Don’t Judge Me

I see you there, waiting in line behind my conveyor belt of groceries.  My two children are ready to be home, and frankly so am I.

I pull out a little white card, and hope you can’t see.  Swiping it quickly, shamefully, I dive my hand into my purse so you don’t know what the card looked like.

Don’t judge me, please, as you watch my transaction in process.  You tap your button and glance at your display, I know you know.  Please don’t say anything.

I walk the aisle in the store, and purchase the same as I would if I were buying for my family.  We’re vegetarian and don’t drink milk–but we eat yogurt, eggs and cheese.  We drink coffee and herbal tea instead of soda and juice, we sweeten with agave and honey.
These things are expensive, I know.  It’s not my fault eating right is for the elite.  But I’m not going to stock up on junk food because it’s “cheaper”.

Don’t watch my hand dive in my wallet.  Please don’t look at me as though I’m a criminal.  I’m honestly just trying to feed my family, and my husbands income is not enough.

I’m not asking for a handout.  I don’t want your help.  We have barely been scraping by.  Our bills are paid, our rent is covered.  We put gas in the car …. once.  But now the money is gone, and we still have needs.  I don’t know how the laundry is getting washed.
The diapers were a gift.  Someone blessed us this month.
The trial is only for a little while, we expect to have it better soon.

My husband goes to school, and has a job.  I can’t get one too.  Right now, my job is Mommy.  Don’t judge my decision, it’s really not up to you.

I write, I draw, I can make use of my time.  Simple little ways to earn some extra money from time to time.  Though writing jobs are hard to find.  I’m subscribed to receive opportunities– and so are hundreds of other writers.

I teach.  However I have no college hours, substituting is out of the question in this town.

I came out of poverty, and have to poverty returned.  A degree would have been of no use, I wanted to be a youth pastor.  Ministerial degrees aren’t in high demand.

Don’t judge me.  You don’t know where I’ve been.  I only wished I’d never be in that place again.  But we are.  And you don’t know how hard we work to fix it.

My husband is at school on scholarship.  Thats the only way he can go.  Being in the military, you’d think he’d have earned more respect.  This isn’t the same Military it was in 1945.  This isn’t the same America either.

We’re fighting to make our way, and pushing really hard.  The numbers aren’t rounding up, they continue to plummet instead.

I’m a white American woman, married, with two kids.  A soldiers wife, proud and strong.  A minister fighting for the Kingdom.  I’m the Warrior cast.

….but right now we’re in need.  So unless you have the magical ability to feed my family with two loaves of bread and five minnows–until our boat comes in– I suggest you go judge someone else.  I’m not in the mood to feel anxious over what you think of me.

Wanton Forms of Regret

Love. What is love?

Is it the senseless feeling you have for someone?

Is it the unrequited resolve to stay with one individual person?

She held her glass of wine feeling the tears longing to burst behind her eyes.

Setting her glass on the counter, she tucked her knees up to her chest fighting the urge to cry, replaying the scenario in her mind again and again.

Everything in that moment was bright and colorful. A dream she didn’t get to experience.

She wore a long, beautiful white dress. Her long hair adorning her head as though it were a crown spilling with curls. The long tulle veil was pinned under her hair with a silver comb, falling down her back like rushing water, tiny white flowers tucked into it.

She stood at the edge of a stage waiting for the game to be announced.

He was across the room, wearing a beautiful black suit with a white shirt and silver tie. He laughed brightly, the joy of the day shining off of his face and in his eyes.

He stopped laughing, but the mirth of the moment stayed on his face in a large smile showing off his teeth.

She met eyes, winked and then stood up on a chair with her bouquet in her hands.

Luscious red roses were elegantly arranged with sprays of baby’s breath, little blue flowers and blue ribbon that flowed out of it.

The crowd of eager young women clustered together heightened the cheer, as she faced away from them. She held her breath while the leader of the band counted to three, and then she flung the bouquet behind her.

A rush and screams broke out behind her.  She giggled softly, turning to see who had caught it.

It was a girl she had met, but didn’t know very well. She was a friend of her husbands.

Husband.

The word made her warm inside.  She caught eyes with him.

He watched her intensely, his heart bursting forth through his shining eyes.

That was all she had ever wanted to see.

Tears spilled down her cheeks as the daydream faded into reality again.

That moment had never been hers. And she wanted it so desperately.

From the shining, bursting forth of love in a man she knew beyond a shadow of doubt cared for her, to the scramble of single friends awaiting her bouquet.

The image was so vivid, and so real.  It only added to the trauma of her breaking heart.

Faith picked up her wine glass again. After another swig, she set the glass heavily down and half-ran to the sofa, throwing herself into the arm, hugging a pillow into her chest as she began to sob.