my own prejudices and take an actor, a person, on face value.


It just gets depressing to think about how long it is going to take for me actually shake all the wrongdoings of my childhood. At any normal point in my day, I would never allow past snobbery (if that’s a word) to have an effect on my thinking. What’s frightening is that when my guard is down and I’m least expecting it, I revert back to the same old me. And that’s exactly where I don’t want to be.

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