Monday, September 11, 2006

"Long Live the Queen"

"Why am I even posting this?" The words I said aloud in my empty room for no one to hear, but me. Besides the fact that this is a very sad day in history indeed, my news is also sad and I wanted it to be....oh, so much more than the reality of this experience. And that is all this weekend was, an experience, no one can dispute it, or explain it. I don't need any explanations, this is my story to tell...

~I woke up early Saturday morning to make sure that my hair and makeup looked just right. Heavy, extended eyeliner gave me an exotic feel and my lips were lined and pouty. I donned the Royal outfit and put on my Gold heals, gazed in the mirror at this character that I was about to play, so I held my arms in the air and shimmied my hips to make the beads dance and sing. They did and I became the princess that I was supposed to be for this event. I smiled at my most alluring self, I felt proud and humbled to be representing Royalty in a culture that I was not born into and walked out of my world, prepared and ready to enter another.

~The big hall was shiny and huge mirrored pillars lined the room. People were running around setting up sound systems, kitchen humming with yummy smells and women's deep laughter, vendors arranging their wares, this way and that, until everything looked just perfect. I got to work to achieve the same thing...perfection. I made a mental note that no one else was 'dressed' for the occasion, but myself, and I inwardly thanked Mrs. M for allowing me to wear one of her many costumes. Her family arrived and greeted me warmly, admiring how their Mother's dress looked on me. They were dressed up also, so we all spun around and shimmied, laughing at how girls will be girls and giggling at our silly behavior. They were a prominent family in this community, the eldest daughter being a TV celebrity from their own channel and the rest responsible for all the hard details that involve putting on an event of this magnitude. The big clock struck 11:00 a.m. and the ethnic music began.

~Chills ran down my spine as the room began to fill up with people, their people and I thought the music added such a festive feel, that ebbed and flowed, moved around the hall like a smoke that surrounded you and transported you to another time....and that's when it began.

~I was clearly an alien here. I received harsh looks, mumblings in a language that I could not understand, sneers at my wares and silence was the average response, as I smiled and greeted each person who braved coming over to my tables. No one bought anything, even the children...not yet tainted with long life, would run up to their momma's and papa's, asking for money because they had found a pretty treasure that caught their eye, only to be told, "NO!" and I noticed that the child never visited my table again.

~That did it for me. That was the arrow that struck the hurtful blow...the children. I was the most excited about the jewelry that I had made for the children. I love all children and I imagined little girls wanting the tags cut off right away, so that they could wear the bracelets and necklaces that sparkled with rainbow shiny beads of every color. Their parents doused their excitement with fierce denial and one time, a little girl looked back at me, her eyes saying, "I'm sorry" for her parents humiliating behavior. I was rejected and I held my head up high, even returning the next day because I had given my word to be there, but that day the princess dress felt like a weight I had to carry around and the sounds of the beads as I walked, my heavy emotions put to sound. I was rejected the second day, even worse than the first. My husband came at 7 p.m. on that last day and saw the pain in my eyes. We packed up, him a little faster than me, and we snuck out the back. I held my Jewels in my lap. Lovingly made with my hands and tenderly placed back in the box. I was silent, but I could hear my husband's loving words of reassurance somewhere in the distance of my mind on the way home. I didn't cry until I got back and closed myself up into the bathroom. The thick eyeliner ran down my face, mingled with my tears and I stood there in the princess dress inwardly fighting off big words like prejudice, judging, stereotyping and I swore off any negative thoughts towards these people before they could infiltrate my core.

~I took off the dress and with it I shed the last 2 days. I laid down on my bed, my head resting on my favorite soft pillow and I cried again, but this time I cried for the children...and the little girl with the sorry eyes.

I am okay. I learned a hard lesson, one that I wish I hadn't, which is foreign to me, because my nature is to welcome learning and lessons. Maybe it's today and today's date that will never be the same again. I don't know...I just want to stop and smell the roses, keep making things that I think are beautiful and cling to the hope that still lives inside of me. The hope that all people really want... is to love and be loved.


Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

O Darlene! I am soooo sorry for that experience! I was afraid something was not quite right when you didn't post or answer my email! I am sorry! That dress is soooo gorgeous and YOU in it, those sweet children will remember YOU!!! and your jewelry! and maybe those parents will think back and wonder why they had been so mean! I wish I could have browsed your table and bought a bracelet, a pretty rainbow necklace, can I still, you know I'm going thru my second childhood! lol Take it easy sweetie, I love you and am thinking of YOU and your dear husband! xoxoxoo ((((Darlene))))and another one tighter!!!(((((Darlene))))))and here's a rose for you too! @----->

3:28 PM  
Blogger mairsy said...

hello, this is my first posting on your blog i've been reading for a while...... your story made me so sad but at the same time mad !!! How people treat others like that is beyond my comprehension. Good on you for returning the next day when it would have been so much easier to stay in the comfort of your home. You are the better person - no doubt about it. Just think - after this experience how wonderful your next time will be when selling your lovely (i'm sure they are!) jewels... good luck. I'll be sure to check in to see how fabulously you do next time !! xxx Mairsy

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Bek said...

Sweetness.... my heart is heavy for you as I read this.
Just awful.
And those little children looking back at you with apologies in their eyes.
Well of course.
They are young and innocent and sweet.
They are not responsible for the ignorance of adults.
They are loving .... and see beauty.
And they LOVED **YOU** and SAW your beauty.
YOUR DESIGNS ARE STUNNING.. just like you are.
Do not let this upset you.
Let yourself feel the anger and the sadness...
And then realise.
Its not YOU... Its them.
Dont let them squash your passion or take your power.
Be strong, and determined.
And know your talent sista.
I love you sweets.
Always, always, always.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous angela marie said...

Oh sweetie...I echo what Bek said. I am so sorry. I wish I could have been there to hold your hand. What courage you showed going back the next day. I really don't know that I would have.You are amazing!

love to you

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

Yikes! I am a bit speechless. You are one incredible, brave, fantastic woman. Strong as steel you are. I just bet you looked so very beautiful in that dress--you just must have stunned everyone with your beauty. I am so very sorry you had a dose of prejudice, that makes me want to hug you close. I know how that horrible feeling is. You are full of love and honor and I am sure in the midst of it all that showed through clearly.

Blessings to you my dear one.
P/S I would buy out your whole table of goodies!!

8:12 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

they were just jealous because you were such a hottie.

(i can say that because i'm your baby sister)


love you...

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Bek said...

Tis me again....just wanted to say if it were Mikaela.
If she were there.
The five year old angel I have in my care.
She would have trampled *me* to get to your jewels sweets.
She is one determined child.
And she would have bought ALL your wares.
For sure.
And *I* of course ... would oblige and obey. And I would want to also.
Bhahahahaha !
I love you honey.
And I am SO proud of you.
Very brave to return the next day.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Romina Bacci said...

how funny: me reading your story and you looking at my pics at the same time.

i never told you that i always, always wait to read your comments on my posts, you're kinda the big/sis i don't have, remember....?

i love you so much, and i bet you looked incredible beautiful in that dress :) -are we going to have the pleasure to see the picture??

i admire you sweet woman...
sweet dreams tonight :)

9:59 PM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Oh that must have been so uncomfortable Darlene. I am sorry:(

I too feel for the little girls.


10:12 PM  
Blogger bb said...

A hard lesson that you have worn with dignity, a beautiful diginity that I'm sure shimmered as bright as your dress.

love x x x x x

3:12 AM  
Blogger brittany said...

sometimes life can be so difficult. It makes me tired. I'm so sorry.

love to you.


8:05 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Wow Darlene one never knows what happens when we listen to our heart and show kindnest to someone.
A smile, thank you and have a nice day will sometimes go a long way.
You are special and I love you.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous a m y said...

yuck. there is nothing more defeating than showing your heart to others and feeling the sting of not being seen. remember that children recognize the truest, most honest and beautiful things...and those little girls saw you.

love to you. your opportunity and day will come when people are fighting to get to your wares! i have no doubt...don't let this discourage your lovely heart.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous shazza said...


Hold your head up high sweetness.
I cried for your pain
I smiled at your strengh
And im amazed at your STRENGTH
Im a friend of becs and browse your site. I feel sorry for those ignorent people.
I dont know you but im proud of YOU
Keep Smiling Sweetness.

4:33 AM  

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