Last Friday night I was shopping at Nordstrom Rack looking for a few bargains. After about an hour, I headed to the check-out counter and proceeded to wait in a very long line.
When I finally reached the register, I noticed the young man behind the counter was doing a few dance moves. He said he only had 10 more minutes left on his shift. He was quite excited to leave.
I commented on his dancing. We started a fun little banter between us. This guy was charming, fun, and full of personality. You could tell he was itching to get out of the store and go meet up with his friends. It was a Friday night, after all.
Dancing in Nordstrom Rack
After a minute or two, he said, “Do you want to learn how to dance.” A little surprised, I thought, “Why not?” I looked around and noticed there was no one else in line, and thought, “Well, I’m not holding anybody up. This should be fun!”
So… in the middle of Nordstrom Rack the checker stepped out from behind the checkout counter, and I stepped away from my side of the counter. We met in the middle.
He taught me the “Whip,” the “Nae Nae,” and the “Dougie.” I had a ball! We were both laughing. It was the most exciting thing I had done all day. I was dancing in Nordstrom Rack! Go figure?
I thought I was just shopping at Nordstrom Rack. It was nice to do something so spontaneous and not really care about what others were thinking.
I’m the Next Contestant on DWTS
I think most of the store stopped to watch us. I mean, it’s not every day you see two people break out in a dance while shopping at Nordstrom Rack in Dallas, Texas.
The young man was incredibly kind in his teaching. He went slow and gave me a lot of positive feedback. I know I can’t dance, but it was fun to try to learn. The young man made me feel like I was the next contestant on Dancing With the Stars.
After my lesson, I finished checking out. We said our “goodbyes,” and I left the store. On the way out, his co-worker yelled, “Best customer all day!”
More Than Just Dancing
On the way home I was laughing to myself and thinking, ” I can’t believe I had the nerve to do that! I mean, who breaks out in a dance in the middle of Nordstrom Rack for five minutes?” I began to think deeper about it, and I realized there was more to this than just the dancing.
You see, the checker was a young, black man maybe 20 or so. And I am a white, middle-aged woman. According to the media, we don’t get along. Yet, here we are dancing. Together. And everyone around us thought it was pretty funny. There were no protests or rude comments to either one of us.
The people in the store encouraged us to have a moment of sheer laughter. That would have never happened if either one of us had prejudices. Or if the people around us had been prejudiced. Dallas is different. We have come along way since the 60’s.
We Met in the Middle
The reason Dallas is different is that we both came out from behind the counter. It took me leaving my spot in front of the counter, and the young man leaving his spot behind the counter so we could meet in the middle.
Back in the 60’s the counter looked a whole lot different. A black man couldn’t even be at the same counter as a white woman. They had completely different counters. There was no middle ground.
I’ve been thinking about that young man all weekend. I wonder if he knows a lot of people who want to meet him in the middle and dance.
We don’t have to agree on everything, but we can learn from each other. I didn’t ask him his political views, if he loved God, or even if he was straight or gay before I said, “Yes.”
This was an opportunity to learn something from him. I hope he learned something from me, too. I hope he learned that I care about what he has to say. He matters. And I know by the way he treated me that I mattered, too. Both of our lives mattered.
History Was Made Shopping at Nordstrom Rack
I did more than shopping at Nordstrom Rack that night. History was made. In this incredibly divisive climate, I can’t help but wonder if this story will ever get out.
Who wants to celebrate the, oh, so mundane story of two people dancing in Nordstrom Rack. But what happened to us was not mundane. It took a lot of protests, people dying, and prayers for us to even have the opportunity to dance in the store together with no repercussions. And for everyone around us to think that dancing together was hilarious.
There are many things that had to change in the last 50 years for this to even happen. It is important to acknowledge that Dallas has come a long way. Our churches and political leaders are working together to make this city a better place. We are not who we used to be. We are better.
Do the Right Thing
There are a lot of people like me who do the right thing every day and expect those around us to do the same thing. It’s really not that hard. Somehow we have lost our way when we no longer hear about the way people are helping to heal race relations
For the young man who works in Nordstrom Rack, keep dancing. For those of us who don’t know how to dance, we’re willing to learn. I’ll keep shopping at Nordstrom Rack after that experience. Maybe we will dance again. Who knows?
What have you done lately to help promote good race relationships with others?
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