Letter to the Editor: Woman taken aback by rude comment
To the Editor:
Dear female Wal-Mart Shopper – on a recent visit to Cloquet, my daughter and I stopped at Wal-Mart before visiting my in-laws. As I stood in the aisle you approached me and stated, “You should wear pants because no one wants to see that,” all the while motioning towards my prosthetic leg. I was a bit taken aback and saddened by the fact you felt the need to lay your negativity on someone who was minding her own business and not affecting your life.
Our encounter left me wondering what you would have said had you looked past the cover and read the story inside. When you judged me you didn’t see my beautiful daughter shopping in the aisle across from us or my two boys at home with my loving husband. You didn’t see the woman who works full-time and takes care of a home and a family. You didn’t see the bestselling author who has adopted Cloquet as her second home and writes novels about the beautiful Twin Ports. You didn’t see the woman who loves ballroom dancing, shopping with her daughter and walking on the beach with her husband. Who you didn’t see very simply was me. I am more than the carbon fiber foot I wear on the outside. In fact, I wear that carbon fiber proudly because it has shaped me into who I am today. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a writer, an organ donor, a lover of life, and, oh yes, an amputee.
As the holiday season is upon us it is my hope that the next time you see someone in a wheelchair, wearing a prothesis, talking with their hands or using a guide dog, instead of bringing them down you reach inside yourself and find a way to raise them up. Offer to hold the door or even an encouraging smile. Our country will never move forward if we continue to teach our children intolerance and hate. It isn’t until people stop judging a book by its cover and take the time to read the great story inside that we will shed the heavy coat of intolerance and find out how good it feels to wear acceptance.
Katie Mettner, New Auburn, Wis.