I recently had an experience that was both annoying and funny. About a week ago, my colleague and I went into an office to see a prospective client. It was one of those offices where you had to get through the secretary (we had previously met her and she seemed nice enough).
Before I continue, it is important that I describe how the three parties (the secretary, my colleague and I) were dressed (Not very good at descriptions, but will try my best). My colleague is a tall (about “5.8”) lady wearing a high heeled shoe and a knee-length, black dress. Her hair woven back with extensions (What Nigerians call Ghana weaving) and her face in light make-up (Dare I say, appropriate for a work day). I was wearing a long tailored trousers, a turtle-neck green top with short sleeves, black front-covered heeled shoe and light makeup as well. The secretary, on the other hand, is probably in her late 40’s or early 50’s, wearing a loose shirt and a black skirt (not too sure about the skirt), no make-up and has her hair, low cut (What my fellow Nigerians would term as the typical ‘Deeper Life’ look. *No criticism intended*).
So we approach the secretary, of course indicating our purpose for visit. After speaking to her, for some reason (best known to her), she hands us each a religious leaflet with content along the lines of ‘give your life to Christ’. I take it from her because I don’t want to appear rude (You never piss off the secretary) but not before I raise a brow.
We go back into the reception to wait and just to make sure I haven’t come to a wrong conclusion, I mention it to my colleague, to gauge her own interpretation, which of course, coincides with mine. We look around at the others waiting in the reception (all men), to see if they have this leaflet as well and not surprisingly, they don’t. Apparently, she (the secretary) thinks my colleague and I need saving from damnation and the men do not. In my opinion and by ‘social standard’, we were dressed decently and appropriately enough (trust me, I know what ‘indecent’ looks like), so I am still not sure what motivated this notion.
Being me, all this action had succeeded in doing, was reminding me of a bigger societal issue where people have preconceived views of people and hold them to their own standard (never mind that this standard does nothing for you). My colleague also pointed out that this act is in fact more common among women who have an idealistic view. Scratch the term ‘idealistic’ because there is nothing so perfect and reaching about a view that says to be a christianly and virtuous women, I should walk around looking as pitifully as possible, especially when I am honest enough to admit I can’t pull it off. I am not one to pass judgement on how people choose to exercise their religion (I choose the term ‘religion’ and not ‘Christianity’ with all intent), even though I am of a different view and belief. However, I think it is unbecoming, never mind, both hilarious and annoying that someone should hold others to their personal and stereotypical views, never mind, ill-conceived (that’s my opinion).