If you’ve read “Hey, God? Yes, Charles.”, you know that I became a vegetarian years ago. Over time, I also learned to check labels to see if products were tested on animals and, if at all possible, to avoid those items.
Once, Charles and I were traveling (he was working; I was playing!) and, since it was a business trip and travel expenses were covered, I thought I might splurge at the hotel spa one morning. I called that desk and I guess “Buffy” answered the phone. I explained that I didn’t spa a lot and I was not familiar with their product line and would like to know if their products were cruelty free. There was a slight hesitation on the other end, and then an enthusiastic, almost triumphant response. “Oh,” she reassured me, “we’re not going to HURT you.” I hesitated only slightly longer than she had before I shook my head silently and muttered some nonsensical response to get off the phone before I succumbed to the desire to talk training, and product knowledge, and life knowledge, and yes, ignorance … and, and, and… with her.
But, you know, Buffy meant well. She sounded like she was maybe 12. And, yeah, she was totally unfamiliar with trade terms in general and that question in particular. But here’s the thing. She did not understand my question but, in her interpretation of it, she was proud of offering a safe place.
Lord knows, we can all use a safe place in our lives. And, whether we’re Buffy – or more enlightened – we should all strive to offer one to others.