Tuesday, November 20, 2007
EBT = Embarrassed Ba'al Teshuva.

Yesterday, while on line at the kosher store, I was behind someone with whom I am close.

I don't know her finances, yet suddenly, I had a feeling she would be using an EBT card. I felt terribly awkward. My suspicions were confirmed - and I felt even worse. Why did I have to be behind her? Then the noisy cashier was trying to figure out whether certain items could be charged on the card. I stood there feeling totally mortified. I wished the cashier was quieter. I wished there was more respect for my friend's dignity.

I remember when I was in 8th grade, and my stepfather was on his chemo-death march. As he slowly died of his cancer, my parents' finances unraveled. I became the recipient of a free school lunch ticket, something terribly painful for me. I always stood at the very end of the line - I couldn't bear if people saw my Scarlet Letter. And I'm guessing an EBT card has the same stigma. At least, potentially.

I'm at odds. A part of me wants to write the store an anonymous letter. Is that an appropriate response? I feel like the situation could have been handled more quietly, more gracefully.

Am I just projecting my own feelings onto things?


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