Today I thought it would be fun to go to this artsy place where, according to their website, anyone can use their pottery wheel to make a pot. I’ve only done this a little bit in the past, but I figured, “Why not?” After all, they explicitly said on their website that anyone with any level of ability was welcome.
Before I go any further with this story I should mention that I’m in my thirties, but people occasionally mistake me for a much younger person. Like a teenager.
Anyway, I walked in and asked to use the wheel. The woman looked me up and down skeptically and asked if I had experience. I said, “Yeah, I mean, I’m a beginner, but it’s not my first time doing this.” She told me it was really hard and I wouldn’t get any help or any lessons, so I reassured her, “It’s okay. I just want to give it a try. I won’t be disappointed with the result if it isn’t that great.” Then she started using an adult-talking-to-a-child voice and told me I would have to give her money in order to get clay and that the clay was really hard to use. I reassured her one more time, but she told me no, it wasn’t a good idea. She also drew a contrast between me and the experienced adults who come to the studio.
I rested my case and left the studio.
I’m not sure if I should have advocated for myself a little more strongly or not, but the incident got me thinking about the way we judge each other. Just because someone looks like they’re not up for a task doesn’t mean they aren’t.
Today’s application goes to Minnesota.